AFTER The Dawn: As the curtain closes, what next for Kate Bush?


“This is the last song tonight… and for a while!” Kate Bush, 1st October 2014

As Kate Bush left the stage last night to a rapturous standing ovation, her newly found ‘day job’ – and the routine that went with it – was over. The Before The Dawn extravaganza has come to an end after 22 shows and has been an unprecedented success. Fans, critics, fellow artists and musicians had run out of superlatives to describe the show which featured almost the whole of her 1985 album Hounds of Love (only The Big Sky and Mother Stands For Comfort weren’t played) and A Sky of Honey, the concept piece from the second side of 2005’s Aerial.

Let’s be honest, the last four years have been heaven for Kate Bush fans, with two albums in 2011 (Director’s Cut and 50 Words For Snow) and now this year a who-would-have-thought-it live residency at Hammersmith Odeon. The big question is will Kate ever perform live again? If it’s going to happen it certainly won’t be for a while, so in the meantime what is next for Kate? We examine the options…


Before The Dawn Blu-ray / DVD

Although no official announcement was made, many fans confirmed the presence of cameras in the Hammersmith venue around the middle of September. So it appears there is a definite intention to release Before The Dawn on DVD and blu-ray. It’s by no means guaranteed however. Let’s not forget that Kate is a perfectionist and won’t put out anything she considers to be substandard. Before The Dawn was an exhilarating and jaw-dropping experience watching it live, but if Kate doesn’t think it ‘works’ on the small screen there is no doubt at all that it won’t happen. Her 1979 Tour Of Life has never been issued on DVD and that was filmed (it was briefly issued on a VHS/CD set in the ’90s).

Let’s be positive and work on the assumption that Kate is happy with the footage and her performance. If that is the case then surely this is most likely to be the next Kate Bush product to be released. The entire audio should – just about – fit onto two-CDs, so a dream scenario would be a two-CD+Blu-ray combo set. It cannot be overstated how good the actual audio was. Even if you shut your eyes Before The Dawn is still massively rewarding, so we do hope CDs will be included. If she wanted to go all-out for a super deluxe edition the whole Before The Dawn concept lends itself well to ‘stuff’ to put in a box set. The Merch stands at the shows were selling lapel pins, key-rings, ‘Emergency Survival Kits’ (that contained badges, a whistle and other bits and bobs). They could well have lots of merchandise left over that could be sold as part of CD-DVD-Blu-ray ‘bundles’.

SDE Verdict: Likely to be released in Spring 2015.


New Studio Album

Anyone lucky enough to attend a Before The Dawn show will testify that Kate seemed invigorated, genuinely surprised and touched by the warm and positive reaction from the audience. Although it has been ‘only’ four years since 50 Words For Snow, Kate might be keen to either start work on a new record or continue to work on one that has she has already started. In the programme for Before The Dawn KB mentions that the idea to do some live shows came in Spring 2013. If we assume she has basically been full-time on planning the staging since then, that means she had just over a year after the release of 50 Words For Snow in which to write some new material. Although Kate doesn’t do much promotion these days, she still did release two albums in 2011 so there is a reasonable chance that 2012 wasn’t particularly productive. We know one thing she did, which was to record a new vocal for Running Up That Hill and remix the recording, for use in the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics (where despite rumours she didn’t perform live).

SDE Verdict: Expect in 2016. Possibly. Or three, four or six years after that.


Reissue Campaign

As any Kate Bush fan will tell you, Ms Bush appears to be almost uniquely NOT interested in ‘cashing in’ on her back catalogue. There must have been requests from EMI during the ‘quiet years’ (or should that be the ‘Bertie years’?) between 1995 and 2005 to put out a new compilation or reissue something –  anything! The only product that did slip out was a slightly underwhelming EMI 100 Centenary remaster of Hounds Of Love which came with six bonus tracks. So perhaps now is the time to step through the albums one-by-one and create 21st century deluxe editions. New remasters, bonus material collected for ‘companion’ discs, 5.1 mixes where appropriate (The Dreaming and Hounds Of Love to name by a couple) and perhaps Kate might be persuaded to dig out some demos?

