Killing Joke band member and record producer Youth reviews Kate Bush’s recent live concert:
Opening with Lily was a clue …This song lyrically is an explicit magical ceremony, a literal invocation/initiation, in the style of the Rosicurician Orders, à la the Golden Dawn school of the western magical tradition. “Gabriel is before me, Raphael behind me ….. In the circle of fire”.
This is key to understanding Kate. She has her own cult, her own mystery school tradition. Her unique strand of Shivaism, Dionysian and Druid philosophy, loosely wrapped up in a song and dance tradition. It’s part magical realism, overt nature spirituality and art house ….( Hard to pull off in cynical, post modern narcissistic Britain)
She not only pulled that rabbit out of that hat but also managed to convert each and every one of us to her own personal church of the big sky….a church whose priests are owls, ravens, trees and clouds.
When asked once who her favourite singers were, she replied “Nightingale, Blackbird and Thrush” There is a barrenness in religions today, whether in Christianity, Islam or false prophet new age gurus, humanity is rudderless, bedazzled by materialism. Kate’s communion with nature is the antidote, it is a call to joy, a celebration of the sublime ….it’s about the intoxication of love and the ecstasy that follows… is where wisdom lies, hidden deep within its mystical and poetic roots.
Kate’s “Religion” is the tiny spark of light that defeats the dark forces that seek dominion over the natural world, it’s tooth and claw and blood on the floor …She exemplifies English pagan beauty. A dark timelessness and stillness surrounds her wild abandonment, whilst her voice charges at you like Boudicca returned, riding a golden chariot of weird melody, harmony and bitter dissonance.
Shape shifting her artistry, she played with archetypes. She can access our primordial memory, when we were fish and birds. Her voice, a vehicle for multiple characters. She invokes the triple goddess. Athena, virginal, sensual innocence. Aphrodite, loaded with sexual power or Nimue, motherly, nurturing and “oh so tender ” and finally the Hag, Raven seer.Hecate, Queen of the witches, the dark half of the moon. Terrifying Kali the Crone or Macha in a frenzy, unleashing the furies upon us. All this choreographed into one ritualised, magical, shock and awe vision of an imagined future, all in one performance…..Very elemental, light and shade, earth and fire.