Date: 4 December 1986
Originally published in: Het Volk (Belgium)
Under the title “Another step into Belgium” Kim Wilde, any boy’s dream in the flesh, presented a show which you would best understand as such. Kim delivered the 400 members of the audience nothing more than a measured, unsurprising mini-trip into the uncomplicated world of melodious, light-legged pop. Light entertainment music, easily digestible and sometimes enjoyable, which has no substance. It means that Kim Wilde has barely evolved in the past five years and has learned few lessons from the – not always glorious – past.
These days Kim surrounds herself with a solid five man band nonetheless. This band comes without the – slightly overbearing – brother Ricky Wilde and the sterile synth sound of the past seems to have been sworn off to the advantage of more sax and guitars. This rougher take is not defining for the repertoire: it doubts between thumping singalong songs (“Water on glass”), ballads (“Cambodia”, “How do you want my love”), playful funk (“Say you really want me”) and a pinch of jazz (“Fever” annex “Love Blonde”).
An uneven repertoire, that carries a lot of pieces of (primarily new) piddling. It seems suspicious that the powerful finale goes back to older material: “Cambodia” (in a sloppy version), “Kids in America”, “Chequered love” and the old Supremes hit and recent Wilde single “You keep me hangin’ on”. It may be to Wilde’s credit, that despite everything she keeps a lot of the lesser material below the pain threshold. That sensual voice still has something naive about it, while the “Love Blonde” herself has become a more natural, less forced appearance at 26.
It’s the sort of maturity which she also needs musically after another five years.