We are so sad to be sharing the news that Nina Leilani Deering of Baby Bushka died in a tragic car accident yesterday. If you have seen their live shows you’ll know Nina for her keyboard work and the show stopping version of This Woman’s Work she performed, which is also featured on the album of Kate Bush songs the band recently released. Our thoughts go out to Nina’s family, friends and Baby Bushka bandmates at this very sad time x
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Here’s news of a new musical from UK drag queen Kate Butch. She says: I’m so excited to bring my show to VAULT Festival. I obviously owe so much to Kate Bush and I’m really proud of this tribute to her work. Of course there’s some pastiche and parody (only Kate herself can perform There Goes a Tenner with a straight-face) but I’d like to think it’s a loving reimagining of the music we know and love. You might think you know the songs of Kate Bush, but you don’t know them like this.” Tickets here (if you mention the word CLOUDBUSTING you will get a discount): https://vaultfestival.com/whats-on/kate-butch-wuthering-shites/
From the press release: “Kate Butch, the Comic Sans of Drag,. has written a musical based on the songs of her favourite singer and namesake, but needs your help to get ‘BUSH!’ to Broadway. Expect jokes, songs, games, and so much Cloudbusting, from one of London’s best rising drag stars. Catch this “great comedian” (WhatsOnStage) as she Runs Up That Hill, Dreams of Sheep and, of course, Wuthers your Heights.”
VAULT Festival, London. 4th, 5th, 11th, 13th March, 22:10. Accessible venue.
ABOUT KATE BUTCH:
Kate Butch burst onto the London drag scene in 2018, bringing her trademark wit, vocal ability and Peppa Pig impersonations right along with her. Smashing local competitions and taking her crossdressing all across the globe (with apologies to the people of South Africa), Kate’s comedy stylings have catapulted her into the world of the capital’s queer nightlife. Having performed with the likes of RuPaul’s Drag Race winners Sasha Velour and The Vivienne, as well as the actual Cheeky Girls themselves, Kate Butch is the new name on everyone’s lips. But don’t worry – there’s a cream for that.
“If you see a more joyous or genuinely funny show this year, I’d be very surprised” – Buxton Fringe Review, 2017 / “A clear show stealer” – ScotsGay / Buxton Fringe Best Comedy Winner 2017/2019
A feature in The Guardian has spread the word on a remarkable album of music. Pone, real name Guilhem Gallart, is living with motor neurone disease since 2014, also known as ALS. He has composed an instrumental beat album, “Kate and Me“, as an ode to Kate Bush – each of the songs contain samples from one or more recordings Kate has made, interwoven with beats and rap vocals from the likes of Jay-Z, Style P and Biggie Smalls. As he cannot move his body he uses eye-tracking technology to compose and build his intricate compositions on a computer screen.
Pone chose to work with material by Kate as he had long worshipped for her “singular originality and own sampling work with Peter Gabriel”, he says. “And her voice, of course.” From the piece in The Guardian by Anaïs Brémond:
The result is an emotional, spacious record with a sci-fi quality. With trademark optimism, Pone says he “wasn’t limited” while producing it. “Rather the opposite. I was able to try new techniques. Before, it was way more immediate; now the process is really slow, but I use this time to properly think about the music.” I am intrigued by the final song, the 30-minute Loin de Tout ça: an icy, cavernous and seemingly endless vocal taken from Under the Ivy, the B-side to Bush’s 1985 single Running Up That Hill: “When we work, us beatmakers, we often hear the same loop for hours,” says Pone. “It really transforms our perception of sound, it immerses you in a different world. This is why I extended the track so much. This is the experience I wanted to share.”
In August last year, Pone finished Kate & Me and released it online for free (a physical version is now available in France). When he’s not imparting his encyclopaedic knowledge of soul, US and French rap in carefully written blogposts, he is actively promoting Kate & Me on social media – to an awestruck response…What about Bush herself? He hopes she isn’t too upset that he took liberties with her work, but he doubts whether she has listened to the album. “It seems like she’s untraceable. She’s probably making marmalade in the depths of the Scottish Highlands.” Pone, meanwhile, is making lemonade from life’s lemons.
