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Astro photograph of Glastonbury pyramid stage dedicated to Kate!

Detail from Starstruck by Josh Dury

The Pyramid Stage is home to the world famous Glastonbury Festival, which over the years has seen performances from the likes of David Bowie, to Dolly Parton and Sir Elton John. A newly released photograph of the site has garnered attention from Glastonbury, the BBC and other media outlets. From the press release: “From one stellar legend to another, this image captures the King of the Stars; Orion taking centre-stage. This year, Award-Winning Landscape Astrophotographer, Josh Dury set about capturing a photograph in celebration of year’s Glastonbury Festival.” See the full dazzling image, entitled Starstruck, below:

Starstruck by Josh Dury

He says this photograph brings together the ‘pyramid’ that is music, photography and astronomy. Josh would like to dedicate this image to his greatest music influence, Kate Bush. He would like to thank her for the inspiration and emotional connection that her music has played in the creation of his astro-images. The concept for this self-portrait image was conjured from listening to Kate’s song, Reaching Out from her album, The Sensual World; to visualise the narrative of ‘reaching out’ through the stars, in the hope that one day, she will take centre stage. See more of Josh’s work at his website: www.joshduryphoto-media.com

Josh Dury

Ian Bairnson Wuthering Heights guitar up for auction!

UPDATE June 11th: The guitar has sold for £21,000, and was reported on by the BBC here. Sadly in 2023 we lost the great Ian Bairnson, the Scottish guitarist who played on many tracks on Kate’s first two albums and also backing vocals on Oh To Be In Love and beer bottles on Room For The Life. Later he recorded bass voices on the song Delius and went on to play guitar on Leave it Open from The Dreaming album. But, he is probably best known to fans for his iconic guitar solo on Wuthering Heights which closes out Kate’s hit single. Kate remembered Ian on her official site last year: “…he had a lovely, warm smile and he played the inspired solo on Wuthering Heights with a broken arm. He was still wearing the cast! He was in a lot of pain but soldiered on and like all great artists, he truly suffered for his art. Making my first album was pretty daunting and I was working with people I’d never met before. Ian was kind and supportive and that meant such a lot. Thank you, Ian.”

Ian Bairnson

The instrument responsible for that unforgettable solo, his 1974 Gibson Les Paul Custom 20th Anniversary electric guitar, manufactured in the USA, is now up for auction as part of a sale of Ian’s guitars he used during his amazing career. Ian also played this guitar on his band Pilot’s big 1970s hits Magic and January. The website Guitar Auctions will conduct the auction on 11th June 2024 with starting estimates valuing it at between £5,000-£10,000 (view Lot 269 on the Guitar Auctions site here)

From the catalogue description:

This guitar was purchased by Ian in 1974 from Take Five, Shaftesbury Avenue, London and was his main guitar from the beginning. The guitar features on work with Pilot, the Alan Parsons Project and Kate Bush, including her first four studio albums, most significantly used the solo of her debut chart topping single ‘Wuthering Heights’.

An excerpt from Ian’s website states “Guitar players broadly fall into two main groups – those who consider themselves as “Strat” players and those who are “Les Paul” type players. I have always loved Les Pauls. Ever since I was about fourteen years old I wanted to play one. I prefer the sheer power and kick of a Gibson Les Paul. I bought mine as soon as I could afford one. It came from a shop called Take Five in Shaftesbury Avenue in London and cost me 315 pounds in 1974. It is a Custom model but over the years I have changed bits and pieces and now it looks more like a Standard. I suppose it is true to say that I built a career using only a Les Paul and a Marshall fifty watt amplifier. I never plugged anything between the guitar and the amp. If we wanted effects on the sound, we used the studio effects. They are far better quality and besides … I couldn’t afford that kind of equipment. This guitar has been with me through everything from the early recordings – Pilot, Parsons Project, Kate Bush etc right up to “Time Machine” and Pilot’s “Blue Yonder” CD.”

