Faber are publishing the paperback edition of ‘How To Be Invisible: Selected Lyrics’, by Kate, officially released 6th April in the UK and 9th May in the USA. The new paperback edition features a brand new introduction from Kate and a new cover design by Jim Kay. Can you spot the hidden KT symbol on the cover?
The book will be available to pre-order from today (18th January). A very limited number of signed copies will be released and can be pre-ordered from selected bookshops and record shops (including Waterstones and Rough Trade), from 9am on Friday 20th January (UK only).
Kate has also written a message in invisible ink in a very small number of the signed copies, which will be distributed at random: the notes will be revealed to the lucky recipients when they place the signature page under an ultraviolet light.
‘The greatest singer-songwriter of the past forty years, whose work is complex, ethereal and filled with so many secrets that one can listen to the albums for decades and still discover new delights every time [. . .] There’s not a spare word anywhere in Bush’s work. Everything means something.’ Irish Times
I was so saddened and shocked to hear the news on Christmas Eve that our friend and fellow Kate Bush fan, that amazing whirlwind of enthusiastic energy, Michael Byrne, had passed away after a short illness that came so unexpectedly upon him over the last couple of months. Mere weeks ago I had been chatting with Michael, a fellow Dubliner, about him hopefully attending the performance of Kate’s songs in the Irish language in Smock Alley Theatre with me – something I know he’d have been ecstatic about, but he wasn’t well enough.
Michael, a kind, industrious, soft-spoken man who ran a creative publishing company in Dublin, first came to my attention during lockdown in 2020 – contacting me to feel out an ambitious, high quality Kate Bush coffee table book project, Finding Kate, that he was undertaking with his colleague, the supremely talented Irish designer and illustrator, Marius Herbert. Needing something to throw his endless energy into while business took a pandemic downturn, his passion and sincerity as a fan managed to convince me that this was going to be special so I was on board, plugging his crowdfunding campaign (it wasn’t a cheap book to produce) and helping to spread the word. Michael succeeded in getting interviews on national Irish radio and press articles about the book, and I am delighted that we got the chance to record an episode of the Kate Bush Fan Podcast together all about the Finding Kate project. You can hear it here – it’s so wonderful to be able to hear him talk last year about realising his dream project. The detailed effort that went into creating each image is so evident in his voice.
The early peeks I got of the book were breathtakingly good. The reaction from fans was highly enthusiastic, the book was hailed as a great success. As I wrote before on this site, “it was a joy to leaf through the pages of the book and talk through this impressive piece of work with its clearly relieved and delighted creators. As promised, the book is a visual feast, illustrating twenty six of Kate’s songs across sumptuous double-page spreads. The songs have been chosen by Michael, a major Kate Bush fan (it shows!) who writes beautifully about each song’s significance in Kate’s career and what they mean to him.”
“The unexpectedly generous introduction sections by Michael throughout constitute a wonderful, concise synopsis of Kate’s recording career, so there’s plenty of great reading here for both casual and more hardcore fans of Kate. But, this large LP-sized book is intended to be a visual feast and Marius has produced some breathtaking images filled with detail and touches that were agonised over for months between the pair – a honeybee flies across the pages from a near psychedelic explosion of Kate in colourful nature imagery (and a familiar yellow sun-design) for Delius, a floating, angel-winged electric guitar poignantly reflects the departed musicians name-checked in Blow Away (for Bill), a water-submerged Kate simultaneously floats, dreamlike, above the planet for Hello Earth, an Irish dancer’s feet captured in whirling mid-step on a flagstone floor for Jig of Life, four glorious pages devoted to A Sky of Honey where the crimson, red and rust of golden hour transform a female figure into an explosion of feathered wings and avian friends, soaring skyward…and so many, many more surprising visuals.”
