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Kate Bush’s first live appearance on American TV, 1978
09:50 am


Kate Bush

Once upon a time, way back in the late seventies, Kate Bush seemed to be a regular feature on British television. Turn on some late night talk show and there was Kate singing two tracks from her debut album or chatting with zoologist Dr. Desmond Morris. Or tune-in to the breakfast news and there was Kate discussing her thoughts on music and dance or giving a list of the authors (Kurt Vonnegut, C.S. Lewis) who influenced her writing. Hard to imagine the reclusive star doing this today. Not that she even needs to do this of course. But there was something quite delightful, quite wonderful, in all of Kate’s TV appearances back then. She later said circa 1982 that all this media attention was down to the fact that when she first appeared: was incredibly unusual for a young female to be writing her own songs and singing them…

Which shows how far we’ve come and how pioneering and exotic Kate Bush seemed to the media at the start of her career. Admittedly there was Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez and even Lynsey de Paul but nothing quite like Kate Bush. There was something different, ethereal and downright odd about her. Nobody sang like her. Nobody looked quite like her. And nobody quite mixed music, dance, mime and performance the way Kate did.

She also seemed incredibly innocent and vulnerable—which was probably a lot of male projection as Kate was hardworking, ambitious and driven. She was sixteen when she signed to the world’s largest record company EMI. She was nineteen when she had her first number one and conquered a large swathe of the pop music world with “Wuthering Heights.” And just twenty when she had EMI bankroll her first (and until very recently her only) tour in 1979. There’s not many stars who ever managed that.  Kate eventually gave up touring as there wasn’t then the technology to give her the full artistic control she desired. That’s either true perfectionism or control freakery. Or a decent enough excuse?

In December 1978, Eric Idle introduced Kate Bush to America on Saturday Night Live. This was Kate’s first appearance on a US broadcaster, where she performed “The Man With the Child in His Eyes” and “Them Heavy People” live. This was rather daring and risky as Kate had failed to chart with either her debut album The Kick Inside or her first two singles in the US. In part due to this appearance “The Man with the Child in His Eyes” made #85 in the Billboard chart and America sound discovered what the rest of the world loved about Kate Bush.
Watch Kate Bush in early appearances on American, German and UK TV, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
A young Kate Bush performs in a musical fantasia from Holland, 1978
07:08 am


Kate Bush

The opening music to Kate Bush’s career is in the key of C. One day, sometime in 1970, Kate’s father—a doctor by profession—showed his daughter how to play the C major scale on the piano. This fortuitous happenstance came about because Kate’s brother Paddy desperately wanted someone to accompany him while he practiced his violin. So Kate learned to play the piano. She liked learning to play the piano because it seemed so logical—music was a language that could be easily understood. Kate was twelve. She was writing poetry. Soon she was putting her words together with the music she composed on the keyboard.

Though there have been such elements of good fortune in her life—everything in Kate Bush’s career has been the result of tireless hard work, dedication and discipline.

By 1972, Kate had recorded dozens of songs on a tape recorder. Through a friend of a friend of a friend, one of homemade these tapes was handed to David Gilmour. The Pink Floyd guitarist liked what he heard. His interest piqued, he visited Kate and her family to hear more about this talented precocious teenager. Kate played Gilmour a small selection from some of the fifty-plus songs she had written. It was immediately apparent to Gilmour that Kate Bush was a unique and precious talent.

A demo tape was sent around different record labels. It attracted little interest. Kate then started having second thoughts about a career in music. She considered giving it all up to become a therapist or perhaps a social worker. Instead Gilmour suggested Kate record a new three-track demo. One of the songs on this new demo was “The Man with the Child in his Eyes.”