“Ian Bairnson was a session guitarist before joining up with former Bay City Rollers’ David Paton and Billy Lyall to form the band Pilot in 1973, where he contributed the harmony guitar parts to their hit single ‘Magic’. During his time with Pilot, he first collaborated with the record producer Alan Parsons on their debit self-titled album and it was this relationship that helped incorporate most of the band’s members into the Alan Parsons Project. One distinctive guitar solo of note was on the track ‘I Wouldn’t Want to be Like You’ that featured in the 1977 film ‘I Robot’ From 1978, Bairnson started sessions with Kate Bush, recording guitars on her first four albums, ‘The Kick Inside’, ‘Lionheart’, ‘Never for Ever’ and ‘The Dreaming’. The most notable track was Kate Bush’s debut single ‘Wuthering Heights’, where he can be heard with this same guitar playing the solo towards the end of the song. Wuthering Heights stayed at the top of the UK charts for four weeks.” (view Lot 269 on the Guitar Auctions site here) We’ll leave the last word on this to Dr. Jones…

‘Under The Ivy’ biography reissued next month

If you haven’t yet read Graeme Thomson‘s excellent biography of Kate, Under The Ivy – The Life and Music of Kate Bush, next month it’s out on June 27th in a paperback Omnibus Remastered edition featuring a new cover by acclaimed designer Luke Bird (British Book Awards ‘Designer of the
Year’ shortlist 2023, 2021) and a foreword by the Irish writer Sinéad Gleeson
(Constellations, This Woman’s Work). I’ve always found this to be far and away the best written biography of Kate Bush out there, along with the superior likes of Tom Doyle’s 50 Visions of Kate Bush and of course, the essays in John Carder Bush’s superb Inside the Rainbow. The book has been revised and updated for 2024 which of course means coverage of Kate’s biggest hit single to date, Running Up That Hill, in 2022. Graeme Thomson has written acclaimed studies of, amongst others, Elvis Costello, George Harrison, John Martyn and Philip Lynott. He writes regularly for many publications. Also, keep an eye on our site and social media for news of a giveaway competition to win a copy next month, courtesy of the lovely people at Omnibus! Pre-order: Amazon (UK) | Waterstones | Bookshop.org (local UK shops)

From the press release: “The critically acclaimed definitive biography of Kate Bush, revised and updated for 2024, with a new foreword by Sinéad Gleeson. Detailing everything from Bush’s upbringing to her early exposition of talent, to her subsequent evolution into a stunningly creative and endlessly fascinating visual and musical artist, Under The Ivy is the story of one woman’s life in music. Written with great detail, accuracy and admiration for her work, this is in equal parts an in-depth biography and an immersive analysis of Kate Bush’s art.

Focusing on her unique working methods, her studio techniques, her timeless albums and inescapable influence, Under The Ivy is an eminently readable and insightful exploration of one of the world’s most unique and gifted artists.

The text has been updated to include coverage of Bush’s return to the top of the charts in 2022 following the extraordinary resurgence of ‘Running Up That Hill.’ An eye-opening journey of discovery for anyone unfamiliar with the breadth of Bush’s work, Under The Ivy also rewards the long-term fan with new insights and fresh analysis.”

“Under The Ivy is respectful, but it gets us pretty close to the temple. This is the perfect book for aficionados or even the merely curious” Paddy McAloon (Prefab Sprout)

“Graeme is a fantastic biographer, warm and wise. He brings Kate’s interior and exterior lives to life, in vivid colours” Jude Rogers, author of The Sound of Being Human

“Written in prose that from time to time seems linked umbilically to the very same ‘otherworld’ from which Kate Bush’s art manifests” Jim Kerr (Simple Minds)

Thank You For Sending Your Photos! Eat The Music vinyl fan collage is here!

Kate Bush fans with their Eat The Music RSD 2024 vinyl discs!

CLICK HERE FOR THE LARGE HI-RES VERSION! (15mb) Many thanks for sending in all the great photos of your Eat The Music 10″ vinyl picture discs from Record Store Day 2024 – you got Kate’s single into the UK charts! We will find a way to get this to Kate, I’m sure she’ll be tickled by it!

