Kate Bush on tour in 1979 [Getty]
For Kate Bush fans (and, let’s face it, who isn’t?) it’s as if Christmas has today come early. If Christmas only came once every 35 years, that is. For the first time since her first – and until now, last – tour in 1979, Kate Bush will tonight take to London’s Hammersmith Apollo for the opening date of her Before the Dawn Tour. But what can we expect from her eagerly-anticipated return to the stage? Here's what...
1. The unexpected
The only predictable thing about Kate is her unpredictability. She surprised us all in 2011 when she released two albums in one year for the first time since 1978. Her 2005 album Aerial came as a bolt from the blue after 12 years away, and included a 5:58 ode to her washing machine (washing machine, washing machiiiine). For all we know, she could be planning on singing the phone book from behind a curtain while pygmy goats frolic in a sandpit centre stage. The only thing that’s certain is that whatever she pulls out the bag, it’s bound to be incredible.
2. Game changers
During her original tour, Kate was the first artist to ever use a head mic, enabling her to sing and dance at the same time. This new technology was revolutionary, and quickly adopted by everyone from Madonna to Britney (although hers hardly counts as it seems to be turned off 90% of the time). This time around, we can probably expect less of the dancing, but we’re excited to see what new techniques everyone else will be copying this time next year.
3. A watery theme
The publicity shot for the tour shows Kate wearing a life jacket, adrift in a choppy sea, and it’s been reported that she spent three days in the water at Pinewood Studios filming a daring stunt. This would seem to indicate that the shows may draw on tracks from The Ninth Wave: the second side of her 1985 album Hounds of Love. The concept album tells the story of a woman lost at sea – and, tellingly, Kate also wore a life jacket on the album artwork.
4. Guest appearances
Kate’s last live appearance was at a Dave Gilmour concert in 2002, and there are whispers that the Pink Floyd guitarist could make a surprise appearance. After all, he is credited with discovering Kate when she was just sixteen. She’s also worked with everyone from Elton John to Peter Gabriel, so there’s a chance one of her other well-known collaborators could appear on stage – either live or on one of the short films she’s said to have produced specially.
5. A clear view
Kate’s decided to perform her new tour in a relatively intimate setting and – fingers crossed – ticket holders won’t be forced to watch the action from behind some moron’s iPad. In a statement released on her website, Kate has asked fans not to record her concert. ‘I very much want to have contact with you as an audience, not with iPhones, iPads or cameras,’ she wrote. ‘I know it’s a lot to ask but it would allow us to all share in the experience together.’