Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Let Them Eat Chaos performed by Kate Tempest

Here is Kate Tempest performing her poem Let Them Eat Chaos.

Wow! I woke up at 4.00 am yesterday morning and couldn't get back to sleep. About 20 minutes later I was sitting in our sitting room, wrapped in a blanket, a reading light on and Kate Tempest's book - Let Them Eat Chaos in my hands.

I finished reading the book about 2 and a half hours later. Wow!

So I was in good company. Tempest's eight voices - the narrator plus Emily, Jenn, Pete, Zoe,  Bradley, joined me in that dark and disturbing hour where the poem is set at 4.18. That hour when we wake shadowed by our fears and anxieties. Joined me in a south London suburb - although mine significantly west of Tempest's - I guess.

I enjoyed best the presentation of these 7 personas. She depicts their different lives, one wealthy bored and restless, another - Pete, drunk or wasted on drugs fumbling his way home after a long night. Another voice comes home after a night shift as a carer. They are believable. Their anxieties and situations are realistic - perhaps she draws on her own experiences.

What I found quite difficult were the global concerns she addresses such as: capitalism, gentrification, celebrity culture, political corruption and global warming - I borrowed this list from the Guardian review. It's difficult addressing any one of these issues properly in any genre, but in poetry and all of them together is quite a challenge. Earnest - yes, heart felt - probably. But it's difficult to listen to a rant or a sermon.

But it is Kate Tempest herself that really shines through the book and the performance. I've attached it above. She's young, she's from south east London, she's incredibly articulate and her poetry and personality radiates a hard, fierce love.

Here's a link to the Guardian review and one from Dave Coats  

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