Ten Reasons Why I Hate Kate Bush The Artist By Ged Babey

LTW recently gave Kate Bush’s album a brilliant review but not everyone was happy about this . One of the site’s freelancers, Ged Babey struck back….Ten Reasons I Hate Kate Bush… a blog by Ged Babey …Just One Guys Opinion…

 

10 Reasons I Hate Kate Bush? Well, not Kate Bush the person, she’s probably very nice… its Kate Bush the Artist and her Music I hate … but then again , I am a curmugeonly old punk-rocker and this is just what they call click-bait….but I do mean-it-maan…

Having just watched BBC4’s Kate Bush programmes I have concluded thus (whilst drinking…) I HaTe kAtE BuSh becoz…

1/.  She was not Punk Rock. Despite being a teenager in 1977 she seemingly missed out on the most exciting, vibrant music of the time, choosing instead to read books, grow her hair and hang out with Dave Gilmour.

2/.  She hung out with old farts like Dave Gilmour. And Eric Clapton. Why? She could’ve worked with young talented musicians of her own age. Great musicians from the post-punk era. Also that apalling version of the already atrocious Rocket Man by Elton Fuckin’ John…when she professed to liking Killing Joke’s drumming ??

3/. The drama-school mime business going on in all her performances. God it looks so ludicrous now… Was it to detract from her voice, the pretentious lyrics? Bowie dabbled with mime, but soon grew out of it and knew how to rock. Marcel Marceau was a tool; ridiculed by Kenny Everett and Rowan Atkinson to memorable effect  Mime was never cool. Theatrics are for the theatre.

4/. Kate Bush’s songs and music had no real soul. She was play-acting through all those early songs. They were her pop adaptations of literary works for Christ’s sakes, so how could they have any genuine, heartfelt emotion in them? They also have no groove… you can’t dance to Kate Bush records; she wasn’t punky and she sure as hell wasn’t funky… I guess it was brain-music rather than body-music.

5/. The songs were all surface and no feeling. They were all arty artifice with no real emotion…. see Public Image’s Death Disco for an example of getting pain and feeling into pop. Kate Bush told fairy stories and acted-them out Am-Dram style whilst trilling like a canary and making all big-eyed, big-lipped facial expressions. It wasn’t rock ‘n’ roll.

 

6/. The socio-political comment in her later material was bogged down in pretentiousness and just didn’t really work as ‘protest music’ as it was too dull in its rich musicality and pompousness. Army Dreamers and Dem Heavy People are not Bloody Revolutions, Anarchy in the UK or even Give Peace A Chance are they?

7/. She was definitely not New Wave, so therefore Old Wave and even once she regained control of her career and made decent music (Hounds of Love) she seemed prematurely old and boring and serious because she didn’t want to be perceived as sexy…..why not go the full Sinead then?  The complete lack of spontaneity in her work and reliance on studied classicism just annoys me.

8/. All this critical re-assessment of Kate Bush is just because she’s doing a few gigs… before she gets too old to do it… there is no need to elevate her status to sell tickets, as they sold out in 15 minutes anyway. Basically though it’s her final hurrah, and I hope it’s good and worth the price of admission, but all this press bullshit is an attempt by journo-scum to illicit free-tickets for themselves (plus 1).

9/. Kate Bush was not and is not a genius. She had a few great songs and lots of pretty dull ones. She is a dedicated artist, a single-minded perfectionist and very successfully a private person and not a celebrity, which is cool, but not a genius, like Bowie or Nick Cave or Billy Childish…

10/. She is ultimately responsible for Tori Amos, Florence & the Machine and millions of other pseudo-pretentious female solo artists who aspire to be as kooky and profound as Kate but are nowhere near as original and devoted to their art.  Not KB’s fault really but still a crime against rock’n’roll all the same.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

If you’ve got tickets for the London gigs Kate fans – Enjoy. I don’t really detest her with a burning passion that I reserve for real cultural villains, I just can’t see what all the fuss is about. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

Kate is beautiful, unique and dedicated to her art and doesn’t do any real harm, but in the same way as I think the Kinks were as good or better than the Beatles, the Sound were every bit as good as Joy Division, I cannot see that Kate is any more a godlike genius than Chrissie Hynde, Debbie Harry or Siouxsie Sioux.

All words by Ged Babey (written in less than an hour – no edits -punk rock style, for a laugh and to wind people up, as well as saying wot I fink).

(These thoughts are not neccesarily shared by the rest of Louder Than Wars staff and writers).

