Friday, October 10, 2014

The Return of Kate Bush

‘Kate Bush is that old-fashioned thing: an artist’Mark Radcliffe, BBC broadcaster

Kate Bush’s return to the stage with her Before the Dawn concerts in London feels like the second coming. Not surprising, considering that her first and last performance was in 1979. Apart from brief spikes in commercial success over three decades, Kate has avoided the entertainment industry machine. She is an anathema in the music business because a) she is serious about her craft, b) she loathes celebrity culture, and c) she plays by her rules. You don’t get a lot of a), b) or c) in these market-driven times.

I remember seeing Kate’s celebrated video for Wuthering Heights on the Saturday morning music show, Sounds, in 1979. I was mesmerised by its entirety: her impressive vocal range; her gypsy-inspired outfit; those witchy, agile dance moves; Dave Gilmour’s whiny guitar riff … like many people of my generation, Kate Bush never really faded from my consciousness; a testament to her multi-faceted capacity to create exceptional music.

Kate’s resurgence amongst the refuse of BeyoncĂ©-type divas is timely, thanks to the current Jupiter transit which touched her natal Leo Sun-Uranus conjunction in mid-August, prior to her concert series commencing on 26 August. Jupiter entered Leo on 16 July 2014 for a thirteen-month residency. The giant planet prompts us to expand our experience. It represents optimism, joy, and abundance. With Jupiter in Leo, we gain opportunities to blossom through creative self-expression. Kate said that her decision to return to live performance was based on a ‘real desire to have contact with the audience that still like my work’. Radio2 broadcaster, Michael Ball, who attended the final concert in early October, described it as ‘sublime towering artistry’.

Jupiter in Leo tends to focus on image, and the subject of Kate’s physical beauty as a young woman is unavoidable (natal Jupiter in Libra conjunct her North Node). Fortunately, her Aquarius Moon accentuates originality (and possibly eccentricity) and counterbalances any egocentricity her Leo Sun holds. Her Sun, Uranus and Moon combine with Mars in Taurus and Neptune in Scorpio to form a Grand Cross in Fixed signs. The Sun-Uranus link is indicative of ingenuity. Uranus in Leo on the point of a T square makes Kate a trailblazer with a tendency for obstinacy (she split from her first record company, EMI, because she wanted more control). She needs to work toward her Libra Jupiter-North Node conjunction and learn to compromise a little. Mental intensity comes courtesy of a Virgo Mercury-Pluto conjunction. Taboo subjects are explored with intelligence and weaved through ephemeral vocal and instrumental arrangements that draw on folklore, esotericism, and sensuality (Mars-Neptune opposition). Her 1982 song, The Dreaming, is a great example of this:

It isn’t surprising that due to an overwhelming response to her long-awaited comeback, Kate Bush has been nominated for two Q Awards: Best Act in the World Today and Best Live Act. She became the first female artist to have eight albums in the UK charts at the same time. Her songs have been covered by a diverse range of musicians, from Futureheads and Placebo to Coldplay and Tina Arena. It’s as if the world is celebrating her universal appeal under the Leo Jupiter cycle. Deservedly so.