Cloudbusting -- Kate
Bush In Her Own Words
- I admire actresses and actors terribly and think it's an amazing
craft. But singing and performing your songs should be the same thing. At this
point, I would rather develop my music and express it physically, as opposed to
having a script. I think I'm much better off as a wailer... (1978, The Blossoming Ms. Bush)
What will your backing band consist of, when you go on tour?
- Well, we're not actually sure, as yet. Because we're going to need
quite a few extra musicians, because with the production on the album, people
are going to expect to hear the same quality when they come to see us live. But
we'll obviously have drums, probably two guitarists,
bass, hopefully some kind of string
quartet, if not a synthesizer player, keyboard player.
And your brothers, will they be with you?
- Yes, I hope so, yes.
Keep it in the family.
- Yeah. (1978, Ask
- I'm really looking forward to it so much. I look at myself ... and
I'm not a public person. At least I don't see myself as a public
person: I don't go out to parties. My friends don't make front page news! All
that amazing show business thing, you know.
- But, you do have different faces. My different face is when I
perform - it will be when I perform I mean!
- When I'm on stage I get possessed, really, HER EYES - STILL BIGGER
THAN BELIEVABLE AWAY FROM THE FLASH GUNS - SPARKLE. Away from it I'm just
normal and small... then suddenly I've got this really special thing, I'm
really letting go.
- It's an amazing feeling, a great big rush.
She pause and delivers a sentence that could have a malicious tease
about it. Equally it could be genuine. It's almost like seeing god, man! Though
it's not quite as simple as that ...
- You're communicating without talking, something that's inside you -
your creation - and it's going out to people. It's fantastic when you see them
And does she feel they do, or sorry, that they will? Or does she
worry about projecting a conscious image to gain that acceptance?
In a word, no. It's not a question of being sexy or anything, it's
much more to do with the interpretation of each song. Each one you see
differently and present it differently. I've been very open to lots of
influences up until now, or I wouldn't even be doing the things I am doing.
Like if I hadn't worked with lindsay kemp I wouldn't be moving around at all
when I was singing! Can you imagine that?
- So I've arrived at a stage when I'm ready to present myself as
myself. Being sexy, or whatever, isn't deliberate at all.
- Anyway it's not really right is it. I mean I don't look like a sex
symbol first thing in the morning, do I? (1979, John Shearlaw)
Kate has been criticized for being too pretentious onstage - for
not being herself. Patiently she explains what she thinks the critics have
- When I am onstage, I'm performing, yes, and I'm projecting. And to
do these things well, I have to be big (SHE STRETCHES HER SMALL, SLENDER FRAME
UPRIGHT TO DEMONSTRATE) and bold and full of confidence. And I am, but (AND SHE
PLUMPS DOWN IN HER SEAT AGAIN) it's still little me inside.
- I mean, you can't go onstage and simper, and be timid and shy.
You've got to be big and strong and give your audience everything you've got,
reveal your emotions, be romantic, transport them into another world, so
they're in tune with you.
- That requires an awful lot of hard work, and an almost
calculated force I suppose, in that you know what you're doing. But it does
- Bands that do nothing, that just go out and perform their basic
function, play their latest album, or sing it, or whatever and then just walk
off, are boring. You have to keep your audience's attention all the way - to be
a success. (1980, Smash
like to ask you how you're going to convey your music on stage? Will it be more
theatrical then more [??? Sex???] or..
- Aha. [Laughs] Well I can't really tell you much about that
because if I do you won't bother to come and see it. [Everybody laughs]
Oh, of course I will.
- But I hope that you'll enjoy it, we're try to get something a bit
special. But I really can't say much about it.
Ah, sure. I understand.
Host: Will you be going to watch?
Oh, of course I will!
- Give us a wave.
Oh, alright I'll give you a wave.
- Oh, terrific. (1979, Personal Call)
Constantly putting in fifteen-hour days, she stood up to it because
she was in olympic shape from her dance training. But the shows, two-and-a-half
hours long with seventeen costume changes, took her to unforgettable depths of
fatigue - such that the twenty-eight nights in britain and europe remain the
entire concert career of kate bush, give or take a
secretpoliceman'sball. the idea is so unattractive
when I think about what the tour took out of me. I haven't wanted to commit
myself since. (1989, Q)
- It was a fantastic experience, and so totally different from
everything else for me. There's a wonderful sense of freedom because there's no
way you could go back and do a bit over because it wasn't as good as it should
be the first time. You have to learn how to cope if something goes wrong, and I
found that really exciting. I really started to get into that - there's so many
things that can go wrong on stage, especially if it's a show that you've
choreographed to get the best total effect. But what is particularly
exhilarating is after having worked so hard to get it all together, you have
the audience out there really reacting to what you're doing.
- You can't help but be a little bitten by the performance bug because
of what it does to you. All those people out there are so into what you're
doing they just charge you up - there's no buzz like it. I totally understand
why people would tour forever. It's very tiring, but it feels so good.
