Kate’s new live album, Before the Dawn, was certified Gold today by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) – achieving sales in excess of 100,000 in the UK. Considering this is a triple CD and quadruple vinyl set, that’s really quite something! Kate and all the KT Fellowship will no doubt be delighted by this news – well done all.
As an early minute Christmas present, the HomeGround Audio Archive for 1978 is now available from the Archive index page HERE.
Heed the usual warning about the quality of some of this early material, but we hope you enjoy this glimpse into the first year of Kate’s career, her first radio interviews, and the comments of DJs and established artists trying to get the measure of this strange performer who “appeared from nowhere”.
The HomeGround Editors have been collecting Kate related audio material since before the founding of the magazine in 1982. In fact the collecting began in 1979, the year after Kate’s debut with Wuthering Heights. The material, dating from 1978 to date, radio shows and clips, and other material was originally collected on over a hundred audio cassettes, which have now been digitised into MP3s.
Be warned. The audio quality of the early material is variable. In the late 70s and early eighties we were still collecting tapes which were umpteenth generation copies of material originally recorded (most likely) by balancing a microphone against a decidedly low-fi transistor radio or TV. These files are kept in the archive because they are precious survivals of material that has not (yet) appeared in a better format. The MP3s faithfully reproduce the poor quality of the original sound.
The Archive index page is here. In due course we hope to have all of the archive available, but have begun now, with the year 1980, a year of four singles and an album. We will add further years as they are ready. Enjoy.
In between bouts of enjoying Before the Dawn here it’s nice to also keep you posted on what those who have been influenced by Kate are up to. One such artist is filmmaker and musician Heidrik á Heygum who hails from The Faroe Islands and currently lives in Iceland. Recently he has released his album “Funeral”, to growing acclaim and his intention is to create music videos for all the songs on the album – (you can watch one below).
Sweetly affecting songs like Change of Frame, Red Hair or Monster have a melodic playfulness shot through with a particular Nordic darkness that Heidrik admits has always been reflected in his work, whether in painting, film or song. Heidrik is a big admirer of Kate’s work, something that he feels most keenly through her marriage of music and filmic imagery, in particular his short film “My Room” which is a loose re-telling of the story in Kate’s song Deeper Understanding – you can watch it below. His touching documentary about his 85 year old grandmother Maria’s relationship with the sea, “Waves”, also owes a debt to Kate’s music. Maria has swam in the sea year-round for almost 50 years, nature acting as a “healer and mentor” for her as Heidrik calls it. He says that listening to Kate’s A Coral Room was instrumental in making this piece and the song was his soundtrack while creating the film before later commissioning new music for the finished work.
He tells katebushnews: “I think we have our love of movies in common, myself and Kate, and I can see that in her lyrics and hear that in her melodies. She is very visual. That is a reason why I think she is a great inspiration for many artists. She has this great way to write lyrics, for example Experiment IV and Deeper Understanding, Heads We’re Dancing and so on, like little short films…it’s very beautiful. And she is a great lyricist, I think she doesn’t get enough credit for that.” You can watch Heidrik and his friend Lea Kampmann sing Hounds of Love below also.
We’re delighted to report that Kate has scored her 11th Top 5 album with Before the Dawn! Debuting last weekend as the top seller in the midweek update chart (robust pre-sales of the vinyl and CD versions greatly helped with that!), Kate has managed to hold on for a 4th place debut in the UK album chart – announced by the Official Chart today.
We know that the entire KT Fellowship (pictured below!) will be thrilled to see the album doing so well in the run up to Christmas. WARMEST CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU ALL and especially to Kate – back in the charts where she has always belonged with this stunning live set 🙂
A huge thank you to everyone who has supported the live album. It means so much to me and for a triple live album to go into the charts at such a high position is just extraordinary. Wishing you a happy and restful Christmas and a great New Year ahead. Very best wishes, Kate
It’s the evening before Kate releases a new album – we REALLY don’t get to say that very often! As Before the Dawn already becomes available for download in Australia, New Zealand and Japan, we’ve been updating our Facebook page with links and happenings today. Here’s some highlights:
As the strong reviews for Before the Dawn roll in, the Metacritic site are rating the album as having “Universal Acclaim” here. Kate’s stunning new video for the And Dream of Sheep single has received over 250,000 views on Youtube and over half a million views on Facebook in a short time, and Kate was briefly the “top trend” on both Facebook and Youtube as a result. TV channels in the UK such as Sky Atlantic have today been prominently featuring 25-second TV ads constantly. This ad is an edit of the one Kate debuted on her official site, but which flags up that the album is “Out Tomorrow”. You can watch the longer version below:
Another Kate interview and feature has appeared this morning in The New York Times which you can read here. Kate’s new album gets a December 2nd release in the US on Concord Records. A nice anecdote about the inclusion of Joanni in the shows:
“Ms. Bush had decided to perform “Joanni,” her song about Joan of Arc, in the opening section of the show — a concert presentation before the dreamlike theatrical experience to follow. Her keyboardist (Kevin McAlea) had recently recorded cathedral bells in Rouen, France, where Joan was burned, and he played them at rehearsal. Ms. Bush had changed the key to accommodate her aging voice, and “the first thing we all said was, ‘My God, they’re in tune!’” she recalled. “If we hadn’t taken the song down in pitch, they wouldn’t have been in tune.”
