Kate Bush will play her first series of shows since 1979, performing August and September in the UK.
Bush will play 15 shows at London’s Eventim Apollo starting 26 August as part of her Before the Dawn series of shows. Announcing the news on her website on Friday, the singer said: “I hope you will be able to join us and I look forward to seeing you there.”
Famously, Bush has only toured once before, during a six-week jaunt around Britain and mainland Europe. “By the end,” she subsequently recalled, “I felt a terrific need to retreat as a person, because I felt that my sexuality – which in a way I hadn’t really had a chance to explore myself – was being given to the world in a way which I found impersonal.”
Theories to explain her absence from the tour circuit have included a fear of flying, perfectionism and the death of her lighting director, Bill Duffield, who was killed in an accident during her 2 April 1979 concert at Poole Arts Centre. In an interview with Mojo magazine in 2011, Bush said she’d also endured extreme exhaustion as a result of the tour. “It was enormously enjoyable. But physically it was absolutely exhausting.”
“I still don’t give up hope completely that I’ll be able to do some live work,” she added, “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.”
Combining music, dance, poetry, mime, burlesque, magic and theatre, the show was co-ordinated by the 20-year-old Bush with Anthony Van Laast – who later choreographed the Mamma Mia! movie and several West End hits – and two young dancers, Stewart Avon Arnold and Gary Hurst. An elaborate set was dominated by a large, ribbed screen on which slides and film footage could be projected.
Performing songs primarily from her first two albums, The Kick Inside and Lionheart, the show played host to 13 performers, 17 costume changes and 24 songs. It also featured her brother John, while Simon Drake performed illusions and magic tricks.
The singer has made isolated and rare appearances since her tour in 1979, performing at a 1982 Prince’s Trust concert, a 1986 Comic Relief show, and additional dates in 1987, including a performance of Running Up that Hill at The Secret Policeman’s Third Ball accompanied by David Gilmour. In 1981, Bush’s seminal Lionheart tour was released on video; boxed set that included a CD version of the performance at Hammersmith Odeon came out in 1994.
Kate Bush released her last album, 50 Words for Snow, in 2011.
Tickets for the shows will go on sale at 9.30 am on 28 March. Purchases are limited to a maximum of four per order.
26 August – London’s Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith
27 August – London’s Eventim Apollo
29 August – London’s Eventim Apollo
30 August – London’s Eventim Apollo
2 September – London’s Eventim Apollo
3 September – London’s Eventim Apollo
5 September – London’s Eventim Apollo
6 September – London’s Eventim Apollo
9 September – London’s Eventim Apollo
10 September – London’s Eventim Apollo
12 September – London’s Eventim Apollo
13 September – London’s Eventim Apollo
16 September – London’s Eventim Apollo
17 September – London’s Eventim Apollo
19 September – London’s Eventim Apollo