The issue is inspired by the song 'They Don't Care About Us'. The Iconic team were on a mission to move away from lovey-dovey, softly-softly portrayals of Michael Jackson, so we got stuck into some nitty gritty topics.
The not-to-be-missed interview in the mag is with director Spike Lee.
For my part, I wrote about Michael Jackson's speech at The Oxford Union and all of the hullabaloo that surrounded it...
Remember The Time: Protecting Michael
Jackson In His Final Days by Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard with Tanner Colby
Body guards - hardly renowned for
their way with words. Fortunately 'Remember The Time...' does not see two
security professionals, who looked after Michael Jackson and his children for
the last two and a half years of his life, weaving their memories into a
narrative. Instead, with the assistance of author Tanner Colby, hired heavies
Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard have recorded their observations of a life less
ordinary through a series of transcribed conversations.
By the authors' own admission their
view into the life of Michael Jackson is a limited one. As they confess, it's
not a security guard's place to know the whys and wherefores. They execute
orders without asking questions. Thus what 'Remember The Time...' provides is a
timeline of events viewed from an outsider's position with little scrutiny. It
is an interesting timeline nonetheless: Michael Jackson's constant coming and
goings around Las Vegas (usually on someone else's expenses account), late
night entertainment excursions and shopping trips, ugly and unwelcome visits
from the wider Jackson clan, and the feckless management of one of music's
biggest stars and his crippled assets.
The fact that 'Remember The Time...'
covers just the period of 2006-2009 (although it's worth noting that this security
duo were phased out of the picture once AEG seized control of Michael Jackson's
life, and Conrad Murray, his death) gives a startling portrayal of a powerless
and directionless existence Jackson had endured for goodness knows how long. He
seemed unable to shoo away the vultures he had allowed to feast upon him. It
was a sad, limbo-like state that simply could not continue.
There are warm moments: the
descriptions of time Michael shared with his children showed that they were his
only solace. There are also jarringly cold ones: Jackson blissfully shops up a
storm of festive abandon right in front of the two security guards who had been
expected to live without payment for months on end and themselves unable afford
gifts for their own family.
Despite it's own inherent limitations
- narrow time span and restricted access to Jackson - 'Remember The Time...' is
a partial yet valuable account of the reality of being Michael Jackson.
The past year or so has not been kind to
Lady Gaga. Broken bones, cancelled tours, major management fall outs and
furiously scrutinised falling music sales.
Most crucially though has
been the apparent slacking going on at the quality control department within
the Haus of Gaga. Her daily fashion statements remain outlandish but
lack the originality and awe-inspiring edge circaThe
Fame Monster.Many of
her recent career choices have been related only by their haphazardness — from
promoting a "flying dress" (TechHaus Volantis), to making
bit-part appearances in underwhelming films, shooting music videos too
controversial to ever release (watch stolen snippets of the Terry
Richardson-directed 'Do What U Want' at your own discretion), agreeing to be
the first artist to perform in space and making Tony Bennett her constant
So, really, however
frustrating the erraticArtpopis, it is actually the
perfect record to encapsulate Lady Gaga's current state of
play. Whilst the message of Artpop as
a whole got rather lost in translation on record, when
fully realised as performance piece, Gaga's manifesto of
creative freedom and artistic expression as a uniting force is communicated and
made real through her ArtRave live
Honestly, the EDM pop
current she has been swept up by means her latest output has not been her most
dynamic, and perhaps she knows it. Whilst the majority of Artpop's track list gets a look in
on tonight's set, most songs are shortened with a chorus missing here, a verse
cut out there and others simply used as interval tunes whilst Gaga changes
outfit. She brings the hits too but tells anyone who has come solely to hear
her past glories to, in no uncertain terms, GTFO.
