REVIEW: Kate Tempest | Let Them Eat Chaos | Roundhouse
Kate Tempest performed Let Them Eat Chaos in it’s entirety – yes, start to finish without a break – at her biggest ever sold out show at The Roundhouse last weekend. And it was as grand, life changing and as full of alchemy as it sounds…
Let Them Eat Chaos as a recorded album is brilliant, but seeing this album LIVE (IN IT’S ENTIRETY in case I haven’t mentioned that enough) is a whole new experience. Kate’s voice and her poetry was meant to be heard live, as was her production.
Opening piece ‘Picture A Vacuum’ just took you into a whole new world instantly, at the phrase ‘[this city]’s name is London,’ you knew that you were about to experience something amazing.
The production drops from ‘Lionmouth Door Knocker’; synths, keys, drums, all of it, I wasn’t even sure what I was hearing exactly, it was just a huge sound all together. ‘Ketamine For Breakfast’ was definitely the highlight – the rhythm in this piece has always been my favourite, and watching this live was just intense. I never thought I’d be body jamming to a spoken word piece! Or when she yelled about the problems with digital humans in ‘Europe Is Lost,’ my favourite lyrics of the whole night being “selfies, and selfies, and selfies, And here’s me outside the palace of me!” That’s what great about all of Kate’s songs (and particularly Europe Is Lost); she points out everyday habits of all of ours and points out what is wrong and right with the world and why, painting the picture more clearly than any other artist has been able to, so bluntly juxtaposing ‘massacre’ and ‘new shoes.’ I can’t do a Kate Tempest review without mentioning Pete also, feel like I know him too well now – the protagonist in a large portion of her album in ‘Whoops,’ which also has a raving production behind it, or the emotion and force behind ‘Pictures On A Screen’ live.
I could go on and name each track on Let Them Eat Chaos and pin point my favourite points in each, but there’s no point, as when watching Let Them Eat Chaos Live, it didn’t feel like 13 tracks one after the other, but just a single, one hour piece. Which is what LTEC is really meant to be, hence the emphasis on the fact Kate performed the album ‘in it’s entirety.’ No speaking in the concert, no explanations, no introductions until the end.
There was a well deserved encore at the end, where Kate performed us a brand new track – never performed, never recorded, barely produced – she didn’t even know if she ever would record it. ‘People’s Faces’ was the name, which was just asimple piano riff repeated whilst Kate shared some more beautiful poetry with us.
What can I say other than I LOVE YOU KATE. Not only for combingin electronic music with spoken word and being the absolute master in this, not only for doing this for 15 years and still creating and sharing poetry, but also for being so unapologetically real.
I saw Kate at Rough Trade just by chance and was absolutely blown away, and was so lucky I was able to catch her again in all her glory at The Roundhouse. The best part? She works both sizes of audiences with equal impact. I didn't even take any pictures the whole night I was so engrossed... and going by how hard it is to find a picture of her live online from this tour, I take it most people didn't!