Kate Bush: Under The Ivy by Graeme Thomson

Kate Bush

Until Kate Bush decides to write an autobiography Kate Bush: Under The Ivy will have to do. I found Thomson’s writing to be overly flowery and he’s too in love with his subject. It’s got to be hard to write about Kate Bush without access to her. Thomson is left with magazine reviews and interviews with friends and co-workers. Thomson’s album reviews were interesting, but again rather opinionated. Kate Bush doesn’t have a lot of musical output considering all the years she’s been recording and the hundreds/thousands of demos she has written/recorded. My favorite part of the book were the mentions of odds and ends that I didn’t know Bush had recorded with other artists for other projects.

432 pages

Excerpts From My Kindle

The Americans would have loved it, but it never materialized.“ As Del Palmer drolly observed, “We went into the studio and never came out again.” – location 2945–2946

In July 1982 she stepped into David Bowie’s shoes at the last minute to perform “The Wedding List” at a concert at the Dominion Theatre for the Prince’s Trust with a band that included Pete Townshend, Phil Collins and Midge Ure.  She wore big boots, a peach tutu and a flimsy satin halterneck, on which the strap snapped while she was singing. She finished the song grinning sheepishly, her left hand pinning her plummeting blouse to her breast. Ure later recalled it fondly as one of the highlights of his life; Townshend simply acknowledged the “power of prayer”. – location 2960–2962

There were three further live appearances in 1987. Two consecutive nights in late March with David Gilmour and his band at the Amnesty International benefit The Secret Policeman’s Third Ball, where she performed “Let It Be” and a thrillingly rough and ready version of “Running Up That Hill” The scene on stage was the Eighties in micro: blue neon signs flashing ‘PIZZA’, huge overcoats, shoulder pads, rolled up suit jackets – and everybody was having a bad hair day, not least Bush, who looked distinctly puffy and uncomfortable. Gilmour proved a reassuring presence, flashing her several sweet smiles during the performance. – location 2968–2972

The same roar of surprise and delight greeted her equally unexpected appearance with David Gilmour in 2002 at the Royal Festival Hall. She sang the part of the ‘Evil Doctor’ on Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” perched somewhat self-consciously at the right of the stage, dressed all in black with her hair worn straight and long. She sounded a little tentative and only broke into a smile as the song ended, whereupon she waved at the crowd, hugged Gilmour, kissed the grateful piano player and made a swift, probably rather relieved exit. – location 2976–2980

Recording “Sing Children Sing” for UNICEF with, among others, Joe Brown, Pete Townshend and Phil Lynott. Paddy is on the far right. November 1979. – location 3181–3182

The Wedding List” (video) was a highlight, a crazed Bush in bridal white gunning down cheroot-smoking double-dealer Paddy. – location 3321–3322

Still, it’s worth watching for two unforgettable, never-to-be-repeated moments. Bush sang “Another Day“, Roy Harper’s beautiful song of domestic fracture, as a moving duet with Peter Gabriel (heralded, inevitably, as the Angel Gabriel), who later reappeared to perform an equally stunning solo version of his own “Lost In The Flood“, which rather stole the show. – location 3327–3329

The sleeve credits on “Never For Ever” were significant. Bush had thanked Roy Harper for ‘holding on to the poet in his music’ and Peter Gabriel for ‘opening the windows’. These artists, alongside Pink Floyd, who had just released The Wall, which she loved, had become her peers, exemplars of artistic excellence, intelligence, integrity and experimentation, though their detractors would just as quickly call them precious, pretentious, portentous and about as relevant as Copernicus. This was a line of criticism Bush, too, constantly courted. – location 3682–3686
[You could say this about the book. -Craig]

Other Notable Appearances

  • Big Country: The Seer (1986) Bush sings on ‘The Seer
  • Alexandre Desplat: The Golden Compass Original Soundtrack (2008) Bush sings ‘Lyra
  • Peter Gabriel: Peter Gabriel (1980) Bush sings on ‘No Self Control’, ‘I Don’t Remember’ and ‘Games Without Frontiers
  • Peter Gabriel: So (1986) Bush sings on ‘Don’t Give Up
  • Go West: Dancing On The Couch (1987) Bush Sings on ‘The King Is Dead
  • Roy Harper: The Unknown Soldier (1980) Bush sings on ‘You (The Game Part II)
  • Roy Harper: Once (1990) Bush sings on ‘Once’ at 5:15
  • Prince: Emancipation (1996) Bush appears on ‘My Computer
  • Alan Stivell: Again (1993) Bush sings and plays on ‘Kimiad’, which she also produced
  • Midge Ure: Answers To Nothing (1988) Bush sings on ‘Brother And Sister
  • Various Artists: Brazil Soundtrack (1993) Bush sings ‘Brazil
  • Various Artists: Castaway: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1987) Bush sings ‘Be Kind To My Mistakes
  • Various Artists: Comic Relief: Utterly, Utterly Live (1986) Bush sings ‘Breathing’ and duets with Rowan Atkinson on ‘Do Bears?
  • Various Artists: Common Ground: Voices Of Irish Music (1996) Bush sings ‘Mna Na h-Eireann
  • Various Artists: The Glory Of Gershwin (1994) Bush performs ‘The Man I Love’ with Larry Adler
  • Various Artists: The Prince’s Trust Collection (1985) Bush sings ‘The Wedding List
  • Various Artists: The Secret Policeman’s Third Ball: The Music (1987) Bush performs ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)’ with David Gilmour and band
  • Various Artists: She’s Having A Baby Soundtrack (1988) Bush sings ‘This Woman‘s Work
  • Various Artists: Two Rooms (1991) Bush sings ‘Rocket Man

About craigmaas

I do a little web design work and support a couple web sites and blogs. My primary focus is lighting and energy consulting where I use a number of computer tools to help my customer find ways of saving money and improving their work environment. See my web site for more information: www.effectiveconcepts.net
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