Newsbits: Singer Brian Kennedy (interviewed elsewhere on this site) has been talking about Kate at the BBC Northern Ireland site here in reply to qustions that had been submitted to the site: “Cizza asks: Who were the stars that influenced you when you were younger? Brian Kennedy:The ones in the sky. I am afraid. I very rarely listened to music in the house. But as I got older, Kate Bush, and Jonie Mitchell were never off the stereo. Dave asks: Have you ever felt intimidated when you’ve gone to work with any artists in particular? If so how have you dealt with it? Brian Kennedy: When I get nervous, I get very hyper, and crack stupid jokes. But usually the most famous people I’ve ever met have gone out of their way to make me feel relaxed. I was lucky enough to go to Kate Bush’s house and I thought I would be really nervous but she was so friendly and talked about my first album, and I was so flattered that it was easy to just realise she’s an ordinary person too.”…on the BBC Scotland site in the sectionThe Vault there is a piece about Wuthering Heights: “Literary souls that we are here at The Vault, we’ve dug out our favourite book-related tunes to celebrate BBC’s The Big Read.” You’ll find the article here but as Micheal Leitz has pointed out to me, the article has several factual errors, (such as a demo initially catching David Gilmours attention and Kate’s age when the single was released.)

Ananova, the UK news website has posted a story with the headline “Kate Bush bans ukulele orchestra from using hit song'” here. “A ukulele orchestra is claiming Kate Bush has banned them from covering her hit single Wuthering Heights. The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain had hoped to feature the track on a new CD which is just finishing production. A demo CD by the group, produced by classical guitar star Richard Durrant, is already a hit with Radio 2 presenters Johnny Walker and Steve Wright. Both are said to be battling to be the first to play it on their shows – but only if Ms Bush allows The Ukes, as they’re known, to release it, reports The Argus. Mr Durrant believes the unusual arrangement has potential to be a massive hit and is still trying to persuade Kate to change her mind. The song has been replaced by a cover version of a Ms Dynamite number. He said: “It’s an incredible version of her biggest hit and I reckon it would be an instant hit again if it was released now. She’s incredibly sensitive about that particular number because she wrote it when she was very young and she’s very protective of it.” The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain believe that all genres of music are available for reinterpretation, as long as they are played on the ukulele. A spokeswoman for Kate Bush’s record company EMI, said: “Kate is working on her new album and is currently unavailable for comment.” Strangely it seems that the orchestra has previously released a version of the song on a CD called “A Fistfull Of Ukuleles” in the 90s, and as reported previously on this site they’ve played a live version at their concerts…the story has also been picked up in the gossip section of the CD Wow website. You can read the original report from The Argus paper here (thanks to Michael Leitz and Tony B) Update: here’s another article at the BBC.

Here’s this from a report in the Leamington Spa Courier (UK, 28th May), on a carnival which featured a performance of a Kate song: “Among the more eye-catching participants were the Minney family, who adopted lookalike costumes of television presenter Chris Tarrant, Star Wars character Count Dooku, singer Kate Bush and Mary Poppins. Helen Minney, 20, gave a startling performance of the Kate Bush song Wuthering Heights, complete with the necessary eccentric mannerisms. She said: “Kate Bush is my favourite singer, and I have been learning dance for years.”…RAI2 TV in Italy recently broadcasted a 1 hour special on the most interesting female voices (both Italian & foreign artists) through the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s. Kate was mentioned and a short clip of Wuthering heights live at Hammersmith Odeon was showed. The host presented her with these words: “The Pink Floyd protegée overwhelmed the world with her hits through the late 70’s and the 80’s, soon to be considered a deep influence for people like Madonna (!), Cindy Lauper (!!) and Sade (!!!) (thanks to Antonello Saeli)

One of Kate’s first TV appearances/performances on Szene 78 was screened recently in a 6 hour long special called “BR Rocknacht – Hits der 70er” much to the delight of German fans who caught the rare clip…also in Germany, the live version of Don’t Give Up byXavier Naidoo (see Oct 13th 2002 news) can now be found on his double live CD set called “Alles Gute Vor Uns”, released by SPV on 26 May, 2003. It features a recording from the concert in Munich, Kate’s part is, as previously mentioned, done by Yvonne Betz. (thanks to Michael Leitz)…Ron Garrison has finally finished his gargantuan codex documenting all known Kate rarities. He’s posted it in the files section at the Yahoo! Gaffa group. Non-Yahooligans might be able to get a copy if they ask Ron nicely Here’s what Ron had to say about it: It’s in Excel workbook format. It’s also ZIPped, making it about 280K instead of 1.5 MB. About 2/3 of this is Kate Bush stuff. About 270 sheets in all. About 135 folders of Kate tracks. About 1400 tracks in all.” (thanks to Cynthia Conrad for forwarding this to me – there’s a link to the Gaffa club on the links page)…Kate fans in print: Mon Buhigas has recently had a poetry book published under the name “Poemas Para Emilia“. It is written in Galician, not in Spanish, and it includes a Thank You section at the end under the name “Nunca Camiñarás Só” (You’ll Never Walk Alone) in which Kate Bush is mentioned as a source of inspiration. The first book written in Galician that mentions Kate? And Steve Shaw (pen name Steven Cain) has been influenced by Kate including his first non-fiction book, Sirius Moonlight: The Origins Of The Suppression Of The Feminine, in which he called the chapter on the evolution of feminism “This Woman’s Work”, and in his first modern gothic novel “One Star Awake” (not yet in print) in which there are numerous Kate references, including a Kate clone dancing in the famous Red Dress in the swirling mists of dry ice in a Gothic nightclub. (thanks to Mon and Steve) …finally Rick Pilcher noticed recently while watching the DVD of ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street 2 – Freddy’s Revenge‘ that the main character, Jessie, has a poster of our Kate on the back of his bedroom door.’  (big newsbit thanks to Cynthia and Michael)