SDE Verdict: A hard one. Perhaps a reissue series will kick off as part of a coordinated ‘marketing campaign’ which will start with a greatest hits next year (see below). So let’s say 2015-6.


Greatest Hits compilation

Since Kate’s one compilation was The Whole Story back in 1986 (and even that doesn’t contain the ‘proper’ version of Wuthering Heights!) there are rumours of a new Kate Bush collection every few years, it seems. One might have thought it would have happened this year with all the free publicity, but it seems not. We reported that it might happen in late 2012 which shows you shouldn’t always believe what we say. Kate might think she’s ticked the compilation ‘box’ by releasing Director’s Cut in 2011. Of course, that was more of a personal project for her, rather than ‘hey, my fans might like this’. We love Kate, but we doubt re-recordings of Red Shoes tracks were very high on many people’s KB ‘wants’ list at that time. But isn’t that the point. She does as she pleases. She was not interested in trotting out ‘the hits’ for her live shows, so why would she be interested in doing the same on compact disc?

SDE Verdict: For Christmas 2015.

Paul Sinclair was at the final performance of Before The Dawn last night. At a few points in the evening he had ‘something in his eye’.

What do you think Kate will do next? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Tom Elliot

I know we’re still waiting on an announcement but i’m so excited about the news!. Even if it was an audio-only release, I could live with that, at this point i’d just be grateful for anything.



Kevin holmes

Well here we are in 2016 and we haven’t seen any dvd or blu-ray yet… we have to remember that an audio album could take up two years to make it sound exactly how she wanted it… We now have to deal with her polishing up the video as well… Still holding out for a dvd and Blu-ray release. I am sure we will see it someday… She never rushes anything out the door and is a perfectionist it will be an amazing release, the people demand it…

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Alan izat

Kate’s intentions are: clean up footage and audio of the 2 nights filmed and release over the next year. The option is to storyline the performance.
2nd intention is completion of the album she has worked on. The Dawn has now come and the past has been polished up and put on display – it’s time now for the future and new things.
When there is sufficient we will be heading with the Fellowship to the Two Towers.
Happy 2015 everyone xx

Mr Scorpio

I feel that a DVD/Blue-ray release is absolutely essential.
Whilst approx 70 Thousand ‘DID’ manage to experience the concert first hand, there are literally 100’s of thousands, if not millions who did not.
I think to deny the wider, yet no less affectionate and loyal, fan base, even a taste of the experience (nothing beats live of course), would be a terrible shame.
Her concerts should never become a homage for the privileged few who got to attend.


Someone on the Kate Bush forum claiming to be ‘in the know’ says the DVD of the show will be released before Xmas. That would be great.

Chris Williams

By the way, Kate definitely has finished, unreleased songs. The title track of Never For Ever was pulled just before release. She also co-wrote a song with Peter Gabriel called Ibeza.

Chris Williams

They filmed two nights with the cameras in the back, and two more nights that were usually dark doing closeups and crane shots. The cameras were Arri Alexas with anamorphic lenses, and the shoot was better than HD quality. My hope is that the show will not just be for DVD and BluRay, but will have a theatrical release to give a concert experience for the huge numbers who were not able to go. The surround mix would be a wonderful demo piece for Dolby Atmos.

Michiel van Bokhorst

I, too, attended on the 17th (flew all the way from the Caribbean to see it). Not only was the show being filmed, all entrances of the theatre had prints that said that anyone entering thereby gave up their portrait rights and implicitly gave permission to be filmed. I have a picture of the contract if you’re interested, Paul.

Tim D

Apologies for the typos. I’m in a pub on an iPhone.

