Saturday, February 25, 2017

Full Force Gale

First saw the name Kate Tempest on the shelves of the Poetry Section in Waterstone's on Deansgate in Manchester back in December. They were heavily promoting her, taking me by surprise simply because I'd never heard the name before and wondered how it had escaped me. After that I came across an admiring review of one her gigs in one of the newspapers and realised she was more than just a writer for the page, as it were. In fact, I drew Fifi's attention to her wondering whether my niece might have some passing familiarity as a result of her interest in the indie scene. As it happens she didn't, but I made a mental note to check out her work at some point since it seemed to be causing a bit of a stir, not exactly a common phenomenon in the sedate world of lit.

Thus it was I came to take a look and have a listen to some of her stuff on youtube, and, my goodness me, I'm glad I did. She's clearly a quite uncommon phenomenon, possessed of phenomenal talent. Watching a BBC recording of her live at the Rivoli Ballroom, South London provided all the evidence needed. Talk about intensity!

(And, by the by, the three poets who feature unexpectedly at the end further serve to suggest that something very interesting is afoot in the English capital. Perhaps London isn't quite as lost as Ms Tempest would have us believe.)

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