5th June 2005: Coldplay have just released their new album, X&Y. In several recent interviews the band has revealed that the new single Speed Of Sound was inspired by Kate. Bassist Guy Berryman admitted that it was written in an attempt to copy the drum sound in Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill.” Singer Chris Martin said that the track was written in the summer of 2004 and inspired by two very different women; Kate and Martin’s daughter Apple, who was just a few months old at the time. “That’s a song where we were listening to a lot of Kate Bush last summer, and we wanted a song which had a lot of tom-toms in it,” Martin said. “I just had my daughter up also, and was kind of feeling in a sense of awe and wonderment, so the song is kind of a Kate Bush song about miracles.” (thanks to Kevin Tachman, Kyla)…HomeGround has reached something of a milestone recently with the publication of issue 75 of the much-loved Kate Bush magazine – the Spring 2005 edition. Congratulations to Peter, Krys and Dave! Also on the 18th May Homeground celebrated 23 years of producing the mag. Krys says “Thanks to everyone who has stayed with us in the quiet times and continued to support us and the magazine. Big hugs.” As well as the usual comprehensive news round-up the issue features more poetry including pieces by Kate’s brother John Carder Bush, a review of the recent highly successful Kate tribute night at Duckies (see below for news on their second event in October), reviews of the Waiting For Kate Bush book, some ghostly and seductive fiction, a piece on the latest CD and DVD audio technology and more. Subscription info can be found here
Music journalist and author Rob Jovanovic is putting the finishing touches to his biography of Kate due to be published by Piatkus in November. Rob has written for the likes of Q, Mojo, Uncut, Record Collector and many others and has had books published on Beck, REM, Pavement and Nirvana. He has contacted me looking to see if any site visitors would have photographs of Kate which might be a bit different from the usual oft-used promo-shots and press archives (i.e. good quality personal snaps from signings/appearances etc). Rob says that he can offer an advance copy of the book for anyone who can help. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org…Kate is up for the Mojo Songwriter award this year. Paul Weller, Van Morrison, Damien Rice, Brian Wilson and Kate are all nominated. “While other awards celebrate the biggest names and the best releases of the preceding year, we believe there’s long been a need to properly honour the extraordinary talents of the artists, bands and songwriters whose careers have been responsible for enhancing our rich musical culture,” explained Mojo editor-in-chief Phil Alexander. The Mojo Honours List winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Porchester Hall in Bayswater, London on June 16. To vote for this award email mojo radio now at email@example.com or pick up a voting form from any branch of HMV. Read more here (thanks Kris)…Sandy Shaw was one of the guests at the Queen’s music industry party om March 2nd. She wrote in the New Statesman: “I really enjoyed meeting some of my Eighties musical heroes for the first time, like Peter Gabriel, Joan Armatrading and Kate Bush. Peter admitted to having me as a bedroom pin-up as a boy; Joan informed me she was now chair of Women in Music; and Kate took us on a grand tour of the Queen’s art collection, which adorned the walls. She was ecstatic. “Can you believe it? That’s a real Rubens up there. Fancy having that in your front room,” Kate bubbled. I turned around and there was Da Kween (sic) in a bright turquoise suit smiling at me holding out her hand to be shaken (no gloves) She chatted away amiably and even managed to look interested as I explained my latest foray into European copyright law. All the while Kate Bush was rummaging in her handbag. Suddenly, she produced a pen and some paper. “Would you mind awfully signing this for my son?” she asked sweetly. The Queen looked lost for words. “I think that’s a pop star thing Kate” I mumbled. The Queen seemed pleased to be let off the hook. “Quite right” she answered as an equerry quickly hustled her away” The Guardian also mentioned “60s pop sensation Sandie Shaw having to rescue Ma’am from the autograph-hounding ways of Ms Kate Bush…” You’ll be glad to hear that Kate was defended in a letter from Sandra Spiers in the London Evening Standard: “How rude of Sandie Shaw to correct Kate Bush for approaching the Queen for an autograph. Clearly it was Bush who was doing the polite thing. I seem to remember that when Bush was invited to a royal function to mark the Golden Jubilee, the Queen, in a similar scenario to her recent meeting with Eric Clapton, did not appear to know who she was. Could Shaw not have been gracious enough to let her fellow singer demonstrate that at least she was in no doubt who she was talking to?” (thanks to Wayne)
