Entertainment & Arts

Curtain falls on Kate Bush comeback

Kate Bush performing on 27 August 2014. Photo by Gavin Bush Image copyright Rex Features
Image caption Bush performs with son Bertie (second from left) and others on 27 August. Photo by Gavin Bush

Singer Kate Bush has performed the last of a series of 22 comeback concerts in London, suggesting it will be "a while" before she appears on stage again.

"We're all really sad as it's the last night," she told the audience. "I'm going to miss everyone so much."

Singer Grace Jones, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour and TV chat show host Graham Norton were among those attending the pop star's final Before the Dawn show.

Almost 78,000 tickets were sold for the 56-year-old's five-week residency.

Blackadder star Tim McInnerny, Shetland star Douglas Henshall and Cutting It actor Ben Daniels were among others spotted at the Hammersmith Apollo on Wednesday.

West End stalwart and Radio 2 broadcaster Michael Ball was also in attendance, tweeting later that Bush had displayed "sublime towering artistry" and given "as good a live performance as it's possible to give".

The strain of performing live for the first time in 35 years appeared to have had little effect on the Wuthering Heights star, who was in fine voice throughout her three-hour set.

As previously reported, the concert combined renditions of hits including Running Up That Hill and King of the Mountain, with elaborately staged versions of song cycles from her Hounds of Love and Aerial albums.

The evening ended with a special shout-out to performer Charlotte Williams, whose portrayal of a wooden puppet who comes to life was described by Bush as "our secret weapon".

"Every night she has played this part for us and up until tonight she's never had a round of applause," said the singer of the petite actress and musician.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Organisers said 77,968 tickets were sold for the 22-concert residency

Bush also paid tribute to her "wonderful son" Albert McIntosh, known as Bertie, who has appeared throughout the sold-out run in a number of roles and guises.

The show ended with a performance of 1985 single Cloudbusting and a lengthy standing ovation, during which Bush was presented with numerous bouquets.

"Thank you again everyone for sharing this with all of us," the singer told the audience, blowing three kisses as she took her leave.

No further concerts are scheduled, though there has been speculation that the show was filmed last month for a future DVD release.

Power cut

Wednesday's audience largely obeyed the singer's request to refrain from taking photographs or recording footage during the performance.

Despite this, excerpts from previous shows have surfaced online and are currently available to view on YouTube and other websites.

The run has not been without the occasional hiccup, with one concert in September delayed by more than an hour by a power cut.

One Twitter user did see the funny side, however, remarking that the hold-up had risked causing "the most middle class riot ever".

Fans on Wednesday queued in droves to purchase £15 programmes, £20 posters and commemorative T-shirts costing £25 apiece.

Yet there seemed to be fewer takers for £45 "rescue kits" containing a whistle and an inflatable rubber ring bearing the legend 'Get out of the water' - a line heard repeatedly in The Ninth Wave, Bush's song cycle about a woman floating at sea following a shipwreck.

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