Long time Kate Bush fans Paul Thomas and Tim Lloydsmith have produced the perfect ice-cold 80s infused synth soundtrack for these sticky Summer days. Here’s one track from the new EP “About Time” by The Yellow Project. Want to buy the EP? Head over to their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/theyellowprojectband/
Norway, America, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Denmark, Netherlands, England, Sweden..are just some of the places taking part in The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever! The events will see organised “flash mobs” of people dressed in red dresses recreating the dance moves of Kate’s original video. Already seen in the UK over the years at “Shambush” events, these fun happenings are growing in popularity. On Saturday, July 16th 2016 it is going global, as you will see by the variety of beautiful posters below designed by graphic artist Tim Brackmann. Instructions for participants (apart from studying those iconic dance moves) are as follows:
Invite: Everyone! All ages and genders welcome. Wear: Red dress, red stockings, black belt. Bring: Unadulterated glee!
ALL information for each event can be seen by checking out the Facebook links below:
Glenys Groves has published a new biography/memoir, “Ballads, Songs and Snatches” and included is a chapter about being on tour with Kate. Glenys was one of the two backing singers on Kate’s 1979 Tour of Life, along with the late Liz Pearson who sadly passed away in 2012. Here’s a short excerpt:
“So, there I was, sitting on Kate Bush’s sofa, drinking herbal tea and playing with her two adorable cats, Pyewacket and Zoodle. I honestly cannot remember whether I actually sang anything or not, but I obviously convinced Kate that I had the vocal range needed and I could reproduce the sound she wanted. I realise now it was vitally important that she liked me as a person and that she felt I would fit in with the rest of the band. Hooray! I was invited to join the Lionheart Tour and tasked with finding an ‘accomplice’ B/V (Backing Vocalist), starting on Wednesday.”
Happy Bloomsday! I thought I’d re-publish this piece I wrote a few years back about Kate’s song, The Sensual World, as I know a lot of you particularly like to listen to it today – on June 16th. Of course we’re spoiled altogether now as in 2011 Kate released “Flower of the Mountain” – her version, finally, with Joyce’s original words. It was a sublime treat. On balance though, I’d say her greatest artistic achievement came on the earlier track. Creative frustration and sheer perseverance blended to forge something truly exceptional. ~ Seán
James Joyce’s Ulysses has long been hailed as a masterpiece since its publication in 1922. The character of Molly Bloom looms large over the events of the single day in Dublin depicted in the story. The novel takes place on 16th June 1904, the day of Joyce and Nora Barnacle’s first date, now celebrated as Bloomsday. It was Joyce’s intention for the novel to have Homeric parallels and Molly, the wife of Leopold Bloom, represents Penelope. Unlike her faithful mythical counterpart she is having an adulterous affair with Hugh ‘Blazes’ Boylan after ten years of celibacy. Her celebrated internal monologue, which concludes the novel, takes the form of eight enormous “sentences”, with only two marks of punctuation in the entire episode. Molly accepts Leopold into her bed, frets about his health, and then reminisces about their first meeting and her first feelings of love for him. The episode both begins and ends with “yes”, a word that Joyce described as “the female word”. Earlier, Leopold had been having a cheese sandwich and glass of Burgundy in Davey Byrne’s pub and thinking of the moment in the spring or summer of 1888 when Molly agreed to marry him, among the ferns and rhododendrons on Howth Head with just a comical nanny-goat to witness it. This deeply romantic reminiscence, parts of which recur several times in Ulysses, includes the description of Molly passing the warm and chewed seed-cake from her mouth to his. Their love, at least sixteen years before, was passionate, erotic and vital.
More than sixty years after the publication of Ulysses, Kate Bush was working on the follow-up to her 1985 ‘Hounds of Love’ album, which is now widely hailed as her own masterpiece. Around this time Kate had written an instrumental piece of music, a rhythmic melody that strongly suggested the cadence of Molly Bloom’s speech. Kate’s introduction to the final passage of Ulysses had been a 1958 recording of the soliloquy by the Irish actress Siobhan McKenna. Kate was transfixed by the beauty and femininity of the writing. “It’s like this never-ending sentence, this long train of thought, and the only thing that punctuates it is the word “yes” and it very gradually accelerates. I just thought it was one of the most sensual pieces ever written.” The words from the book matched perfectly to the music. “It was just like it was meant to be. The words fitted – they just fitted. The whole thing fitted, it was ridiculous…”
The music was recorded at Windmill Lane studios in Dublin, arranged by Bill Whelan. The featured players were Davey Spillane on uilleann pipes, Donal Lunny on bouzuki, John Sheahan on fiddle, Charlie Morgan on drums and Del Palmer on bass. Kate’s brother Paddy would be credited on the sleeve-notes with playing ‘whips’ on the record, an error he quickly rectified. “I’m actually playing a pair of fishing rods. I wanted to get the impression of a beautiful Irish lakeland and the swishing sound of the rods should conjure the atmosphere of fly-fishing, tweed hats and long Wellingtons.”
Kate’s good cheer at this progress was short-lived however. The Joyce estate would not grant her permission to use the words directly from the book. Attempts to change their minds continued for about a year. “We approached the relevant people and they just would not let me use them. No way. I tried everything. Obviously, I was very disappointed. It was completely their prerogative, but it was very difficult for me, then, to re-approach the song. In some ways I wanted to just leave it off the album. But we’d put a lot of work into it. The Irish musicians had worked so hard.”
