“Dreaming of Kate” is the creation of Dutch professional singer and dancer Maaike Breijman, who started working together with a Liverpool based band in 2011 to create a live music show to perform the songs of Kate Bush live on stage. While singing Kate’s songs is a challenge in itself, ambitious, theatre minded Maaike decided that the ultimate Kate Bush tribute show would involve dance routines and numerous costume changes too. In 2013, the band toured across the UK and Holland with what was then known as “Wow – A Celebration of the Music and Artistry of Kate Bush” After splitting – due to various reasons – with the producer of “Wow” the full band and lead singer Maaike decided to continue the project. With the conviction that performing Kate Bush’ music requires dedication to the look and performance, the band and Maaike developed Dreaming of Kate as a theatrical show. This means Maaike is not just a lead singer: she sings, dances, plays the piano and puts herself through a number of costumes changes. Maaike says: “The concept of the show can be a bit confusing. People expect us to be a regular band since we are a band. But with all the costume changes, dance routines and props we are more than that. On the other hand, we are not performing a musical or any particular story, which is what people expect when you say ‘costumes’ and ‘stage props’. We aim to perform, well… a fantasy, a dream.”
So Kate Bush! Am I a fan, Kinda! Do I think she’s the best female performer of the last 50 years, No. Should she be spoken about with great revere like Aretha, Carol King, Annie Lennox, Janis Joplin? For Sure. has she changed the face of modern music for the better, Defiantly! And she’s back! It’s been a while since she played live and it would seem that judging on the reviews of her London shows that she has been missed, yet it was also noticeable that there are some gaps in her vocal range, or perhaps there are just songs she no longer want to sing, or if the rumours are true, she saving that ‘Killer’ set for Glastonbury 2015.
So when I get the nod that there is now a ‘tribute‘ act that’s ‘Even better than the real thing’ then I’m moved to travel over to Liverpool to see for myself! the Epstein Theatre has been transformed into a new and exciting venue emerging from the ashes of the former Neptune. It’s really compact and feels like the real deal. As the lights go down, and there Maaike Breijman stands and she is ‘Kate‘ Maaike is sultry, sexy and she has the movement, the feel, the look, and adding to that ‘The Voice’ the opening or ‘Act 1’ of this show is like a theatre show, almost like a west end musical version of a show, perhaps it’s because of the songs chosen in the opening act are very much story based, having seen ‘American Idiot’ and ‘Rock Of Ages’ there is no doubt that someone could write a stage show around the songs on display. In fact the movement and ‘Art‘ contained in this section is in keeping with what you would expect from a ‘Kate’ show, each song is accompanied by a costume change to reflect each song, and as these songs span the career of one artist it’s an impressive feat. ‘Babooshka’ ‘WoW’ are just on the money and have a groove that just takes you along with ease. The choreography is absolutely spot on with each move matching each line from the song, Maaike keeps you transfixed and transformed to a world that is a million miles from home, great shows do this, they leave you not looking at your watch or checking your phone but watching the show.
As we exit for a break, it’s clear that the opening segment has been received with great pleasure, talk at the bar is of ‘did you see this?’ and ‘did you hear that?’ and the crowd is smiling and really excited about what might come next, these people obviously are serious fans, some obsessive, some that have been to see the ‘real thing’ in London, they know their ‘Kate’ and they are impressed…
Act II is the tails to the head of Act 1, this now feels more like a concert and the more ‘gig‘ than ‘theatre‘ and the transformation is obvious and no less engaging. ‘The Man With The Child In His Eyes’ is so good that you can hear a pin drop in the room as everyone hangs on the vocal delivery and lyrics that always hit home, ‘Running Up That Hill’ is simply stunning, and as it’s one of my fave songs ever i’m lost in music, ‘Cloudbusting‘ just brings to mind the visual from the video and really transforms, ‘Big Sky’ has all the musical precision of the studio version and this section sees the band come into their own and match the vocal delivery of Maaike which is needed to be honest as this is a production and it’s no mean feat to be able to reproduce that studio sound when you ‘are‘ the band, let alone playing As the band! It feels like each song is designed to turn the heat up a little more as we move on and of course ‘Wuthering Heights’ is the only way this show can close and as endings go, it’s a doozy! The standing ovation at the end of the show just proves that Maaike and the band have won over believers and newcomers, there can be no doubt that this show will just get better and bigger, and as it does it will add more to the production, when you have the money that Kate Bush does it’s easy to have all the meal with the trimmings, ‘Dreaming Of Kate’ is a gig/show that need to been seen, no matter if you are a serious fan, a ‘best of’ companion or a ‘never listened before’ person. It would be great if perhaps we could use the word ‘Homage‘ for this show, because ‘tribute’ is a tag that can’t be pinned on this show… If this comes to your town, go see it.
Next time it’s in my town I will go and see it again, that tells you all you need to know x