Kate Bush Hammersmith Apollo London 3rd September 2014

Kate Bush Hammersmith Apollo London 3rd September 2014
katetixI never believed in my wildest dreams that I would ever see Kate Bush live in concert again. I felt lucky to have seen her during her one and only tour when it called at Sunderland Empire, and I was totally amazed when she announced her return, which seemed to come completely out of the blue a few months ago. Marie (like me an old trooper from the Empire concert) came along with Laura, David, Shauna and me to last nights concert.
From the moment Kate walked barefoot onto the stage last night, the crowd showed how much she has been missed. Fans have travelled from every corner of the globe to witness and be part of this second coming, “Before the Dawn”, and they made sure that Kate knew how much they love her, giving her standing ovations at the end of each of the first few songs. The first thing you notice is how strong her voice is, how well she looks, how confident, and how much she smiles. She seemed genuinely pleased to be there performing, and to see everyone.
The first set of six songs was the closest that the concert got to a “gig” with Kate performing a selection of songs from her career, including “Hounds of Love”; “Running Up That Hill”; and her more recent single “King of the Mountain”. Before the next segment we we given an unexpected interval, while a technical fault was sorted out, which added to the drama of the evening. kateprogBy 9pm, fault rectified, we were all back in our seats to witness “The Ninth Wave”, which tells the story of a lady (Kate) lost at sea after her ship crashes. She fades in and out of life, fighting with the waves and evil skeleton fish, who fight to drag her under. She has an out of body experience as, ghost-like, she returns home to observe her husband and son (played by Kate’s real son Bertie) in their living room watching TV and having supper (toad in the hol, good choice 🙂 ). The coast guard drag her from the sea, only to lose her to the fish skeletons again. A helicopter hovers above us all, lights shining and swirling around the venue. The evil fish hold Kate aloft and carry her through the aisle and out a side entrance.
Ultimately she is dragged out alive, and the evil fish lose her, back to the earth and her life. All of this was staged in the most professional, artist and engaging way that you could imagine. Simply breathtaking.
After another interval we were treated to a performance of “A Sky of Honey”, from Aerial. This sequence also has strong links to earth and the environment. Kate plays the part of a bird-like woman who observes the actions of a 19th-century painter (played by Bertie) who is painting a scene of the sky and a strange quirky mannequin who follows her around throughout the piece (the mannequin also features on the cover of the programme; which you can see above). The performance features several birds; a white dove, a rooster, a seagull, and an evil black raven who attacks Kate, transforming her arm into a black wing. The story climaxes with Kate duelling with her guitarists who wear evil beak masks. Dark, moody, scary. The place went crazy, everyone on their feet. Kate was beaming.
kateconfettiFor the encore she returned to sit alone at her grand piano and sing Among Angels. The band then returned for a joyous “Cloudbusting” with everyone singing along.
We left the Apollo at 11.20pm. The girl sitting to my right looked at me and simply said “Wow!”. Laura says it is the best concert she has ever seen. A very emotional experience in so many ways, lots of tears in the eyes moments.
Kate Bush might just be the greatest creative rock artist that we have.
Apologies for any typos, I have been typing this on the train home.
Setlist
Lily; Hounds of Love; Joanni; Top of the City; Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God); King of the Mountain
The Ninth Wave: And Dream of Sheep; Under Ice; Waking the Witch; Watching You Without Me; Jig of Life; Hello Earth; The Morning Fog
A Sky of Honey: Prelude; Prologue; An Architect’s Dream; The Painter’s Link; Sunset; Aerial Tal; Somewhere in Between; Tawny Moon; Nocturn; Aerial
Encore: Among Angels; Cloudbusting
The yellow slip of flimsy tissue paper is a piece of confetti; these were thrown over the audience early in the show. The confetti features an extract from “The Coming of Arthur” by Lord Alfred Tennyson, which is said to have inspired Kate Bush to write the Ninth Wave.
“Wave after wave, each mightier than the last,
Till last, a ninth one, gathering half the deep
And full of voices, slowly rose and plunged
Roaring, and all the wave was in a flame”

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by davidx66 on September 4, 2014 at 9:46 am

    I envy you. I tried for tickets but it was impossible. Looking forward to your review.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Chris on September 4, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    I was there too, a truely fantastic evening : )

    Reply

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