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Thursday, July 31, 2014

50 Words For Kate: #27 - Talking

"I don't see myself as a famous person, as a personality. It's really just me pushing my work. You know, I have to kinda promote my work, not me."

I guess in olden days if you enjoyed a particular ditty from a minstrel or a pretty piece of poetry from a bard, you could engage them over a jug of mead and discuss its finer details. Nowadays though, with our artists working on a global scale, we rely on the media to reach out across the divide and be our proxy, asking the questions we would love to have answered to our favourite artists about our favourite things.

Or at least ideally that's how it should work. For somebody like Kate Bush, who spends months, if not years, perfecting her work, interviews are a necessary evil. If you've spent all that time working, you want people to know your art is available, so you have to promote it. Sadly, for every informed, interested and dedicated journalist that carefully prepares for an interview, researches their subject and poses thoughtful, articulate questions designed to elicit similarly considered answers, there are at least three that couldn't give a monkeys about the who, what and why of it all.

At the start of her career, Kate was everywhere in every medium. Now, she carefully selects the newspapers, magazines and radio shows that will treat her and her work with a degree of empathy. They may not have the widest readerships or biggest audiences, but they will arguably reach more receptive eyes and ears. It's not that she doesn't want people to know about her work, it's just that there is a limit to how much she is willing to expose herself, and a balance between her artistry and her privacy. I know I'm not the only person that finds this incredibly refreshing in these Kardashian days.

If there was a moment when Kate thought "bugger this for a game of soldiers", then most fans think it was an infamous interview she gave around the time Hounds Of Love was released to an American cable TV company. Somehow, the unedited 37 minute rushes began circulating among fans. It is excruciating to watch the entire calamitous encounter. Here are the "highlights", so you can get the gist:

As a contrast, Kate did a lovely interview on BBC Radio 2 with Jamie Cullum when 50 Words For Snow came out. Speaking to a fellow musician allowed Kate to relax and really open up about her music in a way I've rarely heard. Here's a short clip:

Predictably, Kate has been completely silent about her live shows up till now. None of us fans expect to hear from her beforehand, what would be the point? She's already sold all the tickets. Kate won't want to spoil the show, she'll want people to be surprised and thrilled. I do hope that when it's all over, Kate does find time to sit down with a worthy interviewer and give us a little insight into the whys, the hows and the wows. Because when Kate talks, we all listen.

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