Did Kate Bush give you the eye on Edinburgh’s Portobello Beach in 1979?

Sarah-Louise Young
Sarah-Louise Young
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YOU’D be forgiven for expecting to see reclusive songstress Kate Bush on a wiley, windy moor... but Portobello Beach?

That’s the claim made by one audience member attending An Evening Without Kate Bush, a ‘joyful show’ celebrating the music and unique performance style of the elusive star at the Voodoo Rooms.

Kate Bush only performed once in Scotland, at the Usher Hall on 13 April, 1979 as part of her first, and last, tour - The Tour of Life.

It took her 39 years for the ultra-private mega-star to perform live in public again, with her 22-date Before the Dawn, residency in 2014 at London’s Hammersmith Apollo.

At this year’s Fringe, local fans of the singer - Fish People as her devoted followers are known - have been flocking to see An Evening Without Kate Bush, part of the Free Fringe.

Some have shared stories with Sarah-Louise Young, the star of the show, revealing that they met the singer/songwriter, best known for her 1977 single Wuthering Heights, in the Capital back in the day.

“Kate was definitely in Portobello in 1979 because one audience member told me after my show that he had seen her at the beach,” says Young, adding, with a laugh, “they clocked each other checking each other out.”

The show invites fans to ‘howl along with The Hounds of Love and dance on the moors with Wuthering Heights’ as Young analyses Kate’s bizarre dance moves and vocal style of delivery.

“It’s not about her so much as about our attachment to her and her music,” she explains.

“Writing the show I watched a lot of documentaries about tribute acts and fandom.

“I am fascinated that a song can exist as a complete creation and then millions of people can enjoy it in their own way, be that via karaoke, cover band or simply listening alone at home.

“What happens when those people come together and share their experiences? Well that’s my show.”

The show encourages audiences to participate as much or as little as they want, “We have had people dancing and singing along and others who simply want to sit in the dark and enjoy the music,” Young reveals.

But how would she feel if she looked out and saw Kate Bush herself in the audience?

“I would be totally thrilled. It might be a bit overwhelming for the audience, but then she is a master of disguise so I’m sure she could wear something appropriate until she felt ready to reveal herself.”

An Evening Without Kate Bush, Voodoo Rooms, West Register Street, 3-25 August (not 19), 4.40pm