During the recording of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here, Gilmour played Kate’s latest demo to one of EMI’s record execs. The effect was immediate. A provisional deal was agreed on the spot—the details of which were worked out with Kate and her family over the following months.
1976, Kate Bush signed a record deal with EMI with a £3,000 advance and £500 for publication rights. She moved to London. She inherited some cash, bought an old piano. Her days were spent at dance classes under the tutelage of the legendary performer/actor/dancer Lindsay Kemp—the man who taught David Bowie mime.

It was the hottest summer on record. Road surfaces were sticky and tar melting in the heat. There was a hose pipe ban. People were told to bathe in only three inches of water. A drought affected large swathes of south-east England. At night Kate stayed up playing the piano, singing and writing new songs. With all the street windows open, her voice carried out into the night. Only one neighbor ever complained.

In March 1977, during a full moon, Kate wrote “Wuthering Heights.” This was eventually chosen (against EMI’s wishes—they wanted “James and the Cold Gun”) to be released as Kate’s first single.

In spring of 1978, “Wuthering Heights” hits number one in the UK singles chart. No one had heard anything like it—it was (quite literally) the shock of the new. When I first heard it—too early on a cold February morning—I hated it, but loved it too. It was the first time I’d heard anything so uniquely original—so indescribable—that all I could say to my classmates was “You’ve got hear this record.” There were no words adequate to accurately express the feelings it engendered. There was no obvious hook, no expected pattern of verse, chorus, middle eight, verse, chorus. Yet it was full of those insane longings and intense emotions teenage virgins understood. It became utterly addictive. It seemed as if everyone agreed as Kate Bush was quite suddenly everywhere.

In May 1978, Dutch television broadcaster TROS aired a Kate Bush special featuring six of her songs—quite a feat for a singer who had just released their debut single. Yet, there was this genuine sense about that Kate Bush was this giant in our midst—this singular prodigious talent, this genius—who could only blossom.
Watch Kate Bush at Efteling, after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘The Kate Inside’: New book has never-seen photos of Kate Bush
01:20 pm


Kate Bush
Guido Harari

Filming “Rubberband Girl” on the set of “The Line, the Cross, & the Curve,” 1993
Photographer Guido Harari, who has a book of Tom Waits photographs to his credit, worked closely with Kate Bush in a strongly creative period stretching from 1982 to 1993, during which Bush released The Dreaming, Hounds of Love, and The Sensual World, among others, as well as her musical short film The Line, the Cross, and the Curve, an offshoot of her 1993 album The Red Shoes.

Harari has a new book coming out with dozens of never-before-seen pictures of the noted experimental pop singer, who is arguably England’s unparalleled Brontë interpreter.

Roughly 300 pictures are in the book, the bulk of which came out of official press photo sessions for Bush’s albums of that era. Many of the photos feature Bush hard at work with Lindsay Kemp, the choreographer who worked closely with the singer from the very start of her career.

The majority of the photos have never been published in any form, a group that includes test Polaroids, contact sheets, film outtakes, and personal notes from Bush.

The book is called The Kate Inside (obviously a reference to Bush’s 1978 debut album The Kick Inside) and is expected to become available in September. You can pre-order it from Wall of Sound. The regular edition is priced at 90 Euros (about $100) and the deluxe edition, personally signed by Harari and Kemp, will go for 390 Euros (about $430).

An exhibition in London’s Art Bermondsey Project Space will coincide with the book’s publication (September 13-30).

With Gary Hurst and Douglas McNicol, shoot for “The Dreaming,” 1982

“Hounds of Love” shoot, 1985
Many more photos after the jump…....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The Stranglers’ 1979 cricket match against the UK music press, featuring Lemmy and a bag of drugs

On September 16, 1979, the Stranglers held a cricket match to promote their new album The Raven and raise money for Capital Radio’s charity Help A London Child. They assembled a black-clad group of punk and reggae musicians to face a team made up of their usual adversaries and objects of abuse: rock journalists. Earlier that year, JJ Burnel had gaffer-taped writer Philippe Manoeuvre to the Eiffel Tower (Burnel: “it was only about 300 feet up”) and left him there, with his pants pooled around his ankles. “He wasn’t best pleased,” Jet Black remembers.

