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Lucy Bundy is Fake Bush
Published on Monday, 16 May 2011

4 stars

The Brunswick (venue website)
15 May, 8:00pm-11:00pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

 Parental Guidance. Under-17's must be accompanied by an adult.

Somewhere there is a parallel universe where Kate Bush tours her work live, introducing Cloudbusting with the words, "Wilhelm Reich, this one's for you". Sadly, we don't live in that universe, so we'll just have to make do with Lucy Bundy's mimicry. And it's no hardship really; Bundy sounds astonishingly like the real thing.

Take that jaw-dropping sound – when she first appears singing 'Wow', she's echoing what we're all thinking – add costumes that echo Bush's iconic styling and a charming shabbiness to some of the props, and there’s no doubt you have a great show. There are so many truly excellent Kate Bush songs to pick from, and listening to them performed live is a real joy.

But Bundy, a skilled mimic and physical performer, isn't willing to just let go and be Kate Bush for an hour. Instead she breaks the illusion frequently to tell us the story of how she became Fake Bush. Sadly, these interludes feel self-indulgent. They are meandering vignettes with no real point to them and no conclusion is really reached. It was hard to see the point of them when there are so many songs that could have be included in their place… a point made clear when the audience is invited to request their favourites for an encore.

It's not there isn’t an interesting show to be made about the business of being a tribute act. In response to an audience questioner asking, "Have you ever met Kate Bush?" Bundy reveals two fascinating pieces of information about the relationship between mimic and subject – but sadly, they didn't go anywhere. And broadly, Bundy's own tale doesn't stand a chance, when it’s trying to struggle out of the shadow of the iconic genius it is sharing a stage with.

But even with those oddities, it's impossible to judge this show too harshly when every song is such a joy – with the sole possible exception of a Bollywood-inspired version of Hounds of Love, which, though well-performed, was a little baffling. Anyone who adores Kate Bush will adore this show. And that's everyone, right?

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