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Kate Nash - 'Do Wah Doo'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:44 UK time, Monday, 5 April 2010

Kate Nash

When it comes to pop stars who really bring out the worst in people, Kate Nash is up there with Mika, Westlife and (more recently) Paolo Nutini. To some people, it's as though her very existance is an affront to human decency. Because she had the NERVE to write some songs which are not quite as witty or barbed as those of Lily Allen, and which did not seek to make more sense of the world than your average teenage diary.

Actually, it's worse than that, it was as if she tried to say profound things but it all came out a bit awkward and weird, which probably reminded a lot of people of their own stumbling teenage poetry. And she didn't pronounce her words properly. People hate that.

(Here's the video. Hey! Who nicked the Foo Fighters?)

As a writer, her basic tone of voice, that observational, reported speech thing, is clumsy and wittery. For me, this is what makes her amazing. It's as if there is no filter of self-awareness between the words coming into her brain and out of her pen. She's not hiding things behind cool language, she's not describing emotional situations as if they are medical conditions or mental instability, she chunters on about stuff in the way that people do, not poets. And it's up to us to sort out whether it works or not.

This is a perfect example. A '60s freakbeat rave-up with half-formed lyrics about a hot girl that everyone rates except Kate. It's got one verse, and then it's all chorus. It builds and builds and builds, with Mardi Gras trumpets and massed harmonies, while Kate wonders if she should stop glaring at the girl in question and pop off to the book shop. Oh and then she does an extended impression of the Crazy Frog. Twice. See what I mean about not being cool?

As an extra bonus nugget of fuel for the haterzz, it features a perfect Kate Nash lyric, delivered in that spoken, artless blank voice she sometimes uses:

"Everyone thinks that girl's a lady, but I don't. I think that girl's shady"

Bound to set certain teeth on edge, a line like that. And if that applies to you, I'm truly sorry, because you're missing out on the most incredible pop fun, and definitely the most enjoyable thing Bernard Butler has been involved with since he created the astonishing 'Yes' with David McAlmont.*

Me? I'm playing it very loud and dancing about, welling-up with joytears and generally thanking the pop gods that no-one has managed to sand down Kate's rough edges.

Five starsDownload: Out now
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

* with the possible exception of 'Don't Look Back Into The Sun' by the Libertines, which is also a total joy.


  • Comment number 1.

    Yes! Yes! Yes! This song is brilliantly cathy and will certianly storm the charts.

    Mind you, that riff is a bit too repetative and annoying and is it just me or does this song climax far too early?

    It's like verse, chorus, vocal refrain (bum ba-dums), bigger chorus, vocal refrains (bum ba-dums), "Well, I fink she's a *****."

    Oh well, 4 stars.

  • Comment number 2.

    Also, doesn't Kate look like and ugly version of Paloma in that picture? Ooer missus!

  • Comment number 3.

    AMAZING!!!!! I am in love with the "ba bada bada bada bam" bit, whenever this song comes on I am in heaven!!!! It's being used kind of regularly in Ireland in TV ads and stuff so I'm hoping it'll be a big 'un!!

  • Comment number 4.

    i was truly expecting myself to hate this. and i do... naa not really, surprised to say its alright.. in response to oddone, the best pop songs always leave you wanting for more.. dont see the crazy frog though (thank god)

  • Comment number 5.

    Fraser obviously in a good mood at the moment three 5 STAR songs in a row!

  • Comment number 6.

    I did flag this song up as one to watch , weeks ago on Rybak .

    It's a grower .

    Loads of catchy hooks , interesting production and arrangement , and a vocalist using her strengths well , and engaging the listener .
    The "ba ba ba ba ba " refrain is also a huge highlight , and is fun and frivolous .
    Kate looks v. sexy on the plane , and looks like she has watched the "Air Hostess " video by Busted .

    (What I Go To School For is my favourite Busted song , before you ask !
    Absolute pop brilliance )

    Indeed "Yes" by McAlmont and Butler is one helluva 5 star song , that when it was released , I felt the song should have been arrested and put behind bars for such a long time .
    The crime ? Absolute brilliance , that's what !

    Mind you Bernard's production on The Black Kids , I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You , was absolutely top drawer , and enabled this modern pop nugget to be a top ten hit .

    Also Bernard's epic production on Duffy's Rockferry album , is also extremely understanding of the magic of these songs and letting them shine , enabling Duffy to be a huge breakthrough artist , releasing a debut album that has already gone 5 times platinum !

    Mind you , if Bernard was so brilliant , why didn't he talk Duffy out of doing that cringe inducing soft drink advert , where she is riding her bike late at night?
    Rockferry sent our Duffs into orbit , and that awful advert , brought her back to Earth without a blinking parachute !
    So , so , so ,so bad , and ill advised .

    Bernard , have a word son !

    (Oh , and getting back to Mr Butler's skills , Animal Nitrate by Suede is another superb 5 star song ! )

    Bernard , you are a genius !

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    Kate Nash is WWWAAAYYYY better looking than Paloma Faith, for the record.
    Upside Down just doesn't do it for me either, I'm afraid. New York was her only good song, imo.

  • Comment number 10.

    I'm completely different see, this is the only Kate Nash song the does it for me. All Paloma's songs are brilliant in my opinion and Paloma is also better looking for me. :S

    My favourite Paloma song would be 'Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful', even though 'Upside Down', 'Stone Cold Sober', and 'New York' are all five star songs for me.

  • Comment number 11.

    Ok I'll concede that Do You Want The Truth...is a nice song. Not 5 stars, but nice. But she is a cool gal, saw her on TV and she was great..

  • Comment number 12.

