Date: 1 January 1994
Originally published in: Berner Zeitung (Switzerland)
Written by: Samuel Mumenthaler
In the pop business she is considered a lightweight since years. But Kim Wilde doesn’t let herself be taken away from her calling. In the sold out National the British woman delivered hit after hit – and showed herself as a thoroughbred musician.
It was a return that no-one from the ‘scene’ had anticipated. Kim Wilde, the british pop starlet with the styled blonde hair, has not been found in the gossip columns of the music press and even less in the headlines. Her bonus as a slightly naive, but refreshing teen idol she has had to give away to colleagues like Madonna or Vanessa Paradis.
Big pop songs
But Kim Wilde, who comes from an extraordinary musical family, is not to be beaten. Her musical output is consistent, and she always manages to deliver the perfect three minute pop songs in the best traditions of the women pop singers like the Supremes and the girl groups from Phil Spector’s dream factory.
Kim’s strategy pays off. The National was filled to the brim with a well blended audience, who wanted nothing more than to be taken on this journey. Kim Wilde played her second concert in the Europe-wide ‘Hits’ tour, and the title didn’t promise too much. The live concert consisted of almost all the hit titles that catapulted her to the top of the charts during the Eighties. In the National it smelled like ‘teen spirit’ all the time, when Wilde dived into energetic versions of hits like ‘Kids in America’ and ‘Cambodia’.
Despite the lightheartedness and the loose professionalism that was obvious during this concert night, one could see that Kim Wilde has become older – and more mature. It may be that any vocal charisma is still going on forever, like the British music press states over and over again. But Wilde showed in Bern, that she (and her excellent backing band) should not be seen as a teeniebopper, but fullbred musicians.
In the opening show the singer Mari Hamada, a big superstar in her native Japan, had to battle for attention from the audience. Despite some attractive ballads the set of Hamada fell victim to boredom. Her brand of sultry mainstream-rock was all too interchangeable and transparent.