The latest member of Merry Hell to step up to the plate in our Why I Love series is Virginia Kettle whose solo album, No Place Like Tomorrow, just by sheer coincidence is out on 12th July (our review here). Virginia tells us what she loves about musician, spoken word artist, rapper, poet, playwright and novelist Kate Tempest.
I’m at a point in my life when a number of my peers are proclaiming that there’s ‘no good music anymore’. I suppose it’s all too easy for some to slip down into the retro-pigeon hole and tell themselves that their era/genre was best and cannot be equalled by today’s artists.
Not me though. When it comes to music, I’ve always been a seeker. There’s an excitement and an energy in discovering a fresh new artist that has always fed and inspired me. I’m a folk singer/writer in my early 50’s. My biggest hope as a musician is that I can always continue to learn from others; listen to the present, keep growing and re-evaluating. The day that I stop will be the day I retire!
Kate Tempest is a musician, spoken word artist, rapper, poet, playwright and novelist. She’s 20 years my junior. I first heard her on Radio Six a couple of years ago and she absolutely blew me away. She speaks with a fresh, contemporary voice and is a perfectly paradoxical blend of raw, in-your-face honesty and pure poetic eloquence. She plays with words as though they were delicious food; rolling them round her tongue and is both innocent and knowing.
For me, her stand out tracks are Fire Smoke. An achingly passionate declaration of love, so palpably penned.
“I bathe in this fire, it warms without burning, compels without force, and turns without turning the world”
and Unholy Elixir which challenges our human connection with the earth.
“We are divisions of a bigger vision, and yet we run around like hamsters, spinning the wheel, spinning the wheel, spinning the wheel.”
I urge anyone unfamiliar with Kate Tempest to seek her out. The power in her work is bound to stir the senses.
Listen to Virginia and the Dreamkeepers playing The Butter Song at The Coffee Stop in Leigh:
Our thanks to Virginia for her words on an artist whose music we perhaps need to explore and watch out for our review of her solo album, No Place Like Tomorrow coming up very soon.