Music journalist Anil Prasad has a new interview with mixer/engineer/producer Stephen W Tayler, who as many of you know, has been closely involved in Kate’s recent projects, including Director’s Cut, 50 Words for Snow, and of course, the Before the Dawn shows and live recording. Stephen offers a great deal of insight into his work with Kate in the conversation, which I think many of you will enjoy. A sticker quote from Kate on the package of Stephen’s recent Ostinato album package reads: “A beautiful and beguiling filmic journey in sound”
Here’s an excerpt where Stephen discusses how he tackled sonically representing what Kate wanted on the 50 Words for Snow album:
We were trying to imagine the feeling when you walk out on a dark night and the snow is falling. There’s a very different kind of silence in the air. It feels very dead, yet at some time, there’s still a presence you feel. How do you personify that in sound? It was about making people experience a sonic texture, dimension or depth. It sounds abstract, but these were the kinds of discussions I had with Kate. She wanted to make people feel something specific when they heard it, instead of just how they respond to the lyrics or playing. Sonically, how does it make you feel? That was the big question and what we were trying to accomplish. We would have wonderful conversations about these things.
Stephen also discusses his role on stage during the Before the Dawn shows:
I visited a hidden place in the middle of the countryside with about 100 people working on pre-production for the show. Kate gave me the title “Kate Vocal Navigator” in the program. My role was specifically to handle the sound of her voice. I controlled the effects that were used extensively throughout all the changing scenarios of the show. I handled her vocals and fed them to the front of the house. I was on stage, not out front. I never heard how the show sounded upfront. My main focus was to control the individual sound for every song. I would be hearing in my in-ear monitors exactly what Kate was hearing. I was controlling not just what the audience heard, but what Kate heard herself. It was about giving her the right sonic environment to suit her performance.
There’s a lot more about his work with Kate in the full interview here: https://www.innerviews.org/inner/stephen-w-tayler
Thanks to Kevin Wilson for letting us know about this show. From the press release: “The chaotic cabaret cult, AN EVENING WITHOUT KATE BUSH is here! Enter Strange Phenomena, howl with the The Hounds Of Love and dance on the moors with Wuthering Heights. Kate’s not there, but you are. From the makers of Julie Madly Deeply. But completely different.
Performer Sarah-Louise Young (Cabaret Whore, The Showstoppers, La Soiree) has teamed up with director Russell Lucas (Warped at VAULT Festival) to explore the music and mythology of one of the most influential voices in British music. From releasing Wuthering Heights at the age of 19 to selling out the Hammersmith Apollo nearly 40 years later, Kate Bush has always surprised and confounded her critics. Through it all her fans have stayed strong. Young invites you to celebrate her songs with this unique and mind-blowing show.”
Where? Vodoo Rooms (Ballroom), West Register Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2AA
When? 3 – 25 August (no show 12 & 19 August) – 16.40pm (1 hour) Free non-ticketed
Website: www.sarah-louise-young.com Twitter: @WithoutKateBush @SlyTheatreMaker
This is absolutely brilliant. For her cover of Running up that Hill, Los Angeles artist Meg Myers decided to make a music video that would bring the song into Crayola colour. With the help of 2,130 school children from Edmonton, the video’s director created a moving colouring book. Every frame in the 12-frame-per-second animation, features a page coloured by a different child.
The video has more than 500,000 views since it launched last month.
“It’s quite intense with all the colours changing,” music video director Jo Roy told CBC Edmonton’s Radio Active on Wednesday. “But [it’s meant to] feel like a very colourful experience, with the narrative of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly.” The animation was created using illustrations based on film footage of Meg Myers dancing. There are other added flourishes as she morphs into a human-butterfly and flies through space. Read more about the project at this article here which includes an audio interview with director Jo Roy. Meg Myers official site is here: https://www.megmyers.com/
My Inspiration is a new podcast series from HMV in which they give musicians, actors, filmmakers and producers the chance to take a welcome break from talking about themselves and instead talk about their greatest inspiration. For their first episode, they welcome Neil Hannon, the creative force behind The Divine Comedy, who opened up about his life-long love of Kate Bush.