Cricket is played by teams of eleven, but the Stranglers were only four. To fill themselves out to the Stranglers XI for the charity match, the band recruited members of Motörhead, the Damned, X-Ray Spex, Flying Lizards, Steel Pulse, and other bands—a lot of people, according to their opponents in the Music Press XI, who claimed they saw a few supernumerary players on the field. Even Eddy Grant was on the massive team of rockers (“as many as 40 [...] at any one time,” the NME reported) that assembled at Paddington Recreation Ground on that storied day.

via Aural Sculptors
Lemmy showed up with a note from his doctor excusing him from the match because of a wart on his foot, but he lent his team moral and chemical support, while Kate Bush cancelled, according to Hugh Cornwell’s account in The Stranglers: Song by Song:

That was a fantastic event. [The Stranglers’ publicist] Alan Edwards came up with the idea of playing against the music press and managed to secure Brondesbury cricket ground in north London. Our team were dressed head to toe in black and wore black pads, black gloves and black caps. We even used black bats.

Kate Bush was going to play but pulled out. Lemmy turned up but had injured himself and had a sick note from his doctor, which was quite funny. He said, ‘Don’t worry. I’ll be watching on the boundary. If anyone needs a pick-up, my friend has a bag of whizz!’

Jet played and maybe John did. Some of the Finchley Boys played and a couple of members of the Damned. It just so happened that a friend of our dealer at the time had been a Hampshire [C]olt and was a demon fast bowler in his youth, so we got him out of retirement.

We batted first, with Jet and one of the large Finchley Boys opening the batting. We were all out quite cheaply, but managed to secure a tie because when the other team batted we kept sneaking on extra fielders to stop the run flow.

The opposition started complaining, but it was all for charity, so it got a bit ridiculous. The funniest point was when Richard Williams, who was editor of Melody Maker, came out to bat. He was brimming with confidence and had very expensive new equipment and strode out looking very professional. But our dealer clean bowled him almost immediately and Richard became very upset.


via Aural Sculptors
The blog Aural Sculptors has three press clippings about the match, and all of them contradict Cornwell on its outcome (“a fairly comprehensive drubbing,” the NME reported; “the Stranglers [...] spent a lot of their time lying down and threatening to take the bus home”), but at least Record Mirror corroborates Lemmy’s “bag of whizz”:

The Motorhead bit of the team had to keep vanishing behind bushes and under trucks. I really couldn’t figure out if this was for Lemmy to rest or to have some more talcum on his feet which he kept whipping out from the little paper bag. At least [I think] it was talcum, you never can tell with these rowdier boys.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
‘The Dreaming’: Seldom-seen Kate Bush videos, TV appearances and B-sides, 1982
02:05 pm


Kate Bush


From the Dangerous Minds archive…

Like many Americans, my first exposure to Kate Bush was via her fourth album, 1982’s The Dreaming, for despite being a chart-topper the world over, and with a 1978 appearance on SNL under her belt, Bush had virtually zero profile in America before it. The Dreaming is also my favorite Kate Bush album, although it doesn’t have a single one of my favorite Kate Bush songs on it.

Even during a period of popular music that produced such off-kilter masterpieces as PiL’s The Flowers of Romance, Japan’s Tin Drum and Nunsexmonkrock by Nina Hagen, The Dreaming was still an album that was difficult—at first—to get your head around. It’s an album that requires three to five listens before it “clicks,” but when it does, the listener is rewarded with one of the most dazzling, ambitious and audacious things an artist has ever attempted, before or since. In this case, by an artist who was then just 23!

