Kate Bush rejects recluse tag over long absence from stage

Updated: 

Singer Kate Bush has dismissed suggestions that she is a recluse.

The Running Up That Hill star, 58, has been labelled a hermit for staying out of the limelight.

Kate made a surprise return to the stage in 2014 after more than three decades away.

Kate Bush
Kate Bush (William Conran PA Archive/PA Images)

The singer, who rarely gives interviews, spoke about her reputation as a recluse in a rare chat with 6 Music.

"I suppose people really like to put things into boxes or pigeonhole people," she said.

"That tag kind of hung around for a long time when I wasn't making albums or between albums."

Kate Bush
Kate Bush (John Carder Bush/PA Images)

Kate added: "I can think of a lot of worse things to be called.

"And how can someone who's a recluse get up in front of three or 4,000 people and do all those shows?"

She added: "I'm not a recluse but it makes people feel comfortable to call me that I suppose."

In the interview to be broadcast this Sunday, the Wuthering Heights singer also said that mobile phones were spoiling her enjoyment of gigs.

In a statement released before her comeback concerts, Kate had asked fans not to film her, saying it would "mean a great deal to me" if people did not use their phones or computers during the gigs.

In her first broadcast interview in six years, Bush said that she was surprised that fans had listened to her plea.

"I totally appreciate that people in a lot of ways now are living their lives through their phones," she told Matt Everitt.

Kate Bush
Kate Bush's Before The Dawn concert (Yui Mok PA Archive/PA Images)

But Kate added: "It would have just been so intrusive and I really wanted people to be there. I didn't want them to be at the other end of a camera.

"When I go to shows and people have all got their phones up, you don't really enjoy what's on the stage. It's very intrusive.

"I thought it was worth asking but I was really surprised by the number of people that respected that. It changed the feeling in the room. People were really present."

Kate also joked that the Rolling Stones were "wimps" because their shows are around two-and-a-half hours in length, while her concerts were three hours.

Kate Bush
Kate Bush (PA Archive/PA Images)

"The show was so long we had to start taking stuff out," she said of the rehearsals.

Kate said she most enjoyed the end of the gigs, because she no longer had to worry about forgetting the words.

"I really enjoyed the end because I knew I wouldn't have to try to remember the words for much longer," she said.

Asked if she could remember at which point in the rehearsal she finally relaxed, she said: "I think it was the last night."

Kate said that she had been surprised by the reaction of fans to news of her shows.

"I wasn't really sure what the reaction would be. None of us were. It's so exciting to see that people were interested in coming to see the show, to be a part of it," she said.

The star said that she did not read any reviews because "I was too frightened".

"Of course I was desperate to know what people thought but didn't want to read anything because if I read anything bad I'd have been going on stage with that in my head.

Kate Bush
Kate Bush (Steve Reigate PA Archive/PA Images)

"When people told me there had been a good review I presumed they were telling the truth," she said.

Kate also paid tribute to the late star Prince, who she sang Why Should I Love You? with and My Computer.

"He was adorable, really playful, really sweet and what a talented man. What an artist. I think it's a terrible loss that he should go at such a young age," she said.

Asked about writing something new, Kate said: "Every time I sit down to write something new it feels really difficult because it feels like I've never done it before."

Kate said that when the run of concerts at the Hammersmith Apollo finished, it felt like "it had been a dream" and she was "so relieved because I didn't get any of the words wrong".

Meanwhile, it was announced that Kate is releasing the new single, And Dream Of Sheep, on Friday.

Her new live album, from her shows, comes out on November 25.

Kate recorded the lead vocal of And Dream Of Sheep live, while filming in a water tank at Pinewood Studios.

The character in the song, which will be available to download from midnight on Friday morning, is lost at sea.