Kate Tempest has taken 15 years to get to this point. Spoken Word, Sound Of Rum, constant touring and pure determination have seen her finally the critical acclaim she deserves. Her Mercury nomination for her album Everybody Down brought her into the mainstream conscious and this new found admiration makes tonights show a sell out, as opposed to the handful of people who saw her last time she was in Nottingham. She makes sure the audience know how much she appreciates the sold out crowd rammed into the Rescue Rooms, "You used to think I was cool" she laughs after declaring her humility to be able to perform to such a large, appreciative crowd.
Her music, whilst firmly rooted in Hip Hop, weaves in several styles adeptly, whilst lyrically she tells tales of politics, loss and ambition, while not being afraid to attack the music industry itself. The live band accompanying her tonight are flawless and allow the music to take on an extra dimension in a live environment. As expected, the set is solely comprised of material from Everybody Down, but the final track of the night Hot Night Cold Spaceship is given extra significance as Tempest describes the breakdown of her own relationship. "All the love doesn't disappear" she laments, "So I am simply giving it all to you".
Tempest used breaks between songs to talk to the audience about kindness, politics and following your dreams. Her new found popularity finally allows her a voice and she grasps this chance to speak on topics that are important to her. In the hands of many performers, this type of political commentary could lose a crowd and be seen as simply more pop star politics, but Tempest walks the right side of the knife edge and her humbleness and honesty with the audience gains some of the loudest applause of the show. Tempest preaches on the topics close to her heart, urging the people of Nottingham to follow their dreams and live with "More empathy, less greed". The congregation, transfixed at the message being delivered, nod along & vocalise their agreement. Then, seamlessly, the band kick into the next song and the crowd raise their hands and dance along with the words still ringing in their ears..
After the set has finished, Temptest returns to the stage alone and recites the poem A Ballad of a Hero. A poem about a mother talking to her son about his fathers behaviour after returning from war. Ending a show in this way sums up Tempest as a solo artist. Strip back the music and Tempest still has the ability to hold the venue in awe. A silent Nottingham crowd respect every last word before cheering Kate Tempest off stage, where she is met by a locked stage door and left to hear how appreciated she really is.