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This Woman’s Work – Kate Bush & me

Kate Bush has made a dramatic return to the music world by touring the UK for the first time in 35 years. Her ‘Before The Dawn’ tour kicked off to rave reviews at London’s Hammersmith Apollo on 26th August. Over the years she been a bit of an enigma to say the least but as a fan even from childhood I can’t wait to see what she does next.

I have always found Kate Bush fascinating. When I was a child I watched my parents’ compilation tape of her music videos all the time! I even used a table cloth as a cape and strapped a plastic pirate sword to me pretending I was ‘Babooshka’! I also found her scary too, her wide eyes would stare right at me as she sang. Not to mention her videos were…very weird. But I think a lot of people felt this way, my mum said “She was like Marmite, you either loved her or hated her”.

Recently I watched ‘The Kate Bush Story: Running Up That Hill’ and learned lots of new things about her. I had no idea she was so young when she started out, by 15 she had already written a hundred songs including ‘The Man with a Child in His Eyes’. She was signed to EMI when she was just 18 and had her first number one hit at 19 with ‘Wuthering Heights’.

As I’ve grown older I’ve started to appreciate her music in a different way. As a child when you listen to a song the lyrics wash over you and you just hear rhythms, beats and words. The meanings of the lyrics make sense and evoke emotion as you get older and experience life. This is exactly how I felt when listening to Kate Bush as an adult. For example the lyrics to ‘This Woman’s Work’ are beautiful and I can’t listen to it without shedding a tear! Not only are they about love and loss but also about the emotional strength of women, the caring nature of a woman holding up a man who feels weak.

There is a dark side to her music however. Songs like ‘Army Dreamers’ and ‘Running Up That Hill’ have deeper meanings about death and religion beneath her angelic voice. Heavier tracks like ‘Sat In Your Lap’ and ‘Cloudbusting’ explore her vocal range as her voice adapts to the tone of the music. But as you may have gathered my favourite is ‘Babooshka’.

There was a lot of speculation when she took her long break from music (and the public). The best story I heard was she was living in the woods and actually thought she was Cathy from ‘Wuthering Heights’! In fact she married and had a child, received a CBE from the Queen and released ‘Aerial’ in 2005. But now she is back with her first tour since 1979. My Dad went to see her at the Liverpool Empire back then and I am in the process of looking for his tour programme. Although a fan my mum didn’t go with him because at the time she was 16 and jealous because Dad only had eyes for Kate that night haha! She regrets it now though. What a fool.

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