Despite this frustration Kate set about completely transforming her song. “I gradually rewrote it, keeping the same rhythm of the words and the same sounds but turning it into its own story.” The piece, now titled The Sensual World, became about Molly Bloom the character stepping out of the book world, a black and white two-dimensional world, into the real world. “The immediate impression was the sensuality of this world. The fact that you can touch things, that is so sensual – the colours of trees, the feel of the grass on the feet, the touch of this in the hand, the fact that it is such a sensual world. I think for me that is an incredibly important thing about this planet, that we are surrounded by such sensuality and yet we tend not to see it like that. I’m sure for someone who had never experienced it before it would be quite a devastating thing.” Later in her career Kate returned to this theme, a euphoric appreciation of everyday experience, on her ‘Aerial’ album in 2005 to huge critical acclaim.
The song opens with the sound of church bells, perhaps echoing Leopold’s proposal to Molly on Howth Head. “I’ve got a thing about the sound of bells. It’s one of those fantastic sounds: a sound of celebration. They’re used to mark points in life; births, weddings, deaths, but they give this tremendous feeling of celebration. In the original speech Molly’s talking of the time when Leopold proposed to her, and I just had the image of bells, this image of them sitting on the hillside with the sound of bells in the distance. In hindsight I also think it’s a lovely way to start an album. A feeling of celebration that puts me on a hillside somewhere on a sunny afternoon.”
A piece of traditional Macedonian music (called ‘Antice’) was re-worked to fit the ‘stepping out…’ chorus in the song’s new structure. The song would become the lead single for her new album, also titled ‘The Sensual World’. The accompanying promotional video had Kate, swathed in a velvet gown, dancing hypnotically through woodland as the sunlight turns to dusk, moonlight and back to sunrise again. In interviews in the autumn of 1989 Kate explained that the song and album contained the most positive female energy of her work to date.
“In some ways, like on Hounds Of Love, it was important for me to get across the sense of power in the songs that I’d associated with male energy and music. I didn’t feel that this time. I wanted to express myself as a woman in my music, rather than as a woman wanting to sound as powerful as a man. And definitely the song The Sensual World was very much a female track for me. I felt it was a really new expression, feeling good about being a woman musically.”
Just as Kate had ignited a renewed interest in Emily Brontë’s novel with the global success of the song Wuthering Heights, it is also likely that many curious souls have taken the plunge into the extraordinary pages of Joyce’s Ulysses (and beyond) upon hearing a woman at the height of her musical powers interpret Molly Bloom’s rich inner life in such a unique and perfect way.
Two excerpts from Ulysses by James Joyce
“…the sun shines for you he said the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth head in the grey tweed suit and his straw hat the day I got him to propose to me yes first I gave him the bit of seedcake out of my mouth and it was leapyear like now yes 16 years ago my God after that long kiss I near lost my breath yes he said I was a flower of the mountain yes so we are flowers all a womans body yes…”
“….and O that awful deepdown torrent O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and the pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.”
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:
International 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.”
A SONG OF SUMMER – A CELEBRATION OF THE MUSIC OF KATE BUSH
FRIDAY 8TH JULY, 9PM – 3AM
The Royal Vauxhall Tavern, 372 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, London SE11, UK
Featuring live performances by
MANDY AND MICHAEL FROM CLOUDBUSTING
A SKY OF HONEY
PHIL MARRIOTT, DAVE CROSS AND PAUL THOMAS
ALL KATE, ALL NIGHT!
HomeGround, the international Kate Bush Magazine and it’s sister website KateBushNews.com are pleased to confirm that they are returning to the legendary Royal Vauxhall Tavern on Friday 8th July for their annual party celebrating the music of Kate Bush!
A Sky of Honey
The party will be ‘All Kate, all night’ with live performers and DJs playing the best selection of Kate’s music you are ever likely hear. Mandy and Michael from the top Kate tribute band Cloudbusting will be playing a very special set, featuring Mandy on vocals and Michael on keyboards. Their set will include some of Kate’s biggest hits but also a selection of genuine fan favourites. We are not going to give away any details of the actual set, but it will include some of her most beautiful songs.
Also performing is brand new tribute act A Sky Of Honey, who many fans know as long term fan Sky Boswell. We will also enjoy a performance by one of the gay scene’s top cabaret acts, Rose Garden who is a life long Kate fan. DJs on the night will include Phil Marriott, Dave Cross and Paul Thomas. This will be fourth year that the HomeGround team have held their annual party at the legendary RVT and the previous three have been brilliant and very busy! Don’t miss it.
About the venue: 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.
NOTE: The advance tickets link is now closed, but there will be a limited number of single tickets at £10 available to be bought on the door on the night.
Update 22/4/16: Kate has posted a lovely message on her official site about Prince.
A message for Prince
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
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.”
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)
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.
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.
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 www.ktbushband.co.uk where visitors can also link to the band’s new Social Media pages! Wishing the lads every success with the shows.
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.
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…”
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.
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.
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.
Seán Twomey has been running the Kate Bush News & Information website since 1998. Peter & Krys Fitzgerald-Morris and Dave Cross are the editors of Homeground Magazine, the world's longest running Kate Bush publication, since 1982.
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Send all your comments, questions or suggestions: firstname.lastname@example.org (Note: This is an unofficial website and messages to Kate cannot be passed on to her). Enormous thanks to Mike Wade for being an incredibly patient and fair administrator on our forum! Huge thanks to Brian Cloughley for his enthusiasm and wonderful site artwork! Special thanks to everyone who emails the site and to Homeground magazine (for inspiration and information and for being wonderful people!) and to Wally Breese for showing how it can be done. Editorial assistance from The Duck. Thanks! Site launched: 25/1/98
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