Tim D

I was there on the 17th and it was definitely being filmed.
Although I wish for a record of ‘the greatest concert of all time’, especially as I was present for one of the 2 recording sessions, I really don’t see how the effect of the staging and sheer theatrical magic of the concert will be adequately conveyed on blu-ray, let alone DVD. I think that this will play a key role in whether or not its released.
As has often been reported, Kate has little sentimentality for her back catalogue and, unfortunately I think this William that we never get reissues, although I pray for a 5,1 The Dreaming.
As for Beyond The Dawn, it’s ruined 30 years of concert going. There will never be such a spellbindingly beautiful concert as this in my lifetime. Of that I’m sure. All life artist should now down to Kate Bush. He is now truly among the greats.

Michel D.

Do we know if the leftovers (if any) of the merch on sale at the shows will appear on her Web site? Even though I didn’t attend any show I would like to get at least the programme…I keep checking but I don’t see anything!!

Herr Angela Merkel

Oh dear, Saint Bush again and again and again and again.
The Dreaming and Never For Ever sound fantastic just the way they are and there’s really no point in remasters as such.

Cris Crash

Thanks Simon and Bob. That’s truly good to hear. You never know she might be coaxed to do Glastonbury one year and then we’ll be able to watch it on the BBC.


It has been well documented on the Kate bush forum that many people saw cameras etc on the 2 nights in Question. The thing is will Kate be happy with the results, she is a mega perfectionist.
PS I have been using the new mobile site for 2 days now on my phone whilst abroad and is is very good, a huge improvement on the old version.

Cris Crash

Great article. I saw the show and it was simple the best concert I’ve ever seen. I too am really hoping to be able to relive it with a bluray release, however, I am curbing my enthusiasm as ALL the reports, on EVERY website I’ve visited, of the concert being filmed, stem from a SINGLE post of a letter purporting to be from customer services @ eventim. It only takes one joker to start a rumour and to date I have NOT found any corroborating reports that the cameras were there on the 16th or 17th Sept. I also called the venue and was told they had no information of it being filmed. So until there’re official news of a Bluray I’ll have to hang on to my memories of a once in a lifetime show.

As far a reissues are concerned, I agree, please don’t mess with the original songs as they always were, and are still today, perfect (I cannot bare the Director’s Cut), however a full on 5.1 SACD or Bluray Audio re-issue in a boxed set such as Bjork, Genesis and Talking Heads did would certainly, gladly, leave me a good £150.00 poorer. :-)

Simon Long

Chris, it was definitely filmed on two nights (16th and 17th) – there are bootlegs from the nights in question, and the bootlegger confirmed that there were cameras. From the release notes of the recording of the 16th – “This concert (and the next night’s) was professionally filmed. Huge HD cameras at the back of the stalls captured the evening’s performance as it unfolded.” The bootlegs of the nights in question have been banned from one well-known site as a result of the fact that a professional recording may become available.

Enrico G.

Everything should come, it will be welcome.


Oh, and the other downside of the box was that the versions of Breathing and Sat In Your Lap were the album mixes not the single ones, so the single mixes of those two remain on the original singles only and no where else (The Whole Story also used the album mixes).


Paul was talkimg about the reproduction of the artwork in that box, not the artwork itself. The Man With The Child In His Eyes in particular was very obviously the equivalent of a scan – the original “flaps” showed in the artwork and were different to the ones used for the boxed set version. Dec/Magic had the wording on the reverse of the sleeve placed very differently. Other differences too but was nice to have the set. The worst think about it was the hinges of the box damaging the sleeves.


