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Kate Bush: Performs ‘Kite’ and ‘Wuthering Heights’ in her first ever TV appearance, 1978
08:13 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
08:13 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
10:32 am


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…

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‘The Kate Bush Story: Running Up That Hill’: Watch the new BBC documentary
12:10 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
06:57 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
07:32 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.”

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Kate Bush, comedian
01:51 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
Happy Birthday Kate Bush!
01:16 pm


Kate Bush

Happy birthday Catherine “Kate” Bush, born today in 1958.

It’s fair to say that almost everyone loves Kate Bush. She is, after all, one of those rare artists whose work can joyfully unite almost everyone—including the most unlikely though similarly emotionally attuned disparate groupings of virginal schoolboys, Riot grrrls, Goths, Punks, Classicists, Folkies and the likes of John Lydon, who famously once described Ms. Bush’s work as “beauty beyond belief.” And that is a very fair description, for Kate Bush’s music is beauty beyond belief.

Here’s to a very special and brilliant woman—Happy Birthday Kate!

To celebrate this original and unique artist, here’s an unedited interview with Kate, recorded in November in 1985, not long after the release of her brilliant Hounds of Love album, for the series Night Flight. This is the unedited interview, which reveals how the media conduct their question and answer sessions, and how they manipulate and relentlessly seek the answers they want, rather than one given. It perhaps explains why Ms. Bush is so reclusive.

Bonus clip ‘Hounds of Love,’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The terrifying beauty of Kate Bush
09:51 am


Kate Bush

Yes, I adore her. Yes, I do. But sometimes, like in the very beginning of this video, Kate Bush reminds me of some of the women I’ve fallen in love with over the years that were beautiful, but batshit crazy. The kind of woman who fucks you, tears your heart out and then goes skipping down the lane into the dark forests of eternity.

Now I’m not saying Kate is crazy. Not at all. There are just a few moments in this video that conjure up my own personal memories of when romance walked that thin line between obsession and fear. The eyes, the mouth… the terror.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
300 Kate Bush imitators re-enact ‘Wuthering Heights’ video!

Shambush! theater troupe gathered 300 volunteers in Stanmer Park, Brighton, England, on Saturday to re-enact Kate Bush’s pop promo “Wuthering Heights.”

The event called “The Ultimate Kate Bush Experience,” was part of the Brighton Festival Fringe, where Shambush! aimed to set a new world record for the number of Kate Bush look-a-likes performing the hit song in one place.

Shambush! describe themselves as:

...a ludicrous troupe of performers. Shambush! specialise in creating immersive, theatrical encounters, performance spaces and nonsensical events.

Brighton’s main newspaper The Argus reported on the event:

The bizarre sight of hundreds of men and women in red dresses, long black wigs and bright lipstick took many visitors to Stanmer Park on Saturday by surprise.

The Fringe event, organised by performance group Shambush, saw fans of the 80s icon spend the sunny afternoon practicing the dance moves before breaking the record.

More pictures and video from The Argus here.

Hire Shambush! for your event here and follow on Facebook here.

Below is a video of rehearsals for “The Ultimate Kate Bush Experience.”

With thanks to Norn Cutson!

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Wuthering Heights’: Alan Partridge channels Kate Bush

A glorious televisual moment from Comic Relief 1999, when Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) channeled Kate Bush for stirring versions of her songs “Wow” and the classic “Wuthering Heights”, A-ha!

Bonus: David Bowie plays the recorder.

With thanks to Tara!

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Boosh on the loose! Noel Fielding does his best Kate Bush impression
09:47 am


Kate Bush
Noel Fielding

Although I’ve always been a big Kate Bush fan, I can’t lie to you and tell you that I find her music videos and TV appearances (for the most part) anything other than totally laughable, at least the performances from the earlier part of her career. I mean, come on! Even her staunchest fans would have difficulty defending goofy clips like this one.

Noel Fielding from The Mighty Boosh obviously feels this way, too. Witness his spot-on “interpretive” parody of Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” on the BBC’s 2011 Let’s Dance for Comic Relief and compare it to the original.

One YouTube commenter wrote “I would go lesbian for Noel Fielding.” Another quipped “It really looks like this is something he does every Saturday regardless of comic relief.”

Well, practice makes perfect…

Update: Below, a comparison video. Thanks to Ana Phylaxis for the heads-up!


Previously on Dangerous Minds:

Kate Bush: ‘Wuthering Heights’ slowed down to a gorgeous 36-minute symphony

Kate Bush: Probably her first ever TV interview from 1978

Kate Bush: Splendid concert documentary from 1980

The Dreaming: Some seldom-seen Kate Bush videos, TV interviews & B-sides, 1982

Endearing photos of Kate Bush as a child


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Kate Bush album covers as ZX Spectrum artwork

Possible geek heaven? A selection of Kate Bush album covers re-imagined as ZX Spectrum artwork.

More here.
More geek heaven, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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