The Fader: Who to you is the greatest music performer?
Kate: I think probably the best stage entrance I ever saw was Tina Turner. I saw her a long time ago at some open air gig that she was doing. She was just fantastic, the way she burst on stage. She appeared at the top of a flight of stairs, shimmied the whole way down these steps, came straight to the front of stage, and went straight into the song. It was so exciting.
The Fader: What contemporary artists do you admire?
Kate: I don’t listen to a lot of contemporary music, especially when I’m working. I tend to watch films or do other stuff. But one of the most powerful things that I heard recently was Blackstar by Bowie. I thought it was beautiful. Very moving of course, but I think one of the best things he’s ever done.
The Fader: You wrote a beautiful tribute to Bowie after he passed away. What was your relationship with him like?
Kate: Well I was asked whether I would write something, and because he meant such a lot to me, I really felt moved to do so. He was one of my great heroes when I was growing up. He was such a brave artist, so unusual, and I loved his music. I met him a few times; he was really charming and playful. But I just sort of admired what he achieved creatively.
Meanwhile the Sydney Morning Heraldgives the album 4 stars (we’re noticing a pattern there!) and says: “Before The Dawn is absolutely wonderful to hear and feel. It rises and falls and rises with a rhythm that carries you deep into a story….”
The Consequence of Sound site gives the album a very favourable review: “Before the Dawn is living, breathing proof that Bush still has the creative prowess and unique sensibilities that made her a superstar in the first place…it is a reminder of the still very potent lust for life that Bush has always exhibited in her music, art, and personality.”
David Rhodes, who played guitar on Kate’s Before the Dawn shows, has given a very detailed interview to the Super Deluxe Edition website about his experiences performing in the shows. Among other interesting pieces of information is the news that both Sat in Your Lap and The Big Sky were considered for the shows at one stage. This is the first we’ve heard that Kate had actually thought about including material written earlier than 1985’s Hounds of Love album.
David: “She was wanting to do Sat in Your Lap and then changed that for Top of the City. We never rehearsed Sat in your Lap. I learned it, but it never got as far as rehearsals…Never be Mine we rehearsed quite a lot, but only did it a couple of times.”
SDE: Why didn’t Never be Mine make it into the show, then?
David: I think Never Be Mine was just a bit too downbeat. And then the other thing we looked at briefly, what was it? The Big Sky, which we’d tried. We only tried it once with the whole band – once or twice – and it just sounded like a bit of a mess because she was thinking of that as the encore, maybe. I think both Bertie and I thought Cloudbusting would be better, so we pushed for that.”
Kate has this morning released the full video for her new single And Dream of Sheep, as seen in the Before the Dawn shows. This follows yesterday’s fantastic BBC6Music interview with Kate (listen again here) and the world premiere radio play of The Ninth Wave on the same station (listen again here). What an amazing week for fans!!!
From the press release: “This is a special piece of film to accompany the release of the live single ‘And Dream Of Sheep’. The vocal was performed live while filming Kate lying in the huge water tank at Pinewood Studios. This was to create a sense of realism, as the character in the song is lost at sea. However it became more realistic than Kate had imagined. She spent so long in the water during the first day of filming that she contracted mild hypothermia. She recovered after a day off and carried on filming. Everyone agreed it had added to the authenticity of the performance. This film was then projected onto a large oval screen which hung above the stage during the performances of her live show.”
While many thousands of people got the chance to see Kate’s Before the Dawn concerts in the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith in 2014, many, many more around the globe simply could not attend. Since it was revealed that the show had been professionally filmed over two nights that September, fans have of course been asking almost daily whether there are plans to make a visual document of the show commercially available on DVD or Blu-ray. Kate herself never officially mentioned or announced plans for a film release at any point. As subscriber copies of Mojo Magazine (which contains a new interview) arrive early this week, we now know what Kate has to say on that subject. In a nutshell: no current plans for a DVD, but she does leave the door open a little for something further down the road.
