Kae Tempest “Hold Your Own”

When time pulls lives apart
Hold your own

When everything is fluid, and when nothing can be known with any certainty
Hold your own

Hold it ’til you feel it there
As dark, and dense, and wet as earth
As vast, and bright, and sweet as air
When all there is
Is knowing that you feel what you are feeling
Hold your own

Ask your hands to know the things they hold
I know the days are reeling past in such squealing blasts
But stop for breath and you will know it’s yours
Swaying like an open door when storms are coming

Time is an onslaught
Love is a mission
We work for vocation until
In remission
We wish we’d had patience and given more time to our children

Feel each decision that you make
Make it, hold it
Hold your own
Hold your lovers
Hold their hands
Hold their breasts in your hands, like your hands were their bras
Hold their face in your palms like a prayer
Hold them all night, feel them hold back
Don’t hold back
Hold your own

Every pain
Every grievance
Every stab of shame
Every day spent with a demon in your brain giving chase
Hold it

Know the wolves that hunt you
In time, they will be the dogs that bring your slippers
Love them right and you will feel them kiss you when they come to bite
Hhot snouts digging out your cuddles with their bloody muzzles

Nothing you can buy will ever make you more whole
This whole thing thrives on us feeling always incomplete
And it is why we will search for happiness in whatever thing it is we crave in the moment
And it is why we can never really find it there
It is why you will sit there with the lover that you fought for
In the car you sweated years to buy
Wearing the ring you dreamed of all your life
And some part of you will still be unsure that this is what you really want
Stop craving
Hold your own

But if you’re satisfied with where you’re at, with who you are
You won’t need to buy new make-up, or new outfits, or new pots and pans
To cook new exciting recipes
For new exciting people
To make yourself feel like the new exciting person, you think you’re supposed to be

Happiness, the brand, is not happiness
We are smarter than they think we are
They take us all for idiots
But that’s their problem
When we behave like idiots
It becomes our problem

So hold your own
Breathe deep on a freezing beach
Taste the salt of friendship
Notice the movement of a stranger
Hold your own
And let it be

Kate Tempest is changing her pronouns

THE HOBBLEDEHOY loves Kate Tempest and now we love Kae. Here’s Kae’s latest message from her Facebook:

Hello old fans, new fans and passers by – I’m changing my name! And I’m changing my pronouns. From Kate to Kae. From she/her to they/them. I’ve been struggling to accept myself as I am for a long time. I have tried to be what I thought others wanted me to be so as not to risk rejection. This hiding from myself has led to all kinds of difficulties in my life. And this is a first step towards knowing and respecting myself better. I’ve loved Kate. But I am beginning a process and I hope you’ll come with me. From today – I will be publishing my books and releasing my music as Kae Tempest! It’s pronounced like the letter K. It’s an old English word that means jay bird. Jays are associated with communication, curiosity, adaptation to new situations and COURAGE which is the name of the game at the moment. It can also mean jackdaw which is the bird that symbolises death and rebirth. Ovid said the jackdaw brought the rain. Which I love. It has its roots in the Latin word for rejoice, be glad and take pleasure. And I hope to live more that way each day. Funny because I know this is much more of a big deal to me than it is to anyone else, but because of my role as artist, it is in some ways a public decision as well as being a private one. So, here is my announcement. Sending my love to you all and wishing you courage as you face whatever you must face today. This is a time of great reckoning. Privately, locally, globally. For me, the question is no longer ‘when will this change’ but ‘how far am I willing to go to meet the changes and bring them about in myself.’ I want to live with integrity. And this is a step towards that.
Sending LOVE always

Cheers, Kae!

Review: Kate Tempest

A resonant evening of eloquent and grimy spoken word. New Music review by Katie Colombus

For those wondering if performance poet Kate Tempest would be upstaged or introduced by either pandemic panic or International Women’s Day – know that a) she’s fearless and b) she practices equality always. As such, there’s no pre-amble, other than a hope that her gig will “resonate into the night and the days to come”.

Kate gets straight into her post-Brexit narrative track “Europe Is Lost”, she heaves “’Cause it’s big business, baby, and its smile is hideous; top down violence, and structural viciousness” slowing down to deliver the line “Jail him, he’s the criminal”, to whoops from the audience. But this gig doesn’t dwell on political condemnation – there is philosophy, too – and a softer message of hope. “We Die” sees a confident focus on the existential, as she pulls out the lines: “Everything’s connected; And even if I can’t read it right, everything’s a message; We die so the others can be born; We age so the others can be young; The point of life is live, love; If you can, then pass it on, right?”

It’s such an odd eloquence. Her soft voice layers strong lyrics on top of a grimy beat – a fascinating duality that lands like a sucker punch. A million words come lightning quick at times, or slow and song-like at others in a clever set that builds and falls like the pace and lyricism of a well-constructed poem. Energy picks up, leading to “The Beigeness” – an intense and intimate telling of “a young girl with the truth and the alley cat”, here focused again on the cyclical idea that, “All life is forward you will see, all life is forwards… forwards…” – a line that she slows down and repeats throughout the gig.

We hear voyeuristic detail in the flowers on the windowsill of “Ketamine for Breakfast”; agonising vulnerability in “Circles” and “I Trap You” – told like an internal/external monologue in which she turns inwards to whisper lines into her shoulder with a hand over her face, before swinging outwards with a manic grin, delivering lines to fairground music. “Tunnel Vison” delivers more wisdom, before “Firesmoke” shakes us up with its Massive Attack beat and “Circles” sees Kate hanging in the shadows like a bystander coming up at the club. “People’s Faces” finishes the set, to a gentle, rippling piano, reminding us to notice: “Was that a pivotal historical moment; We just went stumbling past?”

But we have listened to every word – heard her message in the powerful silence of “All Humans Too Late”, delivered acapella; in the parts slowed down, like “Hold. Your. Own. And. Let. It. Be. Catching.” Punctuated with hope and enunciated with empathy so that we get it, so that we understand, so that we retain, so that it can, resonate.

Source: The Arts Desk