Bush 'delighted' at return to stage
Kate Bush is to return to the stage 35 years after her one and only tour and said she was "delighted" to be performing a series of shows.
She will play a 15-date residency at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, which was the location where she effectively retired from touring after just six weeks on the road in 1979.
The 55-year-old made a surprise announcement about the Before The Dawn shows this morning, with the first taking place on August 26.
Fans had all but given up on seeing her live but in a message on her website, she said: "I am delighted to announce that we will be performing some live shows this coming August and September.
"I hope you will be able to join us and I look forward to seeing you there."
Kate had talked loosely about a desire to return to playing live in an interview three years ago, saying she would love to play again before she became "too ancient".
She was just 20 when she completed The Tour Of Life with three dates at what was then called the Hammersmith Odeon, after topping the charts with Wuthering Heights the previous year, becoming the first woman to go to number one singing one of her own songs.
Over the years, theories about her absence from the stage have included her perfecti onism, a fear of flying and the death of one of the tour crew, lighting direc tor Bill Duffield, during a show.
But in a rare interview with Mojo magazine in 2011 to mark a comeback from one of her lengthy recording silences, she explained that her years of absence from the touring circuit were simply down to the sheer exertion of the ordeal. Her shows relied heavily on dance and mime.
''It was enormously enjoyable. But physically it was absolutely exhausting,'' she said.
''I still don't give up hope completely that I'll be able to do some live work, but it's certainly not in the picture at the moment because I just don't quite know how that would work with how my life is now."
For long periods she has largely withdrawn from public life to bring up her son, Bertie.
Her reappearances have been sporadic. Her 2005 album Aerial was her first release for 12 years, although in recent years her work rate has become a little more prolific with a collection of reworked songs from earlier albums called The Director's Cut, as well as a themed album of songs about snow.
Last year she was awarded a CBE for her services to music.
In her Mojo interview, she went on: ''Maybe I will do some shows some day. I'd like to think so before I get too ancient."
Today's announcement was accompanied by an image of the singer floating in water, wearing a life jacket with a light attached - possibly a reference to the second side of her Hounds Of Love album. The 1985 album contained a suite of songs called The Ninth Wave about someone who is adrift at sea and the lyrics talk of how she hopes her light will guide rescuers to her.
Fans will interpret the image as a clue to what her live show may feature.
Tickets for the shows at what is officially called the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, go on sale next Friday.