It’s not often that it comes to pass that no sooner do you arrive at a venue, find your spot on the dancefloor and just begin to sip your first Becks of the night that you are assaulted by a gyrating stranger in a gimp outfit trying to persuade you to dance! Well, this is what happened to me at Goldengate and the spastic moves of opening act Schwefelgelb’s backing dancer pretty much set the tone for a night of high camp trash with a generous smattering of explicit sexual antics. Lovely.
Goldengate is a seedy little shit hole under the Jannowitzbrücke train station; like a cross between a typical delapidated Berlin watering hole and a sweaty underground sex club (not that I’ve been to one of those of course). And its intimate dimensions and gloomy interior make it the perfect venue for a show like Näd Mika’s.
Näd and band took to the stage at around 2am and after the obligatory technical problems that makes a live show so much fun, launched into a punky, sexy set of trashpop tracks which had the oversexed and sweating crowd dancing like Billy-o. Electronic Beat Bitch, Peepshowgirls and Celebrity are perfect mixtures of rock-out punk and pantomime camp which gives Näd and her boys the opportunity to strut around the stage and camp it up like nobody’s business. Imagine Sigue Sigue Sputnik racing along the motorway at 100 miles an hour with Giorgio Moroder and some Euro-disco dancers and colliding head on with truck load of Las Vegas transvestites on their way to a burlesque party.
Well, the musical wreckage after that particular disaster more or less sums up a typical Näd show. High point of the set was as always the track which has more or less become Näd’s signature tune, Too Intense. Introduced by some 90s-style swirling electro hooks the song tells of a man/woman’s boredom at pleasuring themselves and just as it starts to get “big down your pants”, Näd loses the plot and screams “I want to fuck, enough of masturbation!”. Too right…how refreshing that we have someone here who’s brave enough to admit that frigging themselves in the privacy of their bathroom is nothing compared to a good screw and they’re not afraid to announce it to the world. I get bored of wanking and want to fuck too but as a Brit I could never get up on stage and tell Berlin that…it just isn’t cricket.
Näd herself is a delicious frontwoman. She stomps around on stage in fishnets and rigger boots, her tits wobbling all over the place, crazy punk rock hair dripping with sweat and smearing her ever-present candy-pink aviator shades. And boy has she got a voice…constantly shouting for the hopeless sound tech to make it louder, she filled the room with her punky/bluesy textured vocals. If Aretha Franklin ever took a wrong turn and ended up getting wasted in Max’s Kansas City and got shoe-horned into taking singing tips from Joey Ramone, she’d probably sound like Näd Mika; part punk, part soul diva. She dispels the myth that fat can’t be sexy because she is…the very fact that she shows off so much of her ample body and is so comfortable, even proud of it, is attractive in itself. She writhes around on stage with her arse in the air as if she were some 8 stone J-Lo-clone, but with more confident sex appeal and attitude than J-Lo could ever hope to have. She’s certainly in charge of herself and having the time of her life up there even going so far as to wear a strap-on cock and make her male musical partner get down on his knees and suck her off before she showers herself in aerosol cream and champagne. By the end of the set, the stage looked like the setting from the last days of Sodom…a wacky, fucked-up, dirty mess of a musical orgy and very tasty to boot.
I caught up with Näd backstage after the show wearing a dressing gown and drenched in sweat as though she’d just done ten rounds with Prince Naseem as opposed to gone out there and sung some songs. I told her how much I’d enjoyed the show and how much seeing a band have fun up there affects how much the audience enjoys it. She was just disappointed about the technical problems at the top of the show…so despite the devil-may-care punk freak stage persona she actually gives a shit about what she’s doing.
It’s too often the case these days that a band seems to consist of a bunch of poe-faced hairdos who feel that to be musicians you have to be as miserable as possible and give the impression you’d rather be at home unblocking the toilet rather than getting paid to sing some songs. This swaggering arrogance and contempt for the very people that have paid to come and see you is beyond me to be honest and such people should remember for a moment that even if they are the hot shit, the next big thing (probably from Leeds) and getting wanked off by the NME, that at the end of the day they’re just a band…it’s not like they’re doing something vital to the continuation of the human race. Sure, music is a big part of most people’s lives but it comes and goes, it changes and it’s disposable so the least you can do when you have your 30 minutes under the spotlight is enjoy it…no one forced you to start a band and write some songs and sing them in public so why resent the fact that you have to go through such a clearly disgusting ordeal?
Thank heavens people like Näd and her band of crackerjacks exist and actually revel in what they are doing. After all enjoyment is just as contagious as misery so if you want your crowd to at least tap their foot along with what you’re doing and not feel cheated that they parted with €5 to see you, shake it up, smile and fucking have fun. And for Näd’s detractors who want to label her schtick as trashy, camp nonsense then you are fools to think that that is an insult because trashy, camp nonsense is exactly what it is. You turn up, you pay your money and stand back and have FUN watching the spectacle. It’s called showbiz. Simple.