Meredith Tarr has sent in her review of a show she attended in Fairfield, Connecticut USA a few weeks ago by Kat Devlin, “Kat Devlin Sings The Songs Of Kate Bush”. You can read it here. (thanks to Meredith).

Kat Devlin sings the songs of Kate Bush – a review by Meredith Tarr

Friday, October 2, 1998 was a real Kate Bush evening: first I heard 45 minutes of uninterrupted Kate music on WPKN-FM in Bridgeport, then I saw cabaret singer Kat Devlin gave a wonderful performance of her show “Kat Devlin Sings The Songs Of Kate Bush” at Fairfield University’s Quick Center For The Arts in Fairfield, Connecticut. There were two performances that evening, and we attended the 9 o’clock show.

I had seen this show before, a couple summers ago at a club called 88’s in New York City. Then, Devlin was only accompanied by arranger Ross Patterson on piano and cheesy keyboard, but this time she was accompanied by Rex Benincasa on drums and Phil Palombi on upright bass, in addition to Patterson again on piano. The rearrangements/reconstructions of the songs in a jazzy style for the most part worked really well, definitely better than when I saw the show before. Devlin’s definitely got the vocal chops to handle everything from “Wuthering Heights” to “Night Of The Swallow” without much apparent effort. She even looks like Kate! She’s a bit taller, but she’s got the hair and the facial structure, and in each song she acts out the character portrayed within with only a bit too much over-the-top melodrama (which in itself is quite Kate-like).

The songs performed were:

Moments of Pleasure
Wuthering Heights
This Woman’s Work
Symphony In Blue
Experiment IV
Feel It
The Man With The Child In His Eyes
Coffee Homeground
Mother Stands For Comfort
In Search of Peter Pan
The Infant Kiss
Running Up That Hill
Under The Ivy
Night of the Swallow (encore)

The rearrangements that worked the best for me were “Symphony In Blue”, “Feel It”, “Houdini”, “Moving”, and “Night Of The Swallow”. The songs from The Kick Inside and Lionheart lend themselves naturally to more swinging jazz arrangements. “Running Up That Hill” was done way too fast, and I think something went wrong with “Wuthering Heights”, because it seemed to end in a train wreck. My favorite performance was “Coffee Homeground”, in which Devlin played up the element of paranoia for all it was worth, and the result was a funny, dead-on portrayal of what the song is about. And “Under The Ivy” slew me … but that song could do that no matter the setting. (Note: Mila Drumke’s acoustic guitar version is killer, too – I’m still not sure which I like better.)

Kat Devlin is a true fan, who has obviously let Kate’s music into her soul. She understands every nuance of every song, and if this is as close as I’m going to get to seeing a Kate Bush concert in my lifetime, I’ll gladly take it. I hope she gets a chance to take her show on the road – I think the Katefans across the country would appreciate it as much as I did.