Christmas Posts 2016 part 5

Given that she’s on target for her first UK no.1 album in nearly 30 years with Before The Dawn, and it is nearly  December, it’s time to feature Kate Bush and her Christmas music.

‘December Will Be Magic Again’ was featured in her 1979 Christmas Special, and released as a standalone single the following year. As far as I can find, the only video for the song is this performance from the special, and no other promo was made.

In 1993, ‘Home For Christmas’ was a b-side to ‘Moments Of Pleasure’ taken from her then current album The Red Shoes.

The last decade has seen much more activity from Ms. Bush, including her Christmas-themed album 50 Words For Snow. You should have heard it already, but you can stream it below:

And just in case you haven’t heard it, from the new live album, her awesome new version of ‘And Dream Of Sheep’ (it’s not a Christmas track, but you can never have too much Kate Bush):

 

17 Seconds Christmas Posts 2015: part 6

Kate-Bush

A few years back, Kate Bush released a Christmas album, 50 Words For Snow which was truly up there with the best of her work (read my review here). It wasn’t, however, the first time she’d released any Christmas music.

Back in 1980, when she was still putting out music pretty regularly, she had a Christmas hit single with the enchanting ‘December Will Be Magic Again.’ Which as it’s December tomorrow, I thought was appropriate.

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Now, yet again this is a track that it seems is very hard to buy (note to record companies: you know how people went and bought lots of copies of the Adele album, which you couldn’t stream? Well, does it ever occur to you that maybe people might actually buy music if they could buy the stuff they would like to?), and as far as I can tell there was never a proper video either, but there is this footage from her 1979 TV special of her performing the song:

Meanwhile, this 1993 Christmas song by Ms. Bush ‘Home For Christmas’ does crop up on various Christmas compilations, and you can buy this song on iTunes (amongst other places). This is a fan-made video which is rather good. The song was the 12″ b-side to the ‘Moments Of Pleasure’ single.

Two cover versions for today

Two Eighties-related cover versions today, involving two of 17 Seconds’ three favourite acts of all time.

Kate-Bush

First up, following on from the North-East of England producing great cover versions of Kate Bush songs, Slug unveils a take on ‘The Big Sky,’ originally found on the legendary The Hounds Of Love LP and a single in 1986. [Those other North-East cover versions are, of cource, China Drum doing ‘Wuthering Heights’ and The Futureheads doing ‘The Hounds Of Love.’

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In a not dissimilar vein, Desert Sound Colony take on David Bowie’s ‘Fashion’ and produce something that’s both dancefloor and chilled at the same time. ‘Fashion‘ originally appeared on Bowie’s Scary Monsters album, yet this version owes far more to the Berlin trilogy and Bowie’s great lost single ‘Loving The Alien.’

Why I put together a petition about the scourge of touts

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Like many people, I tried and failed to get tickets for Kate Bush live in London when they went on sale last week. It was annoying, frustrating and just one of those things. I’m not the only person who never thought I’d see her live -and had hopes briefly raised when the dates were announced.

My Mum – a Yorkshire lass through and through – brought me up to understand that life wasn’t fair. But what really rankled with me and so many other people was the way that within a matter of moments of tickets being sold out was how quickly tickets were going online for way more than the going rate. Snapped up by touts who had no intention of going but making a quick buck.

Like many unpleasant aspects of society, touting has been around for many years. It’s not just a curse in the music scene, but a curse for theatre and sport and other fields too. The only people who win are those selling the tickets (if you honestly think that someone who sells you a ticket on the corner is going to wait while you run to the box office to check if it’s legit and give you a receipt, then you probably shouldn’t be let out of the house unsupervised).

Touts probably fall into three groups. First there’s the traditional one, almost certainly male who hangs arounds venues going ‘any tickets? I’ll buy or sell!’ They will almost never give you face value for the ticket that your mate couldn’t take and you couldn’t find someone else who wanted. They will rip you off. They are not nice people. There are those who will argue that they are entrepeneurs and they are simply fleecing people who have more money than sense. This is blatant crap. They are the people who buy up the tickets so legitimate fans cannot get tickets and rip people off.

Then the second group: the ‘company.’ They manage to block buy, and sell on with ridiculous mark-ups online or in suspiciously tiny offices. They have no higher moral highground than the touts, except they probably have more chance of getting inspected by the tax office. Finally, there’s the e-bay tout or the deluded music fan. Stuck in their bedrooms, they buy four tickets and justify selling on three others at higher prices on e-bay within minutes on the grounds that they are legitimate music fans.

It was because of the Kate Bush debacle – something I do not blame her, her management or her promoters for, by the way – that I have set up a petition calling for it to be illegal for people to be able to sell on tickets for events such as sport, music and theatre above the face value price of a ticket, and calling for such behaviour to be an offence.

This is not against those people who got tickets fairly, nor is it against those people who pass on their tickets at face value when they realise they can’t go. I won’t get Kate Bush tickets -and I hope those who got their tickets really enjoy themselves. But those who seek to justify that they’re putting food on the table or that it wouldn’t be enforceable really shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a venue.

The petition can be found here

Please sign and spread the word!

