British singer Kate Bush on Friday announced a surprise series of live shows in London later this year, 35 years after her one and only tour.
The 55-year-old, who recently launched a new album, 50 Words For Snow, will play 15 dates at the Hammersmith Apollo in August and September.
Bush had her first number one in Britain at the age of just 19 with Wuthering Heights in 1978, and went on tour for six weeks the following year.
But despite the success of the Tour of Life, a theatrical spectacle involving magicians, poetry and 17 different costume changes, it would prove a unique event.
Bush went on to produce a string of hits, including Running Up That Hill, Babooshka, Wow and The Man with the Child in his Eyes, but she never again performed a full concert.
Fans had to make do with occasional brief appearances, including in 2002 when she sang with David Gilmour on Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb at the Royal Festival Hall in London.
Various reasons have been advanced for her refusal to take to the stage, from her fear of flying to her desire to work on her music in solitude, and her bad memories of touring.
Early on in the Tour of Life, Bill Duffield, a 21-year-old lighting engineer, fell through the floor to his death while conducting a final check of a venue after a concert.
In a rare interview with Mojo magazine in 2011, Bush explained that touring was “enormously enjoyable. But physically it was absolutely exhausting”.
She added: “Maybe I will do some shows some day. I’d like to think so before I get too ancient.”
Bush is returning to the same venue where she last performed, the Hammersmith Apollo, then known as the Hammersmith Odeon. Her residency runs from August 26 to September 19.
“I am delighted to announce that we will be performing some live shows this coming August and September,” she wrote on her website, adding that tickets go on sale on March 28.
“I hope you will be able to join us and I look forward to seeing you there. Very best wishes, Kate.”