The Kick Inside
A celebratory tribute to The Songs of Kate Bush
by acclaimed art-pop duo Raf and O
focused on Kate's early career and core essence as a pianist singer songwriter
KATE BUSH NEWS
DEXTER BENTLEY, LONDON RESONANCE FM
"Kate's early songs performed like this make us want to be in some candlelit cabaret club in Paris or Berlin cosying up to a large glass of red in a plush velvet booth"
KATE BUSH NEWS
"Kate Bush followed a very individual path into reclusive stardom. But what if she amassed that astonishing body of work while gigging in the clubs? The matchless Raf and O bring this idea lovingly to life with the sublime The Kick Inside project.
When I heard that Raf and O were creating a Kate Bush side-project, it already felt like a perfect fit - in particular, who better than Raf to negotiate the swoons and swoops of those highwire melodies? Tunes like 'Them Heavy People', 'Hammer Horror' or 'Babooshka' have all the bounce and snap of the originals thanks to 'O's agile, percussive basslines snaking their way around Raf's rhythmic piano. It's a testament to both Raf and 'O's musicianship in finding the exact pieces of the jigsaw to ensure nothing is missing - and to the indestructibility of the songs themselves. 'Breathing', a song imagining a poisonous nuclear winter, originally featured an ambient, eerie middle section, which here, the duo tackle with an abstract instrumental passage that fits the bill perfectly. And after a breather, they were back, and a short while into the second set, conjured up some next-level magic. 'Sat in Your Lap', from 'The Dreaming'. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. The twisted 'Take 5' riff, the noisy, jerky, stop-start rhythm - it was all there. Immediately after this, we were treated to 'Running up That Hill', with 'O' strumming the bass strings to suggest the thunderous drums, Raf somehow providing almost robotic chiming chords to fill in the sound and deliver an astounding vocal. As an overall performance, it was one of the most carefully and effectively put together sets I have seen for a long time."
ADRIAN SPECS, live review 25 02 18
Full review here
"Raf's voice and piano delivered something very exciting to all those of us lucky enough to be there and experience it. She's a huge admirer of Bowie and the approached isn't a million miles form the way he used to play characters onstage at gigs. There's a very real sense that Raf made these songs her own and created a Kate Bush persona in which to perform them. It takes a very special talent to bring this off: Raf possesses it and deployed it brilliantly last night. More please!
Richard with whom she's developed an extraordinary musical rapport over the years, didn't just play accompaniment, he pulled off the unenviable task of being everything about these songs that made them work when Kate performed/recorded them in addition to herself. All in all, this was an amazing evening and I feel privileged to have been there."
JEREMY CLARKE REVIEWS, live review 25 02 18
Full review here
"Raf Mantelli one half of our favourite avant-garde and frayed experimentalist duo Raf and O adds her idiosyncratic, enchanting signature to the music of Kate Bush on her latest project, The Kick Inside. Concentrating on Bush's early career, the focus being on her 'core essence as a pianist singer songwriter'"
"I've just seen the video of Raf's live performance as Kate! Having promoted two glorious album launches amongst other shows of her own band Raf and O, I knew that this tribute to Kate Bush would be nothing short of fantastic. The inspiration, commitment and professional focus I associate with all of Raf's work is fully evident here.
A quality, stylish and authentically passionate interpretation which if Kate herself ever gets to see I'm sure would meet her approval.”
"Speaking as a long term Kate Bush fan, this show that Raf has developed is certainly going to get noticed. Having seen her performing a short showcase just threw me right back to the moment Kate first hit the scene.
I was just mesmerised by Raf being ‘ Kate' for her incredible voice and how she has captured the very spirit of a Kate Bush performance. Intimate, intense both visually and sonically, the body language, detailed piano work and those fabulous vocals. Kate fans and newcomers alike will be enthralled with Raf's thoroughly engaging and expressive performance. Just fabulous!”
OIL 54 EVENTS
"Raf and O have created a novel, pared-down tribute to Kate Bush: The Kick Inside - The Songs of Kate Bush. Focusing on the 70s albums The Kick Inside and Lionheart, its beauty lies in the minimalist approach which highlights Raf's enigmatic stage presence and her dramatic soprano vocals."
CHARLIE FOWLER, DAVID LIVE
"I was blessed to attend the premiere of a performance of Kate Bush’s songs by Raf and O an experimental music duo who fuse acoustic instruments with electronica"
PETER COOK, HUMAN DYNAMICS