Kate Bush pays tribute to bassist John Giblin, who has died aged 71

"My world will never be the same again without him"

Trending Now

Kate Bush has shared an emotional tribute to her former bassist John Giblin, who has died at the age of 71.

The musician’s death was confirmed in a Facebook post by the band Osibisa, with whom he had recently collaborated.

Giblin passed away last Sunday (May 14) in Cheltenham after “battling illness”, according to the group. The obituary went on to describe him as a “bass guitarist, double bass player, arranger and all-round session musician extraordinaire”.


The musician’s longstanding partnership with Bush began when he played bass on the legendary artist’s 1980 singles “Babooshka” and “Breathing”, both of which appear on her third album Never For Ever.

Additionally, Giblin and Bush contributed bass and backing vocals, respectively, to Peter Gabriel‘s song “No Self Control” that same year.

Giblin would go on to feature on Bush’s records The Sensual World (1989), The Red Shoes (1993), Aerial (2005), Director’s Cut (2011) and 50 Words For Snow (2011).

He was later chosen by Bush to perform in the band for her long-awaited comeback shows at London’s Hammersmith Apollo in 2014. The residency, titled ‘Before The Dawn’, was captured on a live album of the same name.

Paying tribute to Giblin on her official website, Bush wrote: “Everyone loved John. He was a really beautiful man in every sense of the word. Everybody wanted to work with him because he was such a great talent and everyone wanted to be his friend because he was such a wonderful person.

“I loved John so very much. He was one of my very dearest and closest friends for over forty years. We were always there for each other. He was very special. I loved working with him, not just because he was such an extraordinary musician but because he was always huge amounts of fun.”


Bush continued: “We would often laugh so much that we had to just give in to it and sit and roar with laughter for a while. He loved to be pushed in a musical context, and it was really exciting to feel him cross that line and find incredibly gorgeous musical phrases that were only there for him. He would really sing. It was such a joy and an inspiration to see where he could take it.

“We’ve all lost a great man, an unmatchable musician and I’ve lost my very special friend. My world will never be the same again without him. Kate.”

Giblin was born to a musical family in Bellshill, Scotland in 1952. Over the course of his lengthy career, he also worked with the likes of Elton JohnEric ClaptonPaul McCartneyAnnie Lennox and Phil Collins, per the obituary shared by Osibisa.

In 1985, Giblin became the bassist in Simple Minds following Derek Forbes’ departure from the group. He made his debut with the band at Live Aid in Philadelphia. Giblin performed with Simple Minds on three albums before returning to his former passion as a studio musician.

“Fellow musicians, family, friends, fans and the studio world in general have lost a truly amazing human being and musician who has certainly left a deep musical legacy and a beautiful imprint for everyone he was involved with,” the obituary continued.

“R.I.P. John, it was a pleasure and a privilege to work with you and we are all going to miss you. There really is a hole in the world with John’s passing.”

Earlier this month, it was announced that Kate Bush will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2023. The star said in a statement that she was “completely shocked at the news”, adding: “It’s something I just never thought would happen.”

Originally published on NME

Latest Issue