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27 comments on “Ten Reasons Why I Hate Kate Bush The Artist By Ged Babey”

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  1. I don’t remember anybody suggesting that she was punk rock, or rock ‘n roll. Or that she is any more a godlike genius than Chrissie Hynde, Debbie Harry or Siouxsie Sioux. Or that she is ‘Old Wave’ rather than ‘New Wave’. Who cares what she is and why do you feel the need to try and put a label on her (or deny her a label) anyway? Lots of stuff in there which you can agree with if you don’t like her music, or not if you’re a Kate Bush fan.
    I’m sure it has been said before, but Kate Bush has what most punk rockers would have killed for: to make music the way she wants to and when she wants to, whether it is commercial or not, whether the public likes it or not, without record companies breathing down her neck. To say it in her own words: “All I ever wanted to do was make an album”. And she did. She never performed again after her first tour, because she didn’t want to. And now she’s decided that the time is right to perform again, so that’s what she’s doing.
    As for mime, it may not be cool. But to say she used it to distract from her voice or ‘pretentious’ lyrics is like saying that any artist creates an image to distract from whatever fans have to be distracted from. The image she created of herself, or which was created in the early days, surely is only that: an image to present her music. No more or no less than other performers do.
    It was interesting to read criticism from an “old fart”. I am thoroughly enjoying the attention – even negative – Kate is getting and will most definitely enjoy the concert!

  2. Dear Ged,
    You’d better refrain from saying something like that when surrounded by people knowledgeable about music if you don’t want to be laughed at ;)

  3. Dear Ann,
    You, more than anyone, should know that ‘ridicule is nothing to be scared of’.

    Bart,
    Good points, well made. Enjoy the concert. Loved the irony of being called an ‘old fart’ Cheers.

    • Um. Anyone with a smudge of brain matter knows that pure punk was a revolution against TALENT. Johnny Rotten is just a toxic ass and Sid couldn’t even plug in without help. The music that came after, like the Clash, they’re not pure punk, they’re a mash of classic Rock, Blues, Reggae, and punk sensibilities. But every member of the band wrote for and played his own instrument.
      If you’re actually trying to compare Kate to Black Flag, you’re just plain stupid.
      Kate is a gifted songwriter, pianist, and performer. Punk is dead. It was dead before it got started. Zeppelin and Cream took over for a while. Anger in the US quit on punk for their utter lack of ability and went heavy. Bands like Megadeth and Metallica, followed by Iron Maiden and Judas Priest were all seminal metal groups. Kate, through her time with that old timer Gilmour and Peter Gabriel and she leaned more to them, and what’s the problem with that?

  4. Whatever’s your opinion about Kate; she’s definitely unique and with her ‘story-telling’, poetic songs she can move you to tears or lift up your soul. That’s what art is about!

  5. Anyone read that bit “for a laugh and to wind people up”? Certainly seems to have done the trick. I like Kate but I can’t see the harm in this…everyone can stand a little criticism.

  6. Plainly the dimmest thing ever posted on Louder Than War ‘I don’t like it cos its not rote punk-by-numbers by blokes for blokes!’

  7. Nick Cave a genius? Thanks for the laugh.
    I’ve read a book about KB it states that she liked the Stranglers and the Sex Pistols.
    The Man With the Child In His Eyes is one of the most beautiful songs ever.

  8. There’s nothing to indicate that Ged doesn’t know his music, everything is basically accurate that isn’t just contentious opinions (e.g. “no soul”). I say this as a fan of Bush. I do think it’s a little passe to think it a requirement to hate prog and art rock if you like punk. Turns out tons of post-punkers were big prog fans too (Keith Levine big Yes fan, Lydon loved Van Der Graaf Generator, and he probably bought that Pink Floyd shirt at a show before scrawling “I hate” on it!). But it’s of course totally his right to continue to genuinely hate the stuff!

  9. I like Kate Bush, especially Hounds of Love and 50 Words for Snow. What I like about her is that she stuck to a singular vision that she believed in and couldn’t give a toss about what anyone else thought, so how much more punk rock in attitude can you get. Loved Ged’s piece cos there is a bit of truth in it! Ged, go back and listen to Tori Amos – she’s done a lot of good stuff too

  10. The Final Word. HATE. John Robb told me it was ‘too strong’. I don’t really HATE KATE’s work. It just isn’t for me. 10 REASONS I DON’T LIKE KATE BUSH MUCH sounded a bit too lame though. And in trying to justify why, I reverted to a “12 year old” impatiently waiting for the Buzzcocks on Top Of The Pops but Kate Bush was on first, getting in the way. Once I found out she was under the wing of Dave Gilmour of I HATE Pink Floyd fame that was it…. of course I should’ve grown out of it by now. Instead I chose to reignite the Punk V Prog Wars in a moment of childish provocation. Still. No-one got hurt. I said from the start it was “clickbait” and to counter the ballyhoo around KB’s return to the stage. I am fully aware that Keith Levene roadied for Yes and Howard Devoto liked Camel etc. Thanks for all the insults, insights and support. Normal Service will now be resumed at Louder Than War. Good Luck to Kate on the gigs ( and ready yourself for the backlash that’s how it works with the UK press sadly) and to all the genuine fans, I hope it lives up to your expectations. Peace Ged Babey

    • Fair play for Manning up Ged….. Kate Rules Btw, I love her music, it brings me an immense amount of Joy, I am a Painter/artist and often Have KB on when I am working, there is nothing quite like it
      :-)

  11. Always find it a bit sad when people don’t get Kate Bush. She’s fantastic and her music is the most soulful i’ve ever listened to. Yes she owes more to prog than punk but to be honest I am sick of the musical snobbery that comes from both sides – she was mates with the Stranglers and Joe Strummer, for god’s sake. But I guess the wonderful thing about music is that it’s subjective when it comes to taste. Peace.