Note: Our friend Monty Moncrieff MBE(!) has been keeping an eye on the Ebay side of things, and, contrary to a lot of fan concerns, found that there were only 155 sales in a week (about 1.5% of the total 10,000 of these discs available). He says “With ones I’ve missed, those still listed for sale and sales elsewhere that’s perhaps generously around 5% of the 10,000 being sold on so far. Hopefully the vast majority ended up with genuine fans. There are a lot on eBay but it IS still well in the minority.” Great news, thanks Monty!

Eat The Music hits UK #2 position in singles sales charts!

Who needs streaming?! While it didn’t make it on to the main official UK chart (where streaming now dominates), Kate’s brisk sales all across the UK of her limited edition Record Store Day single Eat The Music, on 10″ pic disc vinyl has secured a brand new entry at the No.2 position of two of the other UK singles charts – the Official Singles Sales Chart AND the Official Physical Singles Chart (beating out new entries from Paul Weller, Daft Punk and Queen). Congratulations to Kate! We will be celebrating this weekend with a montage of photos of YOU with your Eat The Music discs – thank you for sending them in, we are sure Kate will love to see it!

Army Dreamers Goes Viral on TikTok and Instagram!

Not to take away from all the love for Eat The Music this last week, but if we thought there might have been a possibility that yet another song from Kate’s canon could go viral and capture the global imagination, our money would have been on Cloudbusting, Hounds of Love or perhaps This Woman’s Work. However, for the last couple of months we’ve been tracking with interest the fascinating surge in popularity on TikTok and Instagram of Army Dreamers from the Never For Ever album, which Kate released in 1980. As we know, the song is about the effects of war as told by a mother who grieves for her young adult son, killed on military manoeuvres.

To show what this viral interest looks like, the video below demonstrates a very quick phone screen scroll through the 15,700+ videos on TikTok that now feature Army Dreamers!

It previously happened a few years ago on TikTok with Babooshka and Wuthering Heights, the so-called TikTok “witchtok” craze introducing Kate to a whole new younger audience. It is hard to pinpoint exactly how a viral craze like Army Dreamers begins, but on TikTok, users tend to get inspired by a clip or a piece of music, and remix it, interpret it, make animations of it or even perform the song, as the lyrics and sentiment of the song take hold and go viral. Billboard reports this week that “…as a result, weekly official on-demand U.S. streams of the song have risen from under 80,000 for the tracking week ending Mar. 14 to nearly 1.1 million the week ending Apr. 18, according to Luminate – a cumulative gain of 1291%..Forbes have reported: “For those who don’t want to do the math, that’s a growth of 1,291% in just one month, according to Billboard. 1,000-plus-% gains are unusual for any older track, and it takes something very special for any title to explode in popularity in that fashion…

UK 7 ” single sleeve cover of Army Dreamers (1980)

It strikes me that young TikTok users would of course latch on to the beautiful sentiments in the song as they grapple with at least two major world conflicts happening on the news. Kate is not unknown in the wider world anymore and here she is spelling out the futility of war. Evergreen Kate. A word of caution though – this is not the same meteoric rise that happened with Running Up That Hill in 2022 on the back of the song being used in Stranger Things. While Army Dreamers is currently Kate’s second biggest song on Spotify by a wide margin (360,000+ daily plays) it would take something truly extraordinary for Army Dreamers to become another global chart smash hit for Kate…but we’ll take it if it happens!

Stats screenshot courtesy of katebush_thecollection on Instagram
Kate and guitarist Brian Bath on the shoot of the Army Dreamers video

Kate donates two signed Boxes of Lost At Sea artworks to cancer charity auction!

As regular site visitors will know, our own Dave Cross (HomeGround) is a patron of the wonderful Cabaret vs Cancer charity in the UK, raising vital money to help people, especially children, in dealing with the effects of cancer. Kate has supported the charity each time they have held this special auction and now, 4th time round, she has donated two gorgeous, separate auction items – her Boxes of Lost at Sea. Auction bidding on each of the two boxes ends 7.30pm BST, Sunday April 28th – you can view and place a bid here at the auction site here!

Both of these amazing Boxes of Lost at Sea artworks have been signed on the back by Kate this week. These special presentations consists of two boxes, each containing one side of the Hounds of Love album on a separate vinyl record.

