Wednesday 8 October 2014

An evening with Kate Bush - part two.

My last post has received some feedback, as you'll see from the comments.
Seems I came across as a little selfish...
Keeping, and wanting to keep, too much to myself...
Not sharing.
And I guess the people who posted the comments are right.
So, I'll share more of my Evening with Kate Bush with anyone who wants to hear it...
And yes, I do hope that you all get to sample the crazy genius that is Kate Bush in your living rooms in the not too distant future.
I'd say that I'm quite a visual person, but I also love music. I love strong lyrics but also a good tune.
For me a good film has a good balance of story, cinematography and soundtrack.
A good concert has a good balance of songs, performance and interaction with the audience.
From the moment that Kate Bush lead a line of musicians onto the stage I was captured. Even that simple procession spoke to me that this was all going to be choreographed.
The first few tracks (I forget the number ... was it 5 or 6 ?) that followed were typical concert fodder however and I forgot about anything but Kate, her voice and her presence, Kate standing out there on her own, band behind her and a sea of welcoming fans in front.
And I relaxed.
Her voice is still great.
Her confidence boundless.
And then the whole thing turned on its head as a video was projected onto the back screen. Was this then to turn into a mixture of music videos, interspersed with Kate singing live ? No. The whole thing turned into a... well I don't know what to call it really, a story in song ?
Theatre ?
Theatre centred around a drowning woman, reflecting on the loss and the impact it'll have on loved ones, with The Ninth Wave from her Hounds of Love album carrying us along.
I'm a visual person and my eyes were drawn to the skeletal fish characters that trawled the stage, looking for lost souls maybe ? The huge sheets of material being moved on the stage floor contributing to a feeling of being adrift, at sea with the drowning woman, and the little scene where she almost 'ghosts' her presence in her family home is... well.. it was all quite consuming.
I was completely captivated.
'Hello Earth' indeed.
And then, to a standing ovation Kate announces that there would be a short break.
I remember thinking... 'Wow, there's more'.
I remember exchanging a few words with Colin sat next to me as we both tried to come to terms with what we'd just experienced.
What I should have been doing was clearing my mind for what was to come.
The second 'Act' was inspired by the music from the more recent Aerial album.
The fish were replaced by birds, but mostly projected this time, although a raven's wing does feature.
There's also a life sized (well the size of a young boy) artist's manikin who enters through the biggest pair of doors I ever seen (on stage or elsewhere) and I was completely absorbed once again. The Sky of Honey picks us up and carries us aloft.
There was just so much to take in.
I was fooled at one point, I'll say no more on that as hopefully you all will be too when you watch then video... almost a slight of hand trick .... a magicians misdirection .. and Kate is certainly that, a magician conjuring with words, music and theatre.
And then it ended.
I felt exhausted... so I can only imagine how she felt.
Kate did come on to do an encore, and we were all singing along to Cloudbusting, but by then my mind was full. I was trying to make sense of some of the things I'd seen and was marvelling over others.
So...was this a good concert ?
It was so much more than that.
It felt like I've been to a couple of musical theatrical performances, with some songs at the beginning to introduce you to the performer (not that Kate needed any of course) and a couple at the end to help you get yourself into a state where you could be trusted to be able to walk down stairs and cross busy streets with some awareness of your surroundings.
Even so, people milled around outside the venue, almost reluctant to go home.
Wanting to keep hold of the experience for just a little longer.


  1. Very well crystallized. You wrote the review(s) as they should be: descriptive in personal revelation, not a blow by blow account.

    I didn't take your "hoping there'd be no dvd" all that seriously; indeed, I was able to relate to where you were coming from: you didn't want the experience to be sullied by documented history (idn't it?)

    In short, it expresses the view that there is no way it could possibly do the live experience justice. I also hope that something extraordinary results to the extent that I am, too, once again surprised.

    And, come on, anyone who's reading, the "superior taste" commentary was an brutal balance of honesty of personal feeling and deprecation of general human character - or do I have that wrong, Dave?

    Anyway, well done! Reading thoughtful reviews vis a vis someone else's inner workings brings back what I so much cannot let go of. Your description of how it made you feel when Kate emerged onto the stage matches my emotional reaction to a T. And your recounting does much more justice than "it was indescribably wonderful" - though it was that, of course.

    Hey, look, I'm still rambling on, after thinking that'd be my last paragraph!

    There is a tiny niche in some corner of the Internets who think our purported experience is part & parcel of a broader evolutionary occurrence of inaccurate portrayal via overwrought exaggeration; a criticism that attributes nearly the entire world population's behaviour to "kids today".

    I believe your review is Exhibit A that the aggregate reaction to Before the Dawn is not just googoo gaga (pardon the pun).

  2. Thanks for the comment(s) Davidly.
    And yes, you got exactly where I'm coming from. I just think the whole event was something that just won't be anything like the same if transferred to a flat screen (or even that thing that they call 3D). It really had to be experienced with a whole theatre full of emotions carrying you along with it.
    I've read Charlie Brooker's review, based on talking to one person who didn't enjoy it (and that must be a talent that he has to make so much from a one sentence answer to a question) and to be fair, I'm sure the event wouldn't have appealed to everyone. It probably wouldn't even appeal to the same person in the same way if they were feeling in a different frame of mind.
    And that's the beauty of it all.
    I can only speak for myself when I say that I was completely there. Kate had me in her hand, she played with my senses for a good three hours or more, and then she put me back down again and sent me on my way.
    I'm not going to criticise that lady who got bored.
    I'm just happy to have been there and to have been in the receptive state of mind that allowed me to just enjoy the experience so much.