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Cake / Israel Nash

Celtic Connections @ Glasgow QMU (Wednesday 23rd January 2019)

By • Jan 27th, 2019 • Category: Gig review

Israel Nash is a new name to me but not a stranger to Glasgow, having played here a few times before.

Israel Nash

He told a story of meeting a stranger in a Glasgow bar who said “Ahh, I knew you were from Texas by your Texan accent”.
Shame he doesn’t have one as he’s not from there.

His band mostly are though, and they bring with them some sunshine-baked Americana that’s a good antidote to the cold winter evening outside.
They looked the part and Nash is an animated and interesting performer to watch.
Switching between singing and playing harmonica and guitar all while looking like a proper rocker.
The songs were about journeys and about the places surrounding where he now lives.
It seemed like the audience was more in listening mode – a bit subdued, but attentive.
The highlight for me was some beautiful musicianship – we were treated to a pedal steel guitar solo which was sublime.


Before Cake came on there was a public service announcement over the PA system.
“Cake prohibits the all photography recording of video.
Those caught will be ejected from the venue.
Cake thanks you for your patronage”.
And then an intro song.
The lights went dim.
And the song went on.
The lights went dimmer
And the song still went on. And on. And on.

It was a funny intro and you can see the sense of fun that runs through everything they do.
“You need to straighten your posture and suck in your gut.”


Cake are such a fun band to watch and front man John McCrae is a great entertainer, getting the crowd involved. One minute they’re all clapping along, the next he’s down at the barriers interacting with people.
After a couple of songs there’s a moment of hesitation before he told us “Cake does not use a set list. We play what we feel.”
Voices shouted out song titles.
“We’re not playing that. We’re not playing what you want. That’d be prostitution.
And that wouldn’t be the best way for us to better serve you”

They decided on ‘Sinking Ship’ because “both our countries are kind of similar…”

Cake are one of those underappreciated wee gems.
Great tunes with wonderfully snarky lyrics and so much fun to witness live.

Cake / Israel Nash

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