While bush may have been tittilated by the excitement of that
experience, she still isn't ready to repeat it.
- It's a matter of priorities. A tour can only realistically be done
if you've put pieces of music on a record with as much care as possible and
then do a show of that. It all comes from the songwriting, so the problem there
is commitment and time. It's not that I don't want to do it, and I
love the idea that people want me to tour,
but it's highly unlikely at this point - it's something I can't even check out
until sometime next year when I've got all this stuff out of the way. (1985,
One of the things that was said about you, and I can plainly see in
this clip why it may be, is that sometimes your concerts are more like broadway
musicals than rock shows. Because, I guess, you sing, you
dance, you... Why do they say that?
- Well, we've only done one tour and that was a long time ago now in
'79. But we thought how nice it would be to present something for people
visually, as well as them coming to hear the music. Give them a show that would
hopefully compliment the music and make it more enjoyable for them.
How was it received?
- It was received incredibly well, much better than I could ever have
imagined really. (1985, Live At Five)
Lots of possibilities for the stage show on this lp.
- Yeah, I'm dying to do another tour. The problem is money and time,
and I have to make a decision very soon, what I'm going to do next: whether
it's another album or a tour. I want to do them both so much.
Whichever one, it'll be the next year of your life.
- That's exactly it, and I think people find that hard to see. It
seems the more I do things, the longer they take, especially if they're going
to be done right, and, as you say, that's whole year. That's one of the reasons
I'm not so quick about deciding. (1980, Zigzag)
Kate doesn't know when she'll be touring again. She enjoyed her one
tour, and it gave her a thrill to choke the critics who'd suggested she' be a
disaster on stage, that she couldn't sing live. But it takes six months out of
a year to rehearse and prepare for a tour the way she wants to do it, and will
also cost her enormous amounts of money to
- Not that I mind losing money on a tour - there are so many benefits
from it - as long as we don't go bankrupt. We do want to tour again, we
will tour again, because there are so many things we still want to
do on stage, but we'll have to think about it very carefully because it will
stop me doing a lot of other things. (1980, Oct 10, Melody Maker)
strange thing about you is you introduced a very original style, it didn't grow
slowly it was there, boommp! The first time I saw you, I said in 1978, ``there
it was.'' how do you see it developing? Well, I see it developing especially on
stage, I think that's where I found something. When I did the tour I'd never
realized how much you can in fact do on a live stage. I think there's a lot
that's used in video and film that has never really explored in a live sense
and I think that there's a lot that you could do there that I would like to try
and do, yes. (1981, friday night
and saturday morning)
Kate's contemplating touring again. She's thinking about some
ideas, but so far it's gone no further than that.
- Planning the last tour took five months. Obviously I wanted to give
more than just me and a piano.
Kate financed the tour out of her own money and she lost thousands.
- With forty people to look after, it was astronomical - but it was
worth it. Well yes, I've made money, but a lot of that money goes into
projecting my art. (1982, Robin
- If I do a show, it will only be music from the last two albums.
- I wish I had a five-year plan, but I never plan too far ahead. I get
into trouble because I always take longer to do things than I expect. That's
why I knew I had to wait for another two albums' worth of material before doing
another show. (1982, NME)
- I want to do a show next. It'll take at least six months to prepare,
because there'll be so many levels to it. The musical challenge will be the
hardest I've set myself...
A lot of people would like to see you just sitting at a piano and
singing a set of your songs.
- Not nearly as many. It would be too easy as if I couldn't be
bothered to prepare a proper show. It wouldn't do anything for the blend of
movement and music. That is what I really want to do. Music and movement
together in a modern sense. People like it that you're not taking the easy way
out. (1982, NME)
- The reviews were super. Looking back, I'm glad I waited a while
before I went on the road, because I needed the time to prepare the show.
Because I hadn't gigged before, I spent three to four months rehearsing. Being
on stage is very draining, but I love it. There's no other situation that gives
you so much contact - there's no place to hide. People are very aware of
gimmicks and TV techniques these days, and they know that when they come to see
you on stage, they're seeing you as you really are. I'd love to tour again, but
it's so expensive.
- For the time being, I'm happy to explore the areas of music, dance,
and mime. The time may come when I just step straight up to the mike and sing -
I don't know. (1982, Nineteen)
everybody is asking to know but it's a question that I left to the end, is when
you're going to come on the road, go on the road, when are you going to be
- Ummm, well I really want to and I'm going to start thinking about it
before the end of this year in order to try and get [To] something
happen before next year. Cause it's a good six months rehearsal, really. And
I'm hoping to get something together for next year, but I don't know when. As
soon as I do, I'll let everyone know. (1982, Unknown BBC interview)
kate, I enjoyed your live show and I've been wondering why we haven't had the
chance to see you in concert lately.