As a song cycle, The Dreaming is a complex and accomplished work, practically demanding to be listened to all the way through (if only out of respect for the genius who created it). Although I went backwards through her first three albums, in retrospect, The Dreaming—produced by Kate alone for the first time—is an abrupt (make that very abrupt) break with what had come before. Gone were the intimate observations on life, the intensely passionate musings on love. sexuality and England’s green and pleasant land—indeed all of the pretty songs that her fanbase obviously expected—to be replaced with poetic and cinematic narratives that evoked far off exotic lands, paranoia, fury, a quest for learning, a stymied oneness with God and comedy. The Dreaming is the work of a great talent operating totally free of any outside pressures or concerns. It would be ridiculous to call it the first “real” Kate Bush album, but there is certainly a clear line of demarcation between Never for Ever and everything that comes after it.

Obviously there was always something monumentally idiosyncratic about Kate Bush, but with The Dreaming, the eclectic nature of her mature vision became boldly manifest for the first time.

“Sat in Your Lap” is the album’s frantic opening number. One of the engineers Bush used on The Dreaming was Hugh Padgham, the man responsible for achieving the famous “gated drum” sound of Phil Collin’s “In the Air Tonight” number, and I would imagine he’s probably responsible for the fantastic drum sound on “Sat in Your Lap” (I could be wrong about this because Padgham brought in Nick Launay, PiL’s engineer for the heavily percussive The Flowers of Romance album, for The Dreaming and it might be he who recorded the drums here, I’m not sure) (Here’s a link to a demo of the song)

To go to show how lyrics can get misconstrued and yet still end up communicating the exact thing the artist wanted to say, the “Gaffa” of “Suspended in Gaffa” is not a place (as I assumed it was, like Goa or the title of Aldous Huxley’s novel Eyeless in Gaza, which for whatever reason, I have always associated with this tune) but, in fact, refers to gaffer’s tape, the heavy, super strong sticky stuff used on film sets. Whether she’s literally trussed up in gaffer’s tape, bemoaning her lack of a relationship with her maker or stuck cooling her heels in some remote part of the globe, the meaning is probably exactly the same, don’t you think?

More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
In Their Own Write: Handwritten lyrics by Nick Cave, David Bowie, Joey Ramone, Kate Bush and more

Beat writer Alexander Trocchi was wise to the easy money to be made from selling handwritten drafts of famous works of literature. When short of cash for his drug habit, Trocchi would write out in longhand one of his novels (Young Adam, White Thighs, whichever) and sell it on to some collector as the one and only original handwritten manuscript. It kept him from finding a job or worse, from writing something new. Across London and Paris there’s probably dozens of these supposed “originals” cobbled together by Trocchi in his moment of need.

If Trocchi had lived and tried the same today, he would probably have been found out for his ruse as the market for original handwritten drafts to books, poetry and pop songs is now a mega business.

Last year, Bob Dylan’s handwritten lyrics for “Like A Rolling Stone” was sold at auction for $2 million. In 2005, John Lennon’s pen-drafted words for “All You Need is Love” made $1.25 million at auction, while in April 2015, Don Maclean’s handwritten lyric sheet for “American Pie” sold for $1,205,000.

Handwritten pop lyrics are as valuable as works of art—in fact they are works of art—as in this digital age where everything is written by keyboard, the value of such pen-scrawled texts on legal pad or hotel note paper only increase in value year on year. Though the top ten most expensive lyric sheets are about 2/3 the work of John Lennon (4) and Bob Dylan (2), there are plenty of other musicians out there who are finding their first drafts to popular songs offer them or their inheritors a comfortable pension.
David Bowie’s handwritten lyrics for ‘Jean Genie’ made $29,063 at auction.
Bowie: Lyric detail for ‘Jean Genie.’
Ziggy jams with a ballpoint pen: David Bowie’s handwritten lyrics for ‘Ziggy Stardust.’
One of Nick Cave’s many notebooks with original lyrics for ‘No Pussy Blues.’
Cave’s typed lyrics for ‘Push the Sky Away.’
No notebook or typewriter for Joey Ramone—the lyrics for ‘Disassembled’ were written on an old Alka Seltzer box.
More original pop lyrics, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Kate Bush: Performs ‘Kite’ and ‘Wuthering Heights’ in her first ever TV appearance, 1978
11:13 am


Kate Bush

It doesn’t matter where you start—it’s where you’re going that counts.

