‘A whole new audience discovered Kate last year’

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Kate Bush tribute Mandy Watson, who brings the band Cloudbusting to Horsham’s Capitol on June 20, well remembers that famous first glimpse of Kate Bush singing Wuthering Heights on Top of the Pops all those years ago.

“I just thought I had never ever seen anything like her! At that age, I didn’t know what I liked or what I was going to get into.

Cloudbusting

Cloudbusting

“It wasn’t until I was 13 or 14 that I tried to follow what friends liked, but at that age, Kate Bush was like a guilty pleasure.

“And even now, when I say to people what I do, they often give me their terrible impersonation of Wuthering Heights because it has been satirised so many times! But I guess it was because she was just so different, so exciting.”

Cloudbusting was already established when Mandy joined it after the previous singer left: “But really it was the love of the music that got the band together. It wasn’t just thinking ‘What shall we be a tribute to?’ but really about loving Kate’s music.

“At that time, Kate hadn’t performed since 1979 and no one ever dreamt she would come back. We waited and waited and waited and waited and thought it was never going to happen now.”

And then, of course, it happened – last year. And Mandy is delighted to have been there.

“What we have noticed through the resurgence of her coming back is that new fans are coming to the gigs – new in the sense of never having really got her before, but also new in the sense of being a new, younger audience. We are finding that a whole new audience discovered Kate last year.

“And I saw her! It was such an experience when you think so many have loved her and you see this little figure on stage, and you think ‘That’s her!’, this person on stage that I have worshipped.

“She has taken me on such a journey with her music, so many milestones in my life, and there she was, smiling and waving. People came away saying it was a shame she didn’t do Wuthering Heights, but what she did do was amazing.”

Mandy tries to capture some of it.

But not as Kate. Mandy is clear that she is Mandy singing Kate’s music: “We never want it to appear in any way a pastiche. It is all done out of respect and love for the music. What we really try to do is to put that respect across.”

Tickets on 01403 750220 or www.thecapitolhorsham.com.

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