Kate Bush.

24 05 2012

“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…

“And if I only could, I’d make a deal with God. And I’d get Him to swap our places….”

26 01 2012

As you know, I’m not exactly articulate or clever with my words. I don’t try to be, I wouldn’t know how. I know that my biggest problem is that I write from the heart and possibly with too much feeling. I guess it’s because the music I love is like that. If I don’t write this way, then there’s really no point. I suppose that is why I know I will never ever be paid to do this for a living. That being a Music Writer is just some childhood dream that has followed me into adulthood- but it just stays a dream. I’m just another twerp with a Journalism degree who’s trying to be heard (I don’t want to be seen.) But anyway, that isn’t about that right now. This is going to be another post with a lot of feeling. I have no idea why I’m even doing this. Maybe it’s beause I have a awful cold, and I’ve had too much cough medicine. You don’t have to read this. And why should you anyway.

I have no idea how to approach this at all. I never do. You see, I can pour everything I feel about a song or band so easily here. It seems to be the easiest thing in the world. Ask me to tell you how I feel about certain people or whatever- I seem to lose words and the ability to function. I guess it’s why I’m always writing something. Whether it be here, in my poetry notebook or my lyric notebook. I’m always writing something, about something- or someone. I’m not an emotionally challenged person. I just lose the ability to make sense a lot of the time. Nor do I need to be drunk to tell you that I love you, or to ask you for 10p. I’ll start this for real now.

Something happened very close to a year ago. Something which every single person on this planet fears. I’ve never spoken about in great detail with anyone. I didn’t see the need. I didn’t see why I should or why anyone would give a shit. I spoke about it with one friend. In fact, we both cried about it. This is why she’s my best friend and rock. She’s one of the very very few people who changed me for the better. She won’t see this, so there’s no point in me praising her too much 😉 Last year my mother flew over to England to tell me she had Breast Cancer. My reaction was typical. I cried like a fucking baby and clung onto her like an ape. I think my heart and world stopped. I wanted to swear, but I respect my mother too much to use the word FUCK in front of her. Buggery and twat is fine though. It was something I never ever imagined I would hear. It wasn’t something I ever thought about. How I felt from that moment from then on is something I wouldn’t wish upon anyone- even someone I disliked. People say having your heartbroken by a lover is awful. Whatever. That’s nothing. This feeling is a trillion times worse. It makes the romantic kind of heartbreak seem like nothing. However, we’re all different and deal with life’s obstacles in different ways. If you’re anything like me, you do the whole “if I ignore it, it’ll go away but I know it will creep up and bite me in the arse.” Oh, and it did. It did.

I’m not writing this for anyone to think or feel, “You poor thing.” No. I’m doing this because I want to show how music, how a song can pull you through anything. Even something as horrific as this. My mum is one of the lucky ones. She is still here. However, when she tells me she’s in pain or doesn’t feel well- I panic so much internally. All I can do is offer a hug or a cup of tea. I know, I’m useless. When she was undergoing Radiotherapy she still managed to look amazing. I think she’s one of these people who cannot leave the house without make-up. She had her treatment in Sheffield, so I’d go up and see her a few times a week. She didn’t want me to go to the place where she was being treated, which I fully understood. Instead we’d wander around York, Manchester and Sheffield. I’d be lugged around clothes shops and in return, I’d make her go to record shops with me.

My mum is the most strongest and loving human beings I know. I saw how strong she was through all of this, and it just inspired me in ways that I didn’t know how. I never really sat down and spoke about this with her. I didn’t see how me talking about how I felt about her being ill would help. It wouldn’t rid her of cancer. It wouldn’t make this less real. My way was to just act like normal. In front of my friends, I would remain the joker doing my best to make them laugh- doing my best to make sure nobody ever caught onto how awful I felt. For a month or so, I just cried myself to sleep. There were times when leaving the house was seen as the most impossible thing ever. I just wanted to sleep, and when I woke up- I wanted none of this to have ever happened. I always thought, “Fucks sake Olivia. You have NO right to feel so bad. You’re not the one with cancer.” I told myself this all the time until I snapped out of it. I guess I had to trick myself into living again so I wouldn’t be a mess. Thing is, to everyone and anyone- I was totally fine. I was strong and together. I was told a few times that it was okay to break or whatever. But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t physically go to a friend and just have an outburst. When my mum told me she was sick, I left her for an hour and I went to my best friend’s house. I sat on her bed. And just bawled. She did too. That was the first and last time I did that. I hate crying. It gives me a migraine.

I’m not writing this to make anyone feel sorry for me, or for anyone to praise me or anything. I’m doing this for one reason. I’m writing this to make someone else see that…it’s fucking okay to be a mess you know? Just because you reach rock bottom doesn’t mean you cannot get up again. Use Music as your fucking crutch. I did. Certain songs (which I will link you to in a bit) pulled me through. When I couldn’t sleep or when I didn’t feel too great- these songs gave me something. I’m not exactly the poster-child for bravery. I think the cowardly lion is possibly my spirit animal sometimes. I think I’ve got better. Who knows.

You’ve got to put your faith in something or someone. A place, a person or a sound. Just something. Give yourself to something. I don’t like bothering anyone with anything that gets to me. I’m more likely to just play a song I love to find comfort and answers. And so, that is exactly what I did. The songs I’m going to link you to ALL played an important role in making sure I didn’t become a selfish wanker wallowing in self pity. These songs stopped me from going under and into something shit.

My mum’s okay now. Well, mentally- she will always be tapped in the head. I think that’s genetic. I’ve got no fucking chance of being normal. Not that I’d ever want to be 😉 I remember when she was undergoing treatment she kept saying to me, “I don’t care if I’m on a fucking drip-we ARE going to see Morrissey.” And we did. Twice. I refuse to ever EVER go watch Morrissey live with anyone but my mum. I don’t care who you are- I can only go with her. When we saw him in York we stood for an hour at the end of the gig waiting for him to come out. He came out. As he got into his car, waved and nodded at us. For me, that was perfect. We’ve seen Morrissey 4 times, each time it just makes me feel so alive. However seeing him twice last year meant so much more, for the obvious reasons. It was just perfect.

I think I’ve written far too much. I’ll probably delete this because, when I re-read this I will see how much of an idiot I am. I’m sorry. If you’ve read this- thank you, and I’m sorry you put yourself through this. Anyway, go listen to these songs. They sum up what I’ve been trying to say better than I ever could, especially Kate Bush and Brand New. Running Up That Hill..the chorus just sums up everything I felt and feel. I would give anything to have swapped with my mum so she didn’t have to go through any of this :

Kate Bush-Mistraldespair/Misty(video.)

28 11 2011

The song is originally over 13 minutes long. Again, more proof that songs should last over 5 minutes. I cannot say anything about Kate Bush that hasn’t already been said. 50 Words For Snow is one of the most euphoric records of the year. If you want something that is going to make you believe in music again or something that is going to send you off into a dream world- buy this album. You don’t need a rambling fool like me to tell you just how important and amazing Kate Bush is. The song has been edited down to just under 3 minutes in this video; although it’s been cut down, it is still wonderfully haunting and just stunning.