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Performance poet Kate Tempest has a Ted Hughes poetry prize to her name and also a hip-hop background: she did her first open-mic night at 16. Both strands come together on Everybody Down, a concept album adapted from a forthcoming novel Tempest has written.
It tells the story of Becky, Pete and Harry, star-crossed lovers and would-be lovers in an Irvine Welsh underworld of clubs, drug deals and dodgy geezers, recounted by Tempest in a wordy tumble of south London rapping.
It’s not as tightly structured as The Street’s A Grand Don’t Come for Free, the obvious analogue, but Tempest has real presence, and producer Dan Carey’s beats provide a kinetic background to the words, especially on the sinister tracks – like the tense agitation announcing the arrival of a villain with “a laugh like a car crash” and “eyes like potholes in tarmac”.
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