A cover of “Come Together,” by the Beatles, performed by pioneering experimental and avant-garde pop artist Kate Bush has recently surfaced, displaying the singer’s sound before her ascent into stardom. Bush was joined by the KT Bush Band for the performance in 1977, a year before the release of her debut album a Kick Inside.
While Bush had been a prolific songwriter at this point for many years, the singer needed help developing a stage presence and with live performing. This early audio displays the artist developing her vocal style for the stage, which was one of the first performances to take her outside her comfort zone.
“Kate didn’t frequent pubs, but she wanted to do it because she had to learn stage presence and projection,” member BT Bush bandmate Vic King told the Telegraph in 2014. “She wasn’t doing it because she loved being onstage.”
By the time Bush was 15 she had already written 100 songs, including tracks such as “The Man With a Child in His Eyes,” that would appear on her debut album. Yet these performances would serve as the inspiration for her own live spectacles years later, with BT Bush member Brian Bath crediting it for inspiring the singer’s gunslinger routine.
“We used that onstage … and it looked great. We had a bit of a show going!” Bath explained during the biography Under the Ivy: The Life & Music of Kate Bush. “Kate did a costume change; she’d put on a bloomin’ Western cowgirl dress for the second set! The theatrical thing was starting to get there.”
According to Rolling Stone, the band made approximately $20 for their performance back in 1977. This group was short-lived, performing in only 20 pubs across London during this period. While the band would attempt to make contributions on the singer’s debut album, all their plans were scrapped. Despite their absence, Bush had members from progressive rock acts like Pink Floyd and the Alan Parsons Project serving as producers for the album.
Despite her notoriety as a performer and pop pioneer, Bush has released material only sporadically for the past 27 years, releasing only four albums during that time period. In 2011 Bush released two albums Director’s Cut and 50 Words for Snow. For her contributions to the music world, Bush was nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.
A year prior Bush had released her second live-album ever with Before the Dawn. This live-performance album showcased Bush during her sold out tour in 2014, which served as her first set of live shows in over 35 years. Bush stated that she stopped performing live during this period due to a shift in her artistry.
“It wasn’t designed that way, because I really enjoyed the first set of shows we did,” Bush explained to The Independent in 2016. “The plan at the time was that I was going to do another two albums’ worth of fresh material, and then do another show. But of course, by the time I got to the end of what was The Dreaming album, it had gone off on a slight tilt, because I’d become so much more involved in the recording process. And also, every time I finish an album, I go into visual projects, and even if they’re quite short pieces, they’re still a huge amount of work to put together. So I started to veer away from the thing of being a live performing artist, to one of being a recording artist with attached visuals.”