KT Cloudbusting -- Kate Bush In Her Own Words


You hint at the possibility of confronting a live audience again. Was your performance as a hapless bride in tv's Comic Strip play, Les Ddogs, a way of dipping a toe into public appearance?

I love comedy. I think comedy is so.... profound. And like everyone, I really love the whole new wave of comedy that started with The Young Ones. I'm a big fan of all the people involved. I'd seen Strike [Another comic strip special],and I was very impressed by the look and Peter Richardson's direction. What those guys do is very special: it might not always work - it's experimental - but its essence is challenging and wonderful. I wanted to make a video for TSW, but I was feeling insecure as a performer. Though I like being the observer rather than the observed, I felt this time I had to confront myself as the observed. And what would help would be to take on a part that would give me a sense of confidence and creative feedback. I liked the idea of working with Peter, and I also really like the attitude in their work towards women. A lot of films I sit there thinking, ``That's stupid!'' We worked on the video and it was alot of fun, and we stayed in touch as friends. When he was working on the Comic Strip series, I got a script and he asked me if I'd play a part. It was a perfect challenge. I thought, OK, if you're going to confront yourself as a performer, here's an opportunity. I felt very honoured to be asked. It was a completely different pace of working and I learned a lot. You sit around and read all day, but also you're on tenterhooks. Videos are much more frightning, because there I'm trying to be me rather than someone else. I quite enjoyed acting; I wasn't sure I would. I'd never really wanted to be an actress, but I love film. I'm not sure if I want to act again, but if an interesting director asked me, my ego probably wouldn't let me say no! I love film directors, and I guess part of me would eventually love to make a film-just a short one. (1990, Q Special)


In some ways this boxed set has almost put an end to an era, SHE SAYS SOFTLY, A CHARMING,UNAFFECTED WOMAN IN JEANS, BOOTS, BLOUSE AND JACKET YOU WOULDN'T REMARK IF WORN BY A SCHOOLTEACHER... I can't say what will be that different about my work from now on, but it feels like a rounding up, a putting to bed-putting all those little sheep in a pen! (1990, Q Special)


Peter gabriel, nigel kennedy, dave gilmour - these are the musicians to whom you're linked. Is it a social set, or do you have a social life that excludes music?

It depends. I do go through phases, very much so. Some are professional and some are very much friends. Nigel is the fullest of the two, in that we work together and he's also a great friend. He's really nice to work with, and because we're friends, the communication's great. You develop an almost unspoken sense of what you want, and a lot less needs to be said. They trust you,you trust them. It's much easier to experiment because they're not so frightened. There's a lot to be said for working with people who are close to you. I've lost one of our important members of that group: Alan Murphy died late last year and another friend of mine died this year. Again, that's why I feel the boxed set marks the end of an era because I'll never work with them again. And I do miss them, and it's made me think about a lot of things, and I have consciously taken a break from work since their deaths to do nothing. I've just taken six months off. I've had six months gaps between things, but always carrying this project around, and I don't know why I haven't done it before. I'm a bit obsessive about my work you see. But now I can see there's a part of me that loves not being tied into a project, that loves just to be able to go off.

Have you begun to formulate your next move?

Yes, I have, but I can't tell you because it's probably going to change! I want to find a balance between the observer and the observed. I love making music, and as long as I'm doing that,even if the albums don't sell, there'll be a certain amount of recognition. I feel I have to accept that,and learn from it and not run away from it any more... (1990, Q SPECIAL)


I think I'm starting to feel different about a few things, and my attitude toward live work is one. I would like to think from this point onwards I could speed up, and keep the momentum of my work faster. I have a tendency to think too much. I've just started writing again, and there's no pressure on me. I get no sense of people expecting anything from me, because I take so long. That's a very nice feeling, actually doing something in my own space. How I wrote at least the last two albums was to go into the studio and write ideas onto tape, as it were dump stuff on to tape, forget about it and then move on to the next area. But when I first started, I always used to write on the piano, and just the last couple of months, I've felt at home again writing on the piano. It's such a different process, I find it quite shocking. It's like suddenly you've become the memory banks; instead of dumping it on tape, it's staying in you. And each time you play the song,it changes. The sense of transformation is very subtle;each time you play it, something will change. And by continually playing that song,it actually begins to develop, almost like it takes on a life of its own. I find this fascinating - and exhausting, because I have to use memory and concentration which I haven't had to use in quite a while. Going back to a rooted way of working, I do feel a change in myself. Maybe I'm taking the opportunity to peruse the landscape and see if there's not things I could change.

