Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Picture of the week: Brilliant Kate on the crest of a Wave

Kate Bush made a return to the stage after a 35-year absence

It was the gig that everyone wanted to go to. Kate Bush returned to the stage of London's Hammersmith Apollo Theatre on Tuesday for her first live concert in 35 years.

And the lady didn't let us down.

The crowd roared as she appeared from the wings – barefoot and dressed in black, like a witchy grande dame – to open a three-hour show with Lily, from the 1993 album, Red Shoes.

"It's so good to be here. Thank you so much," Bush told the cheering crowd. Backed by seven musicians, including her son, Bertie, whom she credited with "giving me the courage to push the button" for the series of 22 shows, Bush brought back all of the inventiveness, theatricality and avant-garde genius that characterised her groundbreaking Tour of Life debut, back in 1979.

The first half of the show included the 1985 single, Running Up That Hill and, from the same Hounds of Love album, the song suite The Ninth Wave – which combined video, theatre and dance to tell the story of a woman lost at sea.

After an interval, the second act was dominated by songs from her 2005 album, Aerial. In what must be a first for a modern-day live performance, Bush had posted on her website prior to the concerts a request that fans refrain from using cameras to take pictures or to record her.

She said: "I have a request for all of you who are coming to the shows. We have purposefully chosen an intimate theatre setting rather than a large venue or stadium.

"It would mean a great deal to me if you would please refrain from taking photos or filming during the shows. I very much want to have contact with you as an audience, not with iPhones, iPads, or cameras." By and large, the audience complied.

Alas, there were no songs from her first four albums, which meant fans did not get to hear early classics such as Wuthering Heights, or Babooshka. But no one seemed to mind and Bush received a standing ovation as she closed with Cloudbusting, another classic from Hounds of Love.

Afterwards, she thanked fans for their "warm and positive response" and was rewarded with a standing ovation.

VIPs in the audience included Bjork, Marc Almond, Pink Floyd's Dave Gilmour and 29-year-old Lily Allen, who no doubt took inspiration from the truly original, 56-year-old Kate.

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