HMV writes: “During the podcast, Hannon spoke about how he discovered the eccentric songstress, how she inspired the theatricality in his songwriting and stagecraft and which LP he considers to be her ultimate masterpiece. You can listen to the podcast below and make sure you check back on hmv.com for more episodes of My Inspiration…”
In the January 2019 edition of Classic Pop (out now – see their site here for details), Scottish singer Midge Ure was asked about the time Kate recorded backing vocals on his 1988 track, Sister and Brother. In 1982, Midge had appeared on stage with Kate Bush – along with Pete Townsend, Mick Karn and Phil Collins – while she performed The Wedding List live on stage during the Prince’s Trust Rock Gala.
“Midge’s first solo album after leaving Ultravox, Answers To Nothing, features a major coup – a rare guest vocal by Kate Bush, who sings as the sister in Sister and Brother. After Midge’s approach, Bush said she’d send a vocal contribution back if she had time. At that point, she was in the middle of recording her album The Sensual World. ”I wasn’t expecting Kate to do anything at all, or that she’d take months if she could help,” Midge admits, ”Then she phoned up a week later and said: ‘I’ve done something, do you want to come to my studio to hear it?”
Having turned her vocals around so quickly, Midge was ready for Bush’s contribution to be two or three lines; probably her sister character answering the brother’s questions. Instead, Bush had multi-tracked the vocals with effects Midge calls: “all these wonderful Kateisms”, including a choral section at the end of the song.
‘It was glorious,” enthuses Midge. ”My only regret is that I didn’t see Kate at work to see how she’d done it. Hearing someone like Kate Bush pour their heart and soul into one of my songs was an incredible affirmation. It was, ’Well done you, we’re giving you a gold star for your essay.’ I was shocked she’d taken so much time and effort.”
Having that mutual respect from someone so highly regarded helped convince Midge he was following the right path. He says: ”I realised I didn’t have to be aiming for three-minute pop songs, that I could make pieces of music I love, even if nobody else gets it.” [You can subscribe to Classic Pop here]
In a live version of Rihanna’s hit “Kiss it Better” yesterday in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge, Christine and the Queens incorporated the chorus from Kate’s Wuthering Heights into the performance. See the video below.
Ambushed is a new Australian musical brought to you by Adapt Productions as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival on 25th-27th and 29th-30th September. Tickets here.
“Kate Bush sang about it, Emily Bronte wrote about it and a waitress celebrating her 42nd birthday is dreaming about it in this surprising new piece of Australian Musical Theatre.
Whether you believe that there is somebody for everybody or that clinging onto the idea of a soulmate just leads to a stalemate won’t matter as you join Angela’s search to be reunited with her childhood sweetheart. Looking for signs from the universe in the form of references to Wuthering Heights leads Angela into a unique set of circumstances in this poignant yet uplifting comedy.”
Dates: 25-27, Sept and 29-30 Sept Times: 7.30pm, Sat 8.00pm, Sun 3.00pm and 5.30pm (70 minutes) Venue: Chapel Off Chapel 12 Little Chapel St, Prahran VIC 3181, Australia Tickets: Full: $35 / Concession: $30 / Preview (Tues): $25 / Group: $30 TO BOOK TICKETS visit melbournefringe.com.au or call (03) 9660 9666 For media enquiries contact: Jaz Hendry, 0427 592 383 or firstname.lastname@example.org
He taught me that you can express with your body – and when your body is awake so is your mind. He’d put you into emotional situations, some of them very heavy. Like he’d say, “right, you’re all going to become sailors drowning and there are waves curling up around you.” And everyone would just start screaming. Or maybe he’d turn you into a little piece of flame… (Kate Bush, 1978)
We were very sad to hear today of the passing of the great dancer, actor, teacher, mime artist, and choreographer, Lindsay Kemp. He was 80 years old and had been at his home in Livorno, Italy preparing for upcoming performances and writing his memoirs.
