S02E08 – Kashka from Baghdad

Travel with us to the Middle East for a discussion of Kashka from Baghdad, an exotic-flavored song about a gay couple. Our guest for the show this week is Zoey P, who you will remember from several other episodes this season! We talk about the Oriental perspectives that Kate uses in this song, the live version from the Ask Aspel show (Zoey’s favorite!), the Tour of Life version, and the multi-layered lyrics. We also discuss the differences between the raw, Cathy demo version of this song (a rough recording done on a tape recorder when Kate was a teenager) and the fleshed-out album version.

Song clips used:

Kashka from Baghdad, live on Ask Aspel

Kashka from Baghdad, live at the Manchester Apollo, 1979

Kashka from Baghdad demo

S02E07 – In the Warm Room

Come with us to where the mellow wallows for a discussion of the seventh track on Lionheart, In the Warm Room. We get to make a long-distance call (our longest yet!) to Sydney, Australia to discuss this song with super fan Sarit Vandegraaff. Sarit tells us why this song means so much to her, why it should be better appreciated, and her own history of discovering Kate’s music while growing up in Israel. We also talk about the sensual lyrics, some of the similarities between In the Warm Room and Feel It, and the equally sensual live version from the Tour of Life, which was never officially released.

Song clips played:

In the Warm Room live at the Manchester Apollo

S02E06 – Fullhouse

Driving back in your car, you can listen to this discussion of a lesser-known Kate Bush album track, called Fullhouse. This week, we’re joined by Zoey P, who you might remember from the Lionheart album intro and Wow episodes. Zoey joins the discussion this week for a song that Cecilee admits isn’t a favorite, but which Zoey has a lot of personal connection with. Cecilee and Zoey dissect the lyrics, which are rather personal for a Kate Bush song. They go into the musical changes, which reflect the angst-ridden lyrics, and the only live performance ever done of this song, which was on the Tour of Life in 1979. Zoey also discusses the possible connections between this song and the Kate Bush demo song Frightened Eyes.

So remember yourself, and listen to our episode!

Song clips used:

Fullhouse live at the Manchester Apollo

Frightened Eyes (piano demo)

S02E05 – Oh England, My Lionheart

Kate may not like this song much these days, but we do here at Strange Phenomena! And so does Keith DeWeese, a super fan of Oh England My Lionheart, the fifth track from her second album Lionheart. This week, we talk about a song that Kate spoke about very positively when the album was released, but of which she now has actively voiced her disapproval. We get to talk about the many English references in this song (Spitfire planes, wassailing, London Bridge, Tower of London), what the song means to us, and why this song should be better appreciated. We also talk about the only live performance of this song, which was done as the first encore on Kate’s sprawling Tour of Life in 1979.

Song clips used:

Oh England My Lionheart live at the Hammersmith Odeon

Where Are the Lionhearts? (piano demo)

S02E04 – Don’t Push Your Foot on the Heartbrake

Will you come down with Emma to listen to this episode of Strange Phenomena? We hope so! This week, we delve into the album track Don’t Push Your Foot on the Heartbrake, which Cecilee admits is her least favorite track on Lionheart. However, it is anything but for our guest, Jack Wranovics, a Heartbrake fan from San Francisco, who is a super fan of this song. Cecilee and Jack talk about the history of this song, the intricate lyrics, the shifting tempos, and they speculate about what and who may have influenced this song. They also discuss the differences in car culture between the US (cars are awesome!) and the UK (cars are dangerous!) and how that may have influenced this song.

If you’re ready, start your engines. And while you’re at it, don’t forget Georgie (whoever he is!).

Song clips used:

Don’t Push Your Foot on the Heartbrake live at the Hammersmith Odeon

Don’t Push Your Foot on the Heartbrake live on the Kate Bush Christmas Special

Pull Up to the Bumper by Grace Jones

Cars by Gary Numan

Always Crashing in the Same Car by David Bowie

Autobahn by Kraftwerk

S02E03 – Wow

We hope you think this episode is just as wow and unbelievable as we think it is! This week’s song is the third song from Lionheart, and the most successful of the two songs released from the album for the radio, the iconic song Wow.

Our guest this week is Zoey, who you might remember from the Lionheart album introduction episode (and who will also be joining us later to discuss Fullhouse, Kashka from Baghdad, and Hammer Horror this season!). We get to discuss the history of this song, its massive success on the charts, and we delve into an extensive discussion of the lyrics. We talk about just what it means to not make the Sweeney (and for that matter, what a Sweeney is), that infamous vaseline line, as well as other queer elements present in the song, and its various live incarnations on the Tour of Life and on TV appearances around the world.

Very wow indeed!

Song clips used:

Theme from The Sweeney

Wow, live at the Hammersmith Odeon, May 1979

Wow, live on ABBA in Switzerland (Snowtime Special), 1979

S02E01 – Symphony in Blue

Get ready to spend a lot of your time looking at blue as you listen to the first song episode of the Lionheart season! This week’s song is Symphony in Blue, the first track from Kate’s second album Lionheart, a rather jazzy sounding opening track that gives a great tone to the rest of the album.

We’ll get to talk with not one but THREE fans of the song for this episode! Daniel Thomas, calling in from Seattle, offers his thoughts and personal connection with this track. We’ll also get to hear from Bishakh Som, a fellow American fan from Brooklyn, New York, who has some wonderful insights and connections to this song. We’ll also get to hear from Danny McEvoy, a Kate fan from England who got to see Kate’s tour in 1979 and who also loves this song.

We’ll also dive into the history of this song, such as the Erik Satie piano piece that directly inspired Symphony in Blue, as well as extensively discussing the beautiful lyrics and the music and its realization on the Tour of Life and the Kate Bush Christmas Special!

Song clips used:

Symphony in Blue, live at the Manchester Apollo, 1979

Symphony in Blue, Kate Bush Christmas Special, 1979

Erik Satie – Gymnopédies No. 1

S02E00 – Lionheart Album Introduction

Welcome to a special Album Introduction episode! Before we start Season 2 of the show, we’re going to start with an Introduction episode where we get to talk about the history of the album to come and general personal thoughts on it. We’ll also talk about where this album fits into Kate Bush’s canon and what to expect from the themes we’ll be discussing in each episode!

Lionheart was released on November 12, 1978, not even nine months after Kate put out her debut album The Kick Inside. In the years since its release, Lionheart, Kate Bush’s second full-length album, has become a rather maligned album. Lionheart is not discussed much, if at all, and tends to rank low on fan lists of favorite Kate Bush albums. If Lionheart is ever discussed, it’s usually dismissed as “rushed” and/or “a pale copy of The Kick Inside.” Though she spoke well of it at the time, Kate Bush herself later said that: “Considering how quickly we made it it’s a bloody good album, but I’m not really happy with it”.

In this episode, Cecilee gets to talk with a special guest: Zoey P, a fellow Kate Bush fanatic who has a lot to say about Lionheart. Lionheart is one of Zoey’s favorite Kate Bush albums, so she will be sharing her thoughts on the album as well as some of the recording history of Lionheart and how this album fits in Kate’s body of work. Zoey will also talk about the ways in which Kate slips into many different personas from one song to the next, from a gay man trying to make it in show business (Wow) to a World War II pilot plummeting to his death (Oh England My Lionheart) to a little boy trying to make sense of the world (In Search of Peter Pan).

Cecilee, a fan who also likes Lionheart and thinks it’s rather unjustly maligned, will also talk about what this album means to her and her opinions of this album. She will also dig into the history of Lionheart and how it was recorded in the south of France (the only Kate album to be recorded outside the UK).

S01E14 – TKI Era Tracks – Scares Me Silly (But It Gets Me Going)

Here in the studio, we discuss a rather obscure Kate Bush song, Scares Me Silly (But It Gets Me Going), a leaked studio track from The Kick Inside sessions. This song is the only leaked studio track from Kate’s entire career, an impressive feat for someone who’s written a lot of music (but who now owns her own studio, so who knows what other unreleased gems there might be!). In this episode, Cecilee and Andrew Linke discuss this interesting outtake, from the rather straightforward, not-terribly-Kate lyrics, to their own speculations about why this song might have been left off The Kick Inside and why this song was written in the first place.

Song clips played:

  • Kevin Max – Return of the Singer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VV6P7zqZoIk
  • Scares Me Silly (But It Gets Me Going): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBJj5aV-PiM

S01E13 – The Kick Inside

At last, we come to the final track on The Kick Inside, the title track. This week’s episode features a very special guest: Graeme Thomson, the author of the music biography Under the Ivy: The Life and Music of Kate Bush. Cecilee and Graeme discuss the original Celtic murder ballad that this song comes from (whether you know it as the Lucy Wan, Lizzie Wan, Lizzie May, etc story). They also discuss its live incarnation on the stage in 1979 for the Tour of Life, the beautifully tragic lyrics and the mythological references Kate used in the song.

Live version used:

Live at the Manchester Apollo

Folk versions played:

  • Raymond Crooke – Lizzie May – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D9bIUI2TgU
  • threelegsoman – Lizzie Wan – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCUMVVo-32M
  • Hannah Sanders – Lucy Wan – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeVQuPj5JAA