Far Out went on a little excursion to Merseyside the other day to catch a mouth-watering double bill featuring two of the finest young voices on the current UK hip-hop scene.
Having gone from being a little known name on the literary and club circuits, Kate Tempest’s debut album Everybody Down saw her force her way into the conciousness of the mainstream. What’s more, here show at the Kazimier is a moment that makes us realise just how glad we are that she has.
However, just as appealing is the prospect of a support slot from former Unsigned Sunday selection Loyle Carner. He’s still yet to pen a deal, but it’s certainly not through a lack of options amid reports that labels are tripping over themselves to tie him to an album – and it’s not hard to see why.
Carner’s half hour set sees him run through his outstanding EP A Little Late and some enthralling new material that he had not previously treated our ears to. There’s humour, razor sharp wit, a flow that never even comes close to wavering, and the odd moment of poignancy that prove he is a 20-year-old far more mature than most.
His recent single ‘Cantona’ is perhaps not quite as apt as usual given the fact that he has taken to the stage wearing a Liverpool football shirt, but the set is far too enjoyable for any trivial sporting rivalry to get in the way.
Together with producer and fellow MC, Rebel Kleff (can’t decide whether that is a genius pun or slightly annoying) they make a fantastic double act, but when it comes to lyrical swagger and truly thought provoking narrative, Carner is the new prince.
The reception is rapturous as he leaves the stage, but during the interval the audience swells, making use of The Kazimier’s amphitheatre-like set-up.
Tempest arrives minus Speedy Wunderground boss Dan Carey who was part of her band last time we caught her, but it matters not as the encapsulated crowd that bears down on her hangs on her every word. This is as much a chance to soak up the inspiring musings of a truly interesting and always genuine artist as it is a musical performance.
Gone are the days when hip-hop was wrongly perceived as an over-macho, consumerist genre built on bragging. Both the artists we see perform here on the night are too smart to get sucked into any of that.
It’s hard to pick an exact highlight of Tempest’s set, as the whole thing flows so perfectly. Beat-heavy grime-style tracks are spliced up with more touching moments of poetry and short speeches that breed love for her fellow humans, solidarity and a desire to right the wrongs of the world.
Whether one Ninja Tune signee has the power to do this unaided remains to be seen, but in Far Out’s opinion there are few people who have more admirable intentions and ability to articulate them perfectly then Kate Tempest. Simply brilliant.