Mojo: Is there going to be a DVD as well? It was filmed after all…
Kate: It was filmed. And it has been archived. But there are no current plans to bring out a DVD. I think that the CD is, in a way, much more representative of being at the shows than a DVD. When you’re at a live show it’s the whole experience of sitting in an audience, you can scan the stage, choose where to look, it’s completely different from film.
Mojo: Obviously it was such a visual experience, a visual delight, it would be a shame to lose that.
Kate: Well, I dunno, there might be something at some point, but there’s certainly no plans at the moment. I want to very much move on and do something new. I’d like to do something (pregnant pause)… new! (Laughs.)
Mojo: Do you know what yet?
The full 11-page interview cover feature in Mojo is out on November 22nd and all details, including how to order the magazine, can be found on the Mojo website here.
Ken Bruce on BBC Radio 2 played the 2014 live recording of Kate’s And Dream of Sheep this morning, her new single. This airplay premiere was preceded by a clip from Sunday’s forthcoming BBC6Music interview with Kate, in which she discussed the amazing audience response at the shows. With the sound of waves, and her distress light beeping, Kate delivers a shudderingly beautiful performance driving home the desperate, lonely situation the protagonist of The Ninth Wave finds herself in. It’s truly a special moment and many fans have been posting online about how moved they’ve felt hearing it. Available to download now worldwide on iTunes, along with the previously released King of the Mountain.
November 22nd sees the publication of the new Mojo Magazine with Kate gracing the cover. 11-page interview, folks! “It was exciting and very moving, very touching,” she says of the extravaganza. “The audiences came with us on that journey every night.” Read more at the Mojo site here. The piece features a new photo of Kate in the water (above).
As review copies are released, The Guardian newspaper grants Before the Dawn a 4-star review. Alexis Petridis, who deems Kate’s live album the album of the week, writes:
“…unlike most latterday live albums, it actually sounds like a band playing live. There’s a sibilance about the vocals, a sort of echoey, booming quality to the sound, the occasional hint of unevenness: it doesn’t feel like a recording that’s been overdubbed and Auto-Tuned into sterility. Given their pedigree, you’d expect the musicians involved to be incredibly nimble and adept, but more startling is how propulsive and exciting they sound, even when dealing with Bush’s more hazy and dreamlike material. It’s a state of affairs amplified by Bush’s voice, which is in fantastic shape.” Read the full review at the Guardian site here.
The KEXP radio station in Seattle, USA have played 5 full tracks from Before the Dawn this morning on the DJ El Toro show! No, we had no idea this was happening, it came as quite the surprise to fans. Previously unheard live recordings of Lily, Top of the City, Waking the Witch, An Architect’s Dream and Cloudbusting were all played. And, spoiler alert, they sounded ELECTRIFYING! An incredible coup for KEXP! Click here for the archive listen again link for the show.
Writing on his blog, El Toro reveals that this will be his final show on the station: “One of my happiest episodes at KEXP – in my entire life, frankly – was interviewing the notoriously press-shy Kate Bush circa the release of her 2011 album 50 Words for Snow. It seems especially appropriate then that I’ll be previewing selections from her forthcoming record, Before The Dawn, during the first half hour of my last KEXP broadcast.”
Kate has this evening announced that ‘And Dream of Sheep‘ will be released as a single on 18th November and will be available to download from 11.30am on Friday morning! Those who attended the shows in 2014 will recall the near heart-stopping experience of hearing Kate’s intimate live vocal on this beloved classic song, recorded as she floated in her life jacket, the song punctuated by the eerie bleeping of her “little light”. From Kate’s site: “The character in the song is lost at sea and Kate performed the lead vocal live whilst filming in a water tank at Pinewood Studios. The song will be sent automatically to anyone who has pre-ordered Before the Dawn (digitally), which is released on 25th November.” And Dream of Sheep will join King of the Mountain and Prologue as the third complete Before the Dawn track we’ll have been treated to.
Kate’s site also reminds people to tune into BBC Radio 6 next Sunday 20th November to hear an hour long interview programme (1pm) and then the FULL Ninth Wave act of the show in its entirety later that evening (from 6pm) on the same radio station. Full story on the BBC Radio shows here. Exciting times for Kate fans!
Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sophie von Otter‘s new album called ‘So Many Things’, released last week, includes a cover of Kate’s 2005 song π arranged for voice and string quartet as its opening track. Thanks to Chris Butler for letting us know. Watch a video of her performing it here:
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: email@example.com (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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