To be honest, the only ‘Deluxe’ releases that ever had any kind of worth were the vinyl-only ‘The Singles File’ compiling all the vinyl 7″ singles from 1978 to 1983 (wealth of B sides and the French single ‘Ne t’enfuis Pas/Un baiser d’Enfant’ ) and the CD box set ‘This Woman’s Work’ which brought everything up to date until Kate finally released ‘Aerial’. I don’t think any re-releases since were particularly interesting and the Director’s Cut was just a plain weird project which only showed that Kate’s lyrics for The Sensual World were much better that Joyce’s for Flower of the Mountain and that there was absolutely NOTHING wrong with the original versions of the songs selected, particularly when one has had years of listening experience which made the new versions below par if anything.

I think all albums, particularly from ‘Never For Ever’ onwards, would fit the Deluxe set format, by adding B sides, promos and maybe a track by track interview with a nice hard back cd sized 100-page book. I’d particularly enjoy one for ‘The Dreaming’!


It didn’t seem so at the time. Singles artwork were very much an afterthought throughout the 70s and early 80s, just a question of slapping some text over any current photo of the artist so it didn’t matter much, the point was having all the singles together :)


I saw Before The Dawn on the 22nd September – the thing that makes eyes water was still there.
The Christmas Special would be nice to have on DVD, maybe put together with Kate at the BBC – like the compilation produced just before the gigs started.
Tour of Life would look really nice on Blu Ray (please).
A remastered video compilation would be nice (please).
Before The Dawn could be produced á la Peter Gabriel’s Back To Front (please).

Just my two pennyworth.

Bruno MacDonald

IIRC, James Guthrie is thanked on HoL because Waking The Witch samples a helicopter from The Wall, which he co-produced.


I’d settle for a DVD of “The Whole Story” for now. “Cloudbusting” just isn’t the same on Youtube. Quick win all around I would have thought.


I have The Whole Story 1994 on CDVideo, picture quality is quite good apart from Wuthering Heights. It plays on most dvd players

James Kennedy Gorton

I saw the show on 17th september. There was a wall of articulated cameras on both sides of the auditorium. I’m sure there will be a dvd release.

adam shaw

I also went to one of the shows . To me it was like a mix of a Peter Gabriel and a Floyed gig , as in “you dont know whats going to happen next” .
I think it could be seen on the small screen like most shows do, but I think it would need a good narrative with it .
I got a bootleg of the first night . Her vocal on that night was a bit off key (understandable) and as it has all the talking bits on as well , put on cd it would run to 3 of them .


According to “Dominical”, a sunday magazine that comes with a newspaper here called “El Periodico De Catalunya” seems Ms. Bush is going to release the show in DVD.

Not sure in which formats will be made but seems that if there’s not a chage of plans at least one of the options named here would be the next step from her…

CJ Feeney

An official relase of the BBC Christmas TV special from 1979. That included a duet with Peter Gabriel of “Another Day” along with lots of well choreographed performances of her own material.

As that programme coincided with The Tour of Life, a new Christmas special would be nice. There must be someone at the BBC with the clout to do it. Maybe a Later… with guests like the one the Beautiful South did around 2000.


…a BIG dvd box set (take a look at REM TV 6dvd box set) with lots of worldwide tv live presentations, interviews… and ALL the promo videos + the Tour of Life and Before the Dawn gigs!!!


If not HoL, then Never Forever, The Whole Story or The Seeds of Love?


He played Delius on his Team Rock Radio show so Never Forever?


A deluxe edition of “The Dreaming”? Count me in!

And you all are SOOOOOO lucky to have been able to see her in concert. I have a friend who went (and we live in L.A.!) and said it was beyond words. I hope a DVD of the gigs pop up sooner rather than later.


I had ‘something in my eye ‘ too; tears of absolute joy.

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Yes, Kate does own the rights to everything from 1981 onwards, including the Live at Hammersmith footage. However, she doesn’t own the first three albums which have passed from the former EMI to Warner Music (Parlophone). It’s whether she’d want to work with them on remasters or a compilation, or just concentrate on what she does own.

Lionheart and The Whole Story have both recently been reissued on Parlophone/Warner Music – not seen The Kick Inside or Never For Ever yet but assuming these will too. These new issues are exactly as the former EMI issues.


