Kate Bush is about to begin Before the Dawn
, a 22-night residency at London's Hammersmith Apollo - and her first live shows in over 35 years.
Kate being Kate, the entire month-long run is shrouded in secrecy - we only know that she'll be grateful if we refrain from taking pictures and videos, thank you very much - and the songs that will appear in her setlist are, quite frankly, anyone's guess.
With this in mind, here's a list of ten stone cold Kate Bush classics that she may or not play on Before the Dawn
, but which we're really hoping she will.
Kate's debut single still sounds like nothing else: bracingly strange, thrillingly shrill and - because we all think of those
billowing arm movements when we hear it - fantastically camp. That rare song which everyone takes the piss out of, but everyone thinks is brilliant nonetheless.
The Man with the Child in His Eyes
A seemingly simple but incredibly affecting ballad about a girl who falls for an older man, whom she still sees as a boy at heart. Kate recorded this song when she was just 16 having written it, remarkably, three years earlier.
On which a young Kate sends up the showbiz lifestyle in all its fabulous but flimsy glory. There's a telling line about "hitting the vaseline" in there which has nothing whatsoever to do with parched lips.
A catchy pop song, yes, but also the weird and desperately sad tale of a woman who disguises herself as a younger model so she can catch her husband cheating on her... with her. Who else would - could
- write something like this?
An anti-war song written from the viewpoint of a mother grieving for her son, who went off to serve his country and "never even made it to his twenties". The fact the melodies are so pretty only makes the lyrics more heartbreaking.
Running Up That Hill
An art-pop masterpiece that became Kate's second biggest chart hit, Running Up That Hill
puts forward the idea that men and women would be able to understand each other better if they made "a deal with God" and swapped places. Still incredibly powerful - a "remix" with a new, lower vocal from Kate returned the song to the Top Ten in 2012 after being used in the London Olympics closing ceremony.
Hounds of Love
A song which captures, beautifully, a swarm of emotions that most of us would have difficulty explaining: the knowledge that you're about to fall head over heels in love, but feel scared shitless about it. "I just can't deal with this," she sings, "But I'm still afraid to be there...." We can all relate.
This Woman’s Work
Kate wrote this song for a specific scene in the 1989 John Hughes movie She’s Having a Baby
, in which Jake (Kevin Bacon) realises he needs to grow up and be a man as his wife Kristy (Elizabeth McGovern) goes through a difficult child birth in the hospital room next door. This Woman's Work
has become a song that touches people in a much wider way, though; it's a universal celebration of motherhood and family that over the years has popped up in more TV series than Betty White.
Moments of Pleasure
A devastating ballad on which Kate looks back at loved ones she's lost - or, in the case of her mother, is about to lose. She's often described as "otherworldly" or "ethereal", but this song is so full of human emotion it almost hurts to listen to it.
This piano ballad from 2005’s Aerial
- then Kate’s first album in 12 years - isn’t, as it first seems, a song about a woman getting off on doing the laundry in her new washing machine. The last verse appears to reveal that the woman’s husband has passed away and Mrs Bartolozzi is actually washing his clothes to feel close to him again, at which point this song becomes almost unbearably poignant.
Kate Bush begins Before the Dawn on August 26. Click here for the full list of dates and details of astronomical ticket prices on the secondary market.