Review – Kim Wilde Live at the Town & Country Club, London

Kim, the goddess of mediocrity, formerly a grubbly chic Woolworths whiplash and now the bastard son of Samantha Fox and Pat Benatar, has one thing to say between most of the songs: “Okay!” Well, that’s her opinion. As she fumbles with her belt and tucks her sensibly black lacy blouse back into her conveniently baggy slacks, we realise we are indeed witnessing a classic portrayal of the wonderfully average, the definitively second-rate.
Kim is never just crap like, say, Gary Numan or Howard Jones are crap, nor does she ever come into any danger of being quite good like, say, Lorraine Chase and David Essex were quite good. Kim is, as always, breathtakingly, inspirationally, fair-to-middling. She’s proud of the fact. As she introduces the band (Geek, Bozo, Dunce and Fatty) during the denouement of that nugget of alrightness “Love blonde”, slides of The Real Thing, i.e. Marilyn, are shown on the lofty backdrop. These tower over the stage like Goliath (having just won a decathlon) meeting David (having just lost at Trivial Pursuit) in the showers. David (Kim) is covering his genitals with embarrassment but saying “I wish I could be like you, I wish, I wish”.
Kim will go on wishing (this is what makes her so lovable and tolerable despite the ugly tasteless leering ex-army burns that constitute her audience) as long as her material, style, voice, and wits remain so precisely numb and perfectly mundane.
See those textbook rock-star mannerisms! Wooh, raunchy! Hear the result of 425 singing lessons improving that string-of-spit whine! Note Daddy’s experience in arranging the set list so that we suffer the nothingness of the new album tracks for half an hour before being bombarded by the smash flash trash hits (which of course make you wanna scream) in bouncy red tribute to Chinn and Chapman, another case of The Real Thing as tamely Xeroxed by The Unspecial K, watch Junior come on for a duet! Golly! She’s friendly with big famous pop stars! Above all, perceive and sense that Kim believes she is in control of her own destiny: she thinks – “I’m doing this and it’s good, it’s fun, what’s so funny?”
As long as you have a home to go to you can safely succumb to the charm of a wispy nostalgia. So the rollicking might of “Cambodia”, “Kids in America”, “Chequered love” (where she nearly forgets her career moves and lets herself bleed), and the supremely lobotomised “You keep me hangin’ on” (as passionate as damp Ryvita, thus a hit) end the evening’s vacuum with a healthy sweaty hump. We decline the record company’s kind invitation to after-show cocktails with Kim on the ground that, judging by those cheeks, she’s the one person in the entire world who could drink us under the pavement.
Kim Wilde: a timeless legend, like Tony Coleman who used to play for Manchester City, or H.R. Pufnstuf. Stil treading the boreds and wondering what stilettos are for. The dim sweet child.