The delicate digital tones
of 'Artpop' make for a knowingly understated but sublime opener. 'Venus'
is the standout live moment of the night. Gaga roars in tribute to her
inspirational goddess of love, embodies her spirit and threatens to devour her
object of desire whole. 'Mary Jane Holland' goes down as the most
absurd performance piece of the night which sees Gaga dancing around with
a chair balanced on her head for no reason in particular.
What the electro pomp of
her newest material easily achieves is encouraging a party atmosphere amongst
the audience. Dancing is the only available option. The frantic likes of 'Aura'
and 'G.U.Y.' work splendidly to make it feel as though you're at the best party
of your life, and Lady Gaga just so happens to be there too. Yet as much work
and energy as Gaga puts into fostering a mass spirit of abandon, she too
frequently slackens the pace and sacrifices her Club Kids-inspired ambience for
Anyone who says that the
moments when Gaga sits down at the piano alone, stabs out some chords
and belts out a couple of songs a capella is, frankly, a bore.
If you need theatrics stripping back to hear that Gaga can sing and write a
decent song, then you are, perhaps, a little bit simple. Yes, it is moving that
ahead of 'Born This Way' Gaga reads an eloquent fan-penned letter about their
mental health struggles and the solace they found in her music. Yes, it is
lovely that said fan is then invited to sit beside Gaga at the piano. But
did 'Born This Way' really need to be reduced to a thread-bare rendition
that erases any semblance of it's 'Express Yourself'-esque empowered thrust?
Similarly, Gaga's cover of 'Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me
Down)' is unquestionably strong, but unfitting for the occasion.
Whilst the set list may
not have been perfect, the overall set up for ArtRave is pure genius. Many a popstar talks
a big game about loving their fans and sharing a close connection, but Gaga has
acted on her word by making herself more accessible than ever to the fans
attending her shows. The big innovation of this tour is the stage design. Two
catwalks made of Lucite plastic and a connecting bridge loom over the standing
audience which allows everyone to be part of the front row. If you so wish, the
option of standing beneath the see-through stage to watch Gaga hump the floor
is available to you. She gets close enough to her fans that the details of
her tattoos can be seen by the naked eye. She spends the night covering the
vast expanse of the stage which renders elongated dance routines obsolete, but
it seems like a worthwhile sacrifice for the sake of facetime with
the crowd. The feel-good factor this interaction brings cannot be
underestimated in the soulless game of arena pop.
Gaga in herself seems
like a different person to the one of her previous tours. Everything about her
now seems more natural and comfortable. Her focus is on enjoying her
performance rather than making it and herself fit pop's archetypal
clean-cut mould. I mean, how many pop stars would sacrifice their calorie
counting ways to brazenly demand a bottle of beer be delivered to the stage
before taking an almighty chug? How many other image-obsessives would execute
an onstage outfit change in full view of their audience? Or tear the wig
from their head and swing it through the air?
The fact that Gaga has
reached this new level of honesty as a performer without sacrificing any of her
alluring artifice is quite astonishing. The costumes for this tour
are Gaga's de rigueur level of surreal couture; a
Versace-designed crystyal body suit embellished with a
Jeff Koons reflective sphere upon the chest and a weighty pair of
wings, a bejewelled seashell bra and floral thong, a latex leotard
with sprawling tentacles, wigs of gravity defying height and another of such
silken length it trails behind her like the train of a wedding dress (all the
while, the backing dancers looking like they've had to make do with digging
through the sale racks of Ann Summers and American Apparel). Yes, the
outfits are still out of this world but Gaga has come to both accept and
exploit the fact that she and all her accoutrements are just a part of
experience that now surrounds her.
Finishing the night with
a rousing and celebratory 'Gyspy' is just as fitting as the restrained opening
of the night. But the fact that Gaga only rewards herself with a single song
encore is far too modest for a star of her stature and the scale of the show.
Gaga has every right to milk her much-loved applause after pulling off the most
innovative pop concert of the year.