- Oh, great, thank you. Well, really the problem is I've been working
on the next two albums since that show and in many ways that show was the
visualization of the first two albums, so before I could do another show, I
needed another two albums to make it completely different again. (1982,
Pebble Mill At One)
suggested that it took two albums to make up the material for your first tour.
Now that you have had two further albums, can we say that there will be another
- I very much hope so. I mean now is the time, really, the first time
I've had to seriously sit and think about another show. And at the moment I'm
obviously trying to be the salesman for my albums much as I can. After having
spent such a long time I can't just let it go. So by the end of this year I'll
be able to sit down and think about when we can do it and how to start
conquering the problems, 'cause it's going to be really difficult to put this
into a live situation. But I think it could be good. (1982, Pebble Mill At One)
can we see you touring again, cause lot's of people
love watching your concerts, when are you
going to be on the road again?
- Well, I think that I can't really say at this point in time. I
really do want to do another tour, badly. But, um... ah, well.... from the way
the last one was it just cost so much money and so much effort and time to get
it together, that it needs an incredible amount of preparation, really. I'm
just trying to see when is the first time that I can realisticly fit it in.
Well, I'm sure when you've got it prepared and organized they're be
ques of people hunting for tickets and enjoying your shows.
- Oh, I hope so... (1982, Kate's
- Well I've
been dying to do some more performances since the last show and I'm really
hoping to get something together next year. My problem is that it really takes
so much time that there's no way we could fit it in this year. And as yet I
don't know when it will be next year, but it will be next year sometime.
Now when you say time, what kind of preparation and work do you
have to put into a live show?
- Oh, it's incredible! There are so many different areas. It's really
like a huge, great jigsaw that you're piecing together. You have to start with
a band, and then you have the people that are up front like the dancers, you
have the lighting guy, the stage designer, the costumes, the crew, a tour
manager, I mean there are just so many areas. And in a lot of ways, because
it's dance and sound, I'm involved in a lot of those fringe areas as well. And
it really would take a good six months to get another tour together.
Because you would have a lot more production in your show then
maybe other performers would have.
- Yes, yes, because we like to go for a theatrical show, yes, that's
right. (1982, Dreaming
about acting out the dreaming, is there still the old kate bush of not too long
when you used to go on stage wired up for sound and driving yourself bananas in
front on the audience, or have you quite'n down?
- I don't think I've quite'n down, I think I've got worse, probably
and I'm dying to get out on the road again and do a show, really dying. Since
the last show I've been waiting for an opportunity it... I'm just waiting now.
But is it actually time that... You get tied up with albums and
records generally that stops you going out on the road or is it the actual, the
cost. Cause now... I mean, I must ask you this as a lady out on tour, the costs
seem to be horrendous to get.. Just to get a show on the road. I mean it
actually costs money to do it, invariably, doesn't it? What are your feelings
- It's horrific, I mean the amount of money you need to put on a
really good show visually is just ridiculous, it is so much money. And I think
even in small who've just got a P.A. system and a small light rig it's even
expensive for them, it's a joke, really. I think now so much art depends on
money it's a very big problem, everything is just resting on how much money you
spend on what you're doing. (1982, BBC Dreaming
going to see you off on the road or is that an awful question to ask?
- I don't think it will be until next year but I really want to start
getting something together. But it wouldn't be until next year and really I'm
just thinking about it at the moment. (1982, BBC
- If I were
to do another show, it would mean I wouldn't have another album out for about
two years. It would take four or five months to prepare and, to make it
worthwhile, I would have to tour for a long time. Then I'd have to recover...
(1983, Australian Women's Weekly)
talking to your record company, kate, and they were going ``she's marvelous,
except for one thing - you could never get her out on the road to do gigs.''
[Kate laughs] well, I think the biggest thing is
What! [Laughs] you're sure not short of a few bob, come on!
- Well, I don't think you realize how much they cost, that's the
problem. The last tour I did was so expensive, I lost a lot of
money on it.
Of course, that was an enormous concert tour in every sense. Not
only were there a lot dates but it was a dance extravaganza, wasn't it?
- Well that's the problem, it's not just the music that we're dealing
with, we're working on a whole theatrical scale where dance and theatre are all
being involved with the music. So...
So there's no chance, really, of you going on the road in the near
future. What's going to happen as far as recording's concerned?
- Well, as I said I'm working on my next album at the moment and I
hope very much that will be out next year and then I'll be able to work on a
show again. (1983, Unknown Birthday
Will you be touring at all in the near future?
- I do want to. Quite honestly, until last year I couldn't start
thinking about doing a show because I needed two albums clear of the last show
to have enough new material. I was hoping to be able to start thinking about a
show in 1983, but I got into time problems, because nearly everything I do
takes me so long.
- If I had done a tour, I probably wouldn't even be writing songs for
a new album until much later. And the general feeling was that it was too long
a gap. So, I really just want to get this album out, and then I can start
thinking about doing a show.
