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'The Cover Up ' Kate Bush Night at The Good Ship

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by Priscilla Eyles (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer who likes writing about music, film and socio-political issues. Check out my film blog: priscillaeyles.wordpress.com/‎ and my Soundblab profile: soundblab.com/users/user/profile/id/185.
Published September 13th 2013
Johanna Glaza at The Cover Up-Kate Bush Night
Johanna Glaza at The Cover Up-Kate Bush Night

The exciting and entirely why-didn't-I–think-of-that-before concept of The Cover Up is that they ask favourite bands of theirs to play classic albums, one song each, for one night only. I'd never heard of this night before but when their advert came up on Facebook for a Kate Bush - Hounds of Love night in my local bar/live venue The Good Ship, I knew that a chance to see one of my all time favourite chanteuses' songs played live could not be missed. Especially for £3.60 (plus booking fee) and especially since the chances of seeking Mrs Bush play live were about as high as the chances of The Smiths reforming (and yet one still foolishly hopes that Bush will one day announce a surprise comeback tour).

And there were certainly a lot of people who also felt the same as the place was packed with Bush fans old and new-some decked out in their finest boho flouncy Bush-alike dresses and one guy in random ye olde England Shakespearian type gear (the fact that it sold out so soon does make me think they should really have more Bush-themed nights). This night really felt like it was ]the place to be. And there was a genuine sense of excitement and passion for this kind of night, one could almost say I just know that something good is gonna happen (sorry had to be done). It was really a night for real music fans and it's just great to be in a room full of them, instead of a crowd of disinterested people who constantly talk obnoxiously loud over the music and are there to be cool.

Proceedings were kicked off with The Tiger's Bride represented by the pale-faced and dark-haired lead singer Polly Wright whose cover was the haunting And Dream Of Sheep (the songs not being done in album sequence). It was a cover I wasn't particularly enthralled with as her voice and toy piano alone just wasn't enough to capture the soul and beauty of the song, and it was rather too ploddy although her voice was pleasant. Things picked up though with the next act Stoke Newington singer-songwriter Miranda Quammie who took to the keyboard to do an exquisite cover of Hello Earth, which really benefited from her velvet- liquid voice.

Other highlights of the night included a bewitching (ahem) cover of Waking the Witch (probably one of the hardest songs to cover) by The Little Unsaid aka 26 year-old John Elliott who started nervously by saying "This is quite a weird song, I'm not quite sure how this is going to go" . And then proceeded to have the audience in the palm of his hand, as he played out vocal samples (from as diverse sources as Vladimir Putin and Arundahti Roy with the theme of persecution, a strong theme of the song) and looped his voice on an Ableton while passionately strumming his acoustic guitar and singing passionately and soulfully.

I also really enjoyed an energetic acoustic rendition of the highly danceable folky Jig of Life by Seasons in Shorthand complete with fiddle solo translated to guitar which had everyone doing their best Riverdance impression. While a slowed down cover of Running Up That Hill by Johanna Glaza (reminding me a bit of Lykke Li or Joanna Newsom in her child-like singing voice) really brought out it's sublime melodies and had a pretty Glockenspiel part.

Mention must also be made of You People's bluesy rock version of Mother Stands For Comfort with some great yearning vocals from lead singer Guy Stevenson, as well as The Freudstein House Band's more gothic sounding and stripped down version of The Morning Fog with sultry-voiced singer Kate French simply accompanied by electric guitar.

In-between songs the audience was treated to Bush and contextual facts from Cover Up organiser Lucy Bryant (her own version of The Big Sky while musically good failed unfortunately on the vocal side), some of which were interesting like how the vocal sample from Hound Of Love was from Jacques Tourneur's Night of the Demon. And others of which sounded like they were, um, hastily put together for a class presentation, did you know that a lot of 80s music used synths? But bless her, she tries, and they have to have some way of filling up time between band set ups I suppose, though I could've done with more djing/music in lieu of anything non-enlightening.

The Cover Up will return with Michael Jackson's Thriller and Talking Heads Stop Making Sense, look for their Facebook page for more details. At under a fiver to see your favourite albums played live and the chance to discover your new favourite band you can't say fairer than that, you might even say wow! wow! wow! wow! wow! wow! unbelievable!
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When: Thursday 5 September 2013
Where: 289 Kilburn High Road, London NW6 7JR
Cost: £3
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