I adore Kate Tempest.
She’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but I think she’s one of the best performance poets on the planet.
Her gritty album and pessimistic state-of-the-world address Let Them Eat Chaos still rattles me every time I listen to it. It’s not always a fun experience, but it reached me at a time a few years ago when it was exactly what I needed.
I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve heard to it, but I can tell you that I notice something new everytime I do.
The pace of her delivery often makes it difficult to soak in every word unless you’re paying complete attention, which I appreciate as someone who struggles to sit through a regular full-length album.
I was fortunate to see her perform the album live in the UK a couple of years ago and it still remains the most impressive and impactful gig I’ve ever been to.
The way she crafts intensely vivid images in seconds, then smashes them together to the beat of EDM rhythms is mesmerising.
Watching her do this nonstop for over an hour was borderline hypnotic.
We die so others can be bornKate Tempest, We Die
We age so others can be young
The point of life is live,
Love if you can
Then pass it on.
It’s the kind of gig which leaves you exhausted with a racing mind.
The overwhelming nature of her work informs its beauty.
Tempest is also a playwright, and has a medley of poetry collections published.
Her Ted Hughes Award winning piece Brand New Ancients is a personal standout, which I highly reccomend to anyone interested in long form verse poetry.
Here’s one of the songs I enjoyed most from Let Them Eat Chaos when I first listened to it, Europe Is Lost.
After this week’s display in UK parliament, it might be little on the nose.