Before the Dawn stage designer Dick Bird talks about working with Kate

Before the Dawn set by Dick Bird

In a new interview to promote his work on Scottish Opera’s The Mikado in the Forres Gazette, Kate’s stage designer for her Before the Dawn shows, Dick Bird, talks about working with her. From the article:

Dick BirdInternational stage designer Dick Bird admits when Kate Bush came on the phone to ask him to work on her show two years ago, his 13-year-old self would have been over the moon. He said: “I haven’t done rock n roll before and it was the most extraordinary 18 months of my life. In a way, it started very unusually for me because she started by assembling a team like the Magnificent Seven – slowly putting together a team of reprobates and drunks and knocking them back into shape till they are a fine fighting crew!” laughs Dick. “That is sort of what Kate did, slowly assembling this fascinating team, but she wanted everything to be completely original. So we did a lot of workshopping. We would hire the Hammersmith Apollo for a week to do our experiments in – or go off to some incredibly draughty hangar in Northampton and play with silks and LED screens. I’ve never made so many models for one show. But it was a great, great, experience and the best thing written about it, she wrote herself, the most brilliant and comprehensive notes for the programme about the whole show.”

For Dick it was the chance to meet a boyhood idol. He laughs: “I was absolutely, madly in love with her when I was 13. She was my first big crush, so it was very interesting to meet her 35 years later. Dick’s friend, costume and props maker Rob Allsopp had worked with shadow puppets – as Kate wanted to – and Rob recommended she see a show Dick had also been working on using puppets.

But before Kate phoned him, Dick had been sounded out in a slightly mysterious way about whether he’d be free to do the show. He recalls: “About three-quarters of an hour before, someone else rang up and said ‘Would you be free at this time but I can’t tell you why I’m asking!’. “Then 45 minutes later the phone rang and it was Kate Bush – my unrequited crush of 35 years!” laughs Dick. “I was very tongue-tied, but she was saying ‘I really love your work!’ and I was replying ‘I really love YOUR work!’. She’s a very extraordinary and wonderful person.”

Full article is here. See more of Dick Bird’s designs, including Before the Dawn, at his official site:

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“Song of Summer”: the 2016 HomeGround Party is on 8th July



Following the huge success of the parties in 2013, 2014, and 2015, HomeGround and are pleased to confirm that they are returning to the legendary Royal Vauxhall Tavern on Friday 8th of July for their annul party celebrating the music of Kate Bush.

We start at 9 pm and go through to 3 am. The party will feature live performances from:











The night will also feature Kate-themed DJ sets from:


This will be an all nighter of Kate’s music and will feature live performances by Mandy Paines and Michael Mayell from the top Kate tribute band Cloudbusting, plus new tribute act A Sky Of Honey and one of the gay scene’s top acts, Rose Garden who is a life long Kate fan.

The RVT is in Vauxhall, South London, just over the Thames from the West End and is a two minute walk from Vauxhall Underground, main line and bus stations and is two tube stops from the Victoria railway terminus. The RVT is home to award-winning club night Duckie as well as  many other top music and cabaret events and performances.

You can order your advance tickets using the PayPal buttons below:

Single advance ticket: £10.00

Two advance tickets: £18.00

Tickets bought using the PayPal buttons will be sent by email. These can be printed and produced on the door to gain entry. We will not send out printed tickets.

NOTE: There will be a limited number of single tickets available to be bought on the door on the night.

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RIP Prince (1958–2016)

Update 22/4/16: Kate has posted a lovely message on her official site about Prince.

A message for Prince

from Kate…

I am so sad and shocked to hear the tragic news about Prince. He was the most incredibly talented artist. A man in complete control of his work from writer and musician to producer and director. He was such an inspiration. Playful and mind-blowingly gifted. He was the most inventive and extraordinary live act I’ve seen. The world has lost someone truly magical. Goodnight dear Prince.

We were all so saddened and shocked to hear of the passing of Prince today. Another superstar and supremely brilliant musician is gone, much to the world’s shock and disbelief. As Kate herself once described him, he was an “extraordinary talent”. We send our sincere condolences to his family, friends and loved ones.


Prince worked with Kate on two songs, “Why Should I Love You” from The Red Shoes, and the track “My Computer” from his own triple album Emancipation (1996). While Kate’s vocal contribution is tricky to discern in the latter, their collaboration on her own album track created a lot of intrigue and interest in the music press back in 1993. At an early stage of work on the album that would become The Red Shoes, Kate and Del attended a Prince concert in Wembley Arena (in fact she was checking out the venue with a view to possibly playing live there herself). She was handed a note by Prince which said he loved her work and this initial contact eventually led to reels of tape being sent back and forth between his Paisley Park studios in the US and Kate’s own home studio in Kent, with Kate ultimately adding vocal contributions from her friend, the comedian Lenny Henry, shimmering harmonies by the Trio Bulgarka and even a full brass section.

