Somewhere there must be a lot of unused air raid sirens used during the war. Yesterday they should have all been blaring out ‘Running Up That Hill’ as the announcement for Kate Bush’s first live dates after 35 years deserve this amount of fan fare. After retreating into a life of privacy after just one UK tour in 1979, it was announced this morning that Kate will perform 15 shows at the Hammersmith Apollo as part of a series entitled ‘Before The Dawn’. Tickets will go on sale from 9.30am on Friday March 28 and are available exclusively from the following outlets.
The influence Kate Bush, now CBE, has had on the music industry is almost immeasurable after topping the UK charts with ‘Wuthering Heights’ at the age of just 19. She paved the way for female singer/songwriters and 40 years later she is cited as an influence for modern artists such as Goldfrapp, Florence + the Machine and Lily Allen, whilst both Björk and Tori Amos have also emphasised her significance.
If you have been living under a rock with your fingers in your eyes for the last forty years, here’s a catch up of 10 of Kate Bush’s most prolific and celebrated tracks.
1. ‘Wuthering Heights’
This is where it all began, a haunting and enchanted vocal that could not be ignored and paved the way for Kate’s impressive career.
2. ‘The Man With The Child in his Eyes’
This is one of my all time favourite songs, an enchanted and sombre ballad with emotional depth and intelligent narrative lyrics.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing songs ever written about a foetus with a fear of the Cold War. Kate described this track as ‘a little symphony’ and it is difficult to disagree with its delicate introductions before spanning into an ominous crescendo.
Another great example of the engaging storytelling that occurs within Kate’s discography, a tale of a paranoid wife who tricks her husband into falling in love with a younger competitor under the alias of ‘Babooshka’. It went on to sell a quarter of a million copies in the UK.
5. ‘Sat In Your Lap’
The lead single from the fourth and most experimental LP to date, The Dreaming. A frantic and bizarre opener with that synonymous vocal and experimental composition for the time.
This single was taken from Bush’s most successful LP, Hounds of Love. This song has an incredibly hypnotic quality with a sublime string section and it’s as majestic as it is effortless.
7. ‘Running Up That Hill’
This was Kate’s second highest charting single and has notable acclaim after being handpicked to appear during the 2012 Olympic Open Ceremony. An infectious melody and a new, powerful and commanding vocal made this track a jewel in the ‘Hounds of Love’ crown.
8. ‘Experiment VI’
A track composed exclusively for Bush’s only compilation album The Whole Story, this track is a simplistic and ominous piece of art rock.
9. ‘The Sensual World’
As the church bells open onto Kate’s sixth album of the same name, this single oozes 80s charm with beautiful use of fragmented riffs and yet another shift in vocal to a seductive and breathless whisper.
10. ‘Hello Earth’
My last choice is a personal recommendation, an epic closing track from ‘Hounds of Love’ with an operatic vocal and magnificent structure, a truly momentous track which is unfortunately unavailable on YouTube but find it on iTunes/Spotify etc.