“Split me open, with devotion. You put your hands in, and rip my heart out. Eat the music.”
Writing this is going to give me a headache. I know I get a headache most days, but this will probably cause me to want to lob the computer outside, and watch it smash into pieces. As I feel my face melt and my head pound. This isn’t the general feeling I get from listening to Kate Bush. I listen to her, and I feel okay. There’s just one song that, if you ever want to see me cry- play it. I will cry like a baby because over the past year and a half or so..it has summed up a lot. So I do my best to avoid it. I’m good at avoiding things. You see, I even put off writing this for some time because I’m not good enough a writer to even do this. I know my limits. I don’t need to be pushed into doing something, more like a bloody forceful shove. Unless whiskey is involved, then I’ll just do it anyway.
Where does a person start when writing about Kate Bush? It’s like trying to list the qualities you love about someone isn’t it? You just don’t know where to start so you just say “everything” because it is the truth. As you know, I don’t write in a way that removes myself from whatever it is I am writing about. I stupidly get personal about it all, leaving myself open and god knows what else to the person reading it. However, I am confident nobody will see this so I am okay with it. The other night when I wrote that open letter to Morrissey, what was I thinking!? Writing about Kate Bush is something I know I have needed to do for some time. Like anyone with good parents, I was raised on her music. I think I even made my mum dance like her so I’d go to sleep. I have never ever been able to sing the correct words to Babooshka. Never have, never will. I just sing whatever comes into my head. And for the most part, it is sheer nonsense. To be honest, what goes on in my head is mostly nonsense. Organised chaos.
I love voices that have a drawl to it. Voices that sound a bit rough, gnarly and raw. Voices that many would probably regard as “what in the fuckering is that?!” The stranger, the better. Kate’s voice is far from this. Sure it is strange, mainly because no other female singer has that power. Sure they may say they are influenced by her. Some go as far to just rip her off. I won’t name names, I’m not like that (and mainly because I’m still half asleep so I have no idea.) But you can see over time, who has basically just tried to be like her. Then again, you have some who are so wonderfully influenced by her. There’s a fine line between copying and being influenced isn’t there.
I’ll just declare it now shall I? The Kick Inside is probably THE greatest debut records of all time. Alright, one of the. I have a lot of emotional value held towards New York Dolls debut and a few others, but I’d put it in my top 5 for sure. I’ve always been obsessed with the artwork of this record. I have no idea why, I am always drawn to things I cannot explain. Her vocals on L’Amour Looks Something Like You si my favourite off the record, and in all honesty it is probably my favourite Kate Bush song. I love her vocals so much. I think I used to be terrified of Kate Bush for a while. Then I realised, “She’s bloody mental..look at her moves. I love her!” The fear didn’t last long at all. If I’m scared of something, I usually end up enjoying it after a while. I don’t question how my mind works anymore. It’s a sexy record isn’t it.
I keep thinking of things to write down, and just losing the ability to put it into a sentence. About that headache…
I think for me, personally, the reason as to why I just love her (its pure love) is because her songs are about subject matters singers around now wouldn’t dare touch on. It’s like now, if you have an opinion- keep it to yourself. Bullshit. So long as you’re not being a racist/homophobic cunt or being a twat towards those who have a disability-say something. If you’re going to be a judgemental prick basically, shut the frig up. Anything else, carry on kidda.
She’s written songs that touch on an incestuous pregnancy to a woman’s obsession with a young lad that could be seen as borderline, paedo-ish. As it is Kate, you don’t mind. She takes you far into a different world with her hypnotising voice, and moves- that the subject matter isn’t really a big deal. She just makes you escape in the purest way. You honestly cannot compare what she does to you to anything else.
This Christmas just passed, I was working at HMV (one of the best jobs ever, serious) and this man came up to me and said “Where will I find Kate Bush?” Obviously I thought, “Probably at home” was the best response, and I said it. He laughed. He laughed hard, so I couldn’t walk away. Not that I would. So I took him to the section, and he said “There’s two new ones aren’t there.” So I handed him 50 Words For Snow. I told him about it. I told him everything he should feel whilst listening to it. I told him that it makes the fact that she rarely releases anything now less painful because it is a truly beautiful record. I remember word for word what he said to me (see, I sometimes remember nice things people tell me) and he said, “From the passion in your voice and how your face just lights up-I am going to buy this record. I trust your judgement.” He came in a few days later and thanked me. I also held up a queue whilst serving (calm down) a girl who was buying some Kate Bush records by just talking about how wonderful she is. She stops time, and makes everything around you mean nothing. You feel weightless and comfortable with who you are when you listen to her.
I’m over a thousand words here. I think I could go all day. I’ll carry on a bit longer, then I’ll stop. I could write a book on this woman. I won’t though. Don’t worry.
What is it about Kate that has caused her to still be relevant? Why is she so important? Just what is it? I’ve always tried to work it out, but I never find an answer. I think it is different for everyone. Those that love her all have their own take on it. Maybe it is her lyric content. Maybe it is her voice. Or maybe, it is just her. Every so often a singer or band comes around, and they just blow your mind. Everything about them stuns you. You cannot being to even summarise what it is that you love about them. It is just pure, unconditional love. The kind of love you have for your pet. You just look at them, and it is with sheer love. Nothing more, nothing less.
With a career that has lasted well over 30 years now, I do believe it is fair to say that Kate Bush is probably THE most influential singer pretty much ever. She’s influenced so many from PJ Harvey to my personal favourite, Ariel Pink (please listen to his music, he is a LA based genius who deserves the world. True love for him.)
I could’ve picked apart songs and albums that I love, but I guess it didn’t feel right. Maybe I am totally wrong with what I have written down. Good job I’m not someone who desires to always be right then isn’t it!
In short, I suppose, Kate is just everything you want from a singer. She has a strong vocal range, her moves are insane (if you’ve never tried to dance like her, you’ve never lived) her words are just poetry. There’s darkness, there’s love, lust, rage, fury and utter power in all her songs. I’d say “don’t trust someone who isn’t a Kate Bush fan!” But to be honest, don’t trust anyone who only listens to just one song. You’ve got a back catalogue of perfection, do NOT ignore it. It’ll probably change your life. Then you’ll hate modern music because it isn’t as pure and as touching as this. To an extent.
We should make her a Dame shouldn’t we? Dame Kate Bush. Sounds alright…