Date: 1 January 1981
Originally published in: Club (Netherlands)
Kate Bush (23) and Kim Wilde (21), two of England’s most famous pop singers, have a lot in common. They both look fantastic, they have a very own style of singing, they come from a musical family and their brothers play a very important role in their careers.
“At nine I sat behind the piano and I sang the strangest songs I wrote myself. My parents didn’t really enjoy that because I couldn’t hold a note.” Kate Bush didn’t get her love of music from strangers. Her parents performed regularly in folk clubs in the vicinitty and her youngest brother Paddy was totally hooked on music. He spent hours in the studio he had built in the back garden of the mansion of his parents. Father Bush was a countryside doctor. He played guitar, mandoline and experimented with recording. Kate: “Still I resemble my brother Jay the most. He is thirteen years older, but I have a lot in common with him. He writes poems and is a mysterious and introverted type. In fact he resembles Heathcliff from ‘Wuthering heights’ a lot.”
With that song Kate floored Europe at nineteen. The chance to make that record came mostly from Jay. He took Dave Gilmour (famous from Pink Floyd) home one night. “Dave asked me if I wanted to play him some songs. I was very nervous and thought it sounded horrible, but he seemed to think otherwise. Because through him I got a recording contract with EMI. I was only seventeen. Fortunately they thought I was too young to record an album. I had some time to focus on dancing and mime. And I enjoyed that a lot. Because I don’t want to express my feelings just with my voice. Music is something emotional, and I want to reflect that with my voice, my face and my body.”
Although Kate felt flattered by nicknames like ‘the newest sex symbol’, she thinks differently about that now.
“I would feel terrible if I had success solely because I am a woman. I am an artists and that’s how they should judge me. Sometimes I would even prefer to be a man. Not physically, but emotionally. Punk and rock ‘n’ roll are very male music forms. Women behind the piano are all the Lynsey de Paul and Carole King type. Very feminine, lovely and poetic, but that’s not the side I’m looking for. With my music I want to hit people around the ears.”
Kate has been very busy over the past few months. Together with her brother Paddy, who plays in her band, she spends hours in the studio. They are experimenting with new rhythms and are recording Kate’s fourth album.
“I am afraid that I get burnt out, that I may have nothing to say anymore”, says Kate. When she is depressed she flees busy London and spends a weekend with her parents in Plumstead. In the countryside of Kent she gains new energy to stun her audience with her wonderful dancing and singing.
“It’s not so strange that I ended up in music”, says Kim Wilde. “My father Marty Wilde was a famous rock ‘n’ roll star in the sixties and he is still earning his money in music. And my brother Ricky started singing and playing keyboards at ten. Myself I did backing vocals together with my mother at sixteen when my father went on tour. But because mama got pregnant again nd I want to go to art college myself, we stopped doing that three years ago.”
Kim Wilde has never thought a lot about becoming a pop star. “My father has tried from the beginning to make my brother famous. He released a single when he was only ten, but fortunately that didn’t work out. Ricky was a very difficult young kid at the time and if he’d had a hit that would have become unbearable. But he didn’t give up and a couple of years ago he finished school and started playing in Marty’s band. My father and Ricky wrote ‘Kids in America’ and ‘Falling out’ together and via Mickie Most – the man behind Suzi Quatro and Racey – Ricky got a recording contract. When I was in the studio to sing backing vocals, Mickie happened to come by. Well, the rest is history… Not Ricky but I got to do lead vocals.”
It’s no wonder that Mickie Most saw something in Kim. She doesn’t just have a special, somewhat husky voice, she also looks great. She is compared to Marilyn Monroe because of her sexy pouting lips (with which she never smiles on stage), with Brigitte Bardot because of her deep cats eyes and with Debbie Harry because of her blonde, wild manes. Kim about her sexy looks: “People never want to believe that I looked like a grey mouse when I was fifteen. I feel much more self assured these days. And I enjoy it when the audience thinks I’m sexy. I believe that the sexual attraction of women is the strongest weapon in the world. The one uses it to show as much as possible of her body, the other use shyness or innocence. I express everything with my eyes, myself. And the choice of clothes show off who I am really. I nly wear things that make me feel comfortable. Usually it’s mens clothes from second hand stores.”
Soon Kim hopes to start a tour with her brother Ricky and a band of her own. “We are very busy preparing this and dad and Ricky are writing some new songs. No, I don’t get involved with the repertoire, Marty and Ricky have enough ideas of their own. But I am busy enough. And when I’m not busy doing interviews, photo sessions or rehearsals, I love spending time with my mother, my little sister Roxanne and baby brother in Hertfordshire. I spend hours on my own in the woods, play the piano or cook Japanese for my friends. Yes, I always think it’s great to be back home.”