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:
We’d been hoping this would happen and here’s the confirmation: BBC Radio 6 Music today announces it will broadcast a world exclusive hour-long interview with Kate talking to Matt Everitt to promote Kate’s upcoming release on November 25th of her Before the Dawn live album. “Kate Bush On 6 Music” will be broadcast from 1pm-2pm GMT on Sunday 20th November. For those who want a sneak listen to the album, Tom Robinson’s BBC Radio 6 programme will also be playing the entire Ninth Wave part of the show on the same day! This is Kate’s first broadcast interview since 2011. A clip has been released from the interview in which Kate talks about her 2014 live shows, song-writing and future plans (press the Play button below):
Tom Robinson’s Now Playing show on 6 Music has the world exclusive first play of Disc 2 (The Ninth Wave), from 6pm-8pm that same evening. During the first half of his show Tom will play Kate Bush-inspired music requests sent in by the listeners. This is followed by a world exclusive first play of Disc 2 from the album, a live performance of the second half of her 1985 Brit-nominated album, Hounds Of Love, an acclaimed suite of songs (and fan favourite) entitled The Ninth Wave.
Matt Everitt says: “Kate Bush is without doubt one of the most original and gifted musicians and producers of all time. Having loved her music my whole life and been lucky enough to witness her live comeback, it was incredible to have an opportunity to find out her reasons behind performing again, how she brought a hugely demanding and ambitious conceptual vision to the stage, and of course, just to meet the person behind so many wonderful songs.”
Paul Rodgers, 6 Music’s Head of Programmes, says: “I’m delighted that 6 Music has the world exclusive radio interview with Kate Bush. This is exciting news for her fans around the world. I hope they will join 6 Music on Sunday 20 November to hear the interview and celebrate this cherished artist together in a live listening party. They can share favourite music and memories of Kate on radio and social media and hear the exclusive first play of her live performance of The Ninth Wave.”
“SWEET JESUS, THAT’S AMAZING!” was the immediate on-air reaction from DJ Shaun Keaveny on BBC6Music this morning after he played the full 8-minute live version of King of the Mountain (Live) at 7.40am. Joined in studio by Matt Everitt, the giddy praise from the duo continued – “incredible”, “beautiful”, “remarkable”.
Such was the ecstatic reaction from both listeners and presenter, the show played the track in its entirety again an hour later! You can hear the radio premiere at the 45:50 mark here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07ypdpv#play
As a result, the track is now available as a single track download on iTunes here which makes it eligible for the charts. Fan reaction focused on Kate’s extraordinary vocal (one of her finest ever?) as it builds to an unforgettable powerhouse climax, and also the simply sensational drumming of Omar Hakim. An exciting morning for fans.
Ken Bruce played a 40-second clip of King Of The Mountain from the Before the Dawn Live album on BBC Radio 2 today at 11am – you can catch up on the BBC iPlayer, it’s played at 1:42:50 here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07xy7x7#play
Introducing the clip in the programme’s Music News section, correspondent Matt Everitt described the shows as “…the most eagerly awaited shows I can remember, they were incredible shows; Kate’s singing was amazing, the band was superb and the production and the stage set was unlike anything anyone has ever attempted at a pop or rock gig, ever.”
The full track will also be played on the BBC6Music Breakfast show tomorrow from 7am on the Shaun Keaveny show. The track will be also be made available for download on iTunes for those who have pre-ordered the digital album, from Friday.
Are you ready for a fresh Kate Bush release in your record collection?! We are so delighted to let you know that two years after she completed her extraordinary 2014 run of Before the Dawn shows at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, Kate will release a live album set of these already legendary concerts on November 25th on her Fish People label (with a 5th December US release through Concord Records). This 4 disc vinyl LP OR 3 disc CD setis available to pre-order from today. The album artwork, as expected, looks stunning, and in grand Kate tradition there is a hidden KT symbol on the album cover…happy searching. Before the Dawn will also be released on the usual digital platforms also such as iTunes, Amazon etc. The album title is billed as “The KT Fellowship Presents…” underscoring again Kate’s determination to emphasise the collaborative nature of this huge production team’s work. We cannot wait to play these glorious recordings LOUD! The power and beauty of Kate’s voice combined with the sheer brilliance of her musicians and cast is going to be heart-stopping.
