Let’s talk Nadine Shah

Husky Geordie Nadine Shah is the uniquely talented new singer songwriter to keep an eye out for over the next few months. It’s got to only be a matter of time before her powerful vocals can be compared with the caliber of Siouxsie Sioux, PJ Harvey, Patti Smith and Natasha Khan, who  set the tone for female dark brooding music. I watched Nadine perform at a Black Cab Sessions gig last month, and her entrancing performance managed to captivate the whole room to silence. Have you ever been so frozen in awe by a live performance that it took a second to sink in what you had just witnessed? Well it was the first time for me, and I get shivers thinking back on it. Her almost hypnotic performance showcased her incredible vocal range, and poignant song writing, sung with a raw emotion and hint of pain. Her lyrics were empahsised by the simplicity of her darkly lit minimal set, consisting of a keyboard and her bassist Alex. I caught up with Nadine a little later in the evening for a half-drunk chat, as you do.

Wow! We were so impressed by your performance, It was so moving and powerful!

It’s difficult to describe my music, but I understand it more because it’s not the music that I listen to myself. I can understand from an audience perspective that it’s quite challenging to take in sometimes. I agree that it can be quite intense.

 I noticed that there was a difference between your stood up and sat down performances. It seemed you were intensely focused on the audience when you were stood up, is that intentional?

I guess it’s because I‘m not as distracted when I’m playing the piano. I actually feel a lot more awkward when I’m standing, because I’m so used to sitting down that I feel a little like Bambi when he first uses his legs, I don’t know what to do and I’ve still got to get used to it.

Have you worked with Black Cab Sessions before?

No but I’m doing a Black Cab Session in the new year which I’m really excited about as I’ve never done it before. I’ve watched so many of the Black Cab Sessions and been blown away as they are so ace. I’ve sung in loads of black cabs but it’s just never been recorded!

So did they contact you about performing?

Yeah, it was really cool. I was quite lucky, we’ve got quite a lot of good press the last few months, so I think its off the back of that that people have started to get in touch.

 I can understand why, you were incredible tonight. How much material do you have apart from what we heard?

The album is finished! Now’s the time all the labels have started appearing all of a sudden in which is quite daunting actually. You’ve got to balance things out and try and find the place you’ll be most at home.

Do you see yourself being out there with mainstream music in the near future?

Its kind of weird with my music, I thought it would be too niche and too weird for people’s tastes but I guess not.

A late 2012 Guardian Music article labelled Nadine as ‘deeply resonating with searing intensity’. To listen to Nadine’s music you can buy her debut EP ‘Aching Bones’ on iTunes or listen on SoundCloud. Keep up to date with her activity on Twitter and Facebook.


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