Fake Bush to perform at Winterville

Faking it to make it: Lucy Bundy is Fake Bush. Photograph courtesy of Lucy Bundy

Faking it to make it: Lucy Bundy is Fake Bush. Photograph courtesy of Lucy Bundy

It was the cultural event of the year; sold out in no time, zealously anticipated and, in the end, almost unanimously praised.

But for Lucy Bundy, seeing Kate Bush in concert must have been a strange experience, irrespective of the dancers in lifejackets wielding axes, or giant paper aeroplanes.

For as tribute act Fake Bush, Bundy is more used to being on the receiving end of fans’ adulation.

Bundy has been performing as Fake Bush for the past 15 years, and will this month be bringing her act to the Winterville festival in Victoria Park.

How does one choose such a career? “It had very undignified beginnings,” Bundy explains. “It was just a drunken accident with a karaoke machine. I discovered I sounded just like her and from there it grew organically, doing small community festivals and private party bookings.”

While they can funny, tribute acts are no longer a joke. It takes more than a white jump suit and stick on sideburns to be Elvis. The Oasis tribute band No Way Sis scored a top 20 hit, and Australian ABBA tribute act Bjorn Again has spawned multiple groups touring under the same name.

“There’s an act I really like called Princeless, who are of course a Prince tribute band. They are incredibly skilled, the guy who plays Prince is incredibly witty, and his take is that basically if you can really do it, if you can hit the notes like Prince can or Kate Bush can, then it’s hard for people to criticise.”

Bundy calls Fake Bush “an affectionate comic salute” rather than tribute act, choosing to go down the route of improvised banter in between songs and tongue-in-cheek humour rather than being overly serious.

As a case in point, the Winterville gig will be her last one for the immediate future as she’s about to go on maternity leave. The pregnancy has made her rue the decision she made to give up wearing catsuits and leotards.

“I thought ‘ok, now Kate’s getting older and so am I, I’m not going to wear any more cat suits and I gave them all away’. But now I’ve got a huge pregnancy bump I’m wishing I’d kept one because it would have been hilarious to have a huge brilliant bump poking out of this fitted leotard.”

Bundy has never met Kate Bush, the closest she has come being a message on Facebook. “She wrote: ‘Great page Fake Bush, I love it.’ It was like a blessing from the Pope.”

As well as being Fake Bush, Bundy sings in a trio and is an actor and visual artist. Even so, I half hoped her Kate Bush act might spill into our conversation. As it happens, Bundy knows where to draw the line between work and reality.

“I don’t think there are many actors who are method actors these days,” she says, swatting aside my suggestion. “And besides, Kate’s a real down-to-earth star. If I were trying to replicate a Kate-like existence for the method tribute artist it would be just cups of tea and chocolate biscuits.”

Fake Bush is performing at Winterville, Victoria Park on 13 December