We’ve reported on the widespread embracing of Kate as a fashion icon by designers and artists this year. Greg Myler, the English designer for the Italian label Byblos, has written to me to tell me more about their Kate-inspired Milan show. “I wanted to tell you how our Autumn Winter 2005/06 show was inspired by Kate. I am a huge fan and hearng about her new album release decided to base all the show on her, using her eclectic and original style as a starting point. We used a mood board of photos and album covers as a backdrop for interviews and television. We did a fantastic electronic remix (lasting around 20 minutes) for the show with Gak Sato, a famous Japanese musician and dj. He mixed “Wuthering Heights”, “The Sensual World” and “Running up the Hill” with moody and sexy Bedrock tracks that had all Milan rocking! I was surpised how big she is in Italy and all the Italian press loved the idea of using her as inspiration.” (thanks Greg, hope the Kate-inspired designs are a big hit this year)….according to the Guardian newspaper composer Michael Nyman has plans to release an album of songs arranged for popular singers including Beth Orton, Kate Bush and Norma Winstone. Read more here. (Thanks to PDFM and Kelv)…anyone who has read the reviews of the Duckie Kate Bush tribute night on the site forum or in Homeground 75 will know that it was a resounding success. Paul Thomas in Homeground reported a “sea of leg-warmers, lycra, leotards and faded old t-shirts from the 70s and 80s.” Images of Kate were projected on big screens, a man sculpted a topiary Kate (!), a lady was making Kate Bush badges, another lady offered Kate makeovers including a lot of crimping and many acts, including Kiki and Herb and Fake Bush, performed on the night. For info on a second KB event at the club visit this site here (thanks to Paul and to Orla Murphy)…it’s Big Brother time again on Channel 4 in the UK. One of this year’s contestants, Kemal, was seen skipping around the garden in a red floaty dress with fellow housemate and witch “Scary” Mary when he exclaimed “I feel like Kate Bush!” (thanks to Lou, Andrew and Stunning)…an article about the American sculptor Thomas Ostenberg mentions that Kate owns one of his works. Kate has previously thanked Thomas in relation to the “Strange Fruit” sculpture that she did for Warchild in 1996 (read that here)…US broadcasterBruce V. Bracken has written to let me know that he “had the distinct pleasure of discussing Kate Bush with Dr. Camille Paglia, author of “Sexual Personae”, as she stopped here in Seattle on a promotional tour for her new book, “Break Blow Burn”. I asked her for her opinion on Kate’s work, and she gushed that she is a true performance artist, and that her favorite song is “Running Up That Hill”. (thanks Bruce)…The much-lauded Antony and the Johnstons have released their new album I Am A Bird Now. Singer Antony remembers being a kid and doing slow-motion cartwheels in the style of Wuthering Heights for the neighbours. “I remember watching Kate Bush on television” he says “and thinking – gasp – who is she? I want to be like that!” The bands music has been described as ‘antique torchsongs’. Guests on the album include Lou Reed, Rufus Wainwright and Boy George. (thanks Monty).
The Scotsman has ran an article on March 26th celebrating the more unusual “outsider” arists emerging at the moment including Joanna Newsom and Antony and The Johnstons. “…there is something in the air, and it bodes well for the imminent, long-delayed return of that queen of musical misfits, Kate Bush. Bush, lest we forget, launched her career just as the UK was in the grip of Punk. Bush has been heroically ignoring both fashion and received commercial wisdom ever since, whether dressing like a gay pirate, getting Rolf Harris to play didgeridoo on one of her songs, or baffling most of her hard-won audience with The Dreaming, one of the most pigheadedly uncommercial albums ever released on a major label. Given that Kate Bush has released nothing since 1993’s The Red Shoes, her return will be one of the biggest musical events of this year. Her influence can be detected everywhere – Gwen Stefani’s loopy performance at the Brits, in particular, was very Kate Bush – but it’s a good time to remind ourselves that, if she has become something of a national treasure, it has a lot to do with the fact that a genuine misfit – 1978’s equivalent of Antony or Joanna Newsom – became a huge star…I suspect that Kate Bush’s extended absence will make people like her all the more. She has stayed away so long, by all accounts, simply because she was enjoying being a mother, and had no great interest in either releasing music or remaining famous simply for the sake of it.” (thanks to RBlazon on the