Kate Bush made her television debut in a disused train depot in West Germany, when she guested on the light entertainment show Bios Bahnhof (Bio’s Station) for WDR-TV, February 9th, 1978. In front of a well-heeled, middle-aged audience, Kate sang two songs: one with her backing band (“Kite”); and one to a backing track (“Wuthering Heights”)—the B and A-side of her debut single.

“Wuthering Heights” was a revolutionary debut and still sounds as radical today as it did when first released. But its success may never have happened had her record label E.M.I. stuck with their plan to release “James and the Cold Gun” as her first single from Kate’s album The Kick Inside.

“James and the Cold Gun” was one of the songs Kate performed when she was learning her craft as lead singer with her brother’s group the K.T. Bush Band during the summer of 1977. The K.T. Bush Band gigged around London, traveling in a small Hillman Imp, performing covers of the Beatles and the Stones and Marvin Gaye’s “Heard It Through the Grapevine.” They also tried out a few of Kate’s original compositions like “James and the Cold Gun” where she would mime a shoot-out with the audience.
Kate Bush fronts the K.T. Bush Band circa 1977.

The K.T. Bush Band perform a Beatles classic, 1977.
Kate was determined her first release should be “Wuthering Heights” and pushed the label until they conceded.

“Wuthering Heights” had been scheduled for release in November 1977, but E.M.I. held the single back until January 1978 fearing it would be lost in the festive froth of Christmas records—Paul McCartney made the top of the hit parade that year with “Mull of Kintyre,” which went on to become the biggest selling UK single at that time. Fortunately, a few promo discs of the single fell into the hands of some radio DJs, who were mesmerized by the song and played it prior to its official January release. It caught the public’s attention and “Wuthering Heights” rapidly moved to the UK #1 on 5th March 1978, the first number #1 to be written by a woman.

And what about Bio who spotted this exquisite talent before anyone else? Well, he is Alfred Biolek an entertainer and TV producer, who had previously produced two special German-language editions of Monty Python for German TV—for which John Cleese, Eric Idle and co. had to learn German phonetically as none of the Pythons spoke the language fluently. Bio certainly had an uncanny knack for picking up on original talent before anyone else.

The performance, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Kate Bush’s former home is for sale, free turtle
11:13 am


Kate Bush

Kate Bush lived in this lavish 6-bedroom house in Eltham from 1985 through 2003 before selling the property to a Jackie O’Reilly, who put the house up for sale a couple of weeks ago. The initial price tag was £3 million (nearly $4.8 million) but has been reduced by £375,000 since the first listing. Eltham lies southwest of central London, about a half-hour’s drive away.

O’Reilly says, “I grew up in Eltham, and we always knew it as Kate Bush’s house, and caught odd glimpses of her. ... But she clearly valued her privacy. The house is surrounded by large trees, to keep out prying eyes.” The impressive wrought-iron sign over the front gate reading “Wuthering Heights,” which is also the name of Bush’s first single from 1978 and the only song of hers to reach #1 on the U.K. charts, was added not by Bush but by O’Reilly. “The house was already called that in the title deeds, so we decided to put that in as a homage to Kate,” she said. Parts of a video promoting “Wuthering Heights” were shot in what is now O’Reilly’s daughter’s bedroom.



Several more pictures of Kate Bush’s house, plus one featuring that turtle, after the jump…..

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Ian Curtis: Handwritten schoolboy poem up for auction

As a child Joy Division’s lead singer wanted to be stuntman. He went so far as setting up a specially constructed stunt that involved him jumping off a garage roof. Cheered on by friends, Curtis donned a crash helmet and took a giant leap off the roof. He landed badly and his ambitions for a career as a stuntman were over.