Paisley Park Studios

Paisley Park Studios

In the Kate Bush Club magazine, Del Palmer described the arrival of the first tapes from Prince:

“Inside the box were two complete 24 track tapes marked with Paisley Park labels. We were taken completely off guard by this and could not wait to put them up and see what was there. Not in our wildest dreams could we have prepared ourselves for what the tapes contained. Prince had taken a small section of the original track, made it into a loop so that it went around and around and then filled the tapes with guitars, keyboards and other goodies. I was completely stunned but Kate was quick to see the possibilities of the thing. It was not the track she had written but with a large measure of rewriting and sampling she would turn it back into a Kate Bush song.”

Why Should I Love You

Kate remembered working on the track in the same club magazine:

“Why Should I Love You evolved from an R&B type song. I thought how wonderful it would be to have Prince play guitar…little did I know. I was so excited that he was interested in working on the track, we sent the tapes to him and he sent them back. It appealed so much to my sense of humour when we put up the tapes and there was bass, keyboards, guitar and backing vocals, all working to a funk groove. Some elements of the song were left but we put a lot of work into retrieving the structure I wanted and working with Prince’s performances, yet keeping my original conception of it. It was extremely interesting for me and I think the result is quite unusual. Prince is an extraordinary talent…and a bit clever…In the time it took me to make one album he had released three albums, completed two world tours, a TV special, various videos and is still a better guitarist than me…”


Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016)

Posted in Kate Bush news, Other artists | 4 Comments

Kate’s version of Mná na hÉireann featured in RTE’s “Centenary” performance

An excerpt from Kate’s version of Seán O’Riada’s Mná na hÉireann was featured in the ecstatically reviewed centrepiece of RTE’s Easter Rising 1916 commemorations: “Centenary”. As well as garnering a huge Irish TV audience, the entire production has been made available to stream worldwide, with Kate’s voice heard as part of a montage exploring the more recent social and political events in Ireland.

Centenary - RTE centenary2

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In Memorium – Deborah Priestley

Deborah Priestley

Photo by Deborah Priestley – uploaded to Facebook 24th February 2016

Continue reading

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Kate signs open letter to David Cameron to help refugees in Calais

Calais camp

Kate, along with dozens of well-known people, has signed an open letter to UK Prime Minister David Cameron asking for a delay to the demolition of the Calais ‘Jungle’ to protect the children there. Those signing the petition include some of Kate’s friends from the music and arts world; Peter Gabriel, Jude Law, Philip Pullman, Terry Gilliam and Stephen Fry.

The recent announcement by the Calais prefecture to raze the Southern part of the “Jungle” refugee camp in Calais is an act that if allowed to happen, will destroy the temporary homes of over 3000 people including 443 children. Many of these people are amongst the most vulnerable in the camps as this is where the majority of families and unaccompanied minors currently live.

You can find out more and lend your support at the site here. Essential donations of equipment can be given here.

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KT Bush Band reforms with two original members – Brian Bath and Vic King!

KT Bush Band 2016

This news has left us with a warm, nostalgic feeling! Two of the original members of the KT Bush Band are returning to the stage with a new band re-creating Kate’s very earliest performances in pubs and clubs in 1977, and featuring original material performed in her early career. The other member of the KT Bush Band, apart from Kate, was Del Palmer (with a special mention for Paddy Bush, who helped out with lights and dropped in guitar and mandolin parts too!)

Drummer Vic King and guitarist Brian Bath who created the KT Bush Band in 1976 have been secretly preparing for a return to the stage since early 2014, and performance dates are now being scheduled for release.

Full details of the new band are on the website at where visitors can also link to the band’s new Social Media pages! Wishing the lads every success with the shows.

KT Bush Band 2016 KT Bush Band 2016 KT Bush Band 2016

KT Bush Band 1977

KT Bush Band 1977


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Melbourne, Australia to attempt world’s largest ever gathering of “Kate Bushes”!

On July 16th, Melbourne Australia will attempt the world’s largest ever gathering of “Kate Bushes”, attempting to beat Brighton’s 300+ strong spectacular in 2013. Wuthering Heights will be recreated and the costume is red dress / red stockings, black belt. As we know, Kate herself has gotten a great kick out of comedian Noel Fielding’s red-dress “homage” in the past.

