After 35 years away from the spotlight, Kate Bush’s highly anticipated return to the stage has gone down a treat with critics who were almost unanimously thrilled by her performance in Before The Dawn.
Bush’s comeback was received with gratitude and euphoria by 4,000 ecstatic spectators at the Hammersmith Apollo and the crowd, which included singer Lily Allen, Gemma Arterton and Derren Brown, were brought to their feet by her show-closing performance of ‘Cloudbusting’.
Here’s what the reviewers thought…
Timeout praised “her best and bravest music, dispatched with skill, with love and with ecstatic enthusiasm – she is tremendous.”
Writing for the Independent, Andy Gill's five-star review described it as “what everyone here tonight was hoping for”. He added: “Accompanied by music ranging from polyphonic choral harmonies to folksy minstrels, it’s quite stunning, undoubtedly the most ambitious, and genuinely moving, piece of theatrical pop ever seen on a British stage.”
The Daily Mail noted “her music is still audacious and weird, but sometimes it is spellbindingly beautiful, too - hers is a large scale spectacle, vividly realised and unlike anything else in town.”
Alexis Petridis of the Guardian suggested that Bush “theoretically had a lot to lose” in returning to theatre.
Also giving her performance five stars, he wrote: “Clearly, given how tightly she has controlled her own career since the early 80s, she would only have bothered because she felt she had something spectacular to offer - she was right: ‘Before The Dawn’ is another remarkable achievement.”
The Telegraph’s Bernadette McNulty described Bush’s voice as “an undiminished roar, surprisingly rich and powerful after such a long break” but only awarded four stars.
She added: “The pace was resolutely mid-tempo, the narratives sometimes obscure and the skits often hammy - in one artists ' scene from the Aerial segment, literally as exciting as watching paint dry.”
And while the critics were (on the most part) left satisfied, Twitter was positively buzzing with praise for Bush, congratulating the singer-songwriter on her return to the stage.