Friday, November 25, 2016

"Before The Dawn Live"

Released today in the UK: the live recording of "Before The Dawn," Kate Bush's now-legendary 22-night residency at the Hammersmith Apollo in late 2014. (We here in the US must wait until December 2nd.)

The first single to be released is "And Dream Of Sheep," the opening song to Kate's concept suite "The Ninth Wave," a story about a woman lost at sea, waiting to be rescued. If you have missed it, please read a detailed exploration of this powerful piece of music here. The video below shows Kate signing this song live while floating in a tank at Pinewood Studios--this film was projected on a large screen during her live performances of "The Ninth Wave" as part of the entire "Before The Dawn" stage show. The film crew actually spent two days filming and Kate got mild hypothermia after the first day!

Little light shining,
Little light will guide them to me.
My face is all lit up,
My face is all lit up.

If they find me racing white horses,
They'll not take me for a buoy.
Let me be weak,
Let me sleep
And dream of sheep.

Oh, I'll wake up
To any sound of engines,
Ev'ry gull a seeking craft.
I can't keep my eyes open--
Wish I had my radio.
I’d tune in to some friendly voices
Talkin' 'bout stupid things.
I can't be left to my imagination.
Let me be weak,
Let me sleep
And dream of sheep.

Ooh, their breath is warm
And they smell like sleep,
And they say they take me home.
Like poppies heavy with seed
They take me deeper and deeper.

And here is the audio for the "Prologue" to the second half of her "Before The Dawn" show, which is the start of another concept suite called "A Sky Of Honey." If you missed it, I have written an exploration of that piece as well here. Unfolding over 24 hours on Midsummer, the entire suite takes place under the sun or stars and moon, in a sky filled with birds (which is, not coincidentally, the opposite of the claustrophobic water setting of "The Ninth Wave"). It is all about the sky, the “aerial,” the direction “up.” Listen as the throbbing synthesizer and piano act as the afternoon sun, and Kate sings a litany of names of birds in this dream-like song.

And lastly, if you are wondering what all the fuss is about Kate and her epic "Before The Dawn" shows (The New York Times called the performance 'Dense, cathartic and physical.' New Musical Express observed: 'It is no ordinary artist that can tackle life, death, synchronicity, identity, spiritual transformation, empathy and the chaos of relationships with idiosyncratic ease in the space of a few hours,' and the U.K.'s Independent said, 'Undoubtedly the most ambitious, and genuinely moving piece of theatrical pop ever seen on a British stage.'), please read my own complete firsthand review of the stage show here.

Kate Bush is magic. Kate Bush taught me how to fly.

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