Thankfully, Curtis showed greater talent for writing poetry, and it would be his lyric writing and singing that eventually brought him fame. Now, one of his original poems, written circa 1966-67 when Curtis was at school, is to be sold next month at a “Beatles Rock ‘n’ Roll Memorabilia Auction,” with a starting bid of $1,200 (£1,000).

According to Tracks Auction the poem: written on a piece of lined paper and is glued into a school book called Our Book Of Epitaphs along with poems from the other pupils in the class.

It reads, “An Epitaph for an Electrian (sic), Here lies Fred the electrian (sic), who went on a very fateful mission, he got a shock when tampering with a fuse, which went from his head right down to his shoes, by I. Curtis”.

Ian has also drawn a small picture of a man and a tombstone.

Hardly T. S. Eliot but certainly not McGonagall.

The poem is described as being in “excellent” condition and measures 6.5 inches x 3.75 inches. It is contained within a larger book of poems by fellow classmates which has some wear and tear and a few of the poems have become detached from the book.
A letter confirming the poem’s authenticity from the owner and former classmate of the singer is included. The letter reads:

“I grew up on Hurdsfield Estate, Macclesfield where I attended Hurdsfield Junior School. I started Hurdsfield Junior School in 1963 where I met Ian Curtis, he was a fellow pupil in my class and we went through school together. Mr Young was our teacher when this piece of work was carried out, he himself has got a poem in the book along with myself and all the other pupils in the class. This poem was written in 1966 or 1967. I was presented with the book at the end of the school year for being head boy. At the time the head teacher was called Mr Tattasall. Ian Curtis lived on Grey Stoke Road, Hurdsfield Estate, I lived on Delemere Road, Hurdsfield Estate, Cheshire”.

As far as pop culture goes, it seems everything and anything is up for grabs, and amongst the other lots going under the hammer are Adam Ant’s 1981 “Prince Charming” shirt, Kate Bush’s handwritten lyrics for “Wuthering Heights,” various signed singles, albums, posters and concert programmes, and a shed load of Beatles’ memorabilia. I’m sure these will all make more than their asking prices and if you fancy bidding check details they are here.
Below Kate Bush’s handwritten lyrics for ‘Wuthering Heights.’
H/T Letters of Note

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Cathy’: Kate Bush as a young girl
01:32 pm


Kate Bush
John Carder Bush

A rare book of photographs of Kate Bush as a young girl entitled Cathy is to be re-published next month. The book contains an incredible selection of beautiful black & white images of Kate taken by her brother the poet and photographer John Carder Bush.

Cathy was first published in a limited edition of 500 copies in 1986 and is now to be re-published with new previously unpublished photographs and additional text. Copies of Cathy can be ordered here.

The following images come from the original 1986 publication of Cathy via the site Cat Party.
More pics of young Kate, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘The Kate Bush Story: Running Up That Hill’: Watch the new BBC documentary
03:10 pm


Kate Bush

Although it’s front page news everywhere in the United Kingdom today, there wasn’t much mention here of Kate Bush’s return to the concert stage last night in London after a 35 year absence. I suppose that makes sense, as she is one of England’s greatest living musicians, but I still thought it would get a little bit more play here in the States. I think we’ve got our own fair share of Kate Bush fanatics.

What’s worth remarking about, I thought, was how The Telegraph’s reviewer decided to allude, not subtlly at all, to the 56-year-old’s weight in the subtitle of their review (”Singer defies weight of expectation on her comeback live performance to thrill audience with her theatrical imagination and undiminished voice”) and then DO IT AGAIN in the opening sentence (”The weight of anticipation bearing down on Kate Bush’s 5ft 2inch frame ahead of her opening night must have been near unbearable.”) Coincidence?

What’s unbearable is this… shitty prose.

