- 11 Mar 19
41 years ago today, Kate Bush's debut single started a four-week run at the top of the UK singles chart. To mark the occasion, we're revisiting Cara Dillon's reflections on the influence of the English singer-songwriter, originally published in Hot Press in 2002.
When I was about ten years old and living in Derry my sister Mary, who’s ten years older than me and also a singer, brought me into the sitting room. She’d lit some candles and she sat me down and read me a couple of passages from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, which I thought was hugely dramatic stuff. Then she played me ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Kate Bush and I was completely blown away, even at that age. I had never heard anything like this sound before. The way in which the song mirrored the beauty and the mood of the book, the way her voice and the melody were so suited to the eerie quality of the story, I just thought, ‘Oh, my god…’
After that I was a confirmed Kate Bush fan, right through my teens. And this was at a time when it seemed to me at least that there weren’t a lot of credible female singer/songwriters around, it was mostly men. So Kate Bush in a way showed me that it was possible for a wee girl to really get into singing and make a go of it.
Another way in which she fascinated me was that she uses a piano to write, and her songs all feature piano prominently. And coming from a folk background I was always more familiar with the guitar. So she introduced me to the piano as an instrument I could utilise in my own music.
But it was The Hounds Of Love album that actually matched that initial experience for me, because coming from a background of trad and folk it was like the coming together of all my favourite types of music, strings, pipes and her voice. And she uses a strange type of chanting choir on songs like ‘Waking The Witch’ that’s really intense. She’s very open to experimentation and really just enjoying the music. And I’ve often thought that at some time in the future I might like to try the big production number.
And because it’s Hot Press’s 25 year anniversary and because I know Kate Bush spends time here and might even read this, please, please can she record another album soon? People like her shouldn’t be allowed to retire!