Interviews & Articles


"What I Did On My Holidays"
by Kate Bush, as told to Ian Birch
June 81

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Date: Mon, 25 Feb 91 15:37:51 EST
From: Andrew B Marvick <abm4@cunixa.cc.columbia.edu>
Subject: Interview by Ian Birch, ca. June 1981

"What I Did On My Holidays" by Kate Bush, as told to Ian Birch

<Aproximate date: June 1981. Transcribed by Andrew Marvick>

"I was almost empty. I had to fill myself up again."

Late last year not even jump leads would have revitalized the Kate Bush batteries. She was so exhausted that she took the only sensible course--six months hibernation. Consequently since her November single, "December Will Be Magic Again", nothing has been released until the current chart contender, "Sat In Your Lap".

During the lay-off she caught up with some sleep, saw her closely knit family (brother John, for example, is in charge of all her photography) and, most important of all, discovered a brave new whirl of electronic instruments.

Peter Gabriel had introduced her to the "rhythm box" when they worked together on songs like "No Self Control" and "Games Without Frontiers". It was the micro-chip that set everything in motion. Kate experimented with oscillators, sequencers and the like. "This whole new world," Kate marvelled, "struck me with awe."

But don't expect her to adopt the showroom dummy-style dour faces and a relentless electronic bleep. Her aim is to combine the old with the new, craft with discovery. As she explained: "I'm very fond of nostalgia and new sounds. But I'd like to apply the future to nostalgia rather than the future to the future."

And "Sat In Your Lap" is exactly that. Over a beast of a rhythm which nods in the direction of the Burundi Big Beat, she hollers words about the kind of spiritual pilgrimages that hippies used to make to India in the Sixties.

Talking of which, she has put "Lord of the Reedy River" on the b-side--a song written by Donovan, the wispy folk-rock minstrel who reigned during the Sixties. Originally she couldn't decide whether to cover a Donovan or a Captain Beefheart composition, but the former won the day after a number of odd events...

Like the evening she was half-watching the Crystal Gayle show on telly and half-discussing the dilemma when, lo and behold, Donovan appeared as Crystal's guest star. "It was like he was planted in my room," exclaimed Kate. "I couldn't believe it!"

At the moment Kate is busy on her fourth album. <"The Dreaming"--IED.> She has more or less completed five tracks, one of which involves the Irish folk band, Planxty. She asked the group if they would be interested in working with her, they said yes, she flew to Dublin, found she had a "strong feeling for Ireland" (mum has Irish blood), and together they came up with "Night of the Swallow". Once again Kate enthuses:

"They're fantastic musicians with open, receptive minds, which is unusual for people who work with traditional folk music." Maybe we're in for a revival of Irish fok music. Kate wants to investigate further while John Lydon is fast discoveing his Irish roots. Could it be the Shamrock Shimmy?

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