Company, XXL, Vibe… It’s been a dismal month of closures in the
world of magazine publishing. As we bid farewell to those three mags, it got us
thinking about the other titles we wish we could still pick up from our local
Lo-fi, indie fashion zine Cheap Date was the ultimate in girly
DIY mags. Founded in 1996 by Bay Garnett and Kira Joliffe, Cheap Date
specialized in thrift store shopping (before it became “a thing”) and had cover
and shoot girls like Liv Tyler, Sophie Dahl and Karen Elson. Vogue’s Garnett
indicated in a 2012 interview that she hoped to revive Cheap Date… We’re
As the vital stepping stone between cute girl mags that came
with free bubblegum and posters of kittens and the proper grown up monthly
glossies, Elle Girl UK’s closure after just four years came way too soon. Yes,
Peaches Geldof’s little rich girl column was totally unrelatable and no, we
couldn’t afford any of the clothes in the fashion editorials, but we loved
poring over the articles and pinning the pictures on our bedroom walls.
A magazine exclusively about and targeted at groupies? Umm, yes
please! Star was a scandalous, short-lived title aimed at teenage girls which
hit the shelves in 1973 and was forced out of publication after five months.
Cover stories included the likes of “Are You Ready For An Older Boy?” and “Is
One Boy Really Enough?” Actually, we’re surprised Star lasted as long as it did!
“The only official Girl Power magazine”, Spice was the Spice
Girls’ impressively glossy and in-depth fanclub offering. It ran for just eight
issues, but how glorious those eight issues were. By far the best bit of the
mag was the Agony Aunt page where the Spice Girls would help fans with all
kinds of personal issues. One torn reader who was trying to decide whether or
not to become a nun and dedicate her life to God was told by Posh Spice not to
because of the outfit…
If Lisa Simson approves of it, then we want it! ‘Nuff said.
(However, it was Non-Threatening Boys magazine that lead to her brief addiction
to the 555-Corey hotline…)
the recommencement of Gwen Stefani’s solo career (if you haven’t checked out
her new single ‘Baby Don’t Lie’ yet, where have you been?) let’s all remember
the vital lifestyle lessons this couture rock goddess has
taught us so far…
definition of Harajuku (“Super cute in Japanese!” – ‘Harajuku Girls’)
style out a pair of hoop earrings
That thou shalt not be a Hollaback Girl
live it up when you’re a Rich Girl (a.k.a. pay day)
How to look flashy
How to make a chunky chain necklace look cute
What a killer set of abs look like
That life is all about being brave and taking risks
Seeing Britney Spears live holds every possibility of being an ugly affair. But seeing her play show number 32 as part of her Las Vegas residency? This could be hideous.
Like the hoards of 20-something women who dominate Britney’s audience tonight (and, one suspects, every night), I’ve grown up with her. The last time I attended a Britney Spears concert she was 19 and still a reported virgin. I was 11 and believed it.
Whilst her previous post-breakdown tours felt exploitative, Britney’s ‘Piece Of Me’ show is a celebration of her pop music milestones and a rapid-fire set list is required to get through them all. Some of her earlier hits are melded together, ‘…Baby One More Time’ into ‘Oops!… I Did It Again’ is sent from the Max Martin heavens, whilst others are re-arranged to match her new EDM pop sound. The vocals are not live but no one is a fan of Britney based on her voice alone.
Dancing was always her trump card and she’s still playing it. There is nothing spontaneous about her performance (how could there be? This is show 32, remember?) but the choreography is sharp and to be admired. In the flesh she looks far more dazzling than the tabloids would have you believe – she’s athletic, smiley and brighter of eye than I was anticipating.
Britney’s tours have always been renowned for their theatricality and she does not disappoint here: she varies from playing a flying angel for ‘Everytime’ to a dominatrix for ‘Freakshow’; she leaps from the heightened branch of a tree that grows onstage for ‘Toxic’; and reduces the crowd to a swaying mass for a ballad version of the now frighteningly prophetic ‘Lucky’.
