**Warning – contains spoilers (and gushes of sentiment)**
Last night I saw Kate Bush in concert. Let’s type that once again just to make sure I’ve got that right and it wasn’t just a dream. Last night I saw Kate Bush in concert.
I think I could type that all night and I’m still not sure it would sink in. The last time Kate Bush played live, I wasn’t even an adult. Some of you reading this may not even have been born.
There’s an interest in this gig that goes way beyond the expectations of the fans, witnessed by the mass of TV camera crews gathered outside. There are people who’ve flown in from the US, Canada and Australia to see this. I’d have done the same if needs be. I bloody love Kate Bush.
But is the show going to be any good? After all, she’s hardly ever seen in public let alone performed. Leotards and the really high notes of the early songs aren’t going to happen but can she still sing live? Again, if you’ve only ever done one tour and haven’t played for 35 years (let’s type that one again too – 35 years), you’ve not the stage experience of someone of similar stature e.g. Peter Gabriel. It’s entirely possible this could fail to live up to the hype.
No worries, it more than lives up to the hype. It’s simply magical. It starts off as a conventional concert with the band behind her for the first few songs but morphs into a rich piece of performance theatre that only someone who has defied the ‘rules’ of pop music for virtually all her career can come up with. ‘The Ninth Wave’ (the second side of ‘Hounds of Love’ for those of you who remember vinyl) performed in its entirety. The second half consists of ‘A Sky of Honey’ (from Aerial) and an encore of ‘Among Angels’ from ‘50 Words For Snow ‘with a triumphant ‘Cloudbusting’ to finish followed by one last standing ovation, which went on long after the house lights went up.
In the end, this isn’t just a comeback concert; it’s a game changer, pushing the boundaries of what can be done just as she’s done with her music over the years.
Put a sea buoy on the stage, why not? A helicopter moving over the audience, that’s no problem either. Some of the best musicians in the business; goes without saying. This is someone who works on her own terms and I’m not sure how many artists could have pulled this comeback off after such a long time with this level of ambition?
Twenty-four hours later, I’m still not back to Earth. It was never a lifelong ambition to see Kate Bush. How could it be? Few fans thought there would ever be the opportunity. But then it happened and last night, with the same joy a four year old experiences Christmas, I saw Kate Bush in concert.