Kate Tempest triumphs in Edinburgh

Kate Tempest, Leith Theatre, Edinburgh by James Duncan

Kate Tempest, Leith Theatre, Edinburgh by James Duncan


Her intensity.

A truly brave and challenging artist at work.

An artist crossing lanes. Completely uncompromising.

Like she tells us, holding her own.

Deep hip hop dropping down into pure spoken word poetry.

Hints of Daniel Avery’s more mellow soundscapes rising out of ‘Holy Elixir’.

The wordplay.

Politics. Love. Rage. Social commentary. Hope.

Sometimes stripped-back, bare and bleak, sometimes angry and urgent.

So many music lovers hanging on her every word.

All ages, all persuasions, all together in awe.

Leith Theatre full of love. The magnificent missing link in Edinburgh’s music ladder.

The muggy heat, that real gig feeling. Sweaty but don’t care. Can’t leave for a moment.

Pin-drop atmosphere broken only by roars of approval.

The lyrics though.

“When I saw her cross the floor like a firework exploding in slow motion”

How beautiful is that? These words literally played out in my mind as she said them.

“More empathy, less greed, more respect”

This one resonated. Remember the cheers that brought?

The closing “I can feel things changing” refrain from the magical rendition of ‘People’s Faces’. So much hope in the air.

The ovation and waves of applause at the end.

The decision not to do a cheesy encore just for the sake of it.

The buzz and chat among the crowd filling outside.

This was a total triumph.

An amazing artist in an amazing venue.

A proper music experience.

I’m going to end this review with a request.

If you live in Edinburgh and were one of the 1500ish people at Leith Theatre hanging on Kate Tempest’s every word, please join the Edinburgh Music Lovers community. You are exactly the open-minded music-loving person that EML is designed for.

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Thank you.