Tag Archives: kate bush

Kate Bush: Careers Officer

Are YOU a recent school leaver or graduate? Maybe you’re one of the long term unemployed, or have just been made redundant. Over the course of 30 years’ worth of pop videos, Kate Bush has tried out literally dozens of careers. So let’s see what we can learn from her adventures in the world of employment…

PLASTICS TESTER (Breathing)

Duties: You’ll be responsible for testing the durability and permeability of semi-rigid plastic structures Pros: Based in lovely rural surroundings with picnic area and free swimming facilities Cons: Possible radiation sickness Skills required: Patience, timing, lungs

SOLDIER (Army Dreamers)

Duties: War Pros: A very popular ‘bring your children to work’ policy is in operation, even on battle days Cons: Explosions Skills required: Stealth, shooting, dying

COMMUNITY EVENTS OFFICER (Sat In Your Lap)

Duties: Working with community members from disadvantaged backgrounds, you’ll encourage them to learn fun skills such as roller-skating, tumbling and performance arts Pros: You’ll work towards a final performance at which everyone can put their new abilities into practice Cons: Short term contract Skills required: Interpretative dance; general circus

TOUR OPERATOR – AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK (The Dreaming)

Duties: Lead a group of holidaymakers on the famous Aboriginal ‘Walkabout’ Pros: Spiritual awakening Cons: Catering facilities are limited Skills required: Ability to interpret local culture, ideally through dance

SECURITY CONSULTANT (There Goes A Tenner)

Duties: Test the robustness of financial institutions’ security arrangements through the staging of robberies Pros: A real sense of adventure Cons: Late hours Skills required: Tactical thinking, team leadership, boilersuit

BARN ASSISTANT (Suspended in Gaffa)

Duties: You’ll be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of a lovely sunlit barn Pros: It’s a lovely sunlit barn! Cons: The farm is located on the borders of an interstitial vortex into which you may occasionally spin off Skills required: Interpretative dance

WEATHER MANAGER (Cloudbusting)

Duties: Responsible for facilitating appropriate weather conditions in agricultural areas, working initially as part of a team with a senior rainmaker Pros: Plenty of fresh air Cons: Frequent and rigorous Ministry inspections Skills required: Ability to operate and transport heavy machinery

PARTY PLANNER (Hounds Of Love)

Duties: Help people living in wooded areas to celebrate special occasions in a meaningful way Pros: Fun! Cons: Budget is limited so a few cheap party hats and balloons will often have to suffice Skills required: Intermediate tango

SKYWATCHER (The Big Sky)

Duties: Reporting to a team of astronauts and aviators, you’ll be responsible for keeping an eye on the celestial realm Pros: A bacofoil jumpsuit and a massive fuck-off pair of binoculars are standard issue Cons: We don’t have a dedicated observatory so you’ll be required to work on rooftops in all weather conditions. Occasional cricked neck Skills required: A good sense of balance and a head for heights are essential

EXTREME SOUND ENGINEER (Experiment IV)

Duties: Working secretly for the military, you’ll investigate the possibilities of developing a lethal sonic weapon Pros: You will have the opportunity to experiment on live subjects Cons: As with any experimental radiophonic work, there’s a possibility you’ll be sucked into the machinery and become a sort of sonic sprite. You will also be required to make tea Skills required: Music GCSE

LITERARY INTERPRETER (The Sensual World)

Duties: You’ll be required to create new versions of popular literary passages. They must evoke the original but be different enough to avoid copyright complications – the ideal candidate will be able to make the words really step out of the page! Pros: Your creativity will have full reign Cons: We will occasionally require you to work in burning woodland Skills required: Powers o’er a woman’s body; must not be allergic to peaches or seedcake

THIS WOMAN’S WORK – Ironically Kate is unemployed in this video.

TOUR OPERATOR – CARIBBEAN (Eat The Music)

Duties: Involve your tour group in traditional activities including ‘looking at fruit’, ‘dancing on fruit’ and ‘passing out on fruit’ Pros: The fruit is plentiful! Cons: There’s just so much fruit Skills required: Fruit

DANCE INSTRUCTOR (The Red Shoes)

Duties: You’ll have sole responsibility for running practice sessions and assisting stray dancers from other dimensions Pros: Dance studio comes fully equipped with magic mirror Cons: Devils Skills required: None, but appropriate footwear is essential

AVIAN VET (And So Is Love)

Duties: Ensure wellbeing of birds Pros: The birds do not object to having their little bodies kissed Cons: The birds do tend to die Skills required: Lamp-lighting

WARDROBE CURATOR – GRACELAND MUSEUM (King Of The Mountain)

Duties: Keep Elvis’s famous outfits in good order, ensuring that clothes are secure and all windows closed on windy days Pros: Dancing with the clothes is permitted Cons: You will be required to undertake damage limitation in the event of any new Elvis rumours surfacing Skills required: General laundry

HIMALAYAN HERITAGE OFFICER (Wild Man)

Duties: Working closely with local lamas, you’ll be responsible for managing public perception of the ‘Yeti’ brand Pros: Free coat Cons: Snowy conditions can lead to a difficult working environment Skills required: Animal husbandry, brand awareness, tea-making

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If popstars were… witches

Things are looking up for witchcraft in pop now that Katy B’s thrown her hat into the hexagram. But it’s been a long hard journey to get here.

