Date: 12 December 2003
Originally published in: Manchester Online website (UK)
Written by: Kevin Bourke
It might be classified as a bit of a misnomer to call this year’s Here And Now Tour a “Greatest Hits Tour”.
After all, the fundamental premise of these shows is that all the artists actually do in any case is to play a few of their greatest hits (chosen by the organisers, incidentally) in front of a shared house band, the better to hurry things up.
The paying customers, meanwhile, have a high old time, even given that they’re generally in a party mood anyway. None of this faffing about with tracks from the, almost certainly unwanted and unheard, new album to contend with for them – just a sort of live-action version of a compilation album.
In previous tours, the likes of Kim Wilde, Toyah Willcox or Clare Grogan of Altered Images have expressed themselves well-pleased with the arrangement.
“It’s just a bit of fun, where we get to sing those songs as they were meant to be heard, in stadiums rather than little venues,” observed Toyah, while Grogan was also upbeat about the notion. “It’s not like we’re competing in the charts with each other any more, so there’s nothing riding on it. You can just bask in the shameless glory of getting to play in front of thousands of people, who are all pretty much there to enjoy themselves anyway!”
Kim Wilde, who’s playing on this year’s tour, along with Paul Young, ABC, Five Star, Howard Jones, Heaven 17, Nick Heyward, Curiosity Killed The Cat, T’Pau and China Crisis, might be better known these days as a gardener but she convincingly claims to actively look forward to the experience. “How could I not enjoy having someone pick me up in a car and book hotels for me instead of having to run around after my children at six in the morning?”, she asks rheotorically. “I have a good time on these shows, get really well-paid for it, then go home and put it all in a suitcase ready for next year. In my case,” Wilde laughs, “you have a mother-of-two, known for her gardening, standing there with red lipstick and something leather on, singing Kids In America! For anyone who likes a good dose of irony, they’ll get it here.”