There have been a couple of interesting biographies released recently and so I thought you might be interested in finding out what the TWR editorial staff have their noses in when they are not reading about Genesis….

First up is Under The Ivy - The Life & Music Of Kate Bush by Graeme Thomson. I read about this one a while ago and it was with some anticipation that I finally got my mitts on a copy. Kate Bush is an artist in the real sense of the word. I have followed her career since the naïve but seminal Wuthering Heights and was lucky enough to see her one and only tour; The Tour Of Life back in 1979. Never one to give the game away, intensely private and yet always baring her emotions through her musical creations, she has had her fair share of admirers and detractors and Thomson doesn’t ignore either side’s viewpoint in this remarkable book. With no direct input from Bush herself, Thomson has had to draw upon the words of those who have been directly or indirectly involved with Bush’s career and from those comments he manages to explore the fascinating and at times, frustrating career of one of England’s foremost musical artists of the last forty years. The result is a fascinating and insightful study of an artist driven by the search for perfection - a superb effort and highly recommended.

Graeme Thomson: Under The Ivy - The Life & Music Of Kate Bush. Omnibus Press ISBN: 978-1-84772-930-9. £19.95 (UK)/ $29.95 (USA).

Next up is the biography of one of my favourite bands of the 1980’s. Play On - The Authorised Biography Of Twelfth Night by Andrew Wild. Twelfth Night’s story is one of what ifs. For it is difficult to believe now but in 1981/82, they were the front runners in the first wave of what is now called Neo Prog. Yes, it was they, rather than the eventual winners of that particular race; Marillion who were pegged to do great things.

Play On investigates the ups and downs that the band experienced from their tentative beginnings at Reading University in the late 1970’s through to their eventual demise in the late 1980’s and resurrection in the last few years. Written with the full co-operation of the band members and many of those associated with them, this is a cautionary tale of what can happen when the “industry” hype fails to live up to expectations. Replete with the kind of information that anoraks like me love and fully illustrated, this is obviously a labour of love for the author and the accompanying DVD has equally as many treats for fans of this marvellous band - if music be the food of love - read on!

Andrew Wild: Play On - The Authorised Biography Of Twelfth Night. Private Imprint no ISBN. £18 + £2 P &P from (Cheques payable to Brian Devoil).