Monday, July 20, 2009

Magnificent, Marvellous, Mighty Monday and KATE BUSH

I wish Kate Bush had been part of my mother's group. She'd be the coolest person to talk to and I'm sure we'd have hit it off and spent a lot of time discussing creativity, parenting, ghosts, the Brontes, graveyards, baby formulas, vegetarian food and enjoyed scouring op-shops together and watching our children play in parks.

I say this because somewhere in the UK Kate is living a normal life raising her son, Bertie, and doing all the normal motherly things. In her latest brilliant double-album, Aerial ,she sings tender homage to laundry chores and to Bertie. I love this album so much! It was worth the long years of anticipation wondering if she would ever record again.

The first time I saw Kate I was watching Countdown on a Sunday night, probably with my beans on toast on my lap, when THAT MUSIC STARTED. And there she was - red dress, huge eyes, reaching arms – witchy evocative other-worldly Kate singing that incredible Wuthering Heights song which eerily seemed to encapture the spirit of the book. I fell instantly in love as I choked on my beans, as did millions around the globe, and it seemed impossible that one so young could have written such an incredible piece.

I love Kate for many reasons. She's not like a modern pop star courting media attention. She's content to live a normal life and create her genius quietly. She put her career on hold to bring up Bertie and concentrate on being a mother. She proves that sometimes quality is better than quantity. Each album, although unmistakably 'Kate', is an evolution.

She shows us that age isn't a barrier to creativity. A schoolgirl can pen Wuthering Heights whilst the more mature woman pens brilliant odes to washing, motherhood, death of a parent and quieter reflections that are totally original and critically acclaimed as masterpieces. In a world of the bland, the copied, the narcissistic needy, Kate reminds us that not every performer is about fame bottled to reflect their own insecure vanity. Some artists are more concerned about the work. I adore the surreal nature of her albums. Only Kate would sing so lovingly about washing and include Rolf Harris playing didgeridoo.

In a recent interview she said that having Bertie changed her creative process totally. Before she was used to fourteen hour stretches in her studio but motherhood meant she was only able to work in short patches over the years and sometimes not at all. But this was good for her creativity as it forced her into situations where she had to step back from it. She is a great reminder to all of us who feel frustrated trying to raise families and work in the 'real world' that we can afford to slow down and pace ourselves.

And so for Magnificent, Marvellous, Mighty Monday, let us celebrate the wild, eccentric, haunting genius of Kate Bush! May her original, striking songs inspire our own creative efforts this week.

· Her subjects come tripping from library shelves, television and cinema screens and musty books of fairy tales, the stuff that dreams are made of. She spins tunes that haunt, twist and turn the mind, triggering long forgotten moods. Listening intently to her albums is an experience akin to having a lucid and feverish dream. Jungian symbols of youth, innocence, spiritual escape and the dark, feminine realm abound. Ghosts haunt the black vinyl grooves... But it's not all brooding intensity. There are jokes, too...

Sue Hudson

· For the last 12 years, I've felt really privileged to be living such a normal life. It's so a part of who I am. It's so important to me to do the washing, do the Hoovering. Friends of mine in the business don't know how dishwashers work. For me, that's frightening. I want to be in a position where I can function as a human being. Even more so now where you've got this sort of truly silly preoccupation with celebrities. Just because somebody's been in an ad on TV, so what? Who gives a toss?

· Kate Bush


  1. You only have to wander on to my blog to know I adore her!

  2. Hi Josephine- I love that you are profiling artists and paying tribute to them... I am not that familiar with Kate Bush but will look up her songs next time I am on iTunes...

  3. i remember that countdown moment, too!!! i got the video (it was a while ago) of all her clips(to that date)but they'd changed the wuthering heights red dress to a white dress (maybe more ghost like?)...did you plait your hair so it would be just like hers, too? i think she's just awesome...

  4. Kimmie, I will pop over to your Blog later and have a look. I want to check out your lavender talc whilst I'm there!
    Daily Connoisseur, you were probably way too young and I'm not sure how big Kate got in American. She is a huge influence on a lot of artists including Lady Gaga I'm sure.
    Cat, I didn't do the braids (I probably didn't have enough hair or I would have done!) She seemed like a creature from another world to me. I will try to find out why they feature the white dress and not red. To me the red always made the most impact!

  5. lovely post, Aerial is such a gorgeous album. Makes me want to try some of my 'Kate' dancing

  6. She was really something with that voice wasn't she? I must listen to her new album Josephine - thank you for the idea, xv.

  7. I believe she studied mime as well as dance, Gondal Girl if that helps you! Vicki, Aerial is one of my favourite Kate albums. It is a double album (A Sea of Honey and A Sky of Honey) I think it really reflects that she spent a lot of time working on it. One of my favourite tracks is Bertie. It is a hymn to motherhood! xx


    There ya go lovey!

    Feeling I have been sat on by an elephant lol and have a horrid fun Swine Flu at all~!

  9. Lovely we were both thinking of magical Kate in the same week! Synchronicity from UK to Sydney. I loved her from the moment saw her on Top of the Pops as a kid, and as you say respect her reclusive genius. Mothers rock! x

  10. oooh I LOVE Kate Bush I remember that SAME experience watching Coundown, I was smitten I was a wannabe hippie and she appealed to the hippie in me immensely!!!! long skirts the Brontes tc etc

  11. wow great post, I enjoyed this

    the last quote just too cool about he dishwasher

  12. Thanks Sarah, I love the dishwasher quote too.
    Linda, so funny so many of us remember and love Countdown. It was quite a Sunday night tradition in our house. I still remember Mum and Dad singing along to Fernando when it was top of the charts for so long.
    Kate, we never had Top of the Pops but I almost feel as if we did as I read about it for so long!
    Kimmie, hope you feel better soon. I imagine Swine Flu knocks the stuffing out of you. Thanks for dropping in with the link xx

  13. Great entry! Love Kate Bush too though I'm still really getting to know her -I love her unique individual style! I know what you mean about hearing someone sing and in an instant falling head over heels in love with their music, remembering forever more the place you were and what you were doing at the time... :)

    Ghosts and graveyards and the Brontes - talk to me about them anytime -I love them! xxx

  14. I've loved Kate's music and her bewitching personality. I'm glad she lives her own life and is not swayed by celebrity expectations.


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