Kate says on her official site “The idea was to create a hybrid of an album and a piece of artwork you could hang on the wall. They’re based on something I designed for an auction for the charity War Child. For many years I’d wanted to try and adapt that idea to include an LP…or two. The Boxes of Lost at Sea now continue to tell the story.” Designed to be displayed on a wall, each box contains a tiny red blinking LED light – brass plaques on each auction item reinforce this expanded theme from the Hounds of Love album: Someone In The Big Sky Hoping To Find Someone Lost At Sea (Hounds of Love side) and Someone Lost At Sea Hoping To Be Found By Someone In The Big Sky (The Ninth Wave side). You can view and place a bid here at the auction site here!

Record Store Day disc update: wide availability in stores!

We have today confirmed that there will be 10,000 copies of Kate’s Eat The Music 10″ vinyl picture disc single available worldwide on this Saturday April 20th as part of Record Store Day – in other words, plenty available and remaining copies should be on sale through indie stores online from next Monday too. This is great news for those Kate Bush fans worried that all the copies would be snapped up and sold instantly by unscrupulous sellers on sites like Ebay or Discogs – only a small fraction of copies will.

To put this in perspective, previous limited RSD releases by Kate had allocations which ran from only 1,000-4,000 copies worldwide. So, while there is definitely a demand for these discs, and indie record stores have been very enthusiastic about them, enough have been pressed up to help every fan get one.

Therefore our advice is:

  • Don’t be tempted to pay inflated prices by opportunistic sellers on auction sites on Saturday!
  • Do visit and support your local independent record store on the day!
  • We will do our part by helping to share where copies are available to purchase on online indie record stores from 8pm Monday 22nd April (UK/Ireland time).
  • Many thanks to the folks at The state51 Conspiracy for updating me today, a great help to Kate’s fans!
Indie record stores have been previewing the disc on social media

Read more about Kate’s upcoming 10″ picture disc release of Eat The Music and her role as UK Record Store Day Ambassador here. Find your local participating record store here.

Kate signs turntable and Eat The Music test pressing for War Child!

Now, who wouldn’t want this gracing their living room? War Child are once again delighted to be the official charity partner for Record Store Day UK. Alongside 13 exclusive vinyl releases, they are excited to also have an exclusive War Child x Rega Planar 3 turntable signed by Kate as well as a signed test pressing of her upcoming Record Store Day 2024 release Eat The Music. YOU CAN ENTER THE PRIZE DRAW HEREnote that the terms & conditions state “Open to UK entrants only (18+)

Kate has worked with War Child many times in the past, most recently donating to War Child for each sale of her Boxes of Lost At Sea artworks. Read more about Kate’s upcoming 10″ picture disc release of Eat The Music and her role as Record Store Day Ambassador here.

By entering the prize draw, you are helping War Child UK. “At War Child we are driven by a single goal – ensuring a safe future for every child affected by war. We work in the hardest to reach places to support those who are hardest hit, to protect, educate and stand up for the rights of children, when they need us most.” YOU CAN ENTER THE WAR CHILD PRIZE DRAW HERE

Steve Harley 1951-2024

Kate performs with Steve Harley (and Peter Gabriel) in aid of Bill Duffield 1979

Steve Harley, the frontman of the rock group Cockney Rebel, has died aged 73. The English singer and songwriter, best known for his 1975 song Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me), had been receiving treatment for cancer. He died at his Suffolk home on Sunday morning.

Two other members of Cockney Rebel, Stuart Elliott (drums) and Duncan Mackay (keyboards) would play on Kate’s albums. Near the end of her run of shows for the Lionheart Tour in 1979, Kate played a special concert May 12th at the Hammersmith Odeon in aid of Bill Duffield, her lighting engineer who tragically died after the first performance in Poole. Steve Harley was her special guest on the night along with Peter Gabriel, performing on versions of Them Heavy People, The ‘Woman’ With the Child in Her Eyes, Best Years of Our Lives, Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) and Let it Be. Always a staunch supporter of Kate’s work, Steve would report on his BBC Radio 2 shows when he’d hear any Kate news worth reporting, and was interviewed on several radio and television programmes for his impressions on Kate’s return to the live stage in 2014.

