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Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes

Follow us on a journey as we hit the streets of Bexley, Mottingham, Sidcup in search of the early years of Kate Bush.

Singer, songwriter, performer, dancer and record producer; no matter how old you were or where you were when you first heard a Kate Bush Track, you never forget that vocal tone.

Timeless, unique and quintessential a phenomena born out from the mid 1970’s. Those vocal talents, delivering that high vocal range with a stunning ability to change key several times. The first female artist to achieve 8 albums in the UK charts, and a number one.

“Kate Bush is of an Enigma and that there had not been ‘another Kate Bush since”

Elton John

Dance skills of a Mime Artist – Lindsay Kemp

Kate Bush enigmatic dance choreography, mixing dance, mime, theatrical performance has been the source of inspiration for many other artists. She took lessons from Lindsay Kemp, one of the best known and well regarded mime choreographers in the business. Lindsey Kemp was the teacher behind David Bowie, and when you think of their flamboyant styles, you can see their is commonality of teachings and learnings.

For her work, Bush received awards for, Best British Female Artist, 1987, a Ivor Novello award, Nominated for Grammy Awards and awarded a CBE 2013. Not bad for a quiet shy pupil.

Kate Bush CD’s and Box Sets – Tops Picks to Buy

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 1Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 2

Kate Bush:

The Other Sides – 2018
2018 Remaster Edition
Box Set

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 3Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 4

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 5Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 5Kate Bush: Remastered Part 1

The legendary Kate Bush releasing a compilation of some of her most iconic early work including her chart topping debut album ‘The Kick Inside’ which contains one of her biggest hits ‘Wuthering Heights’.

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 7Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 8

Kate Bush: Remastered Part 2

Kate Bush proudly presents her CD Box II Studio Albums, which spans the work of her later career and includes albums such as ‘Ariel’ and ‘Director’s cut’, including right up to her most recent release – 2011’s ’50 Words for Snow’.

The beginning of the Kate Bush story

Catherine Bush was born in Bexleyheath Maternity hospital. Growing up in South East London, East Wickham Farm around Wickham St Welling. Kate attended St Joseph’s Convent Grammar School in Sidcup.

When she was a teenager she moved to live in the middle flat on Wickham Road, SE4 1NZ, her brothers occupied the other two flats. The area of Mottingham was to be home for decades to come. Though it has to be said the self titled house Wuthering Heights is a quite spectacular place.

Journey Start at St Johns railway station

St Johns Rail station has some character from the bridge, a functional station with a clear view on keeping costs low in its construction. If you are to explore Kate Bush’s London this is a good starting point. It is a short walk to Lewisham College on the A20 Lewisham way, on to 44 Wickham Road. It should take around 13 minutes.

44 Wickham Road

Legend has it that 44 Wickham road is where Kate wrote her first number one over a few hours of creativity.

Just walking around those streets in the here and now behind Lewisham College. If you go up Breakspears Road turn off at Ashby Road, you will come to Wickham Road.

Alley way found if you go up Ashby rd they appear just before the road turns into Wickham Road
Alleyway found if you go up Ashby rd they appear just before the road turns into Wickham Road

The expanse and size of the properties and the mixture of architecture, old trees, gives you the sense that many of these older properties were there when these Kate Bush vocals were rising and expanding, it somehow fits.

Preservation of Victorian and Edwardian houses in South East London, Gillian Heywood MBE created The Brockley Society in 1970 by to stop the demolition of Victorian and Edwardian houses around the streets of Brockley. The fashion had changed brutalist designs.

mixture of architechtural style showing what you would see the sky replaced with if the old buildings were taken away.
It took away the uniformed look of Victorian housing, with a patch work of styles that presented an area as not quite Victorian and not quite modern.
Lewisham College one of its buildings.
Lewisham College one of its buildings.

Signing with EMI

In 1976 Kate Bush signed to EMI by Terry Slater, her demo tapes had been that good, but EMI had not seen her perform, and thought she needed some finishing touches. David Gilmour from Pink Floyd, through a family friend, had helped Kate in the years before, to prepare a demo tape that was industry worthy. EMI suggested, that Kate gained more live experience. She formed with people she knew, Brian Bath, guitarist, Vic King, drummer, and Del Palmer, a bass player the KT Bush Band.

Kate Bush and the early London Gigs

Kate and her band started to gig, playing in local venues/pubs. Her first solo gig March 1977 was In the Rose of Lee now called the Dirty South in Lewisham, see photo below.

Once back on the Lewisham way road, outside Lewisham College, there is a bus stop on the opposite side of the road, the 321 bus goes all the way to The Dirty South Venue on Lee High road just past the Lidl shop all on the right-hand side of the road.

The Rose of Lee Pub which is now called The Dirty South 162 Lee High Rd, London SE13 5PR. Where Kate Bush played her first Gig
The Rose of Lee Pub which is now called The Dirty South 162 Lee High Rd, London SE13 5PR. Where Kate Bush played her first Gig

Brian Southall saw Kate perform was impressed and could see the theatrical elements to her performance as being different. Accounts of these gigs give the impression this was not really Kate’s thing and because of the theatrical costume or a different presentation to the hard attitude of punk or mainly male acts of the time, she would be mistaken for some kind of stripper act!

