27 August 2014


The newspaper reviews have all been written, and from what I've read every single one is overwhelming positive.

I was lucky enough, with the help from a code via the official Kate Bush newsletter, to get two tickets for the opening night of her first gig in 35 years.  To call it a gig is understating things, it was a show, it was a spectacle, it was just stunning.

Before the show I was talking about what might be the opening song, and I remember saying prior that she should just go "balls out" and hit us with one of the big songs, Running or Hounds straight away.  Song two was Hounds of Love.

"I hope she can still sing" was a comment said to me by many in the months building up to the show.  Having listened to her more recent albums I knew she could, but I wasn't expecting the power in her voice.  Just brilliant.

The setlist was interesting, with the brave decision not to play anything from her first four albums. 
The show was split into two halves with Lily, Hounds of Love, Joanni, Running Up That Hill, Top of the City, King of the Mountain, And Dream of Sheep, Under Ice, Waking the Witch, Watching You Without Me, Jig of Life, Hello Earth, and The Morning Fog making up part one.  Part two was Prelude, Prologue, An Architect’s Dream, The Painter’s Link, Sunset, Aerial Tal, Somewhere in Between, Nocturn, Aerial, Among Angels and the finale Cloudbusting.

From the bits of tissue paper that were blasted at the audience were the words "'Wave after wave, each mightier than the last. Till last, a ninth one, gathering half the deep. And full of voices, slowly rose and plunged. Roaring, and all the wave was in a flame."

A week before the show Kate posted a short message on her website saying "We have purposefully chosen an intimate theatre setting rather than a large venue or stadium. It would mean a great deal to me if you would please refrain from taking photos or filming during the shows. I very much want to have contact with you as an audience, not with iphones, ipads or cameras. I know it's a lot to ask but it would allow us to all share in the experience together.".  Her polite request turned into the strictest "no photography" rule I've ever seen, with the staff jumping on anyone who dared point a mobile phone towards the stage. In reality people were probably too scared of being thrown out to risk getting a couple of crappy mobile phone photos, and very few people even tried.  Despite easily getting a small camera inside, the only photos I have are of the stage before, at the interval, and after.  I would have loved to have been photographing the performance.  So many amazing visuals.

The venue was the Hammersmith Apollo, a venue from the outside that looks rather "meh", but inside worked to perfection.  Kate, it seems, has many celebrity fans as on the way in I saw Dave Gilmour, Frank Skinner, Marc Almond and Del Palmer.  Others saw Michael Ball and Holly Johnson and apparently there were some b-listers like Lily Allen who I wouldn't have recognised if she was sitting next to me.

After what Kate announced was her final song, even with the houselights up the audience refused to move.  For over 5 minutes nearly everyone stood cheering and clapping.  It wasn't until the stage techs appeared to start turning things off that everyone got the message.  "Kate had left the stage!".

Awesome.  Just f**king awesome!

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