arts

Kim Wilde – The Blond Alien

5 STARS

TIME has been kind to 1980s pop sensation Kim Wilde. Now in her late 50s, she still cuts a striking figure in her dark glasses, tower block high heels, figure hugging black leather and hair so blond it could light up a pitch black night.

Many mens’ hearts still pulse a little quicker as a result of seeing Wilde strut on stage, even if their hearts have been beating for many years and are showing the side effects of lives well lived. Indeed, it is not unknown for conservative males who have already taken their pensions to give her flowers mid performance in the faint hope that she will smile at them.

Heart breaker though she undoubtedly still is, Wilde (crucially as far as her career is concerned) also continues to belt out a great song or three as she proved at Birmingham Town Hall (April 21) as part of her ‘Here Come The Aliens Tour’. Not just classic songs from her vibrant youth but also new songs from her new acclaimed album (yes, you guessed it, Here Come The Aliens).

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Striding around the stage like a black and white feral cat, Wilde seems to be enjoying a second flush of youth. An individual born to perform. It all makes for a great set, helped in no small part by enthusiastic backing vocals from Scarlett Wilde, the sterling guitar work of Ricky Wilde (Kim’s brother, Scarlett’s father), drummers Jonathan Atkinson and Emily Dolan Davies, Neil Jones on lead guitar, Paul Cooper on bass guitar and Steve Power on keyboards. The lighting and choreography is also stunning.

Wilde’s impact on the audience – skewed towards middle age- was palpable. It only took a rip roaring version of Water on Glass (helped by great backing vocals from Scarlett) to get the audience up off their seats in the hall’s upper circle. Song number two.

While it was hits such as Cambodia, Chequered Love and View From A Bridge that got the audience boogying, Kandy Krush (the single from her new album) was well received as was Yours ‘Til The End. Wilde’s insistence that she witnessed visiting aliens in 2009 was the premise for Here Come The Aliens – where the band wear masks and she whips out a ray gun.

Other stand outs included Another Step (Closer to You), a duet with Scarlet and rousing covers of You Keep Me Hanging On (The Supremes) and If I Can’t Have You (Bee Gees). Of course, no Wilde concert can be complete without Kids in America. She delivered in spades.

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Wilde is an advert for long life. A great entertainer who has improved with age. Although her voice was occasionally swamped by the acoustics, this was a small blip in an otherwise great night of live entertainment.

For men and women of a certain age, she still stirs parts of the body that seldom get a stirring (hips, of course). But her appeal is wider than that. Kids in the UK would be pleasantly surprised what she brings to the live music table.

Although the Here Come The Aliens tour finished on Monday in Salford, Wilde will be part of the line-up at Chilfest (Tring, 7 July) and the Let’s Rock Festival in Shrewsbury (14 July). She is also part of the Rock The Boat cruise (May 6 to 13).

Catch her if you can. Fun, fun, fun. Here come the Wildes.

For more info on the Kim Wilde Tour

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