“Whoever you know him as, his heart exuded only core elements. Passion, kindness, generosity. And much more, in abundance,” his wife, Dorothy, and daughters Kerr and Greta wrote in a statement.

“The birdsong from his woodland that he loved so much was singing for him. His home has been filled with the sounds and laughter of his four grandchildren.”

Sending our condolences to Steve’s family and loved ones.

Kate’s Running Up That Hill most popular song on US jogger playlists!

New data has revealed the most popular running songs in the US – and Kate’s Running Up That Hill ranks top. The research, conducted by casino sweepstake comparison site Casinos Sweeps, used Spotify’s Playlist Miner tool to determine the top songs included in 1,400 ‘jogging’ and ‘running’ related playlists that Americans turn to when they need encouragement to keep going.

Running Up That Hill is the most loved song by Americans to keep them moving, appearing 196 times. Since music has the power to trigger dopamine release, creating the right playlist can give that final push to lace up your trainers. I’m Good (Blue) by David Guetta ranks second as the next-best choice for keeping energy levels high with 136 (9.7%) placements in jogging and running-related playlists. In third with 124 mentions (8.9%) is The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights. Prada by Cassö claims the fourth spot, featured 91 times (6.5%). [Thanks to Collin Kelley for the info!]

Hounds of Love spotted in Stranger Things Season 5 set photos

This week director/producer Ross Duffer (of the Duffer Brothers) has posted several new images on his Instagram account from the set of the Netflix TV show Stranger Things, currently filming its fifth and final season. Among them are shots of the actors Sadie Sink and Caleb McLaughlin who play the characters of Max and Lucas. He also draws attention in another photo to the cassette tape lying on the bedside locker in Max’s hospital room – Kate’s Hounds of Love. While the actress Sadie Sink is awake and smiling in the snap we are to understand that in the show she is in a coma due to the injuries she sustained in the dramatic finale of season 4 with the monstrous Vecna. Season 5 is expected to be released in 2025. The artwork shown is a slightly different Greek edition of the Hounds of Love cassette so we presume her kind pals in the town of Hawkins have replaced it for her!

Max and her original Kate Bush cassette – Stranger Things season 4 (2022)

As everyone knows, Kate’s Running Up That Hill featured extensively in season 4 of the show as the character of Max found salvation through the use of her favourite song. Consequently, in 2022 Kate had the biggest global smash hit single of her career! [our podcast recap of that ‘Summer of Kate’ is below] Does the photo from Ross Duffer signal more use of Kate’s music in the next season? Who knows…

Lucas holds Max’s hand in a new behind the scenes photo

Kate Record Store Day Ambassador! Eat The Music 10” picture disc!

Eat The Music 10″ picture disc front artwork and sticker

Kate has been announced as the official UK ambassador for this year’s Record Store Day, on 20th April! To mark this she will release a limited 10″ UV-printed picture disc of Eat The Music on the day. The BBC were first to break the news this morning with quotes from Kate’s statement. Since 2009 artists such as Ozzy Osbourne, Iggy Pop, Jack White, Chuck D, Dave Grohl, Metallica, St. Vincent, Pearl Jam, Brandi Carlile and Taylor Swift have worn the annual “ceremonial sash” and used their high profiles to help promote the event online. The band, Paramore, have been named US ambassadors for the 2024 event. Find your local participating record store here.

Following on from her vinyl single releases to support independent stores on Record Store Day in previous years (Hounds of Love, Lake Tahoe and Running Up That Hill 2012 remix) on Saturday April 20th 2024 Kate will release a limited 10″ 3-track picture disc single of her joyous, Madagascan-infused 1993 song, Eat The Music, taken from The Red Shoes album. The 10″ disc features the cover art as a colour UV print on a side without grooves, with all three tracks on the other side, additionally including Lily and Big Stripey Lie, both also taken from The Red Shoes album.

