FORTY years ago, on April 1 in 1979, Kate Bush performed at the Poole Arts Centre, a warm-up gig to kick off what was to be one of the most memorable tours in music history.

As Kate wrote to her fan newsletter later in 1979: “It was an incredible experience, and I’ll never forget it… the first night at Poole was the most important, as it was the first real test as to whether it was going to happen or not, and the reaction really surprised me – it was lovely, and the greatest encouragement I could have possibly had.”

Many of the members of Kate’s band, all of whom practised solidly for six weeks to attain the high standards of perfection she demanded, would have expected to repeat the experience over the coming years as new material was written. But it was never to be – Kate’s interests turned towards creating music in the studio and she wasn’t to perform on stage again (beyond the odd guest appearance) for another 35 years.

Tour of Life drummer Preston Heyman, bass player Del Palmer and choreographer/dancer Stewart Avon Arnold did, however, recently revisit the experience by performing these early songs for the first time in more than 40 years with top tribute band Cloudbusting.

So it is fitting that Cloudbusting bring their two hour show of Kate Bush’s songs to the Poole Arts Centre (now known as Poole Lighthouse), the place where it all started.

The five-piece band, named by BBC One as one of the most authentic tributes in the world, have 40 years’ worth of material to choose from for the show.

Lead singer Mandy Watson sees her role as paying homage to Kate’s music rather than trying to ‘be’ her. She said: “These songs tell stories from the point of view of so many different characters; when you perform them, that’s who you become. It’s quite an emotional journey!”

Keyboard player Michael Mayell explains that the show at Poole Lighthouse was emotionally significant for Kate and her fans for other reasons.

“A tragedy befell her lighting engineer Bill Duffield that night, an event that obviously affected Kate and her band and many others incredibly deeply. A song was written to commemorate the loss – Blow Away (for Bill). We will be very conscious of his memory on the night."

* Cloudbusting – The Music of Kate Bush is at Lighthouse on Saturday, September 7 at 7.30pm. To book call, 01202 280000 or visit