Michael had told me that one of the sparks of inspiration to do the book came from seeing the Kate tribute band Cloudbusting play in The Sugar Club in Dublin, so it was my pleasure just a few short months ago in July to arrange for Michael and Marius to meet the band backstage before their Dublin gig, where he presented the band members with copies of the book. It was plain to see the joy and pride Michael had on his face as he explained the book and thanked the band for spreading Kate’s music out into the world. He was floating on air. I had no way of knowing that was the last time I’d see him, but I’m glad it was such a joyous occasion for him. Very recently, Michael managed to get the book mentioned again on national radio here in Ireland, presenter Ryan Tubridy truly impressed by the book – a flood of new orders ensued. Of course.
Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Michael’s wife Deirdre, his children Holly, Conor and Alyson and to all his family and friends. He will be terribly missed. An online book of condolence is here. We especially send a big hug to Marius, who patiently and painstakingly helped Michael to put together something that remains utterly unique for Kate’s fans around the world to enjoy. Marius, your illustration work is exquisite. You have done yourself and Michael so very proud. I would urge anyone reading this to get your copy of the book to see it for yourself. It’s available to order worldwide from https://findingkatebook.com/ – RIP Michael, you did it x
Thanks to everyone who entered our Running Up That Hill: 50 Visions of Kate Bush book giveaway competition, we had hundreds of entries and the successful winner has been notified! As a thank you for your interest in the book (see our enthusiastic review here) the author, Tom Doyle, has decided to exclusively share an unpublished chapter (or “vision”) from the book. You can DOWNLOAD the chapter here (PDF format) or read it in full below. The book is published today and has already received glowing reviews from the likes of Mojo Magazine (4/5), Record Collector (4/5) and Uncut Magazine (9/10). Tom writes:
So, my Kate book is out today. It was very much a labour of love for me, and quite some trip to write. I’ve never laughed or “twinkled” as often as I did when writing this book, so I very much hope you enjoy.
There was one “lost” chapter that ended up on the cutting-room floor. So, here it is as an exclusive for Kate Bush News.
In the 1980s, for a generation of future musicians, Kate Bush’s 1986 hits collection, The Whole Story, was their portal into the world of her songs. Scottish singer Emma Pollock – of Glasgow indie rock band The Delgados, and a solo artist in her own right – was 15 years old when Bush’s singles collection was released. It made a huge impression on her.
‘It goes back to my mum introducing me to Kate Bush’s music in the late ‘70s,’ she says. ‘She adored “Wuthering Heights”. But I bought The Whole Story with my own Christmas money, and I just had an absolute love affair with that album.
‘For kids, compilations are amazing, because they provide a point of access, and you don’t have to grapple with the artist’s song choices when it comes to an album, and how they might be slightly difficult for a kid. I think compilations hit the sweet spot for someone who suspects they’re a fan but kind of needs it confirmed.’
Similarly, in Sunderland, brothers Peter and David Brewis, later to combine their vocal and multi-instrumentalist talents in their art rock band Field Music, were surrounded by Kate Bush’s songs at home when they were kids.
‘I was only six or seven,’ says David. ‘But I intrinsically knew all of the songs on The Whole Story. And I probably knew all the songs on the first side of Hounds of Love. But I don’t think you understand the second side until you’ve passed eight years old (laughs).’
‘Growing up, Kate Bush was just part of the musical fabric of the household,’ says Peter, by four years the elder brother. ‘Those records were just around all the time. And they definitely became part of my idea about what music is meant to be. It’s the idea of this synthesis of various things to create your own music.’
In 2016, Emma Pollock was approached by the organisers of the True North music festival in Aberdeen with the idea of her staging a show involving a line-up of guest singers exploring the music of Joni Mitchell. ‘Even though I love Joni Mitchell, I actually wanted to do Kate Bush,’ she says. ‘So, I kind of countered with that. And they said, ‘Yeah, sounds great.’”
Yes, we all adore our immense HomeGround Anthology books and swoon at John Carder Bush’s essential Kate: Inside the Rainbow but the prospect of another more traditional biography of Kate might not exactly excite longtime fans – a quick glance at my own bookshelf here confirms that there have indeed been many, many attempts over the years to tell the story of Kate’s career in book-form with varying degrees of success; Graeme Thomson’s twice-revised Under The Ivy being far and away the best of the bunch. So, when we heard this Summer that a new book by respected British music journalist Tom Doyle would be surfacing with the title “Running Up that Hill – 50 Visions of Kate Bush” and that it would take the form of a “mosaic biography”, it did at first sound like it might be a tired, cobbled together clippings rehash to cash-in on Kate’s phenomenal global hit single this year – thankfully, this is not the case.
