March 07, 2008

The most incongrous thing of the year: Kate Nash and Billy Bragg at the NME Awards

Anna covered the NME awards in some detail but I want to discuss just a specific 3 minutes and 41 seconds of them.

Start by watching this so you know what the hell I’m talking about

What the hell?!

And before all the millitant Kate Nash fans start hitting me (incidently, why did no-one tell me she was pretty and played piano?) , I actually sort of like it, but it’s weird. Here’s a list of what’s odd about that video:

First the entire concept of Billy Bragg at the NME awards is just funny. I wish I was a fly on the wall for the meeting when someone asked Billy if he wanted to do the NME awards.

The start of the video, you hear Nash make some strange noise before making a comment about “Cribs” (it’s actually “The Cribs” Kate, but you’re only dating the drummer and I have Wikipedia and Google) then Bragg makes a comment and she does that laugh you do when your parent says something embarassing that’s meant to be funny.

It’s clear what they wanted to do was a cover of Bragg’s A New England, but realised that would confuse the hell out of the kiddies so decided to do a “mash up” (eugh) of that song and Foundations. Except it’s not, because they don’t fit together at all. So what you get is a verse and chorus of Foundations with Bragg playing a couple of notes before an awkward transition into the A New England duet, in which if you listen carefully, you can sort of hear cheers as Bragg starts singing, like you get when Lulu starts singing on Take That’s Relight My Fire. Except 90% of the audience hasn’t heard of Bragg, so it’s clearly set up. And then it seems like they’ve changed thier mind and put it as low in the mix as possible.

So we get to A New England and by accident or design Nash doesn’t have the words exactly right, and they stick to the original lyric rather than the slightly tweaked ones for a female voice from the Kirsty MacColl version. And the MacColl extra verse is missing entirely (despite Bragg performing it whenever he does the song live), although that’s probably the best for taste reasons. Or that would have made the thing too long for the NME generation.

Then the chorus… and even though I really like Billy Bragg, harmonies (or indeed, singing in tune) were never his strong point! It’s a little painful, but you eventually get used to it.

Then in the second verse Nash seems to be unable to stop herself laughing at singing “It’s wrong to wish on space hardware” and I don’t think she’s laughing at how funny singing it as “space ‘ardware” sounds.

The way it’s filmed is funny too, Bragg is filmed like he’s Liam Gallagher, all arty and cool camera angles to make it seem like he’s ‘hip’. The lighting and backdrop add to this, it’s presented like he’s one of those deathly serious indie band front men when he’s mostly just laughing and joking about.

And at the end Bragg doesn’t point out that he’s from Barking, Essex.

As I say, I do sort of like it, but it just feels like it really shouldn’t exist…

- 5 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Here’s what I think the problem is in my opinion, which granted is worth very little.
    It should work. But it doesn’t. These are both artists who sing songs that have natural sounding sentiments. It’s a bit messy. The problem with it is that it should be very good, whereas it’s just a bit weird, but ok.

    07 Mar 2008, 11:18

  2. I found it most amusing that he was there despite this year’s NME awards being a big love in for the Manic Street Preachers who Bragg has had at least one run in with in the past. Maybe they wanted something controversial to happen considering the Brits seems to be more prone to outrageous behaviour these days. Also, less importantly, Kate’s dating The Cribs’ singer/guitarist. Pedantry rules us both.

    09 Mar 2008, 23:33

  3. I consider my lack of knowledge of Kate Nash’s personal life a positivie.

    10 Mar 2008, 00:30

  4. I’d try and justify knowing about Kate Nash’s private life but I read NME – it’s Heat magazine for indie kids and I am not ashamed. I like the pretty pictures and completely untaxing writer. This means I don’t need to justify myself as I am unjjustifiable.

    11 Mar 2008, 00:38


    ihave never listened this kind of music before but i can say that all the complete stuff around her is really dazzling in fact she is really cute and the most but not less important her voice

    well if someone like to listen spanish music you can addme guys my email is

    and by the way iam peruvian where the macchupicchu is



    14 May 2008, 23:51

Add a comment

You are not allowed to comment on this entry as it has restricted commenting permissions.

March 2008

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Feb |  Today  | Apr
               1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Search this blog


Most recent comments

  • Oh, I forgot to mention that I am attending an ALPHA session today (hence the research) partly for i… by tony moore on this entry
  • I totally agree with Max's philosophy list (blog#72) and use the same except for the other–dimension… by tony moore on this entry
  • Excellent point, that I hadn't seen expressed before, and a convincing one. I'm not convinced that C… by Chris on this entry
  • (I note they similarly dodge answering the question in that old Arnold movie from 1990, by fading th… by Unfrozencavebear on this entry
  • Immensely late ( 8 years) congratulations on writing fuller, better resolution to 'Life on Mars' "To… by Unfrozencavebear on this entry

Blog archive

Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by BlogBuilder