Listen below to “Prologue” from the Before the Dawn live album
What’s included in the Before the Dawn sets? The 3 CDs encompass one act of Before the Dawn each while the tracks on the vinyl set are spread across the 8 sides of the 4 vinyl discs.
Not only does each set include every song performed each night, it also includes a surprise live version of “Never Be Mine” which was presumably cut from the actual shows for running time, marking the first appearance of a song from The Sensual World album in a Before the Dawn setting. The track was clearly originally intended to be part of the “band performance” opening act of the shows. We also now have titles for two of the dramatised elements of the live show. Attendees will remember that actor Kevin Doyle (of Downton Abbey fame!) played the part of the concerned astronomer in the film segment that opens The Ninth Wave, “Astronomer’s Call“. A comedic scene between Kate’s son Albert McIntosh and actor Bob Harms is now titled “Watching Them Without Her“. “Little Light” provides the serene choral lead-in to the powerful live version of “Jig of Life”, and Albert McIntosh takes on lead vocal duties as The Painter on the new song “Tawny Moon“, giving the lunar spectacle a prominent place in this wonderfully expanded production of A Sky of Honey in Act Three. | Pre-Order Vinyl Box Set on Amazon | Pre-Order CD Set on Amazon|
Hounds Of Love
Top Of The City
Never Be Mine*
Running Up That Hill
King Of The Mountain
Act Two – The Ninth Wave
Astronomer’s Call (feat Kevin Doyle spoken monologue)
And Dream Of Sheep
Waking The Witch (feat Jo Servi)
Watching Them Without Her (feat Albert McIntosh and Bob Harms)
Watching You Without Me
Jig Of Life (feat John Carder Bush)
The Morning Fog
Act Three – A Sky of Honey
An Architect’s Dream
The Painter’s Link (feat Albert McIntosh)
Somewhere In Between
Tawny Moon (feat Albert McIntosh)
Kate fan and writer/director/composer Caleb Lane has recently put together a demo reel of his work which we thought you might like to see. Caleb writes: “Kate has been a huge influence on me over the years and her music is almost always played behind the scenes during production to set the mood.” We wish Caleb the very best in his continuing creative work.
The re-launched KT Bush Band with original members Brian Bath and Vic King continue to make waves with more dates announced for 2016! Joined by Jodie May on vocal duty, and Steve Bevan on Bass the band will bring their unique take on Kate’s early work to the following venues:
Brian says: “Well, it’s all about the music and putting on a great show, these unique songs – album tracks and hit singles – are all in the mix, plus a few stories here and there to bring you closer to the maestro. Come along and grow with us, we need your magical presence to ensure this is the memorable and moving experience you can imagine.”
LAUNCH EVENT & MUSIC PERFORMANCE: If you’ve been following our Facebook page you will know that Guido Harari is launching the publication of his lavish book of photographs of Kate (1982-1993), The Kate Inside this month with a (fully booked out) Q&A event with LINDSAY KEMP and GUIDO HARARI plus special guests on Friday Sept 16th, 7:30pm, at the Underdog Gallery, London. Mandy, Michael and Dave from Cloudbusting will be performing Kate’s songs after the Q&A at the Underdog!
EXHIBITION DETAILS: The exhibition itself is at the nearby Art Bermondsey Project Space – here is a link to the gallery with details of opening hours and how to get there. The exhibition runs till September 30th. [all details on ordering the book are at the Wall of Sound Gallery site here]
Update: Guido will be appearing on the ITV 6pm News in the UK On Thursday 15th Sept.
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.”
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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