guestbook)…The 25th March edition of the Irish Examiner newspaper had a front page colour pic of Kate (the one we’ve all seen – wearing her headscarf arriving at Buckingham palace) with the tagline “Heights Of Fame. Which ’80s superstar, who racked up 10 million album sales and a personal fortune of €36 million, is due for a comeback?” The feature itself, “Beating Around The Bush” is on page 15. “Widely adored, totally reclusive and rumoured to be making a comeback, the unique Kate Bush has Suzanne Harrington on her trail….Imagine being so idolised that a rare posting on a website – not even your own, because you don’t have one – starts a flurry of media attention. Without ever confirming a release date for your latest album – the first in 12 years and counting – newspapers write breathlessly of your comeback and your trademark legwarmers and jumpsuits duly appear on the pages of Elle Girl and the catwalks of London Fashion Week….Barely able to contain my excitement, I call EMI, Kate’s long-suffering record company, for the release date of the long-awaited album. A weary voice sighs down the phone. ‘We don’t know,’ says the EMI spokesperson resignedly. We’re waiting and waiting for Kate Bush. Like everyone else.’ The spokesperson went on to say that, although there is an album due from Ms Bush, who has been working on it in her own recording studio, as yet there is no definite release date…in the age of instant pop noodle – just add Louis Walsh and stir – Kate Bush is an anachronism, a rich, talented recluse who just wishes to be alone. So who is she, this woman who keeps everyone waiting decades but is still adored?” The 2/3 page article goes on to outline Kate’s career in the usual way and concludes with: “However, now that her son is seven, Kate Bush is due to give her adoring fans what they have been waiting for – a new album. Watch this space. Patiently”. (thanks to Thomas Dunning)
Cover versions round up: Coronation Street star Debra Stephenson has covered Babooshka on her new CD. Apparently Wuthering Heights was the first single she ever bought. Read more here (thanks to Richard, David, Dylan and John)…The Decembrists (with singer Petra Haden) have covered Wuthering Heights. Read more here…Gene Manuel has made his version of Under The Ivy available for download here…Hounds of Love is on a new EP by the recently reunited Australian band Frente, fronted by Angie Hart. More here (thanks to Will and Greg)…Swimmer One, an electronic pop duo from Scotland have released Cloudbusting as a single featuring Cora Bisset on vocals. Read more here (thanks Yiannis)…Les July has made his video of Running Up That Hill available for download here (thanks Les)
There is a feature article on Kate in this month’s arty Black & White magazine from Australia on Kate’s comeback (thanks to Ariel)…The Complete Comic Strip collection has been released on DVD (£34.99 at Play.com) and it includes Kate’s music in the GLC and her starring role as the bride in the 1990 short film Les Dogs. (thanks Richard)…7th April the popular daytime ITV show ‘This Morning’ featured the TV wedding of Coronation Street soap characters Deidre Rashid and Ken Barlow. At the beginning of the item, Kate could be heard singing her version of Gershwin’s “The Man I Love” (thanks to Krys Boswell)…Sister Bliss of dance act Faithless has named Never For Ever as one of her three defining musical moments in the March edition of ‘Juice’ a local magazine in Brighton…”Rapunzel – A Modern Fairytale” by Lynn and David Roberts is a children’s book about Rapunzel, set in a tower block in the 1970s, and Rapunzel happens to be pictured listening to “The Kick Inside”, holding the cover, and having a giant poster of Kate (from the Lionheart inside cover) staring down at her! (thanks Louise – click on the picture for a larger image)…Tory Co-Chairman Liam Fox is a Kate fan. “I love Hounds of Love by Kate Bush. I’ve been waiting over a decade for the new Kate Bush album to come out and now it’s nearly arrived – that’s a definite buying event to look forward to!” Read more here…Motór, an award-winning Polish film by Wieslaw Paluch is set in 1983 and depicts the daily life of a group of provincial youths. Kate is featured on the soundtrack. (thanks Swan)…VH-1 Classic‘s Alternative show named Hounds Of Love a classic album on the 18th March. The US show comes on three times a week and they have been playing Kate at least once a week since the beginning of the year when they announced the new album. (thanks to Collin)…Mike from the Mick Karn website says that Mick has a new website, www.mickkarn.net, and is giving away free downloads of full tracks in high quality MP3 from many of his albums. As you know, Mick is said to be playing on the track “How To Be Invisible” on Kate’s new album….and finally, actor Russell Crowe’s iTunes playlist can be seen here. (thanks Christine)