- But that's going to mean a lot of organizing. I won't even know how
far, or where we'll be taking it until we've got an estimate on the cost. One
of the big problems is money. The last show I did really did cost a lot. But,
if a tour seems practical, I would love to bring it to America. (1983, Voc'l)
How do you choose which songs to include when you tour? I know some
of them are obvious selections, but what about the rest? Have you any idea what
songs you will include when you next tour? Any idea when that will be?
- I think the most important thing about choosing the songs is that
the whole show will be sustained. Obviously we would try to pick
the strongest songs, try to get a variety of moods, but build the show up to a
climax. And the songs must adapt well visually: a show is visual as well as
audial, so there must hopefully be a good blend of the two. I think we all know
about the tour situation by now - It's really a matter of time, but how long? I
don't know. This is the truth. So the safest thing to say: once this next album
[Hounds Of Love] is out, I have to promote and do videos, so time is already
being eaten up this year; but once the album ``project'' is out of the way, I
do plan to make another tour the next priority. I think also that because there
will have been three albums since the last tour, we will not include any songs
from the first two albums. But it's all a long way off at the moment, and who
can really say what will happen?
Any chance of a tour for '84?
- Let's just say ``Unlikely,'' to be on the safe side. (1984, KBC 16)
After the dreaming had been released, I was hoping for news of a
tour from kate, but alas no live dates have materialized. Her last live
appearances were back in 1979 and I asked why she hadn't performed on stage
- The main reason I haven't been able to do any gigs has been due to
the time factor. After the last tour, which basically revolved around the first
two records, I didn't want to go back out until I had another two albums' worth
of material. Never For Ever was the first of those, and then there was The
Dreaming, but that took so much longer than I'd anticipated that I couldn't do
- And so now I'm doing another record, otherwise there would have been
a two-year gap between albums, which is really much too long. Maybe if I'd
managed to finish The Dreaming quicker, then I'd have done a tour. I wanted to,
but the situation just didn't allow it.
As mentioned earlier, kate's 1979 shows were extremely demanding,
and I wondered whether she had actually enjoyed them.
- Oh, I loved playing live. I really did. I learnt so much as a
performer, a dancer, a singer and as a person. It was a bit scary at the time,
and I was a little wary because everything was so new - even down to the mike I
was using - but I really enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to doing another
When `` babooshka'' and `` breathing'' emerged as singles, kate
produced a couple of excellent videos. In her absence from the stage, has she
found video a good medium in which to work?
- To be honest, I tend to treat videos and live performances as very
separate things, because there is such a big difference. I enjoy the video
side. It's very exciting and you can lie with lots of things; but I find that
the excitement and challenge of playing live to much greater. (1984, Women of Rock)
- It's a
shame, but for now I don't see the possibility of a tour, SHE SAYS WITH A SIGH.
We can't afford to do it the way I'd want to. (1984, Pulse!)
- I'd really
love to do another show and since that last
one it's really been the matter of finding the time and the moment to do it. It
wasn't until I'd got to the end of the last album that I had enough new
material to do a completely new show. And so now here I am at the end of this
album and maybe when I get the projects out of the way that are definitely what
I want I do first, I would then very much like to do a show. It was a fantastic
experience, I learnt such a lot about myself as well as the whole process. And
I would dearly love to do it again, it's really just finding the moment. (1985,
tour again or will she contemplate on other ways of visually presenting her
John: She's bound to tour again, obviously. But when, I don't know.
I think she's faced with the situation now in which she can go three ways - she
can do another album, she get a tour together, or she can concentrate on
something more visual, which might be film or, I don't know, maybe an extended
video.... So I suppose until the spring of next year she wouldn't really have
any idea about what direction she's going to take. But of course yes, there's
bound to be another tour, but when, who knows?
Paddy: Yes, and I promise you we are considering this very, very
seriously. I mean it's not something that we're going to put off for ever and
ever and ever. There will be another tour, if not next year, the year after,
and it will be marvelous. I guarantee you, we're going to be better than the
last one. [Laughter] that will be nothing compared to what we're going
[To do ???] (1985, kate bush
con. Paddy and jay interview)
I know just how seriously you've taken the art of performance, how
you studied under lindsay kemp and all that. And I'm also aware how much effort
and skill it takes; To act like that is not something just anybody could get up
and do. Now I'm not sure to what extent my own perception is idiosyncratic, I
mean to say, I do know people who love your performances. But,
myself, I wonder - and here's where I'm trying to pick the argument - if all
these theatrics might not detract from your potential for being taken seriously
as a musician, especially in america.
