Synopsis by Brian J. Dillard
In 1979, rising star Kate Bush, a 20-year-old British singer/songwriter, embarked on the Tour of Life, her first and only concert series to date. Sold out for its entire European run, the show featured material from the artist's first two albums, The Kick Inside and Lionheart, both released in 1978. Although the entire two-and-a half-hour show was recorded on its penultimate date -- May 13, 1979 -- at London's Hammersmith Odeon, technical difficulties forced the scrapping of much of the footage. The resulting hour-long film was released on video in 1981 and re-released, with an accompanying CD soundtrack, in 1994. A four-track EP of songs from the show was a British chart hit later in 1979. Backed by a seven-piece band including her brother Paddy Bush and longtime boyfriend Del Palmer, Bush employs elaborate theatrical techniques borrowed from mime and modern dance to frame her ethereal pop operas. The set list includes "Wuthering Heights," the singer's first and still signature hit, alongside "Moving," "Them Heavy People," "Kite," "James and the Cold Gun," and "Oh England, My Lionheart," among others. Bush later recorded the song "Blow Away" in honor of lighting engineer Bill Duffield, who fell to his death from a lighting galley during the set strike on the first night of the tour. Although she had earlier studied with David Bowie mentor Lindsay Kemp, the performer's tour training was overseen by Anthony Van Laast, a member of the London Contemporary Dance Company.