    I absolutely fell in love with her dosey, pretty blonde-sounding accent when I first heard it, then I heard her sing and was like "That's NOT the same person!" :L

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    Zoe dear, what´s up with you?

  • Comment number 15.

    yeah like every post zoe has posted has been referred...mysterious..

  • Comment number 16.

    It's probably one of those spam accounts that are set up to either; be annoying or to try and sell some product.

  • Comment number 17.

    I LOVE Zoe!

  • Comment number 18.

    Kate Nash , will have another top 20 hit with this on Sunday .

  • Comment number 19.

    If justice prevails it'll be a top ten. Maybe not at 1st but eventually.

  • Comment number 20.

    Oh dear. Clearly I don't share the popular/popjustice view on this Blog.. but I think this is pretty awful.

    Is it just me thats a little cynical about Miss. Nash. I think she probably has a lot more brain cells and poise with regards to writing than the review gives her credit. She has a well constructed song here. Thats pretty much what I don't like about it .. it feels well constructed and fake.

    I know she has written it. I know she doesn't have the production/writing team that many so called "fake" popstars of today, such as Girls Aloud and Sugarbabes latest tripe, have.. yet it feels in a similar boat. I can't quite put my finger on why. It just feels too contrived for me. It does seem a little like she went away and recorded this one in L.A.

    I didn't like much of her earlier stuff, but I could see the appeal. This seems far cry from that to me.

    Best comparison I can think of is comparing Little Boot's Redone producted, written in 2 days, poor pop shambles 'New in Town', compared to her MySpace version (which I have an .mp3 of :D ) of 'Stuck on Repeat'. The latter is the superior package, yet the much less polished one.

    I know Im being terrible here. I don't want to think like this about a talented, hard working, down to earth British girl.. but meh. I can't help it.

    Plus. As I say on every review of a British female solo artist, saturated market. Not enough room for her in my opinion.

  • Comment number 21.

    Was 'New In Town' really produced by RedOne, I though it was Greg Kurstin?

    Mind you, you're right about this song, after extensive listening, there is something about it... I think I mentioned it before but it climaxes too early. The structure goes:

    Intro, Verse, Verse, Chorus, Refrain (bum ba-dums), Chorus, Refrain (bum ba-dums).

    Is it just me or is there a distinct lack of verses?

  • Comment number 22.

    Yes , but thank the music god , that there are no rules that say you have to make songs a certain way with a certain structure , that everyone MUST follow .

    Music would be SOOOO boring then .

    Bum ba dum !


  • Comment number 23.

    "While in Los Angeles, she spent two days recording with RedOne. She initially found working with RedOne intimidating because their collaboration was expected to produce a hit song."

    Its from a Newsbeat article I read at the time.

    From Wiki. I took that to mean 'New in Town.

  • Comment number 24.


    Yeah , a definite top 20 hit , and Greg revealed in the midweek chart today , it's at 17 .

    However , by the time Sunday comes , I reckon Do Wah Do will sit between numbers 6 and 12 , due to promotion over the next few days .

  • Comment number 25.

    @22 thank god someone realises that you don't have to follow a set of rules to craft a musical masterpiece. For me this song just gets better and better with every listen.

    And of course she's smarter than her lyrics, but I don't think that "All of the gentlemen are of the opinion that that girl's thighs are delectable" would fit the song. The beauty of the song is the song as a whole, when you pick apart anything of course you're bound to find SOMETHING you don't like!

    When I think of this song, I imagine Kate abruptly pacing back and forth in her room wondering why all a certain girl gets all the attention and not her. In my head she's kind of ranting and getting stroppy about this and to use more intelligent lyrics would sort of change the feeling of the song entirely, imo, like, take it somewhere that it's not supposed to go. It's a fun, short song, with fun, short, snappy lyrics. that's all!

  • Comment number 26.


    Gonna revise my chart prediction for Do Wah do , and say that it will be between 12 and 16 , tonight .
    Just a hunch .

  • Comment number 27.

    Spirit, stop changing your mind! Now i have absolutely no idea where this song will be in the charts. 6, 10, 16, 20?!?! You've filled my Sunday with worry and agitation, I won't be able to eat, sleep or relax until i find out where this song has got to. Please music god, just a sign, where will it end??!!!

    Only kidding of course, hope all is well in the spirit world. This song (and Kate Nash in general) does indeed set my teeth "on edge" , mainly because although i can just about deal with teenage poetry, I struggle with teenage-chav-bus dweller delivery. And i don't think i can forgive her for that lemons/bitter/fitter garbage.

  • Comment number 28.

    Oh the great man returns .

    A man with devilish comedy in his heart , who entertained and left some of his audience , secretly yearning for more.

    I have lit a candle every Sunday , waiting for your return , and when the flame flickered today , as Foundations by Kate Nash played softly in the background , I thought it was caused by the light breeze caused by the bar man dropping a tray of bitter lemons, from a nearby table .

    How wrong I was ?

    My fingertips have been holding onto the crack of hope that you would one day return.

    Oh JOY !

    Is it true , as suspected, that your last quote , a year ago :

    "It just shows you can't be too careful " , was inspired by the wonderful comic David Mitchell ?

    Where have you been and what have you been up to ?

    Are you aware that you have a "cult" following here on Chartblog , after the How To Destroy James Morrison fun and frolics ?

    What a pleasant surprise . :)

  • Comment number 29.

    Sorry to break up the reunion but I thought I should mention that Kate Nash has charted at no.15 this week, making Spirit's prediction correct!

  • Comment number 30.

    Cheers Harry . :)

  • Comment number 31.

    The chorus is too catchy :|

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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