Next week, Kate Bush will begin her first major concert engagement in 35 years, but if she has her way, it largely won’t be documented the way most concerts are these days. The idiosyncratic singer recently posted a statement to her website, Fish People, requesting fans to leave their camera-phones in their pockets.
“We have purposefully chosen an intimate theatre setting rather than a large venue or stadium,” she wrote. “It would mean a great deal to me if you would please refrain from taking photos or filming during the shows. I very much want to have contact with you as an audience, not with iPhone, iPad or cameras. I know it’s a lot to ask, but it would allow us to all share in the experience together.” And lest fans think she’s asking too much, she signed the note, “respectfully yours.”
Bush will kick off her “Before the Dawn” residency in London on August 26th and will play a total of 22 concerts at the Hammersmith Apollo through October 1st. Tickets for the engagement went on sale in late March and quickly sold out. “I am completely overwhelmed and genuinely shocked by the incredibly positive response from everyone,” she wrote on her website.
The reason why Bush took such a long break between concerts is not entirely clear. Rumors over the years have suggested the singer grew exhausted with touring in the Seventies, that she had a fear of flying, that she wanted to be around to raise her children and that she had never gotten over the death of her lighting director on her 1979 tour.
“I still don’t give up hope completely that I’ll be able to do some live work, but it’s certainly not in the picture at the moment because I just don’t quite know how that would work with how my life is now,” she told Mojo in 2011. “Maybe I will do some shows some day. I’d like to think so before I get too ancient. I enjoy singing, but with the albums, it’s the whole process I find so interesting. If I was going to do some shows it would be the same thing. Let’s just see, shall we?”