2016 looks doomed to be the year that a millionaire, pig's-head-porking Prime Minister decided to 'let the people speak', blithely assuming to the bitter end that the good people of Sunderland must speak like he does.
Those from across the pond, will probably write it off as the year they ended up hiring a billionaire, tiny-handed, Shredded-Wheat-haired fanny-grabber as Commander-in-Chief. Oh, brave new world, that has such people in it...
Praise be, then, for the gift of music, and all of its artistry, its erudition and its social commentary. What more welcoming and uplifting distraction could we have had than the musical creativity that graced us in the last twelve months? Here are ten antidotes to the malaise that was 2016.
Continue reading: Jon Kean's Top Ten Albums Of 2016
If you like your poetry dubstep-free and styled by old, dead geezers wearing cravats, look away now.
Kate Tempest is a modern magus and the cityscape she invokes is compelling. She pulls no punches in her acclaimed 2016 work, Let Them Eat Chaos, showing that dystopia has moved out of fiction, into the harsh reality of contemporary living. She is no narky naysayer, however, offering us a way through this nightmare, with a chance of redemption for all. Performing the album to a spellbound crowd at a sold-out O2 Academy in Bristol last night, she showed precisely the visceral sensitivity and acute perception that emboldened the BBC to give her a whole hour of prime Saturday screen time back in October.
Despite being sub-divided as tracks for the album as a practical concession to airplay and streaming, Let Them Eat Chaos is one long narrative and Tempest performed it as such, non-stop, the quiet moments offering the audience opportunities for spontaneous whooping. Whereas you'd conventionally expect to hear shards of the artist's persona between tracks, she inserted a gig's worth of f-bombed patter at the beginning, lauding Bristol's pivotal role in the genesis of her career and modestly thanking this 'gathering of strangers' for being present 'at the beginning of something [big] that started ten years ago'. In terms of being 'present', her appeal for the audience to live in the moment and keep their mobiles firmly pocketed, seeing and remembering things through retina and neuron only, was as affectionately received as the subsequent verse.
Continue reading: Kate Tempest - Bristol O2 Academy, 8.12.16 Live Review
The Brighton-based UK festival season opener kicks off in May
Excitement is building as Europe’s leading festival of new music, The Great Escape, announces new acts for its May weekender extravaganza in Brighton. Opening the UK festival season on May 14th-16th, this 10th anniversary line up includes Kate Tempest, George the Poet, Holly McNish, Kelela, Ghost Culture, Swim Deep and Stormzy.
The Great Escape has an impressive line-up of acts
Presenting over 400 of the hottest up and coming artists from across the world, The Great Escape presents to over 18,000 music fans in over 30 venues across Brighton as music, excitement and new artists spill out into the city streets, bandstands and open spaces.
Continue reading: The Great Escape Festival In Brighton Announces Exciting Acts
It was a sold-out Valentine's Day gig at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds; a renowned venue with a wide range of consistently reputable bands gracing its stage on a regular basis. At 9 o'clock, I walked into a packed room, buzzing with anticipation in front of an empty stage. The diverse age range of the night's crowd spoke volumes about the impact and wide acclaim Kate Tempest's 2014 album 'Everybody Down' received.
I was gutted when I saw the set-times that I missed Loyle Carner's 8 o'clock support slot. He's one of the most promising youngsters rising through the scene with a fresh, distinctive sound. To see him perform would have been excellent, but alas, the week's rota wasn't overly kind to me. With a wide range of drum pads, a keyboard, synthesizer, percussion and a backing vocalist, Kate's 4 piece band opened with a heavy instrumental before Tempest walked humbly on stage and dropped a confident, passionate, incredibly structured and witty a cappella version of 'Marshall Law', touching on the music industry as well as demonstrating her fantastic storytelling abilities. The consistency of her flow and the melodic nature of her delivery made for a transfixing opener. The punchy, driving beat of 'The Truth' backed Kate as she impressed with a charismatic performance; the chemistry she had with her dreadlocked hypewoman, and I suppose I could call her a backing dancer as well, doubled the energy.
Following a brief speech about the importance of community, and how music can help bring people closer together, the London poet launched into 'Lonely Days'; this track had a real vibe to it, with a distorted, heavy bassline and real content from the 29-year-old. Next was a tense performance of 'Chicken', a vividly detailed family story. Tempest's consistent, rapid conveyance was continuously impressive, and the pitch shifting effect on her voice made for a relevant and funny addition. Following an energetic run through of 'The Beigeness', with really dope percussion, Kate spoke about the music business' continued sexism, before delivering an intricate performance of 'Theme From Becky'. A Valentine's Day card for Kate was thrown on stage from the crowd, and she seemed genuinely touched, continuing with a precise and clear rendition of the glitchy 'Stink'. Kate gave an inspirational and passionate speech about her motivation, with a woman from the audience invading the stage to speak briefly about her experiences as a midwife in North Wales, and both the crowd and performers were receptive. Tempest's political message seemed authentic and honest, and artistic voices like hers are so important in modern day society.