As the Facebook Event page linked here says: “Bring your Kate Bush adoration and boundless joy.” Indeed!

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights
YouTube Preview Image
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RIP Jimmy Bain – bass player on The Dreaming album

Jimmy Bain

We were saddened to hear this week of the passing of 68-year old Scottish bassist Jimmy Bain, who plays bass guitar on the songs Sat In Your Lap, Leave It Open, and Get Out Of My House from Kate’s 1982 album “The Dreaming”. Sending our condolences to his loved ones. TeamRock has paid tribute by listing his moments of genius here.

Here’s an extract from an interview Kate gave in 1982 talking about Jimmy’s contribution to her classic album and the link with Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy… (taken from Gaffaweb here)

“Because the funny thing is you’ve got Jimmy Bain, who was in Rainbow, and is in Wild Horses. He seems to play on all the crazier tracks. I think, what I enjoyed again about this album was each track has got a very different mood to it, really, or groups of tracks have got different moods, and it was nice to use people, almost specifically, for what they were very good at, and I always think of Jimmy as being a really super rock’n’roll bass player, which isn’t meant to be detrimental, because I think it’s great, actually. Because what those songs needed that he was on was a very simple, very driving bass that was going to keep the whole thing going, without being distracting, or too full. And Jimmy was just right for that, really. So he worked on the three tracks that I would definitely say are the rockiest, the most up-tempo, perhaps the most aggressive.”

And did that have something to do with the fact he, with Wild Horses, had had a contract with EMI?

“Ah, you see I didn’t even know he was with EMI. I knew he was with Wild Horses, and I met him when I just bumped into Phil Lynott in a recording studio.”

Really, when was that?

“This was at The Townhouse, and I was there to just look over the studio, because that’s where I wanted to work, and Phil was actually going to give me a weekend of his time that he wouldn’t be using, so I just went in to check out that it would be OK. And he was doing a really far-out vocal at the time…”

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Kate remembers the “beautiful soul”, David Bowie, in today’s Observer

David Bowie

Kate has written a tribute to David Bowie, along with a host of other notable fans and friends, in today’s edition of The Observer newspaper. Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, Carlos Alomar, Gail Ann Dorsey, Julien Temple, Sadie Coles, Edwyn Collins, Robert Fox, Nicola Tyson also pay tribute in today’s article.

Kate writes:

David Bowie had everything. He was intelligent, imaginative, brave, charismatic, cool, sexy and truly inspirational both visually and musically. He created such staggeringly brilliant work, yes, but so much of it and it was so good. There are great people who make great work but who else has left a mark like his? No one like him.

I’m struck by how the whole country has been flung into mourning and shock. Shock, because someone who had already transcended into immortality could actually die. He was ours. Wonderfully eccentric in a way that only an Englishman could be.

Whatever journey his beautiful soul is now on, I hope he can somehow feel how much we all miss him.

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RIP David Bowie 1947 – 2016

We know that so many of you are saddened and shocked, like us, today. We’ll have more thoughts on the irreplaceable David Bowie, a profound inspiration to Kate, in a later update. As we said on our Facebook posting, we send our sincerest condolences to his wife, children, family and friends.

David Bowie

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Final weeks for pre-order offer on Guido Harari photo book “The Kate Inside”

It’s fair to say fans are getting quite excited about this upcoming book from Guido Harari, The Kate Inside, if the comments on the project’s Facebook page are anything to go by. First up for this project is the end-of-January deadline for the pre-order 25% discount on both the Deluxe and regular versions of the book. Fans who go for the deluxe option (Guido has arranged a 3 month instalment plan) will receive a significantly different, expanded edition of the book, extra print/polaroids, signed by Guido and Lindsay Kemp, presented in a solander slipcase. All early donors to the crowdfunding phase will have their names acknowledged in the book itself. Information on how to get the discount for either version is here. Watch the project’s promo video here.

