News Column

Fans' reaction: Tears and awe, but no phones

August 27, 2014

It was the culmination of 35 years of pent-up hopes, wishes and frustration. But for the thousands of fans who poured out of Kate Bush's first live show for more than three decades, the consensus was that this performance had been worth the wait.

The first date of the Before The Dawn tour, which was shrouded in mystery even as fans filed into Hammersmith Apollo, proved to be as theatrical an affair as many had suspected. Returning to the same venue where she played her first shows in 1979 aged 20, Bush, now 56, opened the first of 22 dates barefoot and dressed in black, leading a procession of backing singers on stage singing Lily from her 1993 album The Red Shoes.

Giving her reaction after the show, Iwona Boesche, 43 said: "I've been a fan of Kate Bush from the beginning. It was the best concert or show that I've ever seen and that I will ever see. She has just as good a voice as ever, maybe even deeper than before, it's very warm, velvety and expressive as always. She's so dynamic and she didn't hold back at all. I cried and everybody around me cried. It was amazing in every respect and she sang all the songs I was hoping [for]."

She added: "When she was doing The Ninth Wave you felt the cold of the water, you could see it, you could hear it. The sea monsters were really very scary. But mostly what she managed to convey was the coldness, the darkness, the solitude of being alone at sea. And another thing about the concert was that I was sitting next to people I've never met before but we all held hands throughout, she just created this warm, intimate atmosphere."

Bush's desire for her 22-night residency to be without the sea of phones, cameras and tablets to ensure she could have "contact" with her audience was also strictly adhered to, with a pre-show announcement requesting everyone turn off their mobiles and security guards patrolling throughout the performance.

Fans were said to be respectful of Bush's wishes, with Ben McMullen, 43, saying: "I didn't see a single phone, everyone was so respectful of it. It felt like it would be like taking your phone out in church."

For Patrick Bastow, 46, the show was "unlike anything else I have seen. It was a mixture of a West End show and a rock concert. The attention to detail that she put in was phenomenal. I thought she looked a little nervous to begin with but by the end she looked like she was loving it. The audience didn't really know how to take it. She sang beautifully, she moved gracefully."

Hannah Ellis-Petersen

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Source: Guardian (UK)

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