In the days when a young aspiring musical star could vault from a popular MySpace page to a deal with a major record label, Kate Nash seemed to make that transition in one breathtaking leap. It was a glorious time for her, but the good times were not destined to last forever.
Kate Nash, the documentary, follows the singer-musician-songwriter’s career from her beginnings as a novice rocker in 2006. Housebound after breaking a foot, she took up music to pass the time, and then things began happening rapidly.
The film charts her course from the initial glory rained down upon her by legions of fans, to a sobering slap of reality. When she changed her musical direction her record label dumped her.
It’s a common story with artists locked into a contract who find that the strings attached are not to their liking. Nash floundered for a while, all but gave up, and then found her feet when she was cast in the Netflix series GLOW as a pro wrestler. That provides the happy ending to a story that, as the cliche goes, had many ups and downs.
Kate Nash fans will no doubt enjoy the live performances and tightly produced music videos in Kate Nash, the film. Mind you, this is no cinema verite production offering an objective slice of life. It’s as slick a marketing vehicle as you’re ever likely to see.
“…her course from the initial glory rained down upon her by legions of fans, to a sobering slap of reality.”
We hear from Nash herself, who narrates a large portion of the film, and a handful of others in her circle of bandmates, friends, and family. Everyone is cheerful, positive and supportive. But the experience seems filtered. What’s lacking is any trace of spontaneity. We never see anything significant transpire, only people talking about it after the fact. Nor do we hear any dispassionate commentary evaluating Nash’s career from an outsider’s point of view.