Kate Bush at fifty

Kate Bush  

Kate Bush

Kate Bush was fifty the other week.

This came as something of a shock to me (although I already knew that her fiftieth was approaching) because I always think of the nineteen year old woman who first entranced me when she sang ‘Wuthering Heights’ way back in 1978. For me, it was the start of a relationship of sorts (she has been a constant in my life although she hasn’t the faintest idea who I am) which continues to this day.

Kate has provided the soundtrack to my life. At every important moment, her music has been there for me and with me, encouraging, consoling, vivifying, and always enrapturing me. Each of her albums has its own personality and every one is now a friend; I spent time in the company of one, then another. And certain of her songs are now forever associated with the most profound moments of my life, so that when I hear them, I am instantly transported back to a particular time, a particular moment, a particular feeling.

Kate is also the only artist whose career I have followed unfailingly all these years. Others have come and gone; she alone remains, ever present. But although I class myself as very much a ‘fan’, I am astonished when I meet other fans and realise that their fandom far exceeds my own; although I think I know much about her music, it could really be the subject of one or two theses, and still there would be material left over.

And the music is really what it is all about. I don’t subscribe to that class of fandom which makes you think you have a right on that artist, who remains a private individual despite their celebrity. Kate has always been very protective of her privacy and I am glad about that; it is hers, to do with as she chooses. But it also means that there will forever be a mystique about Kate – something which is all too lacking in these days of pop culture, celebrity for the sake of celebrity and the over-keen desire to appear in every tabloid and magazine. Kate Bush bucks that particular trend and she does it in a skilful and very experienced way, and I am glad about that.

Happy Birthday, Kate…

Beth Rowley

Live on stage at Oran Mor, Glasgow

Live on stage at Oran Mor, Glasgow

Beth Rowley is a young woman to keep your eyes on.

A rising star on the british musical scene, Beth has just released ‘Sweet Hours’, her new single from her debut album ‘Little Hours’, which was a top ten hit. This is her third single from the album.

I had the pleasure of seeing Beth perform live at Oran Mor, Glasgow, several months ago and got the chance to chat with her afterwards. I was struck first of all by the power, range and sweetness of her voice; and then by how nice a woman she is. She was a pleasure to talk with and was very down to earth – none of the pretensions which are so common in the music industry.

When I saw Beth, she was supporting Duke Special; it’s good to see her now embarking on a upwardly mobile career path and I wish her every success – she deserves that success.

You can read a Times Online article about Beth HERE.

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Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield

Some artists make a lasting impression on the world, and there are few who would deny that Dusty Springfield was such an artist. Although Dusty died in 1999, her music, memory and legacy live on. 

What was it about Dusty that makes her so memorable? Why do a legion of fans continue to play her songs, relive the emotions captured within them, and bring that music to a whole new audience?

Dusty has been hailed many times as the greatest British female interpreter of song, the ‘first white lady of soul’ – a fitting epithet. Dusty had the ability to sing each song as though she was living it there on stage, living the emotion, the raw power of the lyric. But she also introduced a new sound, a new way of singing. And she introduced an image which quickly became iconic, a sign of the times. 

But more than anything, it was the music and Dusty’s ability to reach out and to touch the souls of all those who listened (and who continue to listen) to her songs.

Viva Dusty!