The Story Of Kate Bush’s Amazing First Gig
via József Csáth / YouTube
To get her name out there and into the beautiful world of the music industry, Kate Bush took a path that was both amazing and unusual.
Bush’s older brother was friends with a guy named Ricky Hopper, and Hopper knew a guy who knew David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, so he gave Gilmour Bush’s demo cassette. Gilmour was captivated by Bush’s voice and felt obligated to assist her in her early career endeavors. Talk about being lucky!
Gilmour then began the search for a potential record label to sign Bush. “After some various tryouts, I decided to employ a full studio in London with Geoff Emerick engineering and a friend of mine, Andrew Powell, producing and arranging,” he explained to BBC 6 Music. “I chose two or three songs out of about 50 that she had, and I didn’t spend a long time choosing, I just sort of thought we’ll have one nice slow one, one sort of medium temperature, one like this… we’ll do those to releasable level so that they weren’t demos so that they were actually properly ready-to-go tracks.”
EMI caught on to Bush’s enormous potential and signed her while she was just a teenager; however, they didn’t want to thrust her into the spotlight too soon because she still had ways to go before she was ready. Bush hadn’t previously performed in front of a large audience, and EMI wanted her to develop a stage presence before introducing her to the public. This led to the birth of the KT Bush Band with Del Palmer playing bass, Brian Bath playing guitar, and Vic King drumming for the band. In March of 1977, they made their debut at the Rose of Lee, a popular bar in Lewisham that would soon become her regular hangout.
Several witnesses agreed that Bush did an outstanding job in his first public performance, but there’s no video evidence from the show to back that up. Still, the fact that the comments are directed at someone as famous and skilled as Kate Bush shows that they are not meant in jest.