Book review: Finding Kate

A visual feast for fans of the enigmatic Kate Bush, this beautiful coffee table book looks at her career through the prism of art and reflection.

Although there is text about songs and albums in this broadly chronological study, it is the photographs and drawings which, rightly, catch the eye.

Bush has been an innovator since she appeared on the music scene as a teenager, in both her songwriting and in the short films that have promoted her singles.

Finding Kate does not have any agenda to dig into this private petformer behind the scenes; instead, it celebrates and illustrates her work, themes, and industry.

Placing her career in context and reinterpreting it through eye-catching graphic design, this “illustrated journey” through five decades has been self-published with the help of crowdfunding.

Image from Finding Kate

Michael Byrne (author) and Marius Herbert (illustrator) are clearly dedicated admirers of Bush. They wrote, designed and conceptualised the book over fourteen months, bringing various sources of research together.

What the completed piece has is ambition, drive, enthusiasm and love for its source. You don’t have to be a fan yourself to enjoy this addition to the publications on popular culture, but it feels essential for those who are.

The story begins with a child known as Cathy, whose career brings her a debut number one single with Wuthering Heights. From there we witness albums, innovation, and eventually control over all aspects of her own production.

Finding Kate is kind to its subject; referential, appreciative. Its images imagine both performer and performance in a unique way which can be appreciated alongside the music – I listened to a track or two as I read – or enjoyed in their own right.

You can order a copy of the book by visiting the Finding Kate website.

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