S05E13 – Under the Ivy

It won’t take us long to tell you how to find the next episode of Strange Phenomena: it’s right here in your feed!

So when you’re done celebrating Thanksgiving and stuffing yourself full of turkey today (if you’re an American listener!), come take a moment to listen to this week’s episode of Strange Phenomena and chill out to this lovely little song, the first b-side episode for the Hounds of Love season!

It can’t get any better than starting with the gorgeous, fan favorite Under the Ivy, the flip side of the album’s lead single Running Up That Hill. While Running Up That Hill is very produced and drum-heavy, Under the Ivy goes back to the basics: Kate and her piano, telling a mysterious story, all in the space of less than two and a half minutes.

Under the Ivy ranks highly among Kate fans and it’s not hard to see why! We get to hear Kate’s gorgeous voice singing poetic lyrics that seem both personal and ambiguous at the same time. Then there’s her vocal unadorned by anything except a little reverb and one background vocal (“for meeeeeeeeeee”) and behind her vocal is her fluidly playing piano over a sad and yearning melody in G minor. It’s a song that’s open to a lot of interpretation, but always brings you in to its little world. And then, just like that, it’s over, and you want to go back again and again.

To discuss this song this week, we have two other mega-fans of the song: Alex Dale, a journalist from London who was last on the show to discuss Watching You Without Me; Wayne Henderson, a long-time American Kate fan and the host of the Packers Fan podcast. We get to talk about our personal connections to the song, and what we think those lyrics mean. What do we think the “it” is that she sings about in “it wouldn’t take me long to tell you how to find it.” What is the meaning of a “white rose,” and why do we need to go to it? What does it mean to be “sitting here in the thunder, the green on the gray”?

Nothing is decided on, but we have a great discussion of it for sure!

Patreon Plug!

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Song clips played:

Under the Ivy

Under the Ivy (performed live on The Tube, 1986)

Under the Ivy (YANTA version)

Keane – Somewhere Only We Know

Music video:

Under the Ivy live on the Tube, 1986

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

S03E07 – Violin

Are you ready to climb with Paganini up to the chimney to jig along with the fiddle-dee-diddle-dee-dee? If you are, then get ready for a rocking discussion of the violin-infused, well, Violin, the seventh track from Never For Ever.

We are joined by two guests for this episode: Wayne Henderson, who you’ll remember from last season’s episode In Search of Peter Pan, and Christopher Kelly, a young Kate fan who’s come on the show to talk about why he loves this song so much. We get into the history of this song, starting from its inception as a Cathy demo, the live version from Kate’s Tour of Life and her Christmas special, all the way to its inclusion on Never For Ever. Along the way, we talk about the numerous references in this song, such as banshees, Paganini, and Nero. And who can forget the live performances, where Kate hits some of her highest recorded notes ever?

It’s all here in this episode!

Song clips used:

Violin live at the Hammersmith Odeon

Violin live on the Kate Bush Christmas special

Violin (demo)

S02E02 – In Search of Peter Pan

Come fly with us as we search for Peter Pan. Three different fans from all over the world have taken part in this episode to talk about why they love In Search of Peter Pan, this week’s song: Rebecca Kormind, a long-time fan from Denmark; Rick Campbell, an actor from Toronto, Canada; and Wayne Henderson, a fellow podcaster from southern California. Each of these fans have personal connections and insights to this overlooked song, which features the first of several references to British culture on Lionheart.

Listen as we talk about our personal feelings on this song, the story of the character of Peter Pan, the intriguing musical changes in the song, and thoughts on the only live performance of this song, which was done during Kate’s Tour of Life in 1979, and which has never been officially released.

Song clips used:

In Search of Peter Pan, live at the Manchester Apollo, 1979

Interview clips used:

Björk on The First Time With…., Series 3 Episode 2, December 2, 2017