Live: NASTY CHERRY // The Garage, London
Oozing girl power and unmistakable sass, Nasty Cherry stormed into The Garage last Tuesday night.
One of the hottest new names to invade our playlists in the last few months, half-UK/half-US power group Nasty Cherry have been creating quite the buzz. Crafted by Charli XCX, the band released their debut EP, Season 1, in November last year alongside their “I’m With The Band: Nasty Cherry” docu-series, exclusively on Netflix. No wonder that the anticipation and excitement are rocking sky high as the four-piece makes their introduction to the live circuit.
However, despite the show being sold-out, The Garage looks rather empty as I enter the venue on Tuesday night. The first couple of rows seem to be eagerly awaiting the arrival of the band, but in the back of the room I see a lot of puzzled faces.
With dimmed lights throughout the whole show, it sets a dark tone for the night as Nasty Cherry bring their adrenaline-charged tunes to the London crowd. Thriving on raw heavy riffs blended with a striking pop sensibility, their music channels glamorous retro vibes with tasty modern elements. It’s shimmering, guitar-driven pop at its finest, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t fully translate to a live setting. Focusing mostly on their on-stage image, with constant in-your-face erotic moves, than the actual music, the performance comes across as a tad all over the place. However, a re-start of the song in the middle of the set and missed backing vocals once or twice seem to go unnoticed by the fans.
Nonetheless, we are treated to a few thrilling moments tonight. Live Forever is a swaggering pop anthem that ricochets off the walls with its emotional roller coaster of a chorus, whilst their new song Should Have Known Better makes for an absolute mayhem live hit, setting feet pounding and hands clapping. Elsewhere in the set, Cardamon Sun is a fascinating slow burner, set against the feisty attitude channelled in the following cut, IHYDYG, only to be topped with a brazen stage diving from frontwoman Gabbriette Bechtel during a cover of I Wanna Be Your Dog by The Stooges. Showing a more tender side to the band, What Do You Like In Me charms with its dark and sensual sonics, adding nostalgia to the set.
Perhaps trying a bit too hard throughout the show, Nasty Cherry transform into a completely different band during the last two songs, bringing incredible energy to the forefront. As Win sets a perfect finale, I only wish the entire show was offering this level of insane musicianship and live performance.
Still a band at the beginning of the career, Nasty Cherry radiate strength and empowerment and demonstrate a great dose of unabashed swagger and sophistication. Searching for their identity as a band, their skills and potential are sure to continue to spark interest. Let’s just hope they’ll utilise it well.
Photos: Kasia Osowiecka