Tempest made a heartfelt appeal to the audience, of the importance of togetherness and passion in these dark political and economic times.
On a gloomy and slightly damp Sunday evening I made my way down to Avon Street to see Kate Tempest play at the Marble Factory – Motion. The usual Motion crowd of hyped up ravers and bucket-hat-wearing-trainer-clad partiers had been swapped for a slightly older, and altogether calmer crowd, with most people ordering cups of tea and sweet potato fries in the smoking area instead of pulling hard at rollies.
I made my way into the main room just in time for the final few songs from the support act, Loyle Carner, touchingly wearing his late father’s Manchester united T-shirt in tribute to his memory.
After a moment of tech touch-ups and wire rearranging, the band stepped onto the stage followed by the very woman herself, Kate Tempest. Almost immediately her easy humour and fierce passion came through, as she greeted the crowd warmly, took the piss out of herself and then launched into her performance.
A particular highlight was Tempest’s performance of ‘Chicken’. The ambient, almost eerie backing music that introduces the song was suddenly broken by the harsh inflection of Tempest’s voice as she says “Harry’s staring at his chicken/ He’s trying hard to listen without hating/ But everything David says/ Seems to make him like him less”. The urgency of her vocals coupled by the special effects on her voice when she acted out the character of the reprehensible David, was played out to create the ultimate comic effect.
Tempest’s performances were energetic, fiery and passionate, appealing directly to the hearts of the crowds with her voice. This passion came through in ‘The Beigeness’ which was one of the best-received songs of the night. The upbeat tempo driven forward by Kate’s pulsing, rhythmic vocals that made the energy of the song pass quickly overhead almost like a hurricane. By the time the song was coming to it’s close the majority of the crowd were shouting back the lyrics to her all engaging in this mutual appreciation of colour, of human difference, a rejection of ‘beigeness’.
At the end of Tempest’s set she made a heartfelt appeal to the audience, of the importance of togetherness and passion in these dark political and economic times, and as the gig ended and I walked back out to the cold evening I couldn’t help but admire her visceral passion, and think that there are big things on the horizon for Kate Tempest.
Check out ‘The Beigeness’ right here: