S05E08 – Waking the Witch

We’re continuing into the Ninth Wave with the third track on side two. After the tense atmosphere of Under Ice, we enter another nightmare, this time at a witch trial in the truly frightening Waking the Witch. Performed live for the first time in 2014 in the Before the Dawn shows, Waking the Witch incorporates not just massive production, especially when compared with the previous song. There are also flying vocals and the theme of this song: witch trials and the fear of a woman’s power.

To discuss this song, we have Daniel Thomas from Seattle on the line. Daniel is a long-time Kate fan who was last on the show to talk about Pull Out the Pin and who contributed several song insights to some of the previous season’s songs. We talk about the production on this song (Kate’s use of gated vocals), the Before the Dawn version, feminism, and witch trials.

In addition to talking about the Salem witch trials, we also learn about other people who were accused of witchcraft. We discuss the story of Grace Sherwood, a healer and farmer in early 1700s Virginia who has since been nicknamed the Witch of Pungo. Grace was tried and ducked under accusations of being a witch and it’s said that her spirit still haunts the place where she was ducked (and who has a road named after her in Virginia Beach: Witchduck Road). We also talk about depictions of witches often being women who don’t fit the norm and the fear of women having power, the only man who was tried during the Salem witch trials and our host’s connection to him, and what it was like for our host to travel to Salem, Massachusetts during a road trip as a child with her family.

Patreon Plug!

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Song clips included:

Waking the Witch (album version)

Waking the Witch (Before the Dawn version)

Interview clips included:

BBC Classic Albums, Hounds of Love

S04E05 – Leave It Open

We can tell you what we’re letting in: a new episode of Strange Phenomena! This week, we’re talking about track five on The Dreaming, the strange and compelling Leave It Open. Christine Kelley, the author of Dreams of Orgonon, the Kate Bush blog, joins us for a discussion of this song this week. Listen as we discuss about the lyrics (at least, what we can decipher of them!), the theme of the song, and Cecilee gets to nerd about the music production too (SO. MANY. VOCAL. EFFECTS!). We’ll also get to hear some thoughts from fellow Kate fan, Daniel Thomas, who we got to talk with earlier this season for Pull Out The Pin.

Are you ready to let the weirdness in?

We hope so!

Other links:

Dreams of Orgonon: The Songs of Kate Bush

Song clips used:

Leave It Open (album version)

Leave It Open (demo version)

Intruder

S04E03 – Pull Out the Pin

On to the third track from The Dreaming, the dense, jungle-scented Pull Out the Pin. An album track that stands out for its atmosphere and percussion, Pull Out the Pin continues in the vein of Kate songs that are told from a character’s point of view. This time, we as the listeners are transported to a thick, humid jungle in Southeast Asia in the middle of the Vietnam War as Kate tells us a story about a Vietnamese soldier stalking his prey: an American soldier.

To discuss this song, we have Daniel Thomas from Seattle, Washington on the line. We discuss our personal thoughts on the song and how it was a song that initially scared both of us, but which we’ve both grown to love. We also talk about the theme of the song and its implications, the inspiration behind the song, and speculate what a live version might look or sound like.

Song clips used:

Pull Out the Pin

The Dreaming Interview, 1982

S04E02 – There Goes a Tenner

No need to wait any longer for a new episode of Strange Phenomena! This week, we’re continuing into The Dreaming with a discussion of the second track, the one single that didn’t even chart (what???), There Goes a Tenner.

Released as the second single in the UK, with the French-language original Ne t’enfuis pas on the b-side, There Goes a Tenner is a pastiche of various film references tied up in a story that could’ve been something out of an old movie: a bank robbery gone wrong. To discuss this song this week, we have Dani Llamas, who was on the Kidnapped on a Building Site episode, and Diego Ortega, another young Kate fan from California. We’ll talk about the Paul Henry-directed music video, the many film references, the song structure, and speculate on why this song didn’t chart.

Also included is another essay about There Goes a Tenner from Kate fan Daniel Thomas!

Song clips used:

There Goes a Tenner

Pebble Mill at One, October 8, 1982, interviewed by Paul Gambaccini

The Dreaming Interview, 1982, unknown interviewer

There Goes a Tenner live on Razzmatazz

There Goes a Tenner music video

S04E01 – Sat In Your Lap

Sat In Your Lap could be summed up in one word: bombastic. Isn’t it fitting then that the episode about that song is jam-packed with guests? Of course!

What a way to start off Kate’s (now) beloved fourth album The Dreaming, than with five different guests this week from many different parts of the world! And they all have one thing in common: they love Sat In Your Lap.

  • Tomer Feiner (Israel)
  • Craig Houston (Ohio)
  • Wayne Henderson (California)
  • Vanessa Ramos (Canada)

AND we have a special contribution from longtime Kate fan Daniel Thomas, who was last featured on the Coffee Homeground and Symphony in Blue episodes. You’ll get to hear from him on each song from The Dreaming thanks to essays he has written comparing songs from The Dreaming with Tori Amos’ equally experimental (and the first of her albums to be self-produced, like with Kate) Boys for Pele.

This week, we’re talking ALL about this song. What it was like for us the first time hearing this song. The production. The lyrics (all of us going, so that’s what she’s saying at the end!). What others have said about this song. What Kate wrote extensively in the Kate Bush Club Newsletter. And lastly, who can forget the bonkers music video?

It’s all here in this first episode of the fourth season of the show!

Song and interview clips used:

In the Air Tonight

Sat in Your Lap (demo)

Sat in Your Lap (fan-made instrumental)

Sat in Your Lap (fan-made piano instrumental)

The Dreaming 1982 Interview (interviewer unknown)

Kate Bush on Razzmatazz, July 14, 1981

S02E09 – Coffee Homeground

We promise we won’t be getting you with any Belladonna or arsenic in the pot of tea. Instead, we’ll just be serving up a rather harmless episode of Strange Phenomena! This week, we’re talking about the very theatrical song Coffee Homeground, perhaps the most musical theater song that Kate Bush has ever done (and that’s saying something!). Our guest this week is Daniel Thomas, a long-time Kate fan who also spoke about Symphony in Blue earlier this season. We get into his personal connection with this song, the Roald Dahl story that probably inspired Kate, and also the fun live routine that Kate performed of this song for her Tour of Life. A routine that, sadly, has never been officially released (but which can be found easily, these days, on YouTube!).

Song clips used:

Coffee Homeground live at the Manchester Apollo, 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