Make no mistake, ‘Piece Of Me’ is no nostalgia fest, it’s a masterfully transmitted message that Britney Spears was and still is a true pop great. One particularly affecting intermission in the show sums it up: the multifarious television screens of the ‘Hold It Against Me’ video are re-created and simultaneously blast out her canonical made-for-MTV images. The impact, like this concert, and like the Britney Spears phenomenon as a whole, is overwhelming.
Written for Classic Pop (and a massive middle finger to anyone who doesn't appreciate the value of Ms Britney Spears)
launched her own line of lingerie and nightwear earlier this month, we’ve been
reminiscing about all of the most fabulous bras and panties Britney Spears has
rocked throughout her career. So many bra tops, so little time.
The ‘…Baby One More Time’ Sports Bras
The unbuttoned school shirt and it’s resultant exposed black bra may have been
the school uniform that launched a thousand ships, but it was the brightly
coloured sports bras that Britney wore when outside of the classroom that we
still want to wear to the gym today. Still can’t decide whether the neon pink
or yellow one is better.
The Black Push Up Bra
her 1999 debut Rolling Stone cover, Britney Spears was photographed by David
LaChapelle for what would be one of the magazine’s most iconic covers. Those
silky pink sheets, the strategically placed Teletubby and that halter neck bra
announced the arrival of a dangerously knowing teen dream.
The Panties Over The Jeans
announce her no longer being a “little girl” Britney announced her new edgier
pop sound with the help of The Neptunes and heightened provocative image with a
whole lot of body oil in the video for ‘Slave 4 U’. By this point she was
virtually the spokesgirl for low-cut jeans and she clearly couldn’t wear
anything underneath them, so topped off her hip huggers with a pink lace thong.
The Dream Within A Dream Encore Bra
the finale of Britney’s lavish Dream Within A Dream tour she did three notable
things: 1) She murdered ‘…Baby One More Time’ by giving it a ballad/techno
ballad makeover 2) Got soaked to the skin thanks to two tonnes of water raining
down onto the stage and 3) Beat Rihanna to wearing a barely-there jewelled bra
by eight years (and made it look so much better too).
The Neon Twin Set
the heels of her Las Vegas marriage and annulment, Blender magazine’s January
2004 issue starring Britney in a neon demi bra, matching thong (as exposed by
low slung jeans) and an undone leather jacket solidified her new bad girl
The Onyx Hotel Bed Wear
what was a racy live concert all round, Britney’s The Onyx Hotel tour reached a
new level of peep-meets-pop-show plateau when she performed ‘Breath On Me’. She
entered the stage via a pole, wore a silky pink underwear set and black
stockings, and rolled around a bed with a backup dancer.
The Fur Shrug Accented Underwear
only did Britney Spears co-direct and choreograph the video for ‘Do Somethin’’
she also styled it entirely by herself. Scenes of Britney and her girl gang
decked out in Juicy Couture in the club were interspersed with Spears goofing
around in black undies with an added fur bolero and Hello Kitty ice around her
The Casual Lounge Wear
showed she can do off-duty sexy too whilst cooking up breakfast in the video
for ‘Womanizer’. This soft, silky look can definitely be emulated thanks to The
Intimate Britney Spears – pair items from the Anemone collection with the
Clementine Kimono and you’re done.
At the age of 41 and with an estimated net worth
of $80 million, why would Pharrell Williams bother submitting himself to the
rigours of his first ever solo tour now?
Currently riding the third
tidal wave of his career thanks to a hat-trick of some of the most successful
singles in chart history ('Get Lucky', 'Blurred Lines' and 'Happy') he has
somehow managed to better the stranglehold that he and his fellow Neptune, Chad
Hugo, shared in the early '00s.
