Living with…Kate Bush…for a week


Wow. Kate Bush is 52.

I know its rude to discuss someone’s age, but I’m just stunned that it’s so long ago since she first appeared in our living room with that wild voice, those wild eyes, the wild hair and the strangest dancing that we’d all ever seen.  And that magical song swirling all over the place, as mad as the dancing.  In 1978, Kate Bush was only 19 when she was on Top of the Pops and performed Wuthering Heights in that white dress.  We’d never seen or heard anything like it.  The mad woman in the attic personified.  Through the 80s she brought us amazing and eccentric songs and albums, and this week I’m spending time with The Hounds of Love from 1985.

And now she’s 52.  Sorry to repeat, I’m just taking it in.  Totally by accident (honestly, I only realised half way through the week!) I’ve chosen the week before she releases her first single for years Deeper Understanding, and the week that this amazing photo above marks an upcoming compilation, The Director’s Cut.  Her eyes are still amazing, the hair is controlled but hints that it could get wild if given the chance. I look forward to finding out if the dancing is still as strange…

Sometimes less is more

Although practically the same age as Madonna, that is as far as the similarity goes. Whereas you feel Madonna’s every living moment is crafted for attention, Kate Bush is fiercely private about her life, so much that it took the press 18 months to discover she’d become a mother.  She has withdrawn from the public gaze for years at a time.  The girl from Kent takes pride in her normality –

“For the last 12 years, I’ve felt really privileged to be living such a normal life. It’s so a part of who I am. It’s so important to me to do the washing, do the Hoovering. Friends of mine in the business don’t know how dishwashers work. For me, that’s frightening. I want to be in a position where I can function as a human being. Even more so now where you’ve got this sort of truly silly preoccupation with celebrities. Just because somebody’s been in an ad on TV, so what? Who gives a toss?”  from an interview in MOJO magazine (3 November 2005)

The Hounds of Love

Forget Prince, the reason why the 80s was the decade of the colours purple and lilac was the cover for this album – I’m sure every girl decided that purple accessories were the way forward following on from Kate.  Scarves, leg warmers, large earrings, make-up…all turned purple or lilac.  Fortunately us chaps had the Wham! fashion icons in George and Andrew and our open neck white shirts and therefore didn’t feel intimidated of course.

The Hounds of Love is definitely a game of two halves for me, not least because we had it originally as a tape and had to rewind at the end of Side One to play it again and again on journeys.  For if I’m travelling Side One is the one, from that eerie opening to Running Up That Hill with the driving drums through to the powerful Cloudbusting with the beautiful string accompaniment.  Side Two, the more conceptual “The Ninth Wave” is for chilling and absorbing at home, and like every Kate Bush album it has its eccentric moments that you don’t necessarily get, and lyrics that need fathoming.

I’ve always loved the idea within Running Up That Hill that to fully understand each other a man and woman should swap places for a while “Do you want to feel how it feels?  Do you want to know that it doesn’t hurt me?  Do you want to hear about the deal that I’m making?  You, it’s you and me.  And if I only could, I’d make a deal with God”  Very Kate Bush, and fine with me, as long as we can swap back again soon after.

At the end of this week I intend to check out her last album Aerial from 2005 which I confess I never discovered.  From what I’ve heard, it’s the best of the lot…having said that she featured Rolf Harris’s didgeridoo on Aerial  and her further collaboration with him (yes, seriously) is still to come out so even that may be surpassed.

For my video I’ve not chosen a song from the album but the clip from the 80s film She’s Having a Baby when Kate’s song This Woman’s Work becomes more than the soundtrack and becomes the film.  You get the bonus sight of Kevin Bacon streaming snot but also the amazing image of a teardrop falling and turning to blood.  Be warned, this is a tearjerker.

“All the things we should’ve done but we never did…”

Twotes of the Week: A twote I think is a new word – it can mean a tweet (i.e. something written on twitter) that’s been sent in the past. Or it can be a combination of a tweet and a quote.  Take your pick.  Amidst all the noise and chatter going on out there here are a few moments that tickled my fancy this week on Twitter…

@jonsnowC4 (Jon Snow C4 News): I have much to learn from Libyan TV about news casting: Must retrieve a kalashnikov from beneath the desk and wave it in the air live!

@mikeash: Normal person: “I’m too lazy to figure it out, I’ll just look it up.” Programmer: “I’m too lazy to look it up, I’ll just figure it out.”

@SGTIANBODE (Sgt Ian Bode, Coventry Police): My idea of sneaking up on the bad guys has gone to pot now that my bike has developed a squeak!

@HeardinLondon: When Churchill was asked to cut #ArtsFunding in favour of the war effort, he replied “Then what are we fighting for?” #ACEFunding (the Churchill quote is apocryphal, but oh if it were true…)

@808Kate: Russian dolls: they’re so full of themselves

Glee Watch – I’m sorry but Rachel slaughtered Firework one of Katie Perry’s better songs and one of P’s favourite pop videos – I haven’t the heart to show her the clip from Glee; this week’s episode salvaged by the Warblers boys choir performing in GAP and the cafe at the end…silly love songs.