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Kate’s 1979 Tour – it’s been 40 Years!

IT’S BEEN 4O YEARS! Kate’s extraordinary first tour, 1979’s Lionheart Tour, also known as the Tour of Life, kicked off 40 years ago this evening! Did you get to see one of the shows? Enjoy these stunning images from the tour by photographer Max Browne – see more of his work at this website here or email him for information:

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Tour infographic

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Here’s a couple more images from the Rock Archive site: 

Kate on stage 1979

Kate on stage 1979

As we celebrate 40 years of the Tour of Life today, we remember Bill Duffield, Kate’s lighting engineer, who sustained critical injuries in the Poole venue at the end of the night after the first date of the tour (a warm-up show on April 2nd 1979). Bill tragically died a week later. It’s lovely to think of Kate’s fans listening to her song Blow Away (for Bill) to remember him this evening x

Bill Duffield


Update: APRIL FOOL! Kate among artists approached to join parliamentary committee


Before the Dawn podcast is here! Part 1 of three-part series on Kate’s phenomenal shows!


  1. Brian Swanson

    I went to 3 of the concerts including the filmed one. Then the special at the Albert Hall.

  2. To Kate: Please, please, please go back to the original films and release Blu-rays of “Kate Bush Live at Hammersmith Odeon”, “The Single File”, “The Whole Story”, and, if masters exist, the 1979 Christmas Special. I bought everything possible on LaserDisc, but desperately want high-def versions of these live performances and wonderfully artistic music videos.

  3. I’ve been watching that concert everyday for the last month, perfecting some of her moves for my Kate Bush tribute show. I can’t believe it was 40 years ago, it’s just so timeless!!! I adore her!

  4. 40 years ago!!!…..
    WOW!!….. It could get you down if you let it….
    These next few years are packed full of 40th anniversaries….
    BTW it was never referred to as the Tour of Life…. That monica came many years later!!…
    We used to call it the School Journey!!….

    All the best Sean…

    • It’s insane that it’s 40 years but there you go! Thanks for that, Del – very honoured to hear from one of the people who was THERE! Yay.

  5. Richard Mills

    I saw Kate’s show at the Manchester Apollo, when I was just 16. My school friend and I travelled from Preston and missed the last train home, because we just couldn’t leave before the final Encore of Wuthering Heights. My parents reported me missing to the police..

    • Only just seen these comments sorry I must have been busy . I do recall it as ‘The Tour Of Life’ and the band was superb to be in and with. Del, Vic and myself had played at the Chiselhurst Caves gig venue where Jumi Hendrix if I am not mistaken played his first gig in England, so our pedigree was probably pretty good. Anyhow the tour of life band was one if not the best band ever.
      Only just recalling fractured thoughts of fab days…
      Peace and love

  6. Can’t resist chipping in: I went to 4 – Palladium, where I was distracted with an ex, then the 3 at Hammersmith with a camera and so much inspiration that they remain my best onstage shots. I have recently met with the historian Ian Cawood who is writing a book about Kate as a live performer and he showed me some of the incomplete and mostly unedited (and never released) footage from Manchester. Compared to the somewhat sugary Keith McMillan Hammersmith edit, it has a raw and raunchier immediacy that is a treat. Lets hope something can be done with it one day. Best Max

  7. I saw the Usher Hall show when I was 15 — a month before I moved back to the U.S. I still can’t believe my older brother scored me and my friend tickets. I didn’t see Before the Dawn and regret that but holy mother I saw Kate perform Moving and Wuthering Heights and Wow and Kashka and the rest of the songs that sound as innovative and good now as they did 40 years ago!

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