Instead, this excellent book, published on October 27th, is easily one of the best yet written about Kate’s career – surprisingly refreshing, full of new details and insights, and earnestly crafted with obvious respect and serious admiration for the subject matter without ever leaning into all-out hagiography. As with Graeme Thomson’s lauded biography, you come away with the feeling that Doyle “gets it” and clearly enjoyed shining a light on many carefully chosen aspects of Kate’s output over the years. As a writer for Mojo Magazine, Doyle was granted a very significant exclusive in 2005, spending a day with Kate at her home to conduct what would be the first and most in-depth interview she would do to promote her return with the Aerial album. Little wonder that he uses much unpublished detail from this charming encounter to form the spine of his book structure.
Presented as 50 chapters or “visions”, the traditional chronological biography approach is (sensibly) still present, but the “multi-faceted” aspect highlighted in the book publicity has freed up the author to include “Guest Testimony” chapters (with new contributions from the likes of David Gilmour, writer Ian Rankin and photographer Guido Harari) as well as dipping into interviews and transcribed TV appearances and much fascinating fresh interview material; Kate’s brother John Carder Bush describes his unforgettable Rackham-inspired photography of a young Kate that would be included in his Cathy book. Gilmour’s fresh account of the recording of the demos in the 1970s is riveting stuff. Video directors Paul Henry and Julian Doyle discuss the making of the videos for The Dreaming (shot in a day), There Goes a Tenner and the iconic Cloudbusting film. There’s even an unexpectedly welcome exploration with Utah Saints about their dance smash Something Good in 1992. I was very pleased to see Doyle allowing his “visions” structure to devote entire chapters to some of Kate’s artistic peaks; Pull Out The Pin, Under The Ivy, Moments of Pleasure, A Coral Room and the filmed And Dream of Sheep are among those duly given this special spotlight treatment.
Throughout, Doyle writes wonderfully about his subject matter, describing the Kate Bush he met as “steely, gently controlling, painfully self-critical, and also the first person to happily puncture the reverential bubble that surrounds her.” In his introductory chapter he states that his book is: “…designed to be a multifaceted portrait of Kate Bush: illuminating from fifty different angles the girl who lived in her imagination, reluctantly became famous because of it, then had to deal with unwanted outside forces, before battling on and emerging triumphant, to become one of the most groundbreaking, idiosyncratic and singular artists of our time.” Highly recommended.
COMPETITON TIME! The lovely people at Bonnier / Nine Eight Books have given us a copy of Running Up That Hill – 50 Visions of Kate Bush to give away! To be in with a chance, just answer the following question:
Who introduced Kate’s only ever TV performance of Under The Ivy in April 1986?
Please send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org – if you are successful we will then be in touch by email to get your details for getting the book to you. The competition runs till the end of Wednesday October 26th at which point the random draw will be made. Good luck!
COMPETITION RULES: COMPETITION STARTS OCTOBER 20TH 2022 AND ENDS OCTOBER 26TH, 2022 AT 23:59 (GMT). ONE ENTRY PER PERSON. MULTIPLE ENTRIES, THE REGISTRATION OF MULTIPLE EMAIL ADDRESSES FOR ONE PERSON AND INCOMPLETE ENTRIES WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION. KATEBUSHNEWS.COM IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TIMELINESS OF DELIVERY OR ELECTRONIC OR COMPUTER MALFUNCTIONS THAT MAY AFFECT THE DELIVERY OR CONTENT OF ENTRY. WINNER WILL BE SELECTED IN A RANDOM DRAW FROM ALL ELIGIBLE ENTRIES ON OR ABOUT OCTOBER 27TH, 2022. WINNER WILL BE NOTIFIED BY EMAIL. IF WINNER CANNOT BE REACHED WITHIN 3 DAYS OF NOTIFICATION, AN ALTERNATE WINNER WILL BE SELECTED. ODDS OF WINNING DEPEND ON NUMBER OF ELIGIBLE ENTRIES RECEIVED. PRIZE IS NON-TRANSFERABLE AND NON-EXCHANGEABLE. NO SUBSTITUTION OR CASH EQUIVALENT WILL BE MADE. ALL DECISIONS OF KATEBUSHNEWS.COM IS FINAL. WINNER SHOULD ALLOW 6 WEEKS FOR DELIVERY OF PRIZE.