Kate Bush London Venues in the early days that you can see today

  • Rose of Lee now called “The Dirty South” on Lee High road. March 1977
  • The  Black Cat in Catford
  • The Duke of Richmond, Earls Court,
  • The White Hart, Tottenham
  • The Target, Northolt
  • Tiffany’s Harlow
  • The Railway Hotel Putney
  • The Trafalgar, Kings Road, Chelsea
  • The Half Moon, Putney
  • The Great Northern Hotel Kings Cross

EMI listened to her showcase at the White Elephant in Mayfair. Decided she was ready to start on studio work,  August 1977 work started on the  Album “The Kick Inside” This was released in 1978 when Kate was 19 but some songs she had written when she was 13.

The Kate Bush Discography

Kate Bush in The 1970’s

Wuthering Heights: Long red bohemian type dress with ragged hemlines.

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 9Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 10

The Man with the Child in His Eyes:

Soft focus blur camera effect on Kate as she sits knees performs in what seems like a skin tone bikini catsuit that blends into the soft background.

Hammer Horror:

Black stretch catsuit with a long evening black gown over the top with long leg slit. Crimped type looking hair vintage black small French type looking hat with a red rose. Contemporary dancing with a black-masked male.

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 11Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 12
Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 13Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 14

Wow:

Kate in a range of leotard and tights and legging dance fitness wear and on-stage costumes revolving around in time with the music.

Kate Bush in 1980

Breathing:

Soft focus Kate wrapped in a plastic clear wrap, cellophane inside some kind of clear bubble

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 15Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 16
Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 17Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 18

Babooshka:

Costume-wise, Interesting lycra black catsuit with black veil this turned into a futuristic cave girl type warrior bikini costume reminding one of tomb raider leg knife straps.

Army Dreamers:

Kate close up of her feminine makeup but dressed in a green soldier outfit in the forest with other male dancers dressed in the same camouflage soldier outfits.

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 19Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 20
Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 21Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 22

December Will Be Magic Again

Sat in Your Lap:

White satin ballet type skinny strapped bodice to a white netting tulle skirt like a tutu, like a wedding gown but short. Kneeling with pink leg warmers on her arms. Performing arm movements and then switching to white trouser outfit with a flowing cape and pointed white had that has a D on and white roller skates.

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 23Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 24
Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 25Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 26

The Dreaming:

A fitted boiler suit pale cream with futuristic tubes entwined in the design, with other dancers with tribal face paint and moves.

There Goes a Tenner:

Kate in a black boiler suit like a robber outfit. Feminine make up with a few face dirt marks.

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 27Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 28
Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 29Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 30

Suspended in Gaffa:

Grey type padded boiler suit that looks like a straight jacket in a dusty environment of a sell

Kate Bush Ne T’enfuis pas

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 31Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 32
Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 33Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 34

Night of the Swallow

Running Up That Hill:

Costume Kate Bush performing a contemporary Ballet type routine with a male both dressed in grey flowing clothes.

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 35Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 36
Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 37Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 38

Cloudbusting

Hounds of  Love:

Kate wears 40s style tweed looking skirt suit with a soft patterned jumper, men dressed in overcoats and 40s style hats.

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 39Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 40
Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 41Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 42

The Big Sky:

Kate wears a metallic Silver boiler suit overalls, lace-up heeled boots, with a range of hats pilot, fireman, nelsons type

Don’t Give Up with Peter Gabriel

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 43Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 44
Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 45Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 46

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 47 Experiment IV

The Sensual World:

Kate wearing a long dark burgundy looking medieval dress with a medieval style pillbox hat that had a veil that trailed behind and under the chin in a contrasting soft pastel mauve lilac looking colour, she dances through a forest.

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 48Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 49
Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 50Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 51

This Woman’s Work:

Kate wears a black jumpsuit with wide-leg trousers and fitted bodice top

Kate Bush in 1990

Love and Anger

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 52Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 53
Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 54Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 55

Rocket Man

Rubberband Girl

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 56Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 57
Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 58Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 59

Moments of Pleasure:

Stunning strapless gown black fitted, boned type bodice with black glistening feathers, one long satin red glove, red skirt section, revolving round in a windy snowstorm.

The Red Shoes:

Kate wears a Long black flowing dress, with vivid satin red pointed Ballet shoes

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 60Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 61
Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 62Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 63

Eat the Music:

Long flowing dress long sleeves fitted fabric is white pale with fruit patterned fabric, pointe red ballet shoes

The Man I Love with Larry Adler

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 64Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 65
Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 66Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 67

And So Is Love

Kate Bush in 2000’s

King of the Mountain

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 68Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 69
Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 70Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 71

Lyra

Deeper Understanding

Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 72Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 73
Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 74Kate Bush Wuthering Heights Singer, revisiting the early gigs and homes 75

Running Up That Hill 2012 remix

Wild Man

And Dream of Sheep.

Kate Bush Album Discography

The Albums

  1. The Kick Inside  17/2/78
  2. Lionheart  13/11/78
  3. Never For Ever 8/9/80
  4. The Dreaming 13/9/82
  5. Hounds of Love
  6. 16/9/85
  7. The Whole Story Compilation Album 10/11/86
  8. The Sensual World 17/10/89
  9. The Red Shoes 2/11/93
  10. Aerial 7/11/2005
  11. Director’s Cut 16/5/2011
  12. 50 words for Snow 21/11/2011
  13. Before the Dawn  25/11/2016

Map of the station near Wuthering Heights

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