- It's a big problem. Because I don't think I've been completely happy
with any visual performance that I've done except for `` Army Dreamers'' and
perhaps `` Running Up That Hill.'' But they were videos which took a lot of
time and work and control. Except for one I did recently of `` Running Up That
Hill'' for a British TV show, where I look a bit like Richard III, there are no
TV performances I've done where I think I've ever even got close to pulling it
off. So, apart from those few things, but also the videos of `` Wuthering
Heights'' and bits of `` Breathing,'' I don't think I've accomplished what I
really wanted visually. Usually the problems are lack of time or money. We
always have a lot of challenging ideas but then end up compromising somewhere
or other in order to meet deadlines or budgets. But occasionally things
do come together well. If anything, though, I think my
performances help audiences understand the music better, especially the lyrical
aspect, and the tour of Europe definitely caused a change in attitude both
among the public and the media. Many people began to take me seriously as a
musician for the first time. The audiences could see me there singing and
dancing, leading the band and in control of the whole act. And that's quite
different from the kind of controlled, far-away image that one gets through the
But in these performances, kate - and really they are what I wanted
to talk about, not your videos - there are only a couple of songs which you
yourself perform on the piano, usually one or two of the more
gentle and intimate ones like `` the man with the child in his eyes.'' yet
someone like me, at any rate, would like to see you as a performer, as a
serious musician, singing at the piano and leading the band, which I know you
could do very well if you wanted to. I told you earlier how the first time I
saw kate bush was early on, around 1978, when you did two or three numbers in
that manner on a tv show, and it was then that I recognized in an instant, that
this young kid was an exceptional artist who had to be taken very seriously, I
mean musically. Am I right in thinking that one of the reasons
you've never toured in the states is because you suppose you need this big show
with all the people involved and all the expensive props? Do you not feel - and
I suppose this is really what my argument comes down to - that you could come
to america just with your band and play more or less straightforwardly?
- No, no, I would feel that that was such a cop-out. I don't think I'd
be able to feel that I had any effort or sense of challenge left in me. I don't
really feel that happy doing something, in a way, unless I've really pushed
myself to the limit. And, you know, it's like when we do
videos and things, I don't really feel
right unless we're all filthy and exhausted by the end of the day. Otherwise it
doesn't feel like you've put enough effort into it. When you hear an album you
listen to the music; but when you go and see a show, you're going there to
see that person or the band come alive, and hopefully give you
everything that they've got, so that you can really have a good evening and
enjoy the music within the concept of a show. And I think, if I
was just going to stand up there, then, you know, what are the audience getting
apart from seeing me just standing there that they can't get on an album? On
the albums, they get much better arrangements, much better vocals which are in
tune, all that sort of thing...
Except that there are of course artists who can give a
straightforward performance yet who do it in such a way that they invest it
with something quite special in terms of musical spontaneity and so on...
- You see, I don't think I want to be up there on the
stage being me. I don't think I'm that interesting for people to
see. I think what I want to do is to be up there actually being the person that
is there in the song. I think that is much more interesting for people and it
is much more of a challenge for me. If I can be the character in the song, then
suddenly there's all this strength and energy in me which perhaps I wouldn't
normally have, whereas if it was just me, I don't think I could walk on the
stage with confidence. It's very hard for me to be me on a stage,
I just stand there and twiddle my fingers.
But kate, it seems to me that all those in the states who've taken
kate bush so deeply to heart and who are feeling deprived not to have had a
chance to see her perform, what they love perhaps more than anything is
precisely that so much of your music is so deeply personal. The personae you
assume are fun, but it is the real kate bush whom your fans love more than
anyone else. Could you not come to the states to perform and simply be
- Well, that is great if you think people would like that, but I
cannot help but feel it is very important to give people something visually
special. That was what made me feel there was something special when I saw
Lindsay Kemp all those years ago. He opened up a whole new world for me that I
had not really thought about before, the fact that he was doing something so
incredible without even saying anything! It really affected me emotionally,
like when I was younger and used to listen to records and the way they affected
me was incredible and I used to think, if I could ever do that one day to other
people through music, that would be great. I think in a way Lindsay had a
similar influence on me; what he was doing was so exciting and powerful, I
thought to myself, if you could possibly create music and have it
accompanied by such strong visuals, then it would just have to be good; and
really interesting. And I don't think, by any means, that the tour which we did
some years ago was perfect, there were a lot of things that were experimental,
and we didn't know if they were going to work, but I think we did explore new
territory, visually speaking, and the reaction was so positive - I mean, I
think that probably opened up more people to listening to my stuff than the
records themselves ever did. Partly, I think, because people didn't expect me
to be quite like that and they all enjoyed it. And I see that as a very
positive, rather than a negative, thing. Had they not enjoyed it, then that
would be a different thing and perhaps I would not feel so inclined to want to
do it again. But I have had an extraordinary amount of encouragement from
people not just on the musical side but also on the visual side, maybe even
more so! And I do feel that, when eventually I get the time and money to do
another show, I hope we will continue working along those lines of combining
music with dance and with theatre and it would be even better and much more
interesting than the last time. I think that is a very untouched area in rock
music, and it has great potential.