Apparently not content with
his celebrated producer role or tenure as part of frap rap outfit N*E*R*D (as
well as his multiple fashion lines and being the composer of McDonald's 'I'm
Lovin' It' jingle), Williams has now completed his hand by proving himself as a
standalone solo artist. He's no longer "feat Pharrell", he's
The set list for tonight's
show is no problem. With so many hits to his name, the issue will most likely
be deciding what not to play. The worry,
though, is his voice. As sweet and smooth as his whispered falsetto tone is,
can it truly stand up on it's own in a live setting, without any famous
collaborators on hand to fill in the gaps?
As it turns out, even if
Pharrell's voice is weaker than that of a seasoned pro, there really is no time
to notice as this is one helluva fast paced, jam-packed gig.
He's backed up by two
"incredible" backing singers, whom he rightly praises during the
course of the night, and at no point does one wish Miley Cyrus was on hand to
help out with 'Come Get It Bae' or that Justin Timberlake was waiting in the
wings to complete 'Brand New'.
Every detail of
Pharrell's tout ensemble tonight has been well considered. On his
feet, his own-design, limited edition red Timberland boots. On his backside,
some Adidas jeans taken from his collaborative range with the sports brand that
sees their logo plastered brightly across the ass pockets. And I'm not sat
close enough to verify, but I'm going to assume that he's doused in his unisex
G I R L/Comme Des Garçon perfume as well. On his head, disappointingly, not thatVivienne
Westwood Buffalo hat, but something slightly more compressed to the dimensions
of a wide brimmed, round-topped fedora. Upon his chest, a vintage Stevie Nicks
t-shirt. And on that Benjamin Button face of his, cleanly drawn lines of black
kohl around his eyes. Take note boysand girls, as Pharrell
Williams sets the fashion agenda for both sexes.
And the music is as perfect
as his get up. 'Frontin'', his 2003 debut solo single, is dropped within the
first five minutes. He plays a frantic selection of songs that he gave to other
artists yet are unmistakably "Pharrell": 'Hot In Herre', 'I Just
Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)', 'Pass The Courvoisier', 'Beautiful', 'Drop It
Like It's Hot' and 'Hollaback Girl'. Jesus — it's like having a dream, live
action jukebox on shuffle.
An N*E*R*D medley — which
sees Pharrell ask male fans from the audience to join him onstage for a dance
and singalong to 'Rock Star' and 'Lap Dance', and then a separate selection of
ladies to partake in 'She Wants To Move' (at the end of which he gives a warm
to hug to each girl in turn) — heightens the night's impossibly entertaining
However, the faction of the
crowd who have come to see "the guy who does the 'Happy' song" are
somewhat bemused. A family sat just behind me, who I guess were drawn to
Pharrell following his soundtracks for the adorable Despicable Me films,
sit lifeless all evening until he breaks out his more recent million-selling
hits towards the very end. And even then the result is a mother awkwardly
bopping along to 'Blurred Lines' with her awkward adolescent son.
Speaking of which… That song.
Never before has a song of such phenomenal success been simulataneously lauded
and derided with equal measure as 'Blurred Lines'. Considering the vocal
feminist views that have inspired Pharrell's current album G
I R L, his discomfort at airing even just a verse of this Robin
Thicke-tainted number is clear. "We're all animals," he knowingly
changes one line to say, and allows the crowd, who are too busy dancing to
engage in a debate about the predatory nature of 'Blurred Lines'' lyrics, to
finish the rest. Thankfully, the disco redeemer 'Get Lucky' rushes in soon
enough to save Williams' blushes.
Two further Daft
Punk-assisted gems see him staging a gorgeously laid back encore with 'Lose
Yourself To Dance' and the crowning moment of his latest LP, 'Gust Of Wind' —
all the while dressed in a jacket on par with the sparkle factor of Michael
Jackson's single glove.
