KT Cloudbusting -- Kate Bush In Her Own Words


I think one of the really interesting things was to compare live work with actually recording. it's such a completely different process, because when you're gigging, which I did for a little while with my band, the KT Bush Band, we were just doing pubs around london. We were singing other peoples' songs - rock 'n' roll songs. It's really different because you feedback off the audience, you can see their faces. You can tell if they hate you or if they love you. All you're trying to do when you're on the stage is to excite them, get them to have a good time and enjoy it. With the album, it's a very different thing because that's a piece of plastic that people, hopefully, will listen to again and again, so you have to make it a very different kind of thing, it has to be purely for the ear, to allow people's imaginations to just move on their own. We just tried to do this by the arrangements and harmonies. There are so many of those things that you can't do live because you, obviously, can't overdub your own voice three times when you're singing live. You can't put harmonies in - you get other people to do it. The thing actually about playing it live is that in fact we weren't doing any of my songs - we were just doing other people's rock 'n' roll numbers, because in fact, in the pubs in London, unless you're well known that's the only way you get people to listen to you. They need to know the songs and they need to be able to drink their beer and dance. And with the album, I was trying to initiate my songs, which is a completely different thing, and I was amazed at how lucky I was getting people to listen to me. I've been very lucky. (1978, Self Portrait)


When I perform, that's just something that happens in me. It just takes over, you know. It's like suddenly feeling that you've leapt into another structure, almost like another person, and you just do it. But when I'm not working, I'm very much me. I mean I certainly wouldn't soon dance around the table and sing. Like now, I'm just being me, and I think they're very separate, and I have to keep them separate, otherwise I think I'd go mad. (1980, Kate Bush In Concert)


*How do you manage to keep fit? How do you manage to sing and dance?

It is a big problem, it's something that you do have to work up to because the movement takes up a great deal of breath and the singing takes up as much so you literally need twice as much breath to handle it. And it was really just working up to it, stamina. I mean when I began the first few weeks of my training I would never have been able to do that whole show, I'd have just passed out in the middle of it. I mean [Makes running out of breath noises] half the songs. And it's really just the adjustment and also adrenaline because once you're up there you just cannot do anything wrong, if you do you're letting down all the people that have come to see you. And that's what performing is all about, you have to die for them. And so I think probably rather than going [Repeats breathing sound] I'd hold my breath and die rather than show it, you know. It does become a performance once your up there, and things tighten up that you never thought would.

And in the studio as well when you're putting down tracks, when you get so much feeling in your voice?

Thats.. It's very much a psyching up thing, it's the same on stage - to become the person that singing the song, and they are often very different people. And so if you can feel the role of that person you've got sort of half way through the problems, you just have to then carry it through. It's actually placing that role at the moment in time that is really the initial move. (1980, Never For Ever Debut)


*Are you nervous before you go on stage?

Um, I'm probably not as nervous before I go on stage for a concert as I am for a lot of other things. The great thing about the show we did, for instance, was we rehearsed it for so long that it was... there was very little to be that nervous of, because it was so rehearsed. In fact, it was quite a relief to do it for the first night because it was actually going out to an audience. But I think I do suffer from nerves alot in other areas, and I worry a lot, especially about, you know, is my music good enough at the moment, am I really doing the right thing, is this good enough, is that good enough. And I think it is all quite tied in with nerves so I do get nervous in situations where things are very important. But, I think you learn to cope. But sometimes I'm... I mean, like I'm a lot less nervous about some things now then I used to be and other things...

For example, I mean what are you less nervous about?

Um, well things like this. I mean, I still get nervous for instance, like speaking on the radio, but it's not as nerve racking for me as it would have been a couple of years ago. And yet other things seem to get even more worrying for me. One of the hardest things I find to do, is get up in a room full of people and just speak to them. I think that is incredibly difficult. (1982, Dreaming debut)


Gaffaweb / Cloudbusting / Subjects / Performing