Suddenly everyone goes beserk about Kate Bush, and I’m the one left out...

A generational divide has cut a sharp swathe through the population

Share

Now I know how the football-haters feel. Throughout the World Cup, as every media outlet was overrun with coverage of the tournament and every armchair pundit made Twitter and Facebook their outlet for opinions of things they didn’t know very much about, I looked on the occasional complaints of those who found the whole thing alienating with a sense of beatific indulgence. You poor things, I generously thought. You just don’t get it.

Well, the Kate Bush fire has only been burning for a day, but already I have a slightly clearer sense of what those soccerphobes went through. After 35 years away, it’s not terribly surprising that the really hardcore fans should go berserk at the second coming; what I hadn’t anticipated was quite how many of them there were. Plenty of gigs sell out without the attendees universally declaring themselves diehard aficionados; not this time, or at least it didn’t seem like it. Twitter and Facebook were awash with the gleeful, devotional markers of those who had seen the show; it certainly felt like a lot more than the few thousand who had actually got in. Every member of the lifestyle journalism cognoscenti of a certain age seemed to have miraculously wangled a ticket, a phenomenon which, you might hazard, will have severely pissed off the faithful who did not find a way in. “I missed out on Kate Bush tickets, I hate myself,” one typically intense Twitter fan cried. “She is my everything.”

I had a vision of a giant, throbbing ball of Kate Bush rolling through London, protruding, white-laced arms dragging in bystanders as it went, the blob growing a little larger and more powerful with every ecstatic tweet, assimilating every other gig and play and film until the whole city was a great pullulating mass of 1980s eccentricity, daring the present to find a way to strike back. “We believe the Bush has been planning this for decades,” I imagined a frazzled looking aide-de-camp telling David Cameron at a Cobra meeting somewhere outside of the capital, as the strains of “Babooshka” echoed ominously over the hills. “And I’m afraid, Prime Minister, that for all this time, her agents have been among us.”

Read more:
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo, gig review: Just what everyone was hoping for  

These operatives, you have to concede, have maintained their cover admirably. Before the recent rush of excitement began, I feel as if I’ve barely heard a peep about Bush in years. This isn’t a criticism – it is, of course, in large part because the silence from the woman herself has left so little to discuss. But it does explain why the whole thing seems so strange to people like me: I knew Kate Bush was a big deal, but I had no idea quite how big. Minor fan though I am, it had never occurred to me that she was, as one review put it yesterday, “the most influential and respected British female artist of the past 40 years.”

Lest there be any doubt, I should say that this is absolutely my own error of omission. And even if the whole thing was a bit baffling to those of us who weren’t a part of it, it would be absurd to think that that was any reason for holding back: there’s just no arguing with the general outpouring of joy.

All the same, it can’t help but be a little alienating. I felt a bit like I do when I attend a pub quiz, and the 40-something host’s questions are based on allegedly universal cultural totems that I’ve never heard of. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with it – it’s just that it’s terribly strange not to feel a part of it. These moments come along every now and again, when a generational divide cuts a sharp swathe through the population, and we all realise how deeply formed we are by our youth – and, more than that, how unsettling it is to be reminded that your own generation will seem just as baffling to the next one coming up behind it. And if those of you who feel the same as me are already a little overwhelmed, consider this: we’ve only had two nights of the tour. There are another 20 left to go. It’s time, I think, to head for the hills.

Tap, tap! That’s the sound of a way to save journalism

You’ll know the noise from classic movies, if not from any recent life experience: the satisfying clack of the typewriter, which produces so much more urgent a sound than the dull phut of your computer’s equivalent. Now the eminences who run The Times have struck upon a brilliant way to make the office more productive: pipe in a crescendo of typewriter noise to bathe staff in an atmosphere of hard work and determination as deadline approaches.

This is, of course, a stroke of genius, and I assume we will be adopting it over here imminently: if the office soundtrack can’t save journalism from the structural decline of print, what on earth can? If anything, though, I’m not sure the wheeze goes far enough. Typewriters might induce a sense of enterprise, but why stop there? Why not record the desperate cries of those who’ve been fired for inefficiency, or ask Rupert Murdoch to tape himself saying something scary? If the worst comes to the worst, of course, you could do something really extreme, and pipe in the chart music that I hear gets pumped out at the likes of new-media challenger Buzzfeed. The idea of a daily diet of top 10 hits will surely be enough to get a few of those grizzled old reporters hitting their deadlines at last.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...

Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Engineer

£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

Recruitment Genius: Developer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
An investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Shanghai  

China has exposed the fatal flaws in our liberal economic order

Ann Pettifor
Jeremy Corbyn addresses over a thousand supporters at Middlesbrough Town Hall on August 18, 2015  

Thank God we have the right-wing press to tell us what a disaster Jeremy Corbyn as PM would be

Mark Steel
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future