Saturday, January 31, 2009

Kate Bush in Brockley

This house in Wickham Road (number 44) was the launchpad for the career of arguably England's greatest singer songwriter: Kate Bush.

She actually grew up in a farmhouse in the similarly named Wickham Lane in Welling, where she famously wrote some of her later hit songs while still a child. She went to St. Joseph's Convent Grammar School (later the St Joseph's Campus of Bexley College).

In her late teens, having already been signed by EMI, she moved to Brockley where she lived in the middle flat at no.44 Wickham Road, sandwiched between her two brothers' flats.

In 1977 she fronted the KT Bush Band in local pubs, particularly the Rose of Lee in Lewisham (now Dirty South), as well as the Royal Albert in New Cross Road (later the Paradise Bar, now back to being the Royal Albert). The following year she released her first album, The Kick Inside, with her first single (Wuthering Heights) going to number one. That was the end of her playing down the pub, and in fact after a tour in 1979 she pretty much gave up live gigs altogether apart from the occasional appearance. Later she lived for many years in Court Road, between Mottingham and Eltham.

Thanks to Fred Vermorel for confirming the address; there are some references elsewhere (e.g. on Wikipedia) to Kate Bush living in Tressillian Road in Brockley - I don't think this is right, unless somebody is clear that she lived there as well as Wickham Road - the latter is definitely correct. By the way, I have heard that another well known musician lived in the same flat after Kate Bush, but not sure who - anybody know?

See Also: Kate Bush - The Brockley Demos - yes, she wrote Wuthering Heights in Wickham Road


Anonymous said...

I would like to thank Fred Vermorel for behaving like such a psychotic fan that Kate Bush now seldom comes out of hiding. Well done, mate!

Transpontine said...

I can't speak for FV, but I wouldn't post somebody's current home address on Transpontine - however where they lived years ago is a matter of local historic interest.

Hg said...

I lived in Brockley for a couple of years between '86 and '88 and the word on the street was that she was living, or had lived, on Tressillian Road. That might just be the same strand of misinformation that ended up on Wikipedia though.

Tressillian James said...

I also heard that she lived in Tressillian - this from a driver who came to pick me up to go to the airport. Turns out he was from Brockley, lived at that time in Tressillian, and not been back for years. He pointed out a house a little bit down from mine and mentioned that it was the one that Kate Bush lived in.

Would be nice if someone could confirm it somewhere. As a lifelong fan, I would of course like it to turn out to be Tressillian!

'len said...

I used to live at 44C (the big windows) - I cannot tell you how excited I am to hear I've lived in Kate Bush's house!!!

Lucy said...

My friend just found this link.....this is our old house! We used to live in the ground floor (with the bay window), but unfortunately not when Kate was there.... We always knew she lived on Wickham somewhere, but I can't quite believe it's number 44!

Anonymous said...

She did used to live at 44 as she used to look after me as a child when I live at the same flats 44D

Anonymous said...

I used to go to cub scouts with her nephew Owen and remember going to a birthday party at the house, so this rings true. This would have been in late 70s early 80s.

At the time we lived on Wickham Road, and my sister looked a bit like Kate. She was often chased by fans looking for autographs.