Break the mould – Kate Bush
By Ruth Greenall.
Hoodywink loves an original, a one off, break-the-mould trail blazing artist the likes of whom we’ve never seen before. It’s a rare thing when such an artist emerges but when it happens it’s an unforgettable moment.
Kate Bush gave us such a moment on Top Of The Pops back in 1978 with her filmed performance of ‘Wuthering Heights’; a soaring orchestral track inspired by William Wyler’s 1939 film of the Emily Bronte classic novel. This wasn’t just a song, this was a performance piece which drew us into Bronte’s gothic tale.
But it was Bush’s voice itself that was most distinctive and unusual, a high pitched and almost operatic vocal, with unique intonations and expression, a voice as individual as a fingerprint in the way of Billie Holliday.
Kate has produced 11 albums to date and continues to faithfully follow her own creative compass. Her work is alternately described as ‘sublime’ and ‘demented’. She can draw the listener into an alternate world of the magical and mystical and make the everyday and mundane seem exotic and sensual (Aerials’ Mrs Bartolozzi).
Kate Bush is an advocate of mixing old and new technologies in her work but sees the album as an important art form, putting as much creative effort into the art work of each album as to the music, which, she tells us, is mastered to a good quality which you don’t get when you download music. Some of her work has been conceptual or linked by a theme, like the 2011 album ’50 Words For Snow’, in which she describes a longer structure of songs to ‘travel further into a story’. This album includes beautiful artwork providing a wonderful visual interpretation of this winter album.
More recently Kate’s style has become more stripped back and acoustic lead by piano and drums, and she has re-worked old songs on the album ‘Director’s Cut’ (2011) to create a more laid back feel keeping the best performances of the original musicians. She works in isolation of the mainstream and continues to challenge herself to produce something different from what she has done before, which is perhaps why she has been able to appeal to a new generation of listeners.
On the 28th March tickets go on sale for Bush’s 2014 ‘Before The Dawn Tour’, 15 shows at London’s Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith starting on August 26th. Bush has an incredible back catalogue of music to draw upon to make this a gig not to be missed and Hoodwink is praying that at least one of us will be wearing a ‘Before The Dawn’ tour hoody by September.