  12. I enjoyed reading this immensely well done!

    I do endorse some of this. I personally don’t get it with Kate Bush – a little bit goes a long way. Don’t find her voice in the least engaging although she did write some really great pop tunes (Wuthering Heights, Babooshka, Moving etc). But too much art and interpretive dance, and not enough pop for my liking

    On the other hand, I bloody love Florence even though I thought I’d hate her. She has a killer voice that totally enraptures me, and she’s a live performer who totally knows how to commune with the audience.

    Nick Cave … genius…. Sorry no. Good journeyman balladeer who has some horrible garage rock outfits on the side. Nice suits though!

  13. Simon Thornhill

    It’s cool Ged your entitled to be wrong in every single detail of your argument It’s just your opinion after all We’ve all got one yours just happens to be the wrong one But thanks for sharing it gave me a giggle PS the kinks are better than the Beatles cos the Beatles were shite! Lol

  14. Your’e a douche bag .
    Have you ever sold out a venue for 15 nights , in 45 minutes ?

  15. Your talking out of your arse, I’m fairly certain The man with the child in his eyes, written when she was 15 and hundreds of other Kate Bush songs have no literary reference whatsoever. She writes and composes some of the most beautiful and poetic songs ever written, many of her songs are up beat or have a groove, Heads We Dance, Experiment 14, How to Be Invisible, The Big sky, etc, etc, etc and are dance-able if thats your thing, you might not be able to pogo to them, but then again only arseholes do such things anyway, her piano playing is quite exceptional and to say songs like The Man With The Child In His Eyes, Breathing (both early records) have no soul is complete nonsensense. She is an amazing diverse and exceptionally talented artist. PUNK ROCK IS SHIT!!!!

  16. “she hung out with old farts… and should have played with talented people of her age” hahahaha such a thought is not punk, it is just the result of a bubbling childish mind…

  17. Talented people of her age….wtf. Punk was a load of garbage, and totally devoid of talent.
    Given the chance to hang out with real musical talent, like Gilmour, is the best thing she did.
    I can’t abide Kate Bush, by the way, but to slag her off , and praise punk for it’s talent , at the same timeis complete Bollox, to coin a commonly used punk phrase.

  18. Okay, after reading this article, I can only assume it was a joke. I searched online for a genuine critique of KB (as I like seeing different views on her music) but your points were very weak.
    From this article, I get the impression you only like one genre of music. If I’m right, then that’s boring.

  19. You don’t understand Kate Bush. You like Punk. I like Punk. I like Kate Bush.
    Your head is so far up your own fucking arse that I’d
    like to share your point of view but there’s no room. Grow up, eh?

  20. You need to get a life .

  21. Sorry…Punk rock was for uh duh Punk rockers? I thought this is a free world where artists could follow whatever trend or nontrend they wanted? Demanding Kate Bush to be a punk rocker is just silly. Laughable. She didn’t have the stuff those people were made of. It is like asking an opera singer to be a Delta bluesman. Insanely funny and absurd.
    Hate to throw this barb but Punkers were really vulgar…vomit kings and trashy and altogether low class. They had a place for society is brimming over with unemployed fed up abused nasty types …Kate simply didn’t belong to the uneducated shallow and proud of it genre which came and went the way of all trends. Call me snob…go ahead! I thought her romantic and pretty and poetic and clever. Listened to her lots while studying at University.

  22. Kudos 4 bigging up Nick Cave, but your punk argument is compromised by the fact that John Lydon is a great admirer of Kate. I dont profess 2 have great taste but, with respect, she does wot no 1 else has 4 me!

  23. Hi Ged, coming to this a few years after the fact but what the hey. In a moment of boredom (after seeing/hearing KB’s execrable cover of Sexual Healing) I Googled ‘people that hate Kate Bush’ and stumbled across your blog. Having read it, I respectfully suggest you change the title to ’10 minor gripes about Kate Bush’. You need to up your hate game, Ged. You’re not very hateful at all, which is kind of sweet, really. I could be an uppity fart and go through your points one by one but that would be tedious. I’ll just say this.

    I was a teenage punk around the time she hit the scene and loads of the local Herberts embraced her other-worldliness and were proud that she was a good South London girl . She gave a lot of teenage girls the confidence to be as weird as they liked and brought out the soft, sweet side in a lot of hard nuts. Punk isn’t all about gobbing and ripped jeans. It’s a state of mind.

    p.s. Dave Gilmour was at the vanguard of the underground psychedelic scene in the 60s and only 30 when he worked with KB, hardly “an old fart”.

    p.p.s. I’m not sure how one can be “pseudo-pretentious”?

    p.p.p.s How can you lump in Billy Childish with Nick Cave and then put NC in with David Bowie. That’s just all out of proportion

    All the best,

    Dave

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