Del: Yeah, anyone can set up their gear and sit down at a piano and
sing for an hour. But not everybody can put on a whole integrated show. And as
soon as we got our little band together years ago, right from the word go it
was theatrics and show. We were only playing little pubs on tiny little stages
like at the rose of lee, but we had a whole light show, we used
dry ice, and all that. What you are saying is that kate's fans in america would
love it even if she just came over and set up and played. But think how much
more they would love it if she was there with a whole show.
Well, are there any plans yet for a return to the stage?
- No, I have got some projects that I want to try and get done before
I can get on to a live project. There is promotion to be done on the album,
which I hope to get done as quickly as possible. I have got a couple of videos
to do for the singles, which are demanding, so I am trying to put as much work
into them as possible, and then get into the visual thing on The Ninth
Wave. And then I can maybe think about live work and the next album.
To go back on stage, would you actually have to get together some
irish musicians - perhaps even planxty themselves! - to execute things like ``
night of the swallow'' and `` jig of life?"
- Oh, Planxty, wouldn't that be great! That would be fabulous. It
would be incredibly difficult to do songs like that without Irish musicians.
But I don't know, it would all depend on boring things like money; it would be
terribly expensive to take a band like that on tour with you. `` Jig of Life''
would be very very different without a ceilidh band, though it could be
interesting. But I am hoping the film project that I would like to do would get
around that, as originally The Ninth Wave was written very much as
a story, and ideally I would like to make a film of that, and then that whole
side of the album with ``Jig of Life'' would be very much covered, I feel. And
so maybe for a show I would be doing the other new numbers and a selection of
numbers off the third and fourth albums, because those would be more suited to
But are you primed to follow up the north american end of things if
things take off there?
- Yes, I mean, I'll go over there. Obviously if things were happening
out there, then I would come out there. (1985, Musician)
Listen, the other thing I must ask you about is touring. Because
the last tour was tremendous. There again, all your own ideas, and the stage
presentation was fantastic, and I'm sure one other thing all your fans must be
asking is when are you going to do another one? In this country?
- This point in time is really a decision as to what to
do next, whether it's a tour, or what I'd like to do next, if I could, which is
to put the whole of The Ninth Wave, which is the second side of
the album, onto film, but I just don't know how feasible or practical that is,
with timing and whatever. So I suppose really it's, um...at the
beginning of next year, I first have to decide what comes next,
but I don't think there's time for both.
How far have you got in putting the ninth wave into
film form, would you say? How far have you
got with that?
- Not very far, because since the album was finished there's just been
so much work surrounding the singles that come out, the videos and the
promotion, that I've really had no serious time to approach people and start
seriously thinking about it.
But a tour is on the cards?
- Well, I wouldn't say that it was on the cards, no. I would just say
that it is a possibility, and something I would still very much like to do,
but, um...at this point in time, I couldn't say, because up until the end of
the year I'll be promoting this record. (1985, Homeground)
This makes more than five years since you last mounted a stage. Is
there hope for 1986?
- I was hoping to avoid that question! I certainly want very much to
play on stage again, but it's a decision for which the consequences are
enormous, both financially and in terms of the amount of time and energy that
are necessary. I've just given everything in me to complete this album and I'm
not certain that it's for the best that I plunge into such a venture, all the
more as I've received several propositions of an entirely different order, but
which would not be compatible with a tour. As they say over here: ``Allons
voir'' ["Wait and see"]! (1985, Guitares et Claviers)
Do you plan a tour, maybe a hounds of love tour?
- I really enjoyed touring. I've only done the one tour way back, now,
in '79. And the problem really was getting enough new material to do another
tour initially. Getting enough material took me to the last album. The third
and fourth album would be the two albums of new material that I would've
toured. But at the end of the last album, it didn't feel like the right moment
to take a tour around Europe. so, that's still a possibility for the future,
but that's nothing that I can commit myself to. I just would like to continue
saying that I would like to tour, but I've no idea when and I do hope that I
get to do another one before I'm old and grey. (1985, Open Interview)
- Well touring is one of those things that could easily be the next
project. I think what's put me off committing myself to it is the amount of
involvement - it enormous. I mean it's financially costly, very tiring, and a
tremendous amount of effort goes into it. But it's so rewarding. And we only
did the one tour in '79, around England and Europe. And I had to wait until I
had another two albums worth of material to be able to tour again, which only
took me to the end of the last album. And since then, I haven't really been
prepared for that kind of commitment.
Well, what would a tour involve, what would a concert - a kate bush
concert - involve? Would there be dancing...?
- Yes. Well this is how we approached it the last time. Very much
inspired by the initial influences of people like Lindsay Kemp and the
dance that I'd taken up. I felt that it
was a really interesting combination to use music, theatre, poetry, in live
form. And although all the songs we'd worked were off the albums, we had lots
links and different extensions to the music and that. And so it really does
become a very involved process. And I think the last three albums, which if we
did a tour would be what we'd cover, actually lend themselves better towards
being visualized theatrically, but I just don't know if we'll every get 'round
to doing it. [Laughs] (1985, Good Rockin Tonight)
Will you ever tour again? Will you ever come to america and play a
tour, play at various places?