Acclaimed author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, Philip Pullman, has released his book, The Collectors, as a slim 80-page hardback edition illustrated by Tom Duxbury. It’s well known that Kate and Philip are friends and mutual admirers of each other’s work (Kate famously recorded the song Lyra for the film adaptation of Pullman’s The Golden Compass). Kate is mentioned in the dedication at the start of the book as having inspired it!
“Filled with the magic of Pullman’s assured pen, this glorious new tale set in the universe of His Dark Materials sees an art-collecting Oxford academic acquire two imposing paintings…on a dark winter’s night in 1970, Horley and Grinstead huddle for warmth in the Senior Common Room of a college in Oxford. Conversation turns to the two impressive works of art that Horley has recently added to his collection. What the two men don’t know is that these pieces are connected in mysterious and improbable ways; and they are about to be caught in the cross-fire of a story which has travelled time and worlds.“
The April 2022 issue of Uncut Magazine in the UK has a Kate Bush cover and a substantial new 12 page feature by Peter Watts on the making of The Dreaming album – which will be 40 years old this year (we know!). It’s available to order here.
It’s great to see one of the major music mags giving Kate’s fourth album the cover treatment for a change, normally Hounds of Love or Kate’s very early career takes centre stage. Refreshingly this isn’t a re-hashed archive article and a considerable line-up of people involved in the creation of Kate’s dark masterpiece are interviewed by Watts for this piece, including Preston Heyman, Paul Hardiman, Richard Burgess, Brian Bath, Roy Harper, Hugh Padgham, Dave Lawson, Howard Gray, Danny “Dan Dan the Sushi Man!” Dawson, and Teri Reed. Fan perspectives are offered by our own Dave Cross (HomeGround) and our podcast pal Darrell Babidge. From the magazine’s site: “KATE BUSH: Donkeys and didgeridoos. Celtic ballads and ethno-pop. Harry Houdini and the Star Wars Cantina theme. Heady experimentation and creative freedom. Welcome to The Dreaming: Kate Bush’s “she’s gone mad” album – and the record that ushered in her imperial phase. “‘Wuthering Heights’ gave Kate licence to do what she wanted,” one eyewitness tells Peter Watts. “With The Dreaming, she took it as far as she could possibly go.”
Michael Byrne, the co-creator of the new coffee table book, Finding Kate, which visually explores Kate’s songs is interviewed by Seán to discuss how the pandemic, and a successful Kickstarter campaign, lead to this stunning book being realised. You can find out more about ordering the book at www.findingkatebook.com. This is the first of two Kate Bush Fan podcast episodes we’ll have for you this week, so you’ll have plenty of KB chatter to have on in the background as you prepare for the holiday season!
You can subscribe to the Kate Bush Fan Podcast on iTunes or on any podcast app you happen to use, such as Stitcher or Tunein or listen below on Soundcloud.
I had the pleasure this afternoon of meeting up on Howth Head, Dublin, with Michael Byrne and Marius Herbert, the two gifted Irish creatives behind Finding Kate, an illustrated journey through five decades of the music of Kate Bush – a truly stunning coffee table book project that we’ve followed on the site here from its successful Kickstarter campaign through development and now, finally ready to ship put around the world from Monday. It was a joy to leaf through the pages of the book and talk through this impressive piece of work with its clearly relieved and delighted creators. As promised, the book is a visual feast, illustrating twenty six of Kate’s songs across sumptuous double-page spreads. The songs have been chosen by Michael, a major Kate Bush fan (it shows!) who writes beautifully about each song’s significance in Kate’s career and what they mean to him.
