Archive for the ‘SONGS’ Category

Take my shoes off and throw them in the lake

kate bush ticket

Sitting in my seat admiring the art deco splendour of the Hammersmith Apollo, I really had no idea what to expect from Kate Bush’s return to the stage after 35 years. As she walked onto the stage the emotion in the audience was palpable and she was clearly delighted by it and responded graciously and gratefully. Any worries that she might be nervous or stiff performing were soon dispelled as she launched into an energetic and evocative rendition of Hounds of Love, note-perfect and immediately, amazingly bringing back all sorts of happy emotions from my childhood – a kind of musical muscle memory.

Kate Bush

I found myself wondering, how did she get to be so confident? This woman who was writing songs like The Man With the Child In His Eyes and Wuthering Heights as a teenager and bringing them to life with such fearless vision. Where does that imagination and absolute conviction come from? All the snide comments about how she’s – gasp, clutch skirts – grown older makes my blood boil. No, she isn’t a teenager anymore, she’s a grown woman with a teenage son of her own (who performs with terrifying confidence, he is truly his mother’s son). But you can easily see the ghost of that eerily precocious, creative girl in the woman today – there’s the same strength and sweetness in her face and that haunting, unique voice remains pure and clear as a bell.

kate bush live

**I didn’t break the ‘no photos’ rule btw, this is an official pic!**

It also struck me that Kate Bush is totally, absolutely English and this performance – right down to the ever so slightly am-drammy bits – could only ever happen in England. You could’t imagine Kate Bush shakin’ her booty ‘in da club’ – she’d more likely be striding across bleak grey fells in a stout jersey or hamming it up in a unitard. She’s goofy, eccentric, never cynical or arch and I think that’s part of the reason people are bewitched by the music she makes – her lyrics and those dreamy soundscapes are often challenging, sometimes downright weird, but because she offers them with such honesty, you have to respect her. That and she writes a bloody good pop song.

In that respect she makes me think of other ‘out there’ female artists – the likes of Bjork, Tori Amos, Paloma Faith – they charm their fans because they are unselfconscious, there’s no pretension. They couldn’t care less about being ‘cool’ or ‘sexy’ – and by virtue of that fact (and because they are insanely talented) they are infinitely more attractive than any sad pop puppet. It’s not about age, size or whether someone is or isn’t conventionally attractive – it’s an innate quality, some charisma that you just can’t manufacture or fake.

I can’t really put into words how I felt seeing songs that are such a part of me performed live before my very eyes. Kate Bush has been an icon in the truest sense since I was small, reassuring me that it’s not only ok to be a bit weird and to stand apart from the mainstream, it’s actually something to embrace and celebrate. I will remain forever grateful to her for that knowledge, which I clung to like a lifebelt through choppy youthful waters, and for giving me a truly unique experience to treasure one night in Hammersmith.

Oh and some thoughts on gig-going etiquette:

If you have to go to the toilet three songs into a show maybe don’t drink so many pints?

And if you really need a drink so badly you have go to the bar in the middle of a once in a lifetime show you paid good money to see rather than wait til the intermission then you definitely have problems. FFS.

Also, please don’t ‘sexy dance’ at the Kate Bush concert. Or anywhere for that matter, but definitely not ever at the Kate Bush concert.


Review: MADONNA NYC 83 by Richard Corman

On the cover of a magazine (book)

On the cover of a magazine (book)

‘Early in May 1983, I got a call from my mother, Cis Corman. She was casting Scorsese’s new film, The Last Temptation of Christ and she’d just auditioned a woman I really had to photograph. “She’s an original! I’ve never met anyone like her!’ … The woman was Madonna, and the part she’d auditioned for was the Virgin Mary.’ American photographer Richard Corman‘s introduction to Madonna NYC 83, a new (and MDNA-approved) book cataloging his encounter/collaboration with the queen of pop which is published this week.

I will never get tired of looking at old Madonna pix and within a month of her madgesty launching her latest creative/hype/humanitarian project, Art for FreedomMNYC83 is a reminder of why and how she became famous in the first place – her moves, her face, her style and her attitude. Even after 30 years her flirtatious joy, brazen ambition, clutch of cultural references (give Boy George his hat back) and raw NYC nothing-to-lose-ness are still as fresh and as challenging as ever in Corman’s photgraphs. Here are some of my favourites… Read More…


The return of the Pamflet icons: peaches the musical et la nouvelle LP de miss kittin

I hung out with my favourite two bad-taste broads from the early 2000s last week: PEACHES at the Sundance Film Festival and MISS KITTIN launching her new album at XOYO. This was not a nostalgia-fest: what I love about them both is that while the electro-pop music they helped to invent over a decade ago is now the mainstream, they’ve kept it so so fresh, interesting, seedy, euro-cool and independent. They don’t make popstars like this anymore unfortunately…

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Joining Kate Nash’s GIRLGANG

I’m proud to be a member of several ‘girl gangs’, chiefly Pamflet and girlguidingUK, but also Kate Nash’s crew. Last night I sped from Brownies to the St Martins Lane hotel for the launch of Kate’s album, Girl Talk. I bumped into Pamf-pals George Langford, who spoke at our Fuck I’m In My Twenties event alongside Emmy the Great, (who played with Kate at her Buffy Halloween gig) and another Pamflet salon speaker, craft queen and hot mama, Jazz Domino Holly.

It was like a Pamflet reunion! Look at our feeties all in a sisterly circle (spot my shoes, they’re from Primark.)

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imageKate’s super-stylist , Rebekah Roy, was of course in attendance, ensuring the woman of the hour looked FIT in an Alberta Ferretti gown, Piaget cupcake ring, Terry de Havilland shoes and an Angel Jackson bag.

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TryHardTrends: WINTER SPECIAL

EVERYWHERE’S NU MUSIC POLICY: no taste tracklistings

Katie? Where are we? And what year is this?’

Remember that night in the student union when we heard them play Wheatus’ ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ followed by ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ and were confused? That was called ‘cheese’ – it goes with £1 shots of Aftershock and the bitter taste of unidentified, crying-in-the-loos identity-crisis. You experienced it for 15 minutes before realising that The End was ten minutes’ walk away and you probably should go there instead. Well cheese is back. In Lower Dalston, in The West End, in Harrow, wherever there are pierced-up ears to hear it. NOW. Who cares if every song ever is available to play off Spotify and Youtube or that this year has brought us Grimes’ Visions and Duke Dumont’s ‘The Giver’ and more Bat For Lashes or the film about my favourite band of the 2000s which explains why everyone looks the way they do no matter what music they’re listening to these days. Sound good? Slam on 101 party hitz and dance the night away – it’s Christmas, right?

*There’s a difference between bad taste and no taste.

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