It’s not all work, work, work for me, although I’m grateful when any comes my way. Being self-employed does allow me some freedom to have adventures and a trip to London to see the fabulous, reclusive Kate Bush in concert, certainly felt like one.

We arrived at the Hammersmith Apollo on what felt like the hottest night of the month. We certainly had tickets for the hottest gig of the year! A long queue of people waited hopefully for returns and the scalpers milled about the crowded pavements. I felt rather smug that back in March, my nearest-and-dearest had been able to secure us tickets.

Unlike my partner, who knows every track from every album of Kate’s, verbatim I was only familiar with her singles that had charted and had no idea what to expect. Actually, it wasn’t until we were in the car, heading towards The Big Smoke that I found out who we were going to see! It was a wonderful surprise.

As we took our seats up in the God’s that humid September evening, I noticed that there was a good cross-section of ages in the audience. It was not, as I’d overheard someone quip, just full of middle-aged men!

A few minutes before `curtain-up’ an announcement was made asking us not to take photos of or to film the performance. I sat bemused, watching a myriad of camera phones flash at a stage devoid of performers. This was not the same as earlier, I thought to myself,
when my partner and I took pictures of each other standing in front of the Apollo with Kate Bush’ name up on the billboard behind us!

At last the band and backing singers made their way onto the stage to deafening cheers and applause which became rapturous when the star herself appeared, not dressed in a shimmering, silver unitard as of old. She was greeted by screams of `We love you Kate!!’ I must say I didn’t know my partner could project his voice so well!! The entire audience, me included, rose to their feet in adoration, that was before she’d even opened her mouth to say a word or to sing a note!

After some minutes of hysteria we settled back into our plush seats and the performance began with Lily. What started as a concert with the band, backing singers and a piano for Kate turned into a piece of theatre that involved puppetry and film. I sat entranced by The Bush’ mellifluous voice and joined in the elated applause when she followed Lily with Hounds of Love and Running Up That Hill which were the only songs I recognized. Despite that, I was completely blown away by what followed.

Act 1 included emotive tunes such as Joanni, Top Of The City, Never Be Mine and King of the Mountain. As I am not a `muso’ my description of the show may not do it justice but I am so glad I was there, experiencing it with my significant other who was `rocking-out’ in the seat next to me and getting as misty eyed as I was at the more poignant, heart-tugging ballads.

The concert was indeed spectacular with sets, costumes and props all conjuring up something other worldly. When it came to The Ninth Wave, which told the story of a woman lost at sea and her fight for survival, a black and white film of Kate donned in a life-jacket, floating in the ocean whilst she sang the haunting And Dream of Sheep was projected onto a backdrop behind the band. The production team even had us believe that a search and rescue helicopter was passing over our heads!

Following Under The Ice and Wake-up (Waking the Witch) we experienced what a reviewer on Radio 4 referred to as some `Amdram!’ The sketch featured The Bush’ son who was yet to find out that his Mother was bobbing about somewhere at sea. Although it seemed an odd interlude the sketch did work in the telling of the tale.

For the concert’s second half, we were treated to the whole of Kate’s double album, Aerial. I sat spellbound, by the rich tunes of Sunset, Sky of Honey and Nocturne and felt transported to a higher plane.

“Make some noise for this shit-hot band and these shit-hot singers!” The Bush urged us. We needed little encouragement and the concert wrapped with an encore of Among Angels and Cloud Busting.

The whole performance was an aural and visual extravaganza, with a rather dark and unexpected ending. My lasting memory will be of Kate Bush accompanying herself on the piano as her liquid voice melted my heart. I can now say that I am a fan of The Bush, with a capital F!!

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