The unexpectedly generous introduction sections by Michael throughout constitute a wonderful, concise synopsis of Kate’s recording career, so there’s plenty of great reading here for both casual and more hardcore fans of Kate. But, this large LP-sized book is intended to be a visual feast and Marius has produced some breathtaking images filled with detail and touches that were agonised over for months between the pair – a honeybee flies across the pages from a near psychedelic explosion of Kate in colourful nature imagery (and a familiar yellow sun-design) for Delius, a floating, angel-winged electric guitar poignantly reflects the departed musicians name-checked in Blow Away (for Bill), a water-submerged Kate simultaneously floats, dreamlike, above the planet for Hello Earth, an Irish dancer’s feet captured in whirling mid-step on a flagstone floor for Jig of Life, four glorious pages devoted to A Sky of Honey where the crimson, red and rust of golden hour transform a female figure into an explosion of feathered wings and avian friends, soaring skyward…and so many, many more surprising visuals. The book can be ordered now for €39.95 per copy PLUS cost of delivery, and ships worldwide from Monday.
Italian writer, Antonello Saeli, has written an unusual English-language novel, ‘Aerie‘, that should be very interesting for Kate’s fans. It tells the story of singer Neve Rever, who is ready to come back to the music scene after a very long absence, with a new double album called ‘Aerie’ and a live show. And then her precious diary is stolen from her…
The book is littered from the start with references to Kate’s work (the name ‘Neve Rever’ should already be sounding familiar…) and because Antonello has previously had creative collaborations with the likes of Del Palmer and John Carder Bush you will see that he is indeed steeped in the lore and meaning behind the music we love. You can order your copy of “Aerie” here.
If you’ve been following the progress of this luxury coffee table book project by two Irish designers, you will know that it achieved and surpassed its funding goal on Kickstarter earlier this year. This beautifully crafted book is now taking preorders on the newly launched www.findingkatebook.com site. The book is on schedule to reach their original publishing target, printing on Oct 30th and beginning distribution on Nov 30th 2021. Pre-orders before Sept 30th also get a free set of high quality postcards – see below. We’ve been publishing a few sneak peeks of the project this year but you’ll see more over on the book site. Well done to Michael and Marius (both genuine Kate fans) on getting this far!
French Kate Bush fans may like to know that a new magazine, Les Légendes Du Rock N° 8 (similar to Classic Rock in the UK) is out in newsagents there now with Kate on the cover and an article about the 1979 tour. It can be ordered online here (French language website). Thanks, Tristan!
Our friend Antonello tells us: “A very beautiful book featuring some of Kate’s record covers has been recently published. The book is called ‘Cover Stories’ and it includes hundreds of photos of record covers that were made by Bill Smith Studio. The book is truly beautiful. High quality and definitely recommended.” Thanks, Antonello!
This 12-inch square book features original album art produced by Bill Smith Studio and the stories behind them. Across five decades Bill Smith Studio worked with more than 200 bands and artists, creating hundreds of album covers, singles bags, and CD covers. This design house worked with Kate for her album and single releases from 1985-1990 and included sleeves for singles like Running Up That Hill, Cloudbusting, Hounds of Love, The Big Sky, Experiment IV, The Sensual World, This Woman’s Work and Love and Anger, and for the albums Hounds of Love, The Whole Story, The Sensual World and the 1990 This Woman’s Work box set. The book can be ordered here.
