From the Y Crate, #7:
“The Chancer” by NASH (Go Beat)
If you’re an Ali G fan, you’ll probably remember ‘Tha 4orce’, the house DJ on Da Ali G Show. What you probably wouldn’t be aware of is that he was in a band responsible for one of the funkiest (yet sadly overlooked) British albums from the beginning of the new millennium. Tha 4orce – Steve Ellington to his bank manager – did turntable duties for Nash, an eclectic London four-piece led by multi-instrumentalist Russell Nash.
I was on a Swissair flight to Atlanta in the spring of 2000, and became quite taken with a song called “100 Million Ways” played on one of the plane’s audio channels. Its stop-start guitar groove (not too dissimilar to Madonna’s “Don’t Tell me”) just grabbed you the moment you heard it. After the song ended, the DJ mentioned that it was by a new British group. The moment I got back to Blighty, I tried to track it down.
I never heard from Nash again until a few years later, when I was rummaging through the shelves of a budget CD shop that had opened on East Street Market and happened upon this – their debut (and only) album. Several tracks off it have since become favourites of mine: “Black Box” with its ‘go on, take the plunge – what’s the worst that can happen?’ message; the jaunty, string-laden “Just A Little Sign”; the defiant “I Don’t Care”, and the dark, moody reprise of “100 Million Ways” that closes the album.