The Eat The Music front disc artwork features the original single cover photo by John Carder Bush of Kate’s hands delving into the luscious fruit…”Split me open, with devotion, you put your hands in, and rip my heart out, eat the music….rip them to pieces, with sticky fingers…” The reverse side is white vinyl pressed with grooves playing the 3 tracks.

Kate’s statement in full:

What a huge honour to have been asked to be Ambassador for this year’s Record Store Day. It really is a great privilege.

Isn’t it great to see how the resurgence in vinyl has taken the Music Industry by complete surprise? It had decided to leave vinyl far behind, but it would seem that not everyone agrees! I love that!

I know there are many, many artists who are just as excited to see the audience turning the tide.

In the same way that some people like to read a book on Kindle but also want to have a book as a physical object, a lot of people like vinyl and streaming. Both have different appeals.

The added bonus of vinyl is that it encourages people to listen to albums. An art form that I’ve always thought can be treasured in a unique way.

An album on vinyl is a beautiful thing, given a strong identity by its large-scale artwork. There’s a much more personal connection with the artist and their work.

It’s been fun putting designs together for some of the previous RSDs. This year’s design echoes the cancelled release of ‘Eat the Music’ as the first single from the album, ‘The Red Shoes’.
The image was intended to be on the cover of the single bag and is now on the disc as a UV print.
The title, ‘Eat the Music’, is meant to be a playful nod to ‘If music be the food of love, play on,’ from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

Each year Record Store Day gathers more attention, more momentum, and attracts more people who cram into indie record stores all over the world to see what’s up. What’s new?
This year, I hope you have a fantastic time at this very important event, and that you get to celebrate music that’s been specially released for you.

       Very best wises,

kate
Eat The Music 10″ picture disc rear disc artwork with grooves and label

Kate has posted a clip of the disc being manufactured:

Columbia Records released Eat The Music as the lead single from The Red Shoes in the US, while EMI chose Rubberband Girl everywhere else in the world. Eat The Music was also released in The Netherlands and Australia, along with a handful of other countries. The single reached #10 on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart.

Sooz Kempner sings Kate Bush in March, London – special KBN/HomeGround concert!

Sooz Kempner sings Kate Bush at the RVT

SOOZ KEMPNER SINGS KATE BUSH AT THE RVT, LONDONWITH SPECIAL GUEST MICHAEL MAYELL – Friday 15th March 2024 (Tickets)

Sooz Kempner is the brilliant stand up comedian, with sell out Edinburgh shows and a Doctor Who spin off, who has one of the best voices on the UK cabaret scene, AND who just happens to be a massive Kate Bush fan. 

If you have seen Sooz perform at Sunday Cabaret or one of the Kate themed charity shows at The RVT, you will have heard her stunning versions of songs such as Running Up That Hill, This Woman’s Work and Moments of Pleasure, plus her hilarious versions of Kate singing other people’s songs. NOW, in conjunction with HomeGround and KateBushNews.com, we are bringing you a whole show of Sooz singing Kate, plus she will be joined by the brilliant Michael Mayell, (formerly of the band Cloudbusting) on piano. This show will of course include some of Kate’s biggest hits, but also some real fan favourites, album tracks, b sides… it’s going to be a night for all Kate fans, whether you have loved her since Wuthering Heights or were introduced to her music by Stranger Things. (Tickets)

Tickets are here! £10 plus booking feeFriday 15th MarchDoors at 6pm, show starts at 7pm

The Kick Inside coloured vinyl edition finally released!

Kate fan Jeremy Unruh with the first copy of The Kick Inside coloured vinyl we’ve seen

Finally! Yes, of the ten gorgeous new coloured vinyl indie store editions of Kate’s albums this one has taken the longest to perfect and get out there! The Kick Inside on Mango Chutney translucent vinyl is finally being shipped to the US and to fans who ordered it on import elsewhere. Pictured is a beaming fan in France, our friend Jeremy Unruh, who scored the FIRST copy we’ve seen photographed out in the wild! Well done, Jeremy (and well done Jeremy’s husband, our friend Tristan!) – you both now have the full set. Delighted for you guys – enjoy (yes, we’re a little jealous here).

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