We got a call one afternoon from Steve Davis, the Head of Marketing at EMI, he asked us if we would like to work on the next Kate Bush album, Hounds of Love. This would have been around April/May of ’85 and it was full steam ahead from that phone call on. We attended several meetings with Kate and EMI to discuss the cover concept. We must have produced more visuals for that project than just about any other. This was pre-Mac, everything by hand with finished visuals using colour photo prints and rub-down transfers for type etc … working with Kate was always a joy, she had the whole picture in her head for each project, the photos were normally ready for us to work from, we’d discuss ideas on layout and typography and then she would let us get on with it…
Michael Stewart is a multi-award winning writer, born and brought up in Salford, who moved to Yorkshire in 1995 and is now based in Bradford. You will remember that in 2018 Kate took part in the Brontë Stones project in Yorkshire which he instigated, four monumental stones situated in the landscape between the Brontë birthplace and the parsonage, inscribed with poems by Kate, Carol Ann Duffy, Jeannette Winterson and Jackie Kay. (you can read about Kate’s Brontë Stone in our news item here)
Michael has just published a new book, Walking the Invisible, dedicating it to Kate, which Grazia magazine has described as “an imaginative and elegant trek through the landscape of the Brontës.” Having sent a copy of the book to Kate he was delighted last month to receive a hand written note from her, saying in a tweet: “It’s not every day you get a letter from Kate Bush!”
The book is available from Amazon UK here or to support local bookshops in the UK visit https://uk.bookshop.org You can read more about Michael at his website here or follow him on Twitter here. As an Amazon Associate this site earns revenue to support running costs from qualifying purchases.
A treasure trove of amazing images surfaced for the first time over the last couple of years – the work of photographer Max Browne, who had the privilege of documenting the final three nights of Kate’s run of shows at the Hammersmith Odeon, 12th-14th May 1979, to round out her legendary Lionheart tour. Of course, she famously never performed a full show of her own again till she returned to that very same stage 35 years later in 2014.
In what he calls “a lockdown self-published special”, Max has now produced a large format hardback landscape book with dust jacket, sized 13×11″, with all proceeds beyond the cost of this edition to be donated to charities supporting the “endangered animals of our world disadvantaged by Man.” The book is titled “Three Nights in Hammersmith“. The book images, consistently stunning, are presented in performance order, as Kate sang each song. Renowned photographer Jill Furmanovsky has contributed the foreword. The book can be ordered here.
From the press release: Industry comments on the photographs: ‘ . . a new book which will showcase his incredible photographs.’ (KateBushNews) ‘ . . a revelation to many:’ (Record Collector magazine) ‘ . . the best live shots of her . .’ (Jill Furmanovsky, RockArchive) ‘This is a treasure trove!’ (Guido Harari, Wall of Sound) ‘Nice stuff Max . .’ (Del Palmer)
From the site: “This book is a photographic presentation of the last three concerts of a tour that is now regarded as one of the greatest in Rock Music history. The 250 photographs by Max Browne included here illustrate why, song by song, as Kate Bush sings, dances and role-plays her way into legend at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, in 1979.”
The May 2021 edition of Mojo Magazine features Kate on the cover and includes an article and unpublished archive interview. From the press release: “The genius of Kate Bush is explored from fresh angles: an unpublished interview, revelations from key collaborators, and the 40th birthday of Sat In Your Lap – the song that changed everything. In MOJO’s Kate Kompendium, the artist casts light on her creative urges in an unpublished interview. Plus: surprising new takes on Hounds Of Love, the Tour Of Life and a poignant window on her wilderness years.”
The editor tells me that “the main story is a long interview done in 1989 that was partially published in the Netherlands at the time. It’s around The Sensual World, but goes a fair bit deeper than most of the other interviews I have read from around that time. There are a bunch of other pieces, which include a very specific one about the making of Sat In Your Lap for its anniversary (new interviews with Hugh Padgham, Nick Launay, Geoff Downes). A good one about her videos, which talks to her collaborators and directors. A piece that touches on “druid philosophy” by Youth. Something about her in 2001. A bit more about the first tour. Lots to enjoy, hopefully.”
Pre-orders being sent out from 16th March 2021 from the Mojo site here. Appropriately enough, the cover photo is from her 1981 Company magazine feature shoot with photographer Clive Arrowsmith. You can read more about that session at his site here.
Update: Meanwhile, Mojo Magazine subscribers have been receiving a unique, enhanced design version of the latest issue which features a Kate Bush cover (below right), without all the usual text that appears on the regular edition (below left).