THE KATE INSIDE Highlights of the book include official press photos for Hounds Of Love, The Sensual World and The Red Shoes, including a completely never-before-seen reportage on the set of Kate’s film The Line, The Cross & The Curve. Right now, Guido is busy selecting the final shots for the book, choosing the format, materials and covers for both versions of the book and restoring negatives from 2-3 decades ago. Best of luck, Guido! [order info here]

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Happy Christmas! Kate sends a message to fans

Kate has added a short Christmas message to her site today along with a festive twist on her tour programme cover imagery! Wishing you all a fantastic Christmas and a terrific New Year for 2016 from Peter, Krys, Dave and Seán here at xxx

Kate's Christmas message 2015

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Collecting Kate Bush – three essential fan sites to check out

NOTE: This Christmas I have decided to donate proceeds from the sale of a copy of Lake Tahoe on vinyl and a few other KB items to Oxfam, and I intend to do the same in the new year with other “swaps” that I have. This is one of the reasons I find it worth keeping up with the value of bits and bobs I’ve collected over the years; I get to enjoy them and look after them and then, ultimately, put them to some good use – Seán

I have to admit I’ve never been a must-have-everything collector of Kate’s stuff but recently I have been filling out some of the gaps in my Kate Bush vinyl collection. There’s something about owning those original artefacts from a particular time in Kate’s career that can be very satisfying. I had decided to limit my current renewed passion for collectible records to UK releases, but when you inevitably start to dig further…there’s a LOT of interesting stuff out there and it can get overwhelming. Luckily we have some great Kate Bush collector sites to help us out, even if we know that realistically we’ll never get our mitts on many of these treasures. Here are three sites, all from genuine fans, that come recommended…

Kate Bush - rare vinyl

Firstly, for years I’ve relied on an excellent site called “The Single File” by John Heislman which he has maintained since the 1990s. It focuses on Kate’s career as a singles artist and is bang up-to-date with the re-recorded Running Up That Hill from 2012. With neat navigation, effective use of national flag symbols and pictorial chronologies for all formats he takes the guess work out of what was released when and where. A brilliant site.

Next up, if you’re looking for a site that also takes in albums, books and all manner of memorabilia you simply have to take a look at the “World of Kate Bush” blog site. The site owner has been tireless in photographing and describing their impressive collection. This is collecting at its most serious, and a revealing pleasure to browse through for even a casual fan.

Since 1978, thanks to robust work by EMI Japan, Kate has been a noticeable presence in that territory. Some of the most expensive collectible Kate Bush items on the market today emanate from Japan and there is a LOT to discover. Luckily longtime fan Bart Lienard has put together “All We Ever Look For“, an exhaustive labour of love which lists just about every Japanese Kate Bush album, single, box set, video and book as well as a large array of magazine articles. Fascinating.

Update: An honourable mention also to “This Woman’s World“, a German-language site that has a nicely illustrated discography.

Apart from the above sites, there is of course a wealth of information to be found on Gaffaweb, on the constantly expanding Discogs Kate listing, in the pages of those incredible HomeGround anthology books, and in the now out-of-print Illustrated Collector’s Guide to Kate Bush (now, curiously, an expensive collectors item itself!). The Kate Bush Clippings site is now enormous, and also be sure to check out the Kate Bush Encyclopedia site which has been coming along very nicely!

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Kate’s songs added as set works for UK’s A-level music students from 2016!

Kate & learningKate you’re finally being taught in school! Works by Kate have been added to the UK’s A-Level Music syllabus for schools after a drive to include female composers! Kate is included from 2016 in the popular music and jazz set works, along with The Beatles and Courtney Pine. Cloudbusting, And Dream of Sheep, and Under Ice are the set works.

A student, Jessy McCabe, had noticed that Edexcel’s A-level music syllabus featured 63 male composers and no female ones.

She contacted Edexcel to make it aware of the situation, but despite the board’s insistence that the music course aims to let students “engage in and extend the appreciation of the diverse and dynamic heritage of music”, its head of music seemed reluctant to implement any changes.

In response to an email from Jessy, the head of music wrote: “Given that female composers were not prominent in the western classical tradition (or others for that matter), there would be very few female composers that could be included.”

A petition subsequently launched by the student received almost 4,000 signatures. She also wrote an open letter to the education secretary, Nicky Morgan, the executive director of the exam regulator Ofqual, Ian Stockford, and Pearson UK’s managing director, Mark Anderson. Jessy urged them to change next year’s syllabus “so that girls are freely able and inspired to become composers, to enrich the A-level syllabus and to ultimately ensure that women’s works are valued, as they should be”.

Pearson, the organisation that offers the Edexcel qualifications, has now implemented changes to its 2016 A-level music specification to include five new set works by female composers. They include Clara Schumann, Rachel Portman, Kate Bush, Anoushka Shankar and Kaija Saariaho. DOWNLOAD THE FULL SYLLABUS DOCUMENT HERE

Read more at the Guardian site here. (thanks to Thomas Ovens for letting us know)

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