We’re taking a trip back to 1979 and revisiting the one and only tour the mercurial musician Kate Bush ever embarked on. In the footage below we get an up-close and personal look into what went into the iconic ‘Tour of Life’.
The documentary takes us all back to late-70s as a fresh-faced Kate Bush begins the preparations for her nationwide tour. Fittingly, Nationwide followed the singer as she looked to handle the pressure of a headline slot.
It was a lot of pressure, too, much more than anyone could expect for their first tour. In fact, when most artists go on their first tour it is a circumnavigation of the toilet circuit. Playing disgusting venues for worse audiences. While Bush had done her share of that with the KT Bush band, this tour would be different. This tour would allow Bush to entirely enact her vision.
She was given license to do so after that vision had already seen the star reach number one with her song ‘Wuthering Heights’, with it, becoming the first female artist to both write and perform a UK number one. Bush had also released two widely lauded albums to boot—but how would the young woman deal with such pressure from both her record company and the public, let alone a TV crew in your rehearsal space?
The 21-year-old Bush would handle it like she did everything else, carefully and with all the composure of a woman twice her age. Bush is confident and assured of her place, she points out the importance of visual representation at a music show and also offers advice to other artists on how to incorporate dance routine even though she’s “not a dancer. I just like to dance.”
A behind-the-scenes peek at these rehearsals make this footage indispensable. It shows the devotion and determination Bush put into her work. She saw being a musician as so much more than just making music, Bush, along with other individuals like Bowie, believed in a holistic experience for their audience. In the clip, Bush proves it wasn’t all bluster.
Aside from the image of Bush as a swashbuckling performer and consummate professional, it also remains one of the only pieces of footage of Bush on the road. The star soon gave up touring after this circuit and never returned to the road, despite a residency in London in 2014.
It’s unlikely we will ever see Bush back on tour so to speak, so for now, we’ll just bask in the glory of this rare footage of Kate Bush preparing for her one and only tour.