Date: 22 February 2007
Originally published in: De Morgen (Belgium)
Written by: Bart Steenhaut
The pout that made her world famous, is still there, and the fabulously made up eyes are still intact too. But Kim Wilde lost the from thousands recognisable voice. Nonetheless, the eighties icon was in a sold out AB on Wednesday night.
Nostalgia is a bad advisor. Kim Wilde was famous as a peroxide blonde pinup who in the pioneer days of the video made many a teenage heart beat faster. She looked like the girl next door whom you could never get, she looked at you from posters out of ‘Joepie’ and ‘Muziek Express’ with a look that carried the mystery of Mona Lisa in it, and also released a series of singles on which bubblegum pop was revalued with a sniff of new wave. A lot of those songs – ‘Kids in America’, ‘Cambodia’, ‘View from a bridge’… – have become classics, but Wilde herself had gone through the years a little less good herself. Sure, she had professionally erased the age – 46 – but during the first half of the concert she was singing ever so false. Maybe she had to get into it – it was only the second concert from her first real tour in fourteen years – but even then it was a bit useless to witness a grown woman trying so hard to become a twenty year old girl again. The group she had assembled around her, with younger sister Roxanne as extra singer and brother Ricky on guitar, played as if they had to audition for The Scorpions. Every hint of nuance was crushed with ruthless precision under a rolling mill of messy fm-rock, screaming guitars, and, alas, that failing voice. The covers weren’t anything to smile about either. Whoever though that ‘Enjoy the silence’ (Depeche Mode) and ‘Chasing cars’ (Snow Patrol) couldn’t be broken, were proved wrong. Both songs were killed and manhandled until the last drop of life had been squeezed out of them. Only at the end the tide turned, Wilde started to sing better and still had convincing versions of ‘You came’ and ‘You keep me hangin’ on’, which she reached number one with in the USA. But it wasn’t enough to save the concert. In Great Britain Kim Wilde is mostly famous for presenting gardening programmes and arranging flowers. More than ever, that’s where her future lies.