CLIFF RICHARD — DEVIL WOMAN

In 1975 Cliff denounced his own song Honky-Tonk Angel in a Christian fury after someone told him it sounded like he was singing about a prostitute. Fortunately Devil Woman has a much more positive Christian message.

Kindly, tennis-loving Cliff has a terrible run-in with a gypsy lady who leaves him on the floor after slipping him a potion. He keeps on about how evil she is, but assuming that the potion was nothing more than a Babycham on an empty stomach, her only misdeeds are trying to win him “with her feminine ways” and get him “from behind”.

It’s a pretty good capsule summary of the Church’s relationship with witches over the years: Man is scared of own sexuality and of not being in charge, man decides woman is in league with the Devil. In fact the story goes that Cliff only agreed to sing the song after making the lyrics more aggressive towards the ‘devil woman’, and has since regaled fans at concerts with the inspirational tale of how the song saved one woman from turning to the occult. Congratulations, Cliff.

What does it sound like? It sounds silly.

Which witch? I like to imagine Cliff seeing a paperback copy of How To Become A Sensuous Witch on a bookstall and torturing himself with thoughts of the startling lady on the cover. (Image found on this amazing blog.)

KATE BUSH — WAKING THE WITCH

Here’s an unsettling song. Kate’s having some sort of time-travelling out-of-body experience and endures a medieval witch trial on a ducking stool. If you’re listening in the context of her Hounds of Love album you’ll gather it’s all going on while she’s trying to stay alive in icy water in the present day.

What does it sound like? Trippy piano and half-heard voices give way to manic chopped up beats, church bells and the terrifying voice of the inquisitor. Scary.

Which witch? Before Kate came along I think this was pop culture’s best-known indictment of witch trials. “What else floats in water?” “Gravy!” Logic at its best.

NATACHA ATLAS — I PUT A SPELL ON YOU

What does it sound like? There are so many covers of this great song. I love Natacha’s best because the clattering percussion and woozy strings in her “hello I’m Arabic you know” version properly capture the mad intensity of falling hard and helplessly for someone. It’s as dizzy and intoxicating as you hope being actually bewitched would be.

Which witch? There’s precious little to learn about the nature and practice of witchcraft here. It’s presented as a means to an end to get people into bed with you. (I really wouldn’t want to have to admit that Cliff was right.) But Natacha is as camp and commanding as Faye Dunaway playing Selena  in the 80s Supergirl film.

LADYTRON — SOFT POWER

The idea of Soft Power dates back to Lao Tzu, who said that what is fluid and yielding will always overcome what’s rigid and inflexible. “Water always wins,” as Doctor Who put it. Ladytron’s lyrics are as impenetrable as you like, but they conflate Soft Power with the Witching Hour of their album title so let’s read it as a celebration of witchery’s subtletly and cleverness.  Call it a set of typically feminine qualities, if you must — I’m aware that I’ve ended up writing exclusively about female witches, after all. My one attempt to include a male witch got no further than the line “Do what u like shall be the whole of the law” (Take That featuring Aleister Crowley).

What does it sound like? Hypnotic and beautiful, with menacing synths turning in an endless chord sequence underneath a gorgeous vocal that hovers delicately between emotion and self-control.

Which witch? So very mysterious, so very reliant on what isn’t said or seen, Ladytron in this song (as interpreted through the medium of dance here) are the Blair Witch.

KATY B — WITCHES’ BREW

Finally here’s Katy. If the black goo coming out of the drain behind her head and her psychokinetic frenzy in the video make you think it’s all gone a bit Silent Hill, don’t be alarmed. For all the talk of dusty spellbooks and rosemary potions in the lyrics, Katy’s a very modern witch with a nice Nokia touchscreen and, clearly, some terrific haircare products.

What does it sound like? Like the sweetest amusement arcade you ever visited. I love the alarming drop-down into the middle 8 and its dangerous, random-sounding chord sequence — sorcerous.

Which witch? Never mind that the songs I’ve looked at so far have treated witchcraft as evil, perilous, intense or mysterious. Katy doesn’t care about any of that! She generally sings about having a bit of fun and meeting some boys, and that’s not about to change just because of a sudden onset of occult powers. So I’ve cast her as Sabrina The Teenage Witch and let’s hear no more about it. What we really need to be worrying about is the conjuring that led to this song acquiring an apostrophe between the album release earlier this year and the single this month. Now that’s magic.