Kate Bush And The Haunted Castle

A 1978 promotional TV special for an amusement park starring the young singer is an unexpectedly haunting and weird production.

In 1978, Kate Bush was at the very start of her career, having just had an unexpected smash hit with Wuthering Heights and with her debut album, The Kick Inside, freshly released. It is perhaps unsurprising then that she – or her management or EMI – decided that a Dutch TV special from the producers of TopPop promoting the new attraction at the Efteling Amusement Park was a great idea.

And thank goodness they did, because what a show it is. The Haunted Castle – the new attraction in question – proves to be just the place for Kate’s gothic melodrama and ethereal spookiness to play out, with other parts of the park acting as additional scenery for the six songs. With judicious use of smoke, soft focus and monster figures, the show takes on a strange, dream-like feel that matches the music surprisingly well. It ends with a white-haired Kate – quite the image – floating away in a boat on the lake while singing The Kick Inside. Very witchy.

This has not been the most widely seen of Kate’s international appearances and TV specials from the 1978-79 era, and I can only hazard a guess at what she would make of it all now. But there’s a fairy tale vibe to this whole thing that seems entirely appropriate and even if one or two moments are a touch cheesy, who cares?

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One comment

  1. Excellent posting. This is really quite special stuff, positively pregnant with atmosphere and a 70’s image quality that I just find irresistible.
    A true individual….and that final image is perfection.

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