Is this return to the piano a result of feeling you'd gone as far as you could with hi-tech?

I do feel that I've achieved things on that last album. At some points when I was making it I thought I would never finish it. It was a mammoth task. Just getting up the courage to get in touch with The Trio Bulgarka took me a long time. I wanted to preserve the sense of how precious they were, I didn't want to abuse it. A lot of time goes into my fear and worry about something, and afterward it's all right anyway. In a way I feel what I should do is jump in there and do it!

What are you trying to prove? Or have you now overcome that need to prove yourself?

There is a big part of me that is very over-ambitious. It's ridiculous! And it drags me along behind it. It's one of my qualities that I can't deny in my work. I guess I'm trying to prove something to myself. But perhaps rather than having to prove something, people who create feel a great empty sense of hunger,a feeling of emptiness in life. And by being able to create,you can somehow express yourself in a way that maybe you can't in the ordinary realms of life. I really feel it's connected to religion-real religion. In your teens you hit the point where there's a big introversion-you're saying. Who am I? What am I going to do with myself? I really felt when I was 17, which was when the whole propulsion of my creativity took over. I changed very dramatically in about two years. I do feel it's an introversion that all creative people go through, and a lot of it is linked to religion. So many artists are looking for God, and this is where we find the voice to try and speak. It's also a kind of self-therapy, trying to heal yourself.

Of what?

Probably a sense of inadequacy. And through this expression you at last have a voice, whether it's through painting, whatever. And I think it can be a much wiser voice. In your creativity there can be quite deep attitudes, and I think its got to be linked somehow with the unconscious that you're tapping into. (1990, Q Special)


Have you got any new ideas about the next lp, any (inaudible), or any stories that you'd like to expose?

Uhm, I have started writing for the next album.

[Massive, prolonged applause from audience]

And I've kind of been taking the approach where I go back to writing on the piano again, which was how I used to work when I started. And it was quite shocking for me to suddenly be left alone at the piano without all this equipment, you know, where I could just press a button and I've suddenly got an orchestra... And I felt really, really odd about the whole thing. But, in some ways I think I'm trying to get back to a lot of things that were my roots. I've started dancing again, which I never thought I'd manage.

[Massive applause.]

And I think in some ways... Like we were saying earlier, when I started it was all like a sense of a mission, it was something I had to do, I was, you know, working towards this. I kind of lost that a bit, and just found myself making album after album, and getting further away from the writing process too, so I think maybe with this album I want to... I want to try and make it a little simpler, and hopefully... positive. But we'll see, won't we? But I'm really pleased, that's a lovely reaction, as I've only started the album [Laughing]!

[Laughter from audience.]

And I bet, you know, half way, could you give me a lift?

[Laughter and applause.]

Thank you very much... really sweet... (1990 Kate Bush Con)

Are you ever going to tour again?

Well, I have to say that, if circumstances allow - if things go well - we are hoping very much to do some shows at the end of next year.

[Massive applause.]

What a lovely response!

[Cries from audience.]

I know it's been such a long time. All I can say is I just, in many ways, haven't been ready for it. And also I don't think the time was quite right for me since that first tour. I think those of you that were there will know how much I did enjoy touring, it's not that I didn't enjoy it, which a lot of uh, I've seen press... interview things... It's not true, I did enjoy it very much. And, I would very much like to at least do some shows again, if not a big tour. So, we're thinking about it now, and although it's not definite, I would have thought if it's going to go ahead it will be announced in January. And, uh, I just really wanted to let you know first, so [??? Inaudible] --

[Massive applause.]

What a lovely reaction! I can't believe how much... Thank you so much!

[More applause.] (1990 kate bush con.)

Now, I wonder... would you mind if we just had a few minutes silence just for... Alan Murphy, and Gary Hurst, who, as you know, are no longer with us. And I think they would be thrilled to think that we might be touring again. And I believe this event is in their honour, and I'm sure that they feel it. So thank you very much.

[While saying this, kate has taken out a slip of paper from her boot, and this has some lyrics on it. The house at this point is breathlessly quiet. She sings the following, a cappella, to the tune of ``my lagan love":]

``I'd like to thank you,

One and all,

For so many things you give me.

It means so much to

Be with you here,

And to see your smiling faces.

To see you all

Here in this hall,

It fills my heart with joy!

God bless you all.

Goodbye for now,

Until we meet again.'' (1990 kate bush con)

Gaffaweb / Cloudbusting / Story / 1990