When Kate reissued her album, The Red Shoes, in 2011 with a warm analogue remaster, she made sure to include a prominent new dedication on the sleeve-notes: “Special thanks to Lindsay Kemp, the most original artist ever, for being such an inspiration”. It was accompanied by a Guido Harari photograph of Lindsay in costume from the set of Kate’s film The Line, The Cross and The Curve, dancing manically on burning bones and grinning broadly, lost in the joy of the dance. For Kate Bush fans, Lindsay was one of those iconic reference points in Kate’s early story, like Gilmour, or East Wickham Farm or the KT Bush Band – her decision to attend his classes and learn how to extend her musical expression into movement and dance utterly changed the shape her career would take.
Lindsay was born on May 3rd 1938, growing up in a poor one-parent family in South Shields on Tyneside, and transformed himself, via early performances in working men’s clubs, into an influential avant garde creative force working across Europe. He studied art with painter David Hockney, who took him to see his first ballet at Sadler’s Wells in London. He went on to study dance with Hilde Holger and mime with Marcel Marceau and founded his own dance company in the 1960s. He met David Bowie in 1966 when Bowie attended his dance classes in London.
“He came to my dressing room and he was like the archangel Gabriel standing there, I was like Mary,” he said. “It was love at first sight.” Bowie became his student and his lover, performing in Kemp’s show, Pierrot in Turquoise and gaining the theatrical inspiration for Ziggy Stardust. “He was certainly multi-faceted, a chameleon, splendid, inspiring, a genius of a creature. But I did show him how to do it,” Kemp said. After their brief relationship, Lindsay went on to choreograph and perform with Bowie at the Ziggy Stardust concerts in 1972.
When Kate left school she had already mulled over the idea of dance but she couldn’t get accepted into a full-time ballet course as she didn’t have the qualifications. Famously, it was seeing Lindsay’s performance of ‘Flowers’ that convinced Kate to join his classes in 1976 at The Dance Centre in Covent Garden. Lindsay’s own website describes the celebrated show: “Kemp’s extremely free interpretation of Genet’s novel “Our Lady of the Flowers”, with himself playing the central role of Divine, a transvestite transcending gender in a world of criminals, whores and angels: prisons and sexual fantasies, Genet’s verbal violence and poetry transformed into music and gesture, silence and stillness. A dreamlike journey to destruction, through seduction, shock, laughter, poetry and total emotion.”
Needless to say Kate had never seen anything like it; it reduced her to tears. “The first time I saw him it was like a whole new world opened up for me. He did more than I’d ever seen done on stage before and he never opened his mouth!” Kate would later sing backing vocals on a song called “Flowers” released in 1982, dedicated to Lindsay by singer Zaine Griff, also a student of the maestro.
In recent interviews Lindsay humorously and affectionately recalled the teenage Kate Bush showing up at his classes.
“Kate turned up dressed very properly in her ballet tights and things and her hair scraped back looking very, very professional indeed, looking like a serious student, but as timid as hell! And of course she took a place at the back of the class. You know, I had to coax her forward, I mean she was extremely shy, extremely timid and the first thing I had to do was bring her out of herself, give her courage. I have to say, that once Kate actually started dancing, she was a WILD thing, I mean she was wild!”
Kate dedicated the opening song from her debut album, The Kick Inside, to Lindsay, much to his surprise and delight. The lyrics of ‘Moving’ describe the devastating effect Kate felt on seeing him in performance.
Moving liquid, yes, you are just as water
You flow around all that comes in your way
Don’t think it over, it always takes you over
And sets your spirit dancing
How I’m moved, how you move me
With your beauty’s potency
You give me life, please don’t let me go…
you crush the lily in my soul
Kate went on to cast Lindsay in the role of a mysterious guide in her 1993 short film, The Line, The Cross and The Curve. A wealth of photographs from this project surfaced recently when photographer Guido Harari published a lavish book, The Kate Inside, containing many images of Lindsay and Kate working together. You’ll see some of these shots at the end of this article. Lindsay wrote the foreword for the book as well as co-signing some deluxe editions with Guido. As recently as June of this year, Kate sent flowers to Lindsay to congratulate him on a stage performance in Manchester, his white-painted face as expressive and beguiling as ever.
