Belfast Telegraph

Pity Kate won't be music to our ears at Olympics

By Gail Walker

Perhaps it's because drawing up long playlists of favourite songs is an inherently male thing to do that they tend to be a bit scant when it comes to female singers.

After all, has any woman ever had a boyfriend who didn't feel compelled to give her several volumes of songs so that she will understand his dark and complex soul all the better? And after hours of Marillion, Gerry Rafferty, Journey and, er, Judy Garland, you absolutely do. He's a crazy, suspended somewhere between GCSEs and bedsit land.

Just look at the 86 songs Danny Boyle has chosen for the opening ceremony of the Olympics. True, it's great to see Bowie, so missed from the Jubilee concert, getting a decent outing. Ditto, the Beatles, the Stones and Pink Floyd.

But where is the UK's greatest female singer songwriter of all time? Astonishingly and bewilderingly, there's not a single track from the sublime Kate Bush.

Running Up That Hill would have been perfect, its pulsating understated frustration resounding around the stadium. Or what says 'here' more than the glorious eccentricity of Wuthering Heights, instantly recognisable from those first notes? Imagine if the beautiful orchestration of Cloudbusting - one of the happiest songs ever - suddenly filled the air? Or, as darkness descends, the guitar riffs of Rocket went shooting into the night?

This isn't a matter of personal taste. I'm not a huge Stones fan but can see why their omission would be absurd. It's just depressing that, at the Olympics of all things, the soundtrack has to be so macho, so thrashy, so offensive.

That the one female artiste who can easily stake her claim at the top end of British talent since the Sixties is 'forgotten' is unacceptable. I mean, Mud? Blue Monday? The Verve? Funny that Britain has managed to showcase one of its least savoury cultural traits on the global stage.

Step forward, Team UK. The Sexism Gold Medal is all yours.


From Belfast Telegraph