We’re digging into the Far Out Magazine vault to bring you a very special performance from two of the institutions of British music. Watch as the ethereal Kate Bush and Pink Floyd’s guitarist David Gilmour join forces for a performance of Bush’s Hounds of Love anthem, ‘Running Up That Hill’.
Kate Bush, one of the leading lights of the British music scene, has only really toured twice in her career and one of them was a residency in London. It makes every live performance she ever conducted feel like gold dust.
The singer experienced an almost non-existent touring life after her 1979 tour ‘The Tour Of Life’, which saw Bush travel to 28 different shows across Europe. Her show became famed for its meticulous use of performance art and visuals as well as Bush’s vocal gymnastics. It took a lot out of the young artist.
It would take 35 years for Bush to go on another run of shows, this time at her 22-night London residency with ‘Before The Dawn’. It meant that on the few occasions Bush did perform, even for one song, it was big news.
One such occasion, and the most momentous, saw Bush arrive at the 1987 Secret Policeman’s Third Ball where she delivered a spellbinding performance of one of her most treasured tracks ‘Running Up That Hill’ with ample support of Pink Floyd’s iconic founder, David Gilmour.
The pair have experienced a long and fruitful relationship after Gilmour basically discovered the young talent of Bush and helped her forge her career. The guitarist is widely attributed with discovering the 16-year-old when Bush first began her songwriting journey. Gilmour was working on Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here when he was given a demo tape consisting of 50 songs of a young Kate Bush’s own composition.
“I was intrigued by this strange voice,” Gilmour says in a new interview for the BBC. “I went to her house, met her parents down in Kent. And she played me, gosh, it must have been 40 or 50 songs on tape. And I thought, I should try and do something.
“I think we had the [EMI] record-company people down at Abbey Road in No. 3,” Gilmour adds. “And I said to them, ‘Do you want to hear something I’ve got?’ They said sure, so we found another room and I played them ‘The Man with a Child in his Eyes.’ And they said, ‘Yep, thank you — we’ll have it.’ [Laughs.] It’s absolutely beautiful, isn’t it? That’s her singing at the age of 16, and having written those extraordinary lyrics.”
Gilmour helped her cut her first professional demo and then used his connections to get her signed to EMI. It was an act that would broker a lifelong friendship.
In 1987, Bush was at her commercial peak in Britain, the star had gone from strength to strength creatively and had hit after hit, as she engaged with the whimsical and literary minds of the British public. It meant that though the evening included acts such as Duran Duran, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Jackson Browne, Erasure and a host of huge comedy acts of the time — Kate Bush was still the headliner.
Equally, during this time, Pink Floyd had begun to wane. their prog-rock was no longer cutting edge in music and Gilmour was more than happy to share the stage with his protege. Things would be changed around on the next time they shared the stage in 2002.
Kate Bush would not disappoint. Alongside David Gilmour, Bush delivers a quite astounding performance of the 1985 Hounds of Love hit.
You can watch that very moment, below.