Director: Adrian Sibley
Released amid the excitement of Bush’s first live shows in 35 years The Kate Bush Story: Running Up That Hill is a BBC documentary that assembles a wonderful cast and offers a considered portrait of Bush, right up to and including her most recent studio album.
There are no new interviews with Kate, only archival footage but it’s tied together well with the fresh perspectives of people so clearly influenced by her (St. Vincent, Bat For Lashes) and those that played a key role in her development (David Gilmour, Peter Gabriel).
It’s always worth remembering The Kate Bush Story – for it’s one of fearlessness, or at least of pushing past fears, channelling talent, that certainly unique talent.
So from the dizzying rush of a sweep of albums in just a couple of years, each fully formed and full of hit singles, to the time taken to create her masterpiece (Hounds of Love). And then to returning, slowly, but surely, growing old gracefully with The Sensual World and The Red Shoes.
And then it’s to the longest break in Kate’s career – over a decade out of the limelight and away from the industry, she returns with a double album of music that seemed, ultimately – and maybe only – for herself. It certainly didn’t sound like she’d been following musical developments or possibly even listening to any music in the time she was away. That’s a version of fearlessness too, that singular talent.
The talking heads assembled for this film are an impressive – eclectic cast, from Tricky stating that his whole career and everything he’s ever tried to achieve is inspired from one single line in a Kate Bush song to Tori Amos no longer running from that most obvious influence; Elton John and John Lydon and various elder statesmen weigh in and Steve Coogan reminds of the serious love, that earnestness, behind his parody versions – his comic tributes.
The picture that emerges – the story told mostly through a frankly stunning line-up of video clips of so many powerful, uncompromising singles – is of a one-off, a pop genius.
The best thing about this hour-long doco is that you can find it to watch online. It’s a must-see. Preparation for those exciting shows this month – or commiseration for the majority of us that will be sitting, excited, waiting with baited breath for the reviews…