Who does the Telegraph’s Bernadette McNulty think she is to write about the great Kate Bush in this manner? Even if her review is, overall, a positive-ish one, I will admit to a sleepy, pissed off, lemon-faced reaction when I read that this morning. What sort of fucking idiot writes such a thing about a major artist, revered the world over, returning to the concert stage after decades and thinks that they’re being clever? And coming from a female journalist, yet? LAME. Whether Bush is dressed in a leotard or a kaftan, McNulty isn’t of sufficient stature to kiss the hem of either…

Thankfully, The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis was there and offered up something more intelligent than McNulty could muster:

Over the course of nearly three hours, Kate Bush’s first gig for 35 years variously features dancers in lifejackets attacking the stage with axes and chainsaws; a giant machine that hovers above the auditorium, belching out dry ice and shining spotlights on the audience; giant paper aeroplanes; a surprisingly lengthy rumination on sausages, vast billowing sheets manipulated to represent waves, Bush’s 16-year-old son Bertie - clad as a 19th-century artist – telling a wooden mannequin to “piss off” and the singer herself being borne through the audience by dancers clad in costumes based on fish skeletons.

The concert-goer who desires a stripped down rock and roll experience, devoid of theatrical folderol, is thus advised that Before the Dawn is probably not the show for them, but it is perhaps worth noting that even before Bush takes the stage with her dancers and props, a curious sense of unreality hangs over the crowd. It’s an atmosphere noticeably different than at any other concert, but then again, this is a gig unlike any other, and not merely because the very idea of Bush returning to live performance was pretty unimaginable 12 months ago.

He goes on to say that the likes of Bush’s “Before the Dawn” theatrical spectacle hasn’t been seen since Pink Floyd toured The Wall. The concert includes helicopters, skits and a video of Bush seen floating in a sensory deprivation tank.

In anticipation of Bush’s shows at the Hammersmith Apollo, the BBC recently aired The Kate Bush Story: Running Up That Hill, a portrait of the enigmatic artist with comments from St. Vincent, Big Boi, John Lydon, Elton John, Peter Gabriel, David Gilmour, Tricky, Neil Gaiman, Stephen Fry, Viv Albertine and others. Of particular interest is Elton John’s anecdote about how when Kate Bush came to his civil partnership ceremony with David Furnish, even in a room full up with hundreds of famous people, they all wanted to meet her.

Don’t expect to see much footage of the 22 London shows surfacing on YouTube. Bush is asking all concert attendees to turn their phones off.

“I have a request for all of you who are coming to the shows,” she wrote on her site last week:

“We have purposefully chosen an intimate theatre setting rather than a large venue or stadium. It would mean a great deal to me if you would please refrain from taking photos or filming during the shows. I very much want to have contact with you as an audience, not with iphones, ipads or cameras. I know it’s a lot to ask but it would allow us to all share in the experience together.”

Anyone dumb enough to pull out their iPhone is likely to be kicked to death by rabid Kate Bush fans. [Nope, I stand corrected, someone did and lived to tell, or at least sell it to Gawker.]

Thank you to DM’s editor-at-large Marc Campbell for sending me this one!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Kate Bush announces first tour dates in 35 years
09:57 am


Kate Bush

Good news for Kate Bush fans, as the reclusive singer has announced her first tour in 35 years. The announcement, made this morning, on her website attracted such interest it caused the site to crash.

Ms. Bush will perform fifteen concerts as part of the Before the Dawn tour at the London Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, during August and September this year. Tickets will go on sale on March 28th, and prices range from £49-£135.

The last time Kate Bush toured was for six-weeks in 1979. The tour was eventually brought to a halt as Ms. Bush felt she did not have full control over the show, and (apparently) her fear of flying. It was also during this tour that her lighting director Bill Dufield died, which severely affected the singer.

She also subsequently claimed:

“By the end, I felt a terrific need to retreat as a person because I felt that my sexuality, which in a way I hadn’t really had a chance to explore myself, was being given to the world in a way which I found impersonal.”