- I'd really like to tour again and the one tour I did in '79, England
and Europe, was really exhausting. We rehearsed it for maybe six months and by
the time we got around to the first night, I was really looking forward to
having an audience out there so that you could how you see how they would
react, see if they liked it. It was really a lot of fun and in many ways very
educational for me as a performer as well as a person. But it's the commitment,
it's so much time and effort. And I just don't know if it's something I want to
launch into. It'd probably be a year out, at least. (1985, MTV)
- I think that other people tend to assume I don't like doing live
performances because it's been so long since the tour that we did. But it's
really my other commitments, they are just too involved, and since then the
albums have taken longer and longer progressively. And with
videos and promotion that go immediately
after an album, I just haven't felt the time or the space to really get one
together, because it would take a long time to put it together. But I would
like to, very much so, and I have really wanted to since the last one, but it
just hadn't been really the time and I'm hoping that it will feel right and
that the time will come again. (1987, MuchMusic)
[She] doesn't see the validity of, as she said in 1987, just
being ``up there onstage being me."
- What I was trying to say, SHE NOW EXPLAINS, was that if you give a
show, I feel it should have visual elements.
But coming from a folk tradition with two older brothers who play
celtic music, it would seem bush might appreciate simple storytelling, with
nothing but words and movements: No props, costumes or lights.
- Oh, I disagree completely. Folk is storytellers telling stories. And
in the past, storytellers would certainly act things out. It was not unusual
for a poet to be brought into a person's house and treated the way we treat
television now. Performers are performers, not just themselves, and they show
you an exaggerated side. They want to move you. They are being what they feel
you want them to be. That's why they are performers and larger than life. They
create an illusion that people enjoy. (1990, Musician)
- I did a tour once. I wanted to do one since. Consequently a lot of
people think that I hate touring, but that's not so. I absolutely loved it. But
it was so exhausting mentally physically that I was literally drained, wasted,
afterwards. It took a long time to recover. (1989, You)
- My touring situation is a little unusual, to say the least. I've
only ever done one tour, and that was ten years ago, and since then I've only
concentrated on albums. I much enjoyed the tour. But touring is just
re-creating music that already exists. (1989, Rolling Stone)
Why have you avoided touring?
- I wanted to spend time being a songwriter. I didn't want to be
re-creating songs that were already written in front of an audience. Touring is
very much about real contact with an audience. It's also quite exhausting, and
it's a big commitment. Writing music is completely different. It's very
microscopic, very introverted. That meant so much more to me over the last few
years than that [Audience] contact. I think I've learned a tremendous
amount about the process of writing and about myself.
- It really scares me, the idea of performing live, because I haven't
one it for so long and the odd times I have I've felt uncomfortable. I'm
terrified of committing myself at this point. But I'm actually starting to
think, well, it could be fun. (1989, Network)
- People are always complaining about that, SHE GIGGLES. I don't hate
performing. I loved it. It's just
that touring takes so much out of you. And I can't delegate. I get obsessed
with every last detail. I've got to be choosing what colour socks the dancers
are wearing,or helping to change the light bulbs. Besides, I get so tired of
doing the same songs. I want to create music rather than recreate it night
after night on stage. (1990, Daily
I have to ask because everybody is going to just, you know, come up
the hill with torches if I don't. Is there going to be a tour ?
- I feel so embarrassed at... and I feel so flattered that people keep
asking. I just have been so much with making albums and I get so involved in
what I do. The projects become longer and longer and I just haven't had the
space to do this. And I would really like to at some point, but I can't promise
anyone anything so that's what I can say and thank you so much for everyone
wanting me to. (1990, KDGE)
- I suppose just after the tour I was at a point when I felt so
exposed and so vulnerable I needed to retreat and just make albums - be a
songwriter again. That's how I started. I lost a lot of confidence as a
performer during the tour - I get very nervous about the idea of
performing live. (1990, Los Angeles Times)
I got to stick this question in at some point, because everyone's
saying ``when is he going to ask her?'' I ask you this every time and it's,
``are you going to tour this?'' - are you going to take it out on the road and
- It's a very good question... [Pause -- laughs]. Umm...
[Pause]... I really enjoyed touring and this is so ironic. Everyone
presumed I hated touring and this is why we haven't since. I wanted to spend
time being a songwriter and writing songs, not re-creating songs that were
already written, in front of an audience. They're two very different
experiences. Touring is very much about contact. Real contact with an audience;
with people. It's really having a good time, and it's also quite exhausting.
It's a big commitment and exhausting. Now, music is completely different. It's
very microscopic - that thing of taking lots of little bits of time and putting
them together: it's just not running in real time. It's very introverted and it
is the actual process of creation from scratch, and that meant so much more to
me over the last few years than that contact. And I think I've learnt a
tremendous amount by being in the studio for such intense periods doing this.