Today, Kate has paid tribute to him in a statement:
A message for Lindsay
The world has lost a truly original and great artist of the stage.
To call him a mime artist is like calling Mozart a pianist. He was very brave, very funny and above all, astonishingly inspirational. There was no-one quite like Lindsay. I was incredibly lucky to study with him, work with him and spend time with him. I loved him very much and will miss him dearly. Thank you, dear Lindsay.
RIP Lindsay, you were irreplaceable. With sincere condolences to your family and friends – Seán, Peter, Krys and Dave x
Read about Lindsay’s work at his official site here.
Big Boi from Outkast has long been one of the most vocal fans of Kate in the music world, taking part in the 2014 BBC documentary about her and tweeting in May 2017 about having had dinner with her, showing off his signed Before the Dawn CD! (See the CD below) He continues enthusing about Kate’s work in this new video from Pitchfork in which he talks about exactly why he loves Running Up That Hill so much.
English singer-songwriter and musician, Tim Arnold, has recently collaborated on stage with mime artist Lindsay Kemp – a working partnership that was triggered by his lifelong interest in Kate’s work. Kate sent flowers to Tim and Lindsay last month when they performed “What Love Would Want“, an installation of music, film, photography and dance, at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. The event was presented by Katie Puckrick. Tim posted pics to Twitter of them holding Kate’s flowers.
A recent interview with Tim shines a light on his history with Kate and Lindsay including a recollection of a visit to the set of The Line, The Cross and the Curve when he was 17! Here’s an excerpt:
How did you get to work with the mime artist Lindsay Kemp?
I first read of Lindsay Kemp in a book about Kate Bush by Fred Vermorel. I was sitting alone in the basement of the McDonalds on the corner of the Tottenham Court Rd, huddled over an Egg McMuffin in 1987. I was 12 years old, away from my mother’s home in Spain for the summer holidays and devouring as many albums and books from London charity shops as I could.
Through Kate Bush, I also discovered Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, as well as the great Colin Wilson. But it was always the mention of Lindsay, an almost ethereal being from another world, that sparked my imagination when I began to study the roots and foundations running through English pop culture.
The first time I saw Lindsay, I was on the set of Kate Bush’s film The Line, The Cross and The Curve. I was 17. My older brother was working on the production and he invited me along to watch. I remember it well. It was the first time I had seen a Papaya. There was a lot of exotic fruit used in that film. I remember seeing Kate, Miranda Richardson and Lindsay in my brother’s monitor and also in person, between their takes. At the end of the shoot, I felt elated and inspired, as if having seen a glimpse into a creative future. I also lived on Mangos and Papayas for a week after that.
Lindsay and I finally met last year at one of his shows in London. I was so honoured to discover he had even heard of me, and had listened to my album The Soho Hobo. He said he loved the songs I’d written about Soho. It totally blew my mind and when we discovered we had so much in common, we knew we had to work together.
You can read more about Tim at his official site here.
Swedish folk duo, First Aid Kit, have just released a new studio cover version of Running up that Hill on Spotify.
The winner of last night’s Best Rock Album at the Grammys, The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding, has a small Kate Bush connection. In a previous interview, Adam Granduciel from the band said: “Recently, I went to the WFMU Record Fair in New York. I was there for like two hours – I’m not on my knees – but I got some cool stuff. I got Kate Bush, The Sensual World, which I actually named my record after! She has a song called Deeper Understanding – I heard that song maybe a year ago and it totally twisted me up, and then it made its way into one of the lyrics (on the song Pain).”
“I heard it at a specific moment in time where I needed to have a little kick in the ass. I was in a weird place with the record – I felt like I was delegating all the music and not really being proactive about putting my own stamp on it,” says Granduciel.
“I listened to that song and it was all Kate Bush. The way that she was playing this one piano part, you could just tell it was played by someone really connected to the song; no one else was going to go into the room and play the part like that.
“That song was an inspiration to not forget about my own involvement in the music, and that at the end of the day it needed to be something that I was heavily connected to for it to really be something that would be worthwhile.” Congratulations to the band! Read more at the band’s official site here.