Kim Wilde’s dormitory on wheels. ‘Hotels are a superfluous luxury’

The first tones of ‘Chequered love’ thunder into the hall. After a few bars Kim Wilde jumps on stage, dressed in black jeans with a bullet belt and an Elvis t-shirt. For over an hour she plays the hits together with her band. ‘Kids in America’ is the final song and after two or three encores the crew is back to wrap up everything and get it on the road to the next concert city. We take a look behind the scenes of Kim Wilde’s tour life.

“Nothing is left to chance”, tells Kim. “Everything is managed until the finest details. The stage is always built in the same way, the lights are hung in the same sequence and every time the 16.000 Watt sound installation is tested as accurately as the time before. Even the expected number of the audience and the safety prescriptions of the hall are told to us in advance. That’s what we need, because we take some five million pounds in material with us.”
Outside the backstage entrance is another impressive piece of the professional way Kim is organising her tour: two major buses in wich the thirty musicians and roadies are moved from one city to another.
“They cost about 150.000 pounds a piece”, Kim says, “but sleeping in hotels would cost us too much time. Come, let’s take a look inside”.
“As you can see it’s very comfortable here”, she laghs when we open the door of one of these mastodonts. “The back part is our ‘dormitory’. We have decorated 15 bunks, like on a ship. Three above one another, with red curtains. In every compartiment we’ve built in a stereo.”

In the middle of this huge thing we see a kitchen. With a fridge, washing machine and a toilet. “For the long tour we have hired an English pair of cooks”, says blonde Kim. “English pork pies are their specialty. That way the lads feel closer to home. I prefer to have spicy Indian food with a nice glass of cool white wine”.
At the front of the bus is the ‘crew pub’, a nice space with sitting chairs and a video installation. “There are 32 films in our videotheque”, Kim says. “Burt Reynolds and Charles Bronson are the most favourite actors when we are on tour. There’s lots of laughing going on in those buses and we have a great time. We avoid the pitfall of having to do everything too quickly. Even my brother Ricky who normally hates touring forces me to take him along on tour. I never liked it much myself but now I think it’s lots of fun.”