And so, it finally arrives. That other
song. Pharrell precedes the gospel-pop of 'Happy' with an uplifting, if overly
optimistic, speech about making the world a better place. And yes, we do clap
along but as much as a cultural behemoth as 'Happy' has become, tonight has
served as a reminder that it is not, by far, Pharrell Williams' greatest
achievement, merely his most popular song right now.
describe Fig & Viper. Japanese women’s fashion brand. Six retail stores in Japan
your day-to-day routine like at work? Desk work-shooting-meeting
When you are designing do you ever have a particular person
in mind thatyou want to wear
those pieces? Or do you create according to your owntastes? Both. I have muses on each season for example,
Rita Ora was my muse for2013 S/S.But not for all clothing because I have to make
many stuff includingmainstream on
trend items and stuff.
previously said that London girls have a good eye for fashion. Whatdo you like about London girls’
style? They’re really good at mixing used clothing with
original new stuff,and the way
they dress up is so unpredictable but natural at the sametime, London girls are phenomenal!Also, since London is such a fancy city, maybe
that is why they are sofashionable.
What first got you interested in fashion? I’ve been really into fashion since when I was
in kindergarten.But when I
started to model, that's when I really got what fashion is.
Who is your all-time fashion idol? No one in particular.
Which aspects of your work life do like the most – modelling,
designing orDJing? Designing! I love all of my jobs, but designing
is my main job and it ismy expression.
What are your top tips for girls who want to get into fashion
design? Quick actions and play hard!Always create your own lifestyle and self-plan!
What achievements in your career are you most proud of? Walked on the red carpet of “Transformer” Japan
premier as a Japanese guest.Won a
“best hair awards” as a new style section!Both of them were my pride achievements in Japan.
The current issue is dedicated, in a very timely fashion, to Neverland.
Neverland was perhaps one of the most fascinating aspects of Michael Jackson's private life and much is uncovered about the construction of this dream home in the issue through conversations with many people who had a hand in creating it.
Iconic even managed to acquire exclusive designs for a water park that was set to be installed at Neverland...
My contribution to the issue is an essay looking at Michael Jackson's identification with Peter Pan.
There’s no need to explain this phenomenon in
detail. Kate Bush breaking her 35 years of being conspicuous by absence from
the stage is a big deal. The biggest deal. One particularly lively Kate Bush
fan forum quite rightly has an active thread asking where Before The Dawn
“ranks in your emotional experiences”. This is not hyperbole. My first draft of
this review was a page sodden with tears and drool. Before The Dawn rates pretty
damn highly in my own record of “emotional experiences” as it is exactly that –
not a gig, not a show, not a musical but an “experience” in every sense of the
Where to begin? For anyone who has been lucky enough
to be immersed in Before The Dawn will understand the difficulty in expressing
the scale and impact of the night. It is structured into three sequences – the
first sees Kate Bush fronting a band for a set of music, which seems straight
forward enough… more on that momentarily. The second is the centrepiece, ‘The
Ninth Wave’, Kate’s concept suite on the second side of Hounds Of Love brought to life and made flesh. The third, after an
interval, is another swathe of conceptual beauty as Aerial’s continual ode to the power of nature, titled ‘A Sky Of
Honey’, is played out musically and theatrically in full. If Before The Dawn
had consisted of just one of these acts it would have been more than enough to
justify the hype of Kate Bush’s live comeback, but the fact that she is
spoiling her audiences’ three times over means you are left overawed by her
generosity of talent, spirit and vision.
The straight opening set of six songs is nothing
short of spectacular. Kate Bush grooves on stage barefoot, followed by her
backing singers, with the warmest of smiles to a room of people all audibly
holding their breath as they adjust to her presence and await her voice. ‘Lily’
is a perfectly selected first song. It’s only right that something from ‘The
Red Shoes’ – an album written and recorded with touring in mind – should
commence this momentous occasion. ‘Lily’ is given a storming makeover and packs
more of punch live than anyone could have imagined. The sound of Kate Bush and
her band is truly astounding; its richness fills the theatre to bursting point.