The festival brings some exemplary headliners to the Netherlands this Summer.
The Netherlands' Best Kept Secret Festival won't be a secret for long if they keep introducing stellar acts such as this each year! The first line-up announcement includes Alt-J, The Libertines and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.
Joining the third line-up for Best Kept Secret this June is some of the finest indie, rock, punk and electronic artists the world has to over, with 35 more acts yet to be announced. Alongside newly reunited headliners The Libertines on Friday, June 19th 2015 are alt-rock veterans The Jesus And Mary Chain, playing the full tracklist of their 1985 debut album 'Psychocandy'. Aussie chart topper Chet Faker will also make an appearance, with Alabama's St. Paul & The Broken Bones who are currently on their 'Half The City' tour.
Kate Tempest's momentum and reputation has been growing tremendously, and it's definitely deserved. My first encounter with her work was at a Scroobius Pip show, where she was one of the support acts, and her sharp, cutting writing, powerful delivery as well as her clear hip hop sensibilities was instantly impressive. 'Bad Place For A Good Time' is her latest single, released on Big Dada Records, and it's another example of her detailed, honest lyricism that made her Mercury nominated 'Everybody Down' album such an interesting listen.
The chilling piano and haunting, minimalistic instrumental backs Kate as she makes intricate criticisms of modern society; technologically obsessed and socially distant, she displays a scathing analysis of the way we live, and the impact can be felt with her calm but effective delivery. 'Stink', the other track on this release, can be found on the album, and the glitchy, relentless instrumental backs the London poet as she raps, on a charismatic tirade from her boyfriend's perspective.
Kate Tempest is a distinctive, consistent and important voice. The intelligence, brutal honesty and real, substantial content in her writing is undeniable, and that is an attitude towards music that is so important to preserve. 'Bad Place For A Good Time' is another excellent example of everything that makes her so exciting.
Continue reading: Kate Tempest - Bad Place For A Good Time Single Review
Kate Tempest - Photographs from the 2014 Barclaycard Mercury Prize which Edinburgh based Hip-Hop band 'Young Fathers' took away the nights main award at The Roundhouse in London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 29th October 2014
FKA Twigs and Kate Tempest are the market frontrunners for the Mercury Music Prize 2014, though East India Youth could upset the odds.
Bookmakers will be hoping for a surprise result at the Mercury Music Prize on Wednesday night (October 29, 2014) as punters continue to back favourites FKA Twigs and Kate Tempest. The latest odds have the former as the narrow frontrunner at 5/2, with Brockley-born singer-songwriter Tempest available at 3/1 for her album Everybody Down.
FKA Twigs remains the favourite to win the Mercury Music Prize tonight
FKA Twigs' record LP1 is one of the year's most critically acclaimed records, though Tempest's foray into hip-hop has seen her selected by the Poetry Book Society as one of the 20 next generation poets. She also won the Ted Hughes award for her work Brand New Ancients.
Continue reading: FKA Twigs Favourite To Win Mercury Music Prize As Bookies Pray For Upset
The nominations are out, but which of the twelve nominees stands the best chance of winning?
The 24th edition of the annual Barclaycard Mercury Prize is due to be held on Wednesday 29th October at London’s Roundhouse.
Last week we brought you our analysis of who we thought would make the dozen-strong shortlist from which the judges will pick the eventual winner. We got five out of the twelve correct, not bad as many pundits have expressed surprise at the relative obscurity of this year’s list in comparison to previous awards.
Only two of the nominated albums have reached the Number 1 spot in the UK Albums Chart, and only one nominee can realistically call himself a household name. There has also been a surprising snub for Sam Smith, who has made a huge impression on the British public’s imagination, with his debut album In The Lonely Hour sitting at the top the charts four months after its release.
Continue reading: Our Guide To This Year's Mercury Music Prize Nominations
East India Youth will go up against Damon Albarn and Royal Blood at the Mercury Music Prize ceremony.
The debut solo album from Damon Albarn has been nominated for the Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize 2014. The list of nominees - better than last year but still mostly uninspiring - also includes Kate Tempest, Royal Blood and Nick Mulvey. Hilariously, the Independent reports on Ed Sheeran and Lily Allen "missing out".
Damon Albarn is nominated for 'Everyday Robots'
This year's list of nominees also includes Anna Calvi, One Breath, Bombay Bicycle Club, So Long, See You Tomorrow, FKA Twigs, LP1, GoGo Penguin, v2.0, Jungle, Jungle, Polar Bear, In Each and Every One, Young Fathers, Dead.
Continue reading: East India Youth Is Smart Bet For 'Mercury Music Awards' 2014