On July 8 I went to see Nadine Shah perform at the Whitley Bay Playhouse as part of the Mouth Of The Tyne Festival. It was a fantastic gig!
I first saw Nadine Shah — as a solo artist — supporting the Futureheads in the same venue, back in 2013. At that point, she had either just released her debut album, Love Your Dum and Mad, or was just about to (It came out sometime in the same month), but this was the first we heard of her. If memory serves, she played with a small backing band (possibly just drummer, likely co-writer Ben Hillier) and she handled keyboards. It's a pretty small venue. My friends and I loved that show, and as we talked about how good it was, what it reminded us of, (I think we said stuff like "that was nice and gothy, I haven't heard stuff like that for ages"), we hadn't realised that she was sat right behind us, with a grin on her face!
Since then shes put out two more albums, Fast Food which got a huge amount of airplay on 6 Music (and was the point at which I bought into her) and the Mercury-nominated Holiday Destination, a really compelling evolution of her art and a strong political statement.
It turns out, though, that I think we saw her before that, too: A local band called Kinevil (now disbanded) supported Ladytron at Digital in Newcastle in 2008. I happen to have their single "Everything's Gone Black" on vinyl (here it is on bandcamp) and noticed years later that the singer is credited as Nadine Shar.
This year's gig was my first gig of 2019, and it was a real blast. The sound mix was fantastic, and loud. The performance was very confident: Nadine now exclusively sings, all the instrument work is done by her band which is now five-strong. The saxophonist made some incredible noises that reminded me of some synth stuff from mid-90s Nine Inch Nails records. I've never heard a saxaphone played that way before. Apparently Shah has been on hiatus for a while for personal reasons and this was her comeback gig. Under those circumstances, it was very impressive. I hope the reception was what she hoped for.