The urgent pounding drums of ‘Hounds Of Love’ breaks through for song number
two. How can a night get any better, any higher than the ‘Hounds Of’ bloody ‘Love’?
The beaming grin on drummer Omar Hakim’s face summarises his and his fellow
band members unmistakable joy to be playing these hallowed songs. Aerial’s ‘Joanni’ is next, followed by The Red Shoes’ ‘The Top Of The City’
which again, is realised on such an overwhelming scale that is feels utterly
removed from the original recording. ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)’
inspires a thankful cheer from the audience before demanding revered silence.
All the while Kate Bush’s voice is nothing short of
faultless. Just like you imagined it would be yet somehow even better. Her
backing singers too make an impact all of their own. ‘Top Of The City’ sees
them creating a powerful, vocal wall of sound. ‘King Of The Mountain’, another
towering number, brings this section to an abrupt end – a curtain descends and
an explosion of confetti rains down. Wait… Nope, it’s not confetti, its tissue
paper inscribed with an extract from Lord Tennyson’s ‘The Coming Of Arthur’. “Wave
after wave… Till last, a ninth one…”
And so it begins, after almost 30 years of waiting
‘The Ninth Wave’ is fully executed. A ship, The Celtic Deep, is in trouble. A
lone, female passenger is missing. And there she is, Kate Bush adrift in a sea
of darkness, framed by her orange life jacket singing straight to camera (for
this is a filmed segment) ‘And Dream Of Sheep’. It is deeply affecting. The stage
has been transformed into a fearsome underwater realm with only live fish
skeletons to keep Kate company on her one woman voyage. The feats of
theatricality reached in this portion of the show are astounding – Kate
bursting suddenly through the floor of the stage as her outer body experience
takes hold; the rocking ship that houses the ghostly domesticated scene of
‘Watching You Without Me’; the helicopter search light that swoops over the
audience; Kate’s distressing cries of “Let me live!”; and finally, and most
touchingly, her lone outstretched hand that secures her safe return to land.
“Thank you,” Bush beams to the standing mass before
her – just one of the many, I lost count after standing ovation number 11, that
the performance demands this evening. “We’re going to take a quick break, if
that’s alright?” she humbly asks. We need to get our breath back more than she
does, trust me. “What can possibly happen next?” I wonder. “What is she going
to do? Fly?” I chuckle…
Yes, for her final act Kate Bush becomes one with
her favourite musicians, the birds, and takes flight after being fitted with a
cumbersome set of wings towards the dénouement of ‘A Sky Of Honey’. Again, it’s
one of many magical moments that accompanies one her most impressive musical
landscapes – puppets coming to life; showers of billowing feathers and tree
trunks crashing through the night time set. It is at this point that Kate
Bush’s son – Bertie – takes up his biggest onstage role (having also been
credited as “Creative Advisor” for these shows and serving as backing singer)
as he plays “The Painter” who frets over nature’s ruinous effects upon his
canvas. Although his biggest cheer came when his mother sang, “I’ll tell my son…”
during ‘The Morning Fog’, so key has his influence been over making her live return
real. ‘A Sky Of Honey’ roars to a glorious end with Kate Bush howling at human
limitations, “I’ve gotta be up on the roof”, despite transcending the
possibilities of performance here before our very eyes.
Two final treats are in store: The first, a calming,
lone encore of Kate Bush at the piano playing ‘Among Angels’ from 50 Words For Snow (no material predating
1985 is played). The second, a rousing rendition of ‘Cloudbursting’ where
everyone is more than happy to bellow out their own “yeah yeah yeah yeah
ooooooooh”. Kate gorgeously growls that most inspiring of lines, “But just
saying it could even make it happen,” pointing a finger towards the crowd as
she does so in the sassiest of fashions. After this monumental residency comes to
an end, who knows what else Kate Bush could make happen. Conversely she could
disappear and take one of her extended, working breaks once again. Either way
Before The Dawn marks yet another apex of Kate Bush’s evolutionary life and