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You won't catch her on the television chat show circuit. She won't be touring the radio studios to plug the new album. And as for a concert, forget it. So I'm slightly thrown when my mobile rings, flashing up 'private number', and a vaguely familiar voice says "Hello John, it's Kate Bush here".

In 2005 ago she broke a 12 year silence when she spoke to me on Front Row about her album Ariel. Now Britain's most successful solo female artist is on the line with a suggestion: "Would you like to come down to my house to talk about the new record?"

I didn't take much persuading and, last week, headed to rural Berkshire. Kate was charming, funny and hospitable. She has a beautiful home, a large Georgian property shielded from the outside world by mature trees and wooden gates. She guards her privacy fiercely.

We drank tea and chatted about gardening, our kids and art. Then we sat together on a plump sofa in the sitting room and - with the digital recorder rolling - discussed her re-return to the public eye. The new record Director's Cut re-works tracks from two previous albums, The Sensual World (1989) and The Red Shoes (1993), to create something new, warm and intimate.

Within moments of the edited version of the interview being broadcast on Wednesday's Front Row it was clear - from the internet-buzz - that the legions of Kate Bush fans wanted more. So here's a slightly longer version of our conversation, minus the music which I mixed in for the live broadcast. I know for some Kate Bush fans it still won't be enough, that they'll want to hear every pause, evasion, stone-wall response from the interviewee. But, trust me, in this case, less is more...

John Wilson has worked as a presenter and reporter on Front Row since it started in 1998

  • Follow Front Row and John Wilson on Twitter.
  • The interview with Kate Bush from the broadcast programme can be heard here.

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  • Comment number 12. Posted by philocleanthes

    on 13 May 2011 20:35

    Add your comment!

    And I'm sure John, Kate had you at the head of her queque-none of that disconsolate shoe shuffling behind the lucky guy.

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  • Comment number 11. Posted by Lawrence Jones

    on 12 May 2011 08:10

    Replying to Aviddiva (message 8)

    Thanks for the response Aviddiva. Unfortunately I stopped listening to any of SM’s programmes after ‘The Critical List’ failed to make any contribution – or express any interest – in its messageboard (just like Radio 4 and the lack of interest expressed by the station in its messageboards). The board had an outstanding host – Mick – who was always informing the programme of interesting musical discussions. The Critical List couldn’t even be bother acknowledging our suggestions for The Featured Album when broadcast on the proramme (e.g. Terry Reid’s ‘River’).

    P.S. Thinking about your Judy Dyble reference, I wonder what Ms. Bush would sound like singing this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZIswQCL3I4

    Or what about The Incredible String Band’s ‘Darling Belle’. Not sure which male singer could accompany her :)

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  • Comment number 10. Posted by Kelloggs

    on 10 May 2011 16:51

    Well done to John for getting Ms Bush out of her shell. I really enjoyed the piece, excellent radio.
    Thanks

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  • Comment number 9. Posted by Paul Murphy

    on 10 May 2011 11:49

    #6 Hi Russ,

    The Ariel interview's not in the archive but I'll see what can be done.

    Thanks Paul

  • Comment number 8. Posted by aviddiva

    on 8 May 2011 12:07

    Laurence, thanks for your comments about Judy Dyble and Bridget St. John! Both have been featured on Stuart Maconie's Freak Zone on 6 Music as has Judee Sill.

    Strangely enough, Graeme Thompson compared Kate Bush's 'Passing Through Air' to Judee Sill in the 'Under The Ivy' book.

    John, thanks for including all of the KB interview here.

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  • Comment number 7. Posted by PorphyriasLover

    on 7 May 2011 22:10

    So good. 'They sound a bit bonemealy'.

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  • Comment number 6. Posted by Russ

    on 6 May 2011 15:59

    Kate Bush can be infuriatingly evasive and unforthcoming sometimes, so congratulations, John, on being gently persistent in trying to cover most of the bases in your interview.

    Russ

    P.S. Is the ‘Ariel’ 2005 interview in the Front Row archives?

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  • Comment number 5. Posted by duckpond

    on 6 May 2011 13:50

    John Wilson, you lucky man! Kate Bush is a lovely character.

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  • Comment number 4. Posted by VioletaB

    on 6 May 2011 10:40

    I mistakenly opened two YouTube windows at the same time and was suprised that hearing two tracks at slightly different timings really enhanced the song. It was a bit like the vibrations coming from the computer screen. If Kates reading, a consideration perhaps?
    Ok, I am a true fan, apologies for my enthusiasm

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  • Comment number 3. Posted by Lawrence Jones

    on 6 May 2011 06:32

    Message 2

    "see it and you'll probably go on hunger strike to demand that she does another"

    And sing this gorgeous song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a87029tP8t0

    The lyrics suggest that Ms. Bush listens to Radio 4 – well occasionally. On the late Mr. Barrett, I’d love to hear Ms. Bush sing ‘Flaming’.

    It would be good to hear more features on either WH or FR relating to Female musicians (dead or alive) – Emily Remler, Judee Sill, Christina McKenzie, Celia Humphris Maggie Bell, Judy Dyble, Bridget St. John. ‘Fly High’ is available on Youtube in case there are any other fans of Ms. St. John out there. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Td1ndOeKxko). ‘The Oyster and The Flying Fish’ is also on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXItNzVmTQA

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