Date: 31 December 1986
Originally published in: Smash Hits (UK)
A long gap between the not-very-good “support” act and the arrival on stage of Her Royal Top Tenness provides the ideal opportunity to study tonight’s audience. Just who exactly has ventured out to witness the long delayed return of pouting songbird Kim Wilde? Sad to say, most people here are either wearing tweed trouser suits or dayglo leisure sweaters. But they’re happy, by jingo!!(?)
Finally, a group of musicians materialise on stage and for one terrible moment it appears to be the support group back on for more punishment. But no! Some strange keyboard gurglings set the scene, there’s a sudden flash of light and noise and Kim appears in a swirl of dizzy blonde fronds, ultra-violet eyes and a smile like half a pizza (i.e. she’s smirking – Ed.) The audience is plunged into a gleeful frenzy as she shimmies through “View from a bridge” and she is clearly delighted to be “playing London” because she keeps saying so and because the word keeps appearing on the backdrop in large letters (i.e. “London”, not “delighted” – Ed.) Gone are the leather, chains and rips of some years back, to be replaced by a demure black net and lace top and sensible trousers. These days she also radiates Paul McCartneyesque concern for family, friends and people she doesn’t know. Brother Ricky gets a dedication (“Brothers”) and “personal friend and greatest British singer of the last few years” Junior gets to do a duet while wearing a huge tweed overcoat. The rest of us get a scorching “Kids in America” and two encores of “You keep me hanging on”. The backing group, who are all called Gary, (except they’re not), honk, squawk and bang with vim and vigour. One of them even plays the triangle. And Kim Wilde sings rather well.