Still on cloud nine after seeing Before The Dawn, I can’t quite believe that after all these years of loving Kate Bush’s music I finally got to hear her voice live. An unexpected bit of work dropped into my lap just prior to the announcement she’d be appearing on stage again, and if it weren’t for that good fortune I’d not have been able to go. Luckily the gods were smiling and I’ve spent the last few months switching between jumping up and down and sedentary stunned disbelief. It’s been hell for my partner but the whole experience has changed me – like the music does, every time I listen to it. Bush is a genius, and I don’t bandy that word around lightly, although I think I’ve used it before here in Quiver. Her music is unique. From her early prodigious, leotard-clad dancing days Bush has matured into a confident female artist at the helm of her own creative ship. And I love her for that. She runs her own show and presents the music in her head to the outside world: if we like it we like it, if we don’t we don’t. Her queer following is significant as is her high camp theatricality, and her use of persona; her quiet appreciation of philosophy, narrative, novels and poetry make her a literate and accomplished Renaissance woman and I am not sure if she is actually aware of her importance. And while Bush enjoys a white middleclass privilege that’s allowed her the time and space to nurture and realise her talent, I still feel she’s an inspiration and worthy of respect. I clearly recall the moment I first heard the opening whale song from her debut album The Kick Inside. From the get-go Bush, more than anything, presented versions of femaleness – she explored and is still exploring woman-centred experiences that don’t get much of an airing anywhere else – and she’s been doing this, through her art, for the whole of her career. I sat and listened at the Hammersmith Apollo and it was miraculous. By the end of the show (you couldn’t really call it a traditional concert) all I could do was consider my own dreams and ambitions, and how I must know them and follow them unequivocally. She might not have meant that at all when she performed those songs and in the end, maybe that’s why her work has such a profound effect on so many of us. Listen to some Kate Bush. Now.