- 28 Aug 14
Kate Bush's surreal fantasy entranced a truly rapt crowd last night at the Hammersmith Apollo in London.
After 35 years away from the stage, her return was an emotional experience for all involved: the welcoming applause rattled the walls, fully grown men sobbed openly, wild standing ovations were delivered after every song, all around mouths gaped in awe at the wondrous manifestation of pop culture's most endearingly trippy imagination.
For the fans - everyone from under 12s to those entitled to a free bus pass - this was a gig of a lifetime. But it was so much more than that too. Marrying theatre, cinema, interpretive dance, performance art, costume and some of the most powerful music ever committed to record, it was a fantastical and sometimes nightmarish production, shocking and mesmerising in equal measure, dramatic and kooky and utterly charming. If Salvador Dali came back to earth as a pop princess and decided to do musical theatre, he might curate something like this.
As for the wonder woman herself, Kate was note perfect, very comfortable on stage, the whole thing perfectly executed and coming off without a hitch - a miracle, it seemed to me, considering the ambition of the performance and sheer technical prowess involved in managing the set. Song-wise, she forewent the early albums and instead took Hounds Of Love as her starting point, from there knocking out the hits with such emotional investment that they could have been released this year. Enchantingly, Bush's delivery was fresh, inviting us to peek at new, never-before-seen perspectives on songs we felt like we knew like the backs of our hands. In all, it was magic.
Hot Press doesn't usually give gigs ratings, but this was definitely 10/10!
For a detailed review of the gig - with spoilers! - check out our next issue, which hits the stands on Thursday September 4.