Interviews & Articles


Toronto Star
"Singer's singer Kate Bush makes A Rare Appearance"
by Peter Howell
December 14, 1993

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From: aj796@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Tippi Chai)
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 1994 00:00:20 -0500
Subject: Toronto Star interview Dec. 1993

First, for those who have missed it, the MuchMusic Kate Special wasn't special. Only about 10 min. of *NEW* interview were shown. Major rehashing of old footage. But an interesting segment was Del being interviewed. Clean shaven and with short hair, he looks like a different person from the photo I have of him taken by Ron Hill at the last KonvenTion.

Here's the Toronto Star interview, Dec 14, 1993.


by Peter Howell, Pop Critic

Call Kate Bush a recluse, and she's got two words for you: "ethereal" and "nutty".

They're the two other words of the three most often used to describe the winsome English pop archetype, and Bush rhymed them off herself yesterday while making an exceedingly rare visit to Toronto.

Oh, the 35-year-old singer-songwriter understands why people have these "very natural presumptions" about her, since she appears in public about as often as Halley's Comet and weaves a tight sonic tapestry with her music, using literary strands of Tennyson, Bronte, Joyce and the Bible.

"It's not important to me that people understand me", says the very English, very charming Bush, in town to talk about both a new album, The Red Shoes, and a new short film, The Line, The Cross And The Curve.

"It's my work that goes out, and I feel that's what speaks for me. In a lot of ways, I'm very happy for the work to do all the talking, because I feel if I didn't make music, people wouldn't be interested in me, anyways. It's the music that says it; it says it eloquently enough "

It speaks loudly. Ask almost any current female singer-songwriter where she got her musical inspiration, and the name Kate Bush is mentioned almost as often as that of Joni Mitchell. Canadians have been particularly smitten: Jane Siberry, Sarah McLachlan, Rebecca Jenkins, Loreena McKennitt, Shirley Eckhard and more --all have fallen under the spell of this four-octave dream weaver, who was still a schoolgirl when she conquered Europe's pop charts in 1978 with her debut single, Wuthering Heights.

"Oh, I feel honoured," Bush says, politely side stepping the comparisons. "How lovely to be compared up there to Joni Mitchell."

She is equally polite and off-handed in explaining why she hasn't toured since 1979, despite the fact that her sold-out series of shows that year--the only time she toured--proved her continuing skills at combining song, dance and theatre.

Advance word had it The Red Shoes would see Bush finally treading the boards again, with a basket of pop, rock and funk-charged tunes especially written for live performance, with guitar assists from big names like Prince, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck.

Bush allows she gave the idea serious consideration, but decided instead to put all of her carefully marshalled energies into making The Line, The Cross And The Curve, a film built around six new songs that she premiered last night to an invitation-only audience at the Royal Ontario Museum.

"I'd love to do some shows, but the whole thing of touring is very daunting to me now," Bush says, pleading exhaustion from nearly three years' work in her home studio on The Red Shoes, a period that also saw her part with her long time partner, Del Palmer, and mourn the death of her mother, Hannah.

"I like travelling, but I don't like doing a lot of travelling in a short space. To do some shows would be great; I think it would be really good for me. There's nothing planned ... The only plans I have right now are just to take a break ...."

Bush expects her listeners to connect with her on an intuitive level more than a verbal one. She's pleased that one of her most arresting new songs, "The Song Of Solomon", has a sexually strident chorus that most women apparently understand, but many men don't: "Don't want your bulls-t, [sic] yeah / Just want your sexuality," it begins.

"I've noticed a lot of men ask me what it's about," Bush says, smiling. "And so far, I haven't had one woman ask me. I think that's quite interesting in itself. I think in some ways it's kind of a 'girl talk' thing."

Maybe more than girl talk, considering her legions of mostly female fans give a new Kate Bush album the scrutiny afforded Moses's delivery of the Ten Commandments. Bush Is intensely admired, and she knows it.

"I suppose I feel there's a responsibility to myself, which is to try to do the best I can musically, and to just try to respect the position I'm in, which I feel is very privileged, because I'm doing what I want," she says.

"Not only am I able to make a living from it, but people sometimes give me the most extraordinary feedback, which is very moving."

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