The Cloudbusting gig at the Tivoli Theatre in Wimborne Minster had been in my diary for what seemed like ages and about a week before I thought I'd get in touch with the band to see if they might be kind enough to give me a photo pass for the evening. I was in luck, they did!
The Tivoli is a small 500 seater theatre that is run as a charity and staffed mostly by retiree volunteers. The natives were very friendly indeed, and a cup of tea was available in the coffee shop attached to the theatre. This, combined with being able to get "rock star" parking directly opposite the main doors was an excellent start to the evening.
I met my contact from the band, Michael (their keyboardist). We had a bit of a chat about the Kate Bush concerts a year and a bit ago.
Just like most of the recent bands I've been to photograph, I hadn't listened to any of their music before the gig, but the one different being that I know the music of Kate Bush really rather well, so I knew roughly what to expect.
What I wasn't expecting though was just how damn good they were. While I'm no musician, the arrangements of quite a few of Kate's songs seem less than simple, and the band were brave enough to tackle some of her more complex tunes.
They played The Ninth Wave (featuring a brilliant version of Jig of Life), and also Sunset from a Sky of Honey (one of my favourite songs). As expected there were the big Hounds of Love hits, but also some of the early stuff that Kate didn't touch on during her concerts, Wow, Babooshka, Breathing, James & The Cold Gun and finishing up with Wuthering Heights - they were all quite brilliantly played. Oh and I nearly forgot they also did Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up", a song which I actually saw Pete and Kate perform live at my very first concert way back in the 1980's....
After the gig I got to meet "Kate", aka Mandy Watson, who was really quite exceptionally brilliant, nailing every note and singing to perfection.
Although I had freedom to go anywhere in the venue, and no three song limit, for most of the time I sat at the front, listening, singing along, tapping my feet, and taking the occasional photograph.
Other than the occasional wedding band, Cloudbusting are the first tribute band I've been to see, and if you're even slightly into Kate's music, be sure to check them out. You won't regret it.