Remembering the only time Kate Bush performed 'Running Up that Hill' live, with David Gilmour

4 June 2022, 18:11

Kate Bush with David Gilmour in 1985
Kate Bush with David Gilmour in 1985. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

David Gilmour discovered Kate Bush when she was a teenager, and in 1985 he teamed up with the singer for a fantastic live performance of 'Running Up that Hill'.

Netflix's Stranger Things has given Kate Bush the biggest surprise hit of 2022, sending 'Running Up that Hill' back up the charts around the world.

With the song finding a new legion of young fans, people have been searching for times gone by when Kate Bush performed the song live.

Sadly for them, Kate has only performed this song a handful of times.

Released in 1985, it wasn't until 1987 that she performed the song live (aside from a mimed performance on TV's Wogan), at the Secret Policeman’s Ball at the London Palladium. Here, she teamed up with Pink Floyd's David Gilmour for a truly brilliant performance that deserves repeat viewing.

Watch it below:

It was poignant too, as it was Gilmour who discovered Bush as a teenager. Her family had produced a demo tape with over 50 of her songs, and that tape was turned down by many record labels before Gilmour found it.

When the tape was passed on to Gilmour by Ricky Hopper, a mutual friend of the Pink Floyd star and Bush family, and he was instantly taken by Kate's unique voice and style.

“I was intrigued by this strange voice,” Gilmour later told the BBC. “I went to her house, met her parents down in Kent. And she played me, gosh, it must have been 40 or 50 songs on tape. And I thought: ‘I should try and do something.'

“I think we had the [EMI] record-company people down at Abbey Road in No. 3,” Gilmour adds. “And I said to them, ‘Do you want to hear something I’ve got?’ They said sure, so we found another room and I played them 'The Man with a Child in his Eyes'. And they said, ‘Yep, thank you — we’ll have it.’"

A decade or so later, Kate was a massive star but famously not interested in live performances. Gilmour convinced Kate to join him on stage in both 1987 and 2002.

The latter show saw Kate Bush join David Gilmour for Pink Floyd's 'Comfortably Numb' at the Royal Festival Hall.

It wouldn't be until 2014 that Kate would sing 'Running Up that Hill' again, as part of her Before the Dawn run of shows in London.