I was there on the 10th [and also had something in my eye on several occasions!] The effects at the concerts were mixed in surround sound and it sounded amazing that way. Hounds and/or Dreaming in 5.1 would be a dream come true. I was just reading an interview with Pink Floyd’s engineer, James Guthrie who mixed Dark Side of the Moon & Wish You Were Here for 5.1. He was asked if he could mix any non-Pink Floyd album for 5.1, what would it be? His answer was Hounds of Love.

I would certainly love BluRay Audio releases in the style of the XTC series for all of Kate’s albums.


I was at the second night (front row!) and it was the best concert I’ve ever been to.

Steven Wilson has indicated that he is remixing a US and a UK no. 1 album from the ’80s. The US no. 1 is Songs From the Big Chair so could it be Hounds of Love for the UK? if not HoL, then what else could it be?


Sound like someone knows more than he’s letting on! ;-)


Sorry to go off topic, but has a new mobile site of the website been rolled out? Everything is different to an hour ago.


Hi Paul
I just checked it again on my mobile. Very neat and simple design.
Did you see the show twice then Paul? I wish I had done as there was just so much to take in that inevitably there was things you missed if you were looking at a different part of the stage. eg when the tree came crashing down straight through the piano, it happened in a second and I missed it!
Really hope there is a Blu Ray release of this, with a 2cd Greatest Hits next month.


I attended the show on the 23rd and it was brilliant.
Actually Kate owns all of the footage and rights to ‘Tour Of Life’
I am sure that if EMI had been able to they would have released it on Blu Ray years ago. Only one nights performance was filmed at the end of the tour and apparantly Kate wasn’t happy with it.


S0mething in my eye as well at various times, would be surprised if this show did not go abroad for another residency late 2016

Philip Cohen

I don’t think that Kate Bush actually has much unreleased material. She once stated(after the release of “Hounds of Love”) that the only one of her albums which produced much leftover material was her second album “Lionheart”. This was in response to the question of whether she had “dumped” much material(I.E. recorded, but not released songs). She didn’t like the term “dumped”. She said, “I prefer to think of them as ‘resting’ “


I went on the 20th of September and I too had something in my eye….. One thing is for certain and that is the lady will do what she wants, both as far as any reissue campaign and DVDs / CDs of the show are concerned. I would love to see a double CD of the show appear but am not holding my breath. We know it was filmed over a couple of nights and the cost of the show must be far more than realised in ticket sales.


Option 5: Take this show to NYC, Chicago or Los Angeles… Btw, VHS to 1080p transfers look absolutely awful. Peter Gabriels Secret World is a good example of this.

Philip Cohen

Peter Gabriel’s “Secret World” wasn’t an up conversion of standard definition video. The concert was shot on film, and the bluray disc is genuine High Definition, HOWEVER, the film was shot under low light conditions, and Bluray makes the graininess more visible.


It was also re-released in 1994 as a combo CD/VHS (never got it, sadly, it disappeared quickly). If it had been released a couple years later, one imagines it would have been a DVD instead.

That, and really, would a DVD video compilation be too much to ask?


Great post Paul. Your longing made me smile a few times.
I really really hope for a decent extensive reissue project first. A ‘Before The Dawn’ Blu-ray would be very nice too (I didn’t get to see the concert).

Simon Long

Paul, your comment above seemed to imply that the Tour Of Life had been filmed but never released – I was merely pointing out that it was released in the only format available at the time; given the generally low quality of concert videos (and concert staging, come to that) from the VHS era, she could be forgiven for assuming not many people would be interested in a DVD release 20 years later. Not to mention that it is almost certainly owned by EMI and any release would require them to be prepared to do it, rather than her.


