The spectacle is not a collection of images, but a social relation among people, mediated by images.”

Village Underground in London, England’s hip Eloi^ East Square Zone 1 saw the performance of ex-Brit School attendee Katherine Elizabeth Victoria Doris Nashington III. And what a performance it was.

All shapes, moves, licks and grooves appropriated from the grungey distressed-dressing-up box circa 1992, re-enacting studied poses lifted from Le Tigre, Bikini Kill, Sleater Kinney, a lukewarm (easy to predict a) Riot Grrrl power deranger, Babes in Toytown, as Spicey as a veg korma.

Entering to the echoes of Lesley Gore’s 1963 tower-power-ballad and proto-feminist anti-man-stranglehold-relinquishing ‘You don’t own me’ the stage is set, the stall is out, this lady ain’t for turning (apart from my gills green). Filtered footage plays backgroundly, totes-tastic tour trips and seen-scenery snaps tell us that Gnasher is a happy-go-lucky grrl next door who loves nothing more than rolling round affecting coyness and camera-shyness. Will this effervescence inhabit the music?

Former Sylvia Young ‘un Katie addressed her swooning mass comprised of friends and family (2-4-1 mates rates, innit), competition winners and life losers, if the company you keep speaks volumes then deafness awaits me.

One-time Anna Scher Horror-witch^^ Kat is an activist, ya know, activating all things actively especially them that got mental health ‘shoos, yeah? In a 2016 inner-view with DisGrazia she said ‘Activisting is a passion, right, sister done run for money, yeah, ‘member, lots of us have a tough time at times, yeah? Just ‘cos you see a smile it don’t mean nothin’, yeah? Demons don’t stop for no one, ok? If all’s tip up top then everything’s hip to hop, well, that’s what my guru Benjie says anyway. Diva la Causa, lol!’

The inspirational Spice Girls in happier times. 

Nina Conti alumni, aspiring actress and one-time Crib courtesan Kathy is all-a-glitter bawl, screeching and beseeching her flock. Flailing and wailing her set-to is littered with songs about the global femme-struggle (boo!) international fem-pain (hiss!), wimmin-problems ‘cross the universe (eek!) anguish-free and rote, a total faux-emotion replay. She says ‘Trump’ her people cheer, she asks them to boo, they boo, it’s Nuremberger King, fast-food fascism. Registered dissent is just a click away in GBUK17.

The tension is palpably tepid, illuminated screens pop up from the limbs of Daisy, Maisie and Craisie from Hoxtonshire as they record the ‘moment’, these digi-documents never to be viewed again, them data hounds keep chasing the tail of tech.

The lights are on, but, no one’s home

‘New song’ ‘Agenda’ shows Nash’s intent (or is it ‘Or-Gender’? hard to tell nowadays, what with all the LGBTSLWWBLAMECNPP declinations flying round), the backing trio superfluous as an R ‘n’ B compu-noize emanates and tsunami’s the sound-space, it’s Missy Mary J. Left Eye-lliott’s detritus, even Mrs Jay Zed not giving this trope-tripe the Bey-once over.

One ode ‘Dickhead’ (the phallus is a fallacy, see) with the (grammar syntax horrorshow) refrain ‘why are you being a dickhead for?’ shows that K-Teen-Ash isn’t going to be featuring in any English textbooks anytime soon, ths txt spk sonata a portent of failing standards. I should’ve OFSTED at home.

Inevitably 2007’s (s)hit-making ‘Foundations’ with its mockney-miserablising moping-sobservations about ‘him’ and the parting of the union rears its head, a collective sing-along ensues as this diction-fiction is squeezed out, ev-er-y sy-lla-bull en-un-ci-ated. It makes Lily Allen sound like Patti Smith.

A tongue-in-cheeky cover of Antipodean dull-bot Daniel Bedingfield’s ‘garage’ anthem of hope-a-dope ‘Gotta get through this’ enlivened proceedings a tad and getting through it was all I achieved all night. My garage beckoned with additional hosepipe and exhaust actionomics.

‘…and I know that I should let go, but I can’t …’

*revs and inhales*

^ H.G. Wells reference, yeah? Ya know, The Time Machine, a book where according to the World Fact Library ‘the Eloi live a banal life of ease on the surface of the earth’ 

^^Clueless reference, yeah? The film? Not the same when you have to explain it, is it?

Guy Debored (c) 2017

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