Christmas Posts 2013 part 14

kate-bush-december

Kate Bush’s ‘December Will Be Magic Again’ was a hit in November 1980, the year she released her third album Never For Ever, which had produced three hits in the form of ‘Breathing’ ‘Babooshka’ and ‘Army Dreamers.’ Though she’d made videos her her previous seven singles, so far as I can find on YouTube there was never an official video for this. The video below comes from a 1979 TV Christmas special.

Somewhat frustratingly, it is not available to buy as an mp3 on either iTunes or Amazon. As it’s still in copyright, I won’t risk annoying EMI by posting it (but it does raise issues about why people might download music that they can’t buy that could probably debated another time).

Does there have to be a reason?

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Not been able to access the computer for several days, so have lots of reviews to catch up on.

Tonight: a Kate Bush single from 1982. ‘There Goes A Tenner’ is actually one of the more accessible tracks on her ‘she’s gone mad!’ fourth album The Dreaming but bombed as a single.

I still love it…quirky video, too.

17 Seconds Radio Show

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OK folks, there will be another radio show from me this week at 7-8PM on Fresh Air
this coming Thursday.

This was last week’s show -here’s the tracklisting again, and if you wish to listen to it, it’s there below:

1. Dead Can Dance ‘Children Of The Sun.’
2. Kate Bush ‘Running Up That Hill.’
3. Twin Shadow ‘Five Seconds.’
4. We Are The Physics ‘Applied Robotics.’
5. Aggi Doom ‘Bring Me The Head.’
6. Shamen ‘Jesus Loves Amerika.’ ‘Gone but not forgotten.’
7. Soap&Skin ‘Wonder.’
8. Cancel The Astronauts ‘Making Dynamite.’ Album of the month Animal Love Match
9. Matt Norris and the Moon ‘Roots Below.’
10. The Delgados ‘Mr. Blue Sky.’ ‘Cover version of the week.’
11. Grimes ‘Genesis.’
12. Antony & the Johnsons ‘Cut The World.’

Christmas Posts 2011 #5

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Kate Bush’s latest album, 50 Words For Snow, is one of the finest of her career. Today’s track is not from that album, but rather a one-off single released in 1980.

A rather lowly no.29 hit, which has never appeared on an album (This Woman’s Work is a boxset, that’s not the same), it is perfect for the first day of December.

Enjoy!

Kate Bush -‘December Will Be Magic Again.’ mp3

Album Review – Kate Bush

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Kate Bush -’50 Words For Snow’ (Fish People)

It was such a long wait between The Red Shoes and Aerial – twelve years – that I cannot have been the only Kate Bush fan who wasn’t quite able to believe it when it was announced that there would be a new album six months after the release
of The Director’s Cut. But here it is.

In the Northern Hemisphere at least, snow is often used interchangeably with Christmas. This is not a Christmas album -though if Lionheart was like Spring, The Dreaming like a particularly barmy summer, The Sensual World an Autumn album, then this is a wintry album. She may have done a Christmas-type number over thirty years ago –‘December Will be Magic Again’ but this is nothing remotely like it.

La Bush has always known how to use the studio to her advantage. This is perhaps the most minimal-sounding -and I mean that as a compliment -album of her career. There’s always been a pastoral quality to her work, but think closer to later Talk Talk or David Sylvian here. Her choice of collaborators is perhaps likely to raise some eyebrows -her son Bertie, Elton John and Stephen Fry -until you hear the album. Bertie has a haunting treble voice and takes the lead on the opening track ‘Snowflakes.’ Stephen Fry thought-showers (we aren’t mean to say brain storm any more, do keep up!) different words for snow on the title track whilst she eggs him on: ‘Come on you’ve only got forty-four to go!’

On the second half of The Hounds Of Love album, the second part entitled The Ninth Wave was a concept album at a time when the music business, still reeling from punk considered such things with horror. This is another concept album, unconventional yet somehow heading for the masses in a way that only she can. There has been much amazing music released this year, and Kate Bush shows herself to still be on her own terms and still utterly captivating and different into her fourth decade. This is a truly phenomenal special album, up there with her best work, and mesmerizing.

*****

50 Words For Snow is released on Fish People on November 21.

Stream the album here

Two albums from Kate Bush in one year? Yes!

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So, you wait years for a Kate Bush album, and then two arrive in the space of a year? It’s like 1978 all over again!*

November 21 will see a new Kate Bush album, entitled 50 Words For Snow. Her first studio album since 2005’s Aerial (The Director’s Cut released this year was comprised of previously released material yet in a radically altered way so it pretty much was a new album in it’s own right).

According to her website the album is 65 minutes long and seven songs ‘set against the backdrop of falling snow’:

Snowflake
Lake Tahoe
Misty
Wild Man
Snowed In At Wheeler Street
50 Words For Snow
Among Angels

In terms of special guests who appear on the album, Andy Fairweather Low appears on ‘Wild Man’, Elton John appears on ‘Snowed In At Wheeler Street,’ and Stephen Fry appears on the song ’50 Words For Snow.’

‘Wild Man’ has been released as a single – the version below is the radio edit; however the single also includes the full seven minute long version.

*Yes, because she released both The Kick Inside and Lionheart that year. QED…