Ms. Bush has been hinting at a return to touring since 2011, when she told Mojo magazine that she wanted to get back on stage before she became “too ancient.

“I still don’t give up hope completely that I’ll be able to do some live work, but it’s certainly not in the picture at the moment because I just don’t quite know how that would work with how my life is now.”

For details of Kate Bush’s Before the Dawn tour click here.

And here’s Kate on her first and only tour in 1979, from the BBC’s magazine show, Nationwide.

Via the Daily Telegraph

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Kate Bush, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie and others expound on the topic of ‘Punk’ in 1979

Getting it or not getting it to varying degrees are Kate Bush, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Cliff Richard, Steve Harley, Mick Taylor, Peter Gabriel, Paul Cook, John Lydon, Meatloaf, and a surprisingly astute young Leif Garrett putting in their two cents on the topic of “Punk.”

According to the caption on YouTube, these comments aired in December 1979 on a program called Countdown on a specific episode called “End Of the Decade.” Presumably this is something from the archives of Australian television. It looks like an editor’s raw “selects” in the formulation seen here.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Kate Bush, fitness guru
10:32 am


Kate Bush

Earlier this week Paul Gallagher introduced us to “Kate Bush, comedian”—so why not end the week with “Kate Bush, fitness guru”? All right, I’m overselling it a little, but it’s true that in August 1981 the “extravagantly brainy spiritual sexpot,” as Robert Christgau once termed her, was featured in a segment on Looking Good, Feeling Fit, a U.K. show dedicated to well, looking good and feeling fit.

Interviewer Richard Stilgoe caught Bush while prepping for her bombastic and kinetic “Sat in Your Lap” video with dancers Stewart Arnold and Gary Hunt. As Stilgoe notes, the trio tried out the same strenuous dance routine “at least eight times while we filmed it from different angles.”

It must be admitted that Stilgoe indulges in some inane repartee, such as when he asks, “Now, in the music world there’s a lot of late nights, high living and things, and yet you do not have pimples, spots, and all the things that the rest of us get if we stay out late at night, how do you manage that?” For her part, Bush remains steadfastly humble and sensible throughout, insisting that she does indeed get spots, “everyone gets spots,” and advising viewers of the importance of using the right creams to protect your skin.

Considering that her athletic performances were as integral to her art back then as her bewitching music, it’s no surprise that Bush was in such excellent shape—as she allows at the segment’s close, “I don’t think I’m a healthy person. You see, I dance because I want to dance, not ‘cause I want to keep fit. And it’s just a sort of side thing that I happen to keep fit at the same time. I really like what I do and that that’s what it’s all about.”

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Kate Bush, comedian
The terrifying beauty of Kate Bush

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Kate Bush, comedian
04:51 pm


Kate Bush
Rowan Atkinson

If you think of Kate Bush as some kind of intense Catherine Earnshaw-type, wafting silk scarves while rolling about on the windy moor, then you may be delighted by this clip of Kate duetting with comic actor Rowan Atkinson on the song “Do Bears….” for BBC’s charity telethon Comic Relief from 1986.

It’s an amusing little number and reveals Kate’s finely-tuned ability for comedy. Is there nothing this woman can’t do?

But this wasn’t Kate Bush’s only foray into the world of comedy, as she later appeared in The Comic Strip Presents in 1990 playing the bride to Daniel Peacock’s uncouth groom in the episode “Les Dogs.” This can be viewed in its entirety here, but a taster, mixing a performance from Kate’s 1979 Christmas Show with clips from “Les Dogs” can be seen below.

And if that weren’t enough, here’s “Ken” written especially for The Comic Strip Presents GLC—their satire on the rise and fall of London Labor politician “Red” Ken Livingstone. With Robbie Coltrane as a Charles Bronson-esque “Ken” and Jennifer Saunders as a Thatcher-esque “Ice Maiden.”

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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