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Kate Tempest review – a fleeting, thrilling whirlwind of emotion

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Brighton Dome
The poet/rapper/pop star packs a powerful musical punch as the indefinable chronicler of the age

Two years ago, Kate Tempest topped the bill at The Great Escape, Brighton’s jamboree of new music. She held spellbound a barnload of pop fans with an unaccompanied turn that defied the category of spoken word.

Now she returns as the guest director of Brighton festival, for which this show is the opening event. It’s hard to imagine which other performance poet might claim such a role at a world-class arts festival, let alone fill a concert hall this size. But then it’s hard to say in which genre Tempest belongs. The onetime rapper is recognisably a poet with a parallel career as a pop artist. Yet her singular talent means that, seeing her live, with or without a band, at no moment can you pin her down.

Related: Kate Tempest: Let Them Eat Chaos review – pop, poetry and politics collide

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