STORYTELLER extraordinaire Kate Tempest made it a hat-trick when she made her return to the North East for this show.
Her band’s appearance at The Sage followed on from her visit to Durham’s Gala Theatre in October as part of the city’s book festival.
The emotionally-charged performance of her poetry left me feeling like I’d been grabbed and given a good shake, with her play Hopelessly Devoted making a visit to Washington Arts Centre just weeks later equally hard-hitting.
While she admitted she was overwhelmed by it all in Durham, here she looked like she belonged on the stage, with her verses woven together with drum beats, bass and chords with brilliant results.
Last year’s album, the Mercury-nominated Everybody Down, was one of 2014’s most interesting listens, and tells the stories of a group of young people struggling to make it in life and love.
Starting with a largely spoken-word version of opener Marshall Law, she moved through its tracks, which partly followed the route of the concept album.
It was great to hear tracks including Lonely Daze and Chicken given the live treatment, with the additional vocals and voice distortion giving the tracks more depth.
But the standout tracks were the singles The Beigeness and Circles, which I could listen to on a loop forever.
Both got the best reception from the crowd, which grew as the gig drew on.
As with Durham, she took the opportunity as the set came to a close to plead with her captive audience that while we live in “dark times”, it’s down to us to make it a better place and to be better people.
I guess it has to be seen to be understood, but this lass has it in her to galvanise a crowd like no politician and speaks on a level with conviction. It’s powerful stuff.
A lovely touch was to bring the band together for a final theatrical bow at the end of their set in Hall One at The Sage.
I can’t wait until its curtains up for them here again - a festival highlight.
Kate also performed earlier in the evening with Eliza Carthy, which is one I’ll be checking out via videoes from the night up online.
Tune into the 6 Music Festival across the weekend, see performances at www.bbc.co.uk/6music and highlights will be on BBC Red Button across the week.