Kate Tempest with Akinyemi @ Elsewhere, Brooklyn, NY

Photos and review courtesy of Edwina Hay | October 1 2019

British multihyphenate Kate Tempest (spoken word artist, rapper, poet, novelist, and playwright) announced four US shows along the west coast and one taking place on the east coast in Brooklyn, NY. The brief tour was done in support of her third record, The Book Of Traps & Lessons.

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The sold-out concert in Brooklyn on Tuesday night began with an opening set by a young, energetic local rapper from Queens, Akinyemi. He spent much of his set running across the stage and engaging the audience in call & response. Despite most of the audience not being familiar with his music beforehand, he easily won the room over as it was quite difficult to not enjoy his enthusiasm and sense of humor (after knocking down a microphone stand, he quickly joked to Elsewhere that he valued their equipment).

Kate Tempest took the stage promptly at 10PM, joined by Clare Uchima. 

Tempest began her set with songs from her first two albums Everybody Down and Let Them Eat Chaos such as “Marshall Law,” “We Die,” “Europe Is Lost,” “Circles,” and “The Beigeness,” before performing Traps & Lessons in its entirety. All of her songs were delivered with such passion, to be heightened by Uchima’s live synths and mixing plus the impressive lighting design; during “Brown Eyed Man,” the lights went out quickly, only to return to a deep red during a dramatic part of the song while “Circles,” the spotlights on stage naturally went around in circles. 

I last saw Tempest perform live in 2015 after the release of her first album, “Everybody Down” at the intimate Mercury Lounge and as I made my way home just before midnight, I couldn’t help but wonder when I’d be able to see her perform these songs again.