Not only have I learnt a lot about the process of writing and working with
music but I've learnt a lot about myself, I think. But I do miss the human
contact of touring and it really scares me - the idea of performing live -
because I haven't done it for so long and the odd times I have, I felt very
uncomfortable. I'd really like to tour again but I'm terrified of committing
myself at this point, but I guess this is one of the first points for a long
time I'm actually starting to think ``...it could be fun!'' So the answer, in a
- ...is ``I dunno'' [Laughs]
Only do it if it's going to be fun.
Don't do it if it's going to be a nightmare.
- Yes, and I think another reason why I haven't is I haven't been sure
about that. You're absolutely right. (1989, Roger Scott)
Kate bush has not toured in over ten years. While kate has always
been a pioneer in the field of music video, she does realize the limited
nature of that medium.
- Yes, it's not an adequate substitute, and it is, unfortunately, that
- a substitute, when that can't be. You know, there is nothing that can
substitute live work, like nothing can substitute an album.
- And it can do it. And I suppose the problem is that since the last
tour, I've been so wrapped up in making albums, in trying to sort of keep
control of what I do. I get so involved in what I do, it's an exhausting, long
process for me. Really, with the albums taking so long, over the last few years
I don't think I've had the space in myself to tour. I really enjoyed the last
tour. A lot of people think I didn't, and that's why I haven't toured since.
But it's really more that I've just got so wrapped up in all the projects I do
that I don't feel I've wanted to do it enough, and I don't think I would have
done it well.
Plus, when you did tour it was this huge multi-media ambitious,
sort of provocative production that took months and months just to get that
together. Not to mention the actual playing the live gigs.
- Yes. Terribly over-ambitious, and I think probably that's a trait of
mine. I am terribly over-ambitious with things I try to do, so it's quite scary
as well, you know, trying to deal with such big things.
Well, I get the impression that you feel as though - if you can't
do a tour or a production up to your standards you're just not going to do it.
- Yes, I think it would be unfair on everyone if I did a tour and
didn't really want to. I'm not really going to be exuding joy and happiness, am
At the same time, every time you release new music and we play it
on the radio, we get listeners calling up
saying, ``please tell us kate's going to tour this time around!'' is that like
- That's great.
- A strain, or extra pressure, or -
- It's difficult for me, because, you know, obviously I hate the
thought of a lot of people wanting me to tour and I don't. It's frustrating for
them not to have any contact with me as an artist - that there are only records
and videos. I mean, this is great, because this is direct contact. You know,
they can hear you asking me questions and me replying. That's great, but in a
way doing interviews for the press and that is all such a removed process. But
all I can say is that I think it would be wrong for me to tour, if I wasn't
100% happy about doing it, and that I felt I could do something special. I just
think everyone would be unhappy. So maybe that's all I can say. I'm sorry, I
don't want to starve people of contact. It's just - doing what I do well is so
important to me, I've got to try and to the best I can with everything.
Do you think that not touring has held you back from mainstream
success, particularly here in america?
- Well I think it's very possible, but I also think there's been so
many other inaccessible areas, to me here as an artist. Where, I guess my last
record company found it difficult to know how to express me as an artist to the
public. My second and third albums weren't released here - they were released
at a later date. I think people must have quite a confusing
image of me.
- But, in a way, I think that that's something I have to not worry
about too much, because that's not really my responsibility. My
responsibilities are the artistic, where I have to make the best record I can
at the time, and I have to try and let people know it's out there. But all
those areas, they're kind of out of my control, really.
Plus, a lot of that's in the past.
And you like to look towards the future.
- Absolutely! (1989, KFNX)
- Why do people still ask me if I'm going to tour? I haven't toured in
ten years! I mean it's absolutely ridiculous!
Perhaps it's because she hedges so much about it, never quite
coming out saying that she'll never do it again.
- A lot of people of people think I hated touring, and that's why I
haven't done it again. But actually I really enjoyed it. So I think I would
like to, but I guess I'm scared of committing myself to some like that again. I
found it very tiring, and it was really difficult for me to do anything for a
very long time afterwards...
As everyone who's seen kate's videos knows, she definitely has an
in in the theatrical, and her live show was reportedly full of stage antics and
- I was very much influenced by dance and theatre at the time, and I
really wanted to do something special with the show. But recently, especially
over these past two albums, it's been very important for me to spend time being
a songwriter. I didn't want to be a performer. I didn't feel like a performer,
and I didn't want to be exposed to all that it entails. I wanted spend some
tome alone at home and just be a songwriter and not be out there in front of
everyone. I feel very exposed, doing that. (1989, Daily Mirror)
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.
- 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]
- What a lovely reaction! I can't believe how much... Thank you so
[More applause.] (1990
kate bush con.)
Cloudbusting / Subjects / Touring