Kate Bush – Live at Hammersmith Odeon (1994)

Synchronise rhythm now

Kate Bush doesn’t do a lot of live shows. She performed live in London during the autumn of 2014 and a live album was released from those shows. It is to be reviewed here at Onelouder at a later date. The last live tour before 2014 was in 1979. No stand-alone live album was released but in 1981 a VHS of the show was released, and in 1994 it was re-released with an accompanying CD. Live material from Kate being so scarce, we must take what we can get!

A live concert from the “The Tour of Life”-tour recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon on May 13th, 1979. Twelve out of 24 songs performed during the concert made it to this cd, and most of the songs are from the first two studio albums. The sound quality is surprisingly good for such an old recording, even though it may be a little thin and sharp. The song selection though is somewhat disappointing. The album is lacking a cohesive feeling, it’s like the songs are chosen at random. But as a historical document it is nice of course.

Most of the songs are played in a similar way as they are on the albums. The mix favours Kate’s voice and the drummer. There are some notable exceptions. “James and the cold gun” with an extended instrumental ending which features some nice guitar solos as well as a lot of drums. “Wuthering heights” is powerful, even though Kate’s voice seems to quiver. The song ends with a guitar solo in concert with the audience’s rhythmic clapping which is nice.

I don’t have the VHS tape unfortunately, but I think this show should be enjoyed with both audio and video as Kate should be as strong a personality on stage as she is in the recording studio. I have seen snippets from some of the other songs performed during the show, those that were not included on the VHS or the CD, and on several of them Kate is performing the songs on a grand piano with no dancing. So, for this release, I think they may have focused on the songs that had theatrical performances with Kate and her dancers.

In conclusion, watch it on video, and otherwise mostly for die hard fans.

My rating: 5/10

Track list:

  1. Moving
  2. Them heavy people
  3. Violin
  4. Strange phenomena
  5. Hammer horror
  6. Don’t push your foot on the heartbrake
  7. Wow
  8. Feel it
  9. Kite
  10. James and the cold gun
  11. Oh England my lionheart
  12. Wuthering heights

Best live songs: “Feel it”, “James and the cold gun” and “Wuthering heights”

Produced by: Kate Bush

Media: CD album released 1994 in a bundle with the VHS tape when the concert was released for Home video.

Released: January 3, 1994

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