1. Yes to a Tour of Life reissue. My copy of the VHS is nigh well done for.

2. No to more recut vocals for the hits. Not a fan of those. She got them right the first time.

Would have given much to have seen her live. It didn’t work out and like many, I did wait a long time so if something prompted her to come to America, that would be great. If not, the one thing being a fan of Kate Bush has taught me is patience.

Simon Long

Also, with regards reissues, bear in mind that several of her albums (The Dreaming, HoL, Sensual World and The Red Shoes) were quietly reissued in 2011 on her Fish People label, and this included changing the master for HoL to replace the album cut of The Big Sky with the single mix and using the DC remaster of Red Shoes. I’d guess reissues of the first three albums might be a possibility, but the rest have already been done…

Simon Long

Is there really sufficient extra material for multi-disc editions, though? The vast majority of the b-sides and alternate editions for the first six albums fitted easily onto the two bonus discs in the This Woman’s Work box set; there were three or four missing mixes on there, but it was generally pretty comprehensive. Unless she has masses of demo material that is of releasable quality, I can’t see multi-disc remasters being feasible.

A standalone updated release of the TWW bonus discs with material from TRS and Aerial and the missing mixes might be a possibility

DJ Salinger

In a perfect world it’d be wonderful to see the first two albums accompanied by cleaned-up official versions of some of those long-bootlegged Cathy/Phoenix demos. To hear those properly would be a treat after years of listening to nth generation copies that sound as if they were recorded on a wax cylinder while Kate sang next door with a bag on her head.

But I have a feeling it’s highly unlikely she’ll be willing to surrender any demos to public scrutiny. Work-in-progress, with all the baby steps, blemishes and hints at paths not taken would be fascinating for us, but probably anathema to such a fiercely controlling artist.

Then there’s also the matter of some of those live Japanese and German recordings from ’78-’79 (including those Beatles covers!). But breath not held for any of that happening any time soon. Or later…

Right now, everything crossed for the BTD show to appear on CD/DVD/Blu-ray. That at least seems very possible in the near future, and as a record of a unique time and place, it’s going to be a wonderful thing to own and enjoy – for those lucky enough to have been there and the many fans who weren’t.

Stan Butler

The Hounds of Love remaster can hardly be regarded as definitive compared with any deluxe edition worthy of the name. The 1999 edition didn’t even include the 12″ version of Cloudbusting.
To think that she would meddle with the originals “Morrissey style” is a nightmare scenario. Any tinkering should be on a separate disc.
The promo videos TV appearances are also long overdue a DVD release.

DJ Salinger

Agreed: save us from the dreaded ‘re-recording’. Fine if perfection-driven artists wish to revisit and reshape songs in a separate context, as Kate did with ‘Director’s Cut’, but I’m also of the belief that original albums should stick with their original versions – for better or worse, they are a record of time and place for artist and audience alike, and artists rewrite that history at their peril. It rarely adds improvement, and pleases few.

Mozzer’s meddling hasn’t gone down well with fans, and likewise there’s the rumours doing the rounds a while back about Prince re-recording his back catalogue with all profanities removed (so that’d be a ”revised” ‘Dirty Mind’ LP clocking in at about 10 mins total running time, then…and you still wouldn’t be able to play it to your granny). How’s that for an exercise in futility – particularly when so much unreleased material lies gently festering in The Vault?

Perhaps the best we can hope for with Kate reissues from the third album onwards are b-sides and 12″ mixes all present and correct, nicely remastered.


One thing is sure: She won’t do all these things in the same year…So the queston is: What will come first?

Simon Long

While the Tour Of Life has indeed never been released on DVD, it was released on VHS in 1981; as DVD didn’t exist until 15 years or so later, she can perhaps be forgiven for not releasing it in that format…


I have Tour Of Life on Laserdisc which is better quality than VHS but obviously not DVD quality. Having said that it’s not a great recording, compared to Madonna’s Blond Ambition tour on Laserdisc the picture quality is naff, but I suppose there were 11 years between the two concerts.