Derek Peter “Del” Palmer (born 3 November 1952) is an English singer, songwriter, bass guitarist and sound engineer, best known for his work with Kate Bush, with whom he also had a long-term relationship between the late 1970s and early 1990s. He released his first solo studio album titled Leap of Faith in 2007, followed by Gift in 2010. His third solo album, Point of Safe Return, was released on 6 March 2015.
Born in Greenwich, southeast London, he began playing bass in 1967, joining friend Brian Bath’s band Cobwebs and Strange. In 1969, Palmer and Bath formed Tame with Victor King on drums. The band lasted until 1970. From 1972, Palmer and Bath were in Company with Barry Sherlock (guitar) and Lionel Azulay (drums). They signed to Cube Records in 1973, but Azulay was injured in a road accident. Charlie Morgan joined on drums in 1974 and the band changed its name to Conkers. A series of singles followed on Cube.
In 1977, the KT Bush Band began with Bush, Palmer, Bath and Vic King, playing the pub circuit. Their live set included material that would later appear on Bush’s first album. Beginning with her second album, Lionheart, Palmer became Bush’s main studio bassist. He also toured with her in 1979.
He is credited as an engineer on Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love, The Sensual World, The Red Shoes and Aerial. He is also credited with engineering on three further albums involving Bush: Midge Ure’s Answers to Nothing (where Palmer engineered her vocal guest recordings), Roy Harper’s Once and Alan Stivell’s Again. He played bass guitar on Lionheart, Never for Ever, The Dreaming, Hounds of Love, The Sensual World and Aerial (on 5 tracks), and on one track on 50 Words for Snow.
Palmer plays bass on Billy Sherwood’s Back Against the Wall and Return to the Dark Side of the Moon, both Pink Floyd tribute albums. He released his first solo album titled Leap of Faith in 2007 with a follow up five-track EP titled Outtees & Alternatives in 2008. That same year, Palmer did the mastering for Lionel Azulay’s album Out of the Ashes, which includes the track Wouldn’t Change a Thing featuring Kate Bush. He originally engineered and mixed that track in 1990. He appeared in the BBC documentary Queens of British Pop discussing Kate Bush, and again in the BBC Four documentary The Kate Bush Story – Running Up That Hill. He released his second album entitled Gift in 2010. His third album, Point of Safe Return, released in March 2015.
- Leap of Faith (2007)
- Gift (2010)
- Point of Safe Return (2015)