Kim Wilde, one size more for nothing

Gardening with children – a book – is somewhat the latest accomplishment of Kim Wilde in England. It’s a pity that the Brussels AB wasn’t a herb garden on wednesday night, because we would have learned more from that than the unsalted concert the eighties babe gave us there.

As if the sound installation of the Ancienne Belgique was made for the somewhat older audience, the first few songs of Kim ‘comeback’ Wilde (46) sounded a little bit held back. But it was only the third song, “one that I wrote for my husband”, that made the atmosphere go sour in Brussels. Between Paris, where wild Kim had learned the words ‘bonsoir’ and ‘merci’, and Amsterdam, the hit machine from the eighties had a moment to divide the important things from the less important things. First and foremost she wanted to put emphasis on her comeback by playing old hits and reworked songs from now. It was less important to give the audience a good concert set. Despite three guitarists and six band members in all, the songs of the British woman didn’t sound spirited, on the contrary: some giggling had to mask the lack of experience. To describe it as short and painless as possible: for the most painful moment we had to choose between the tired Depeche Mode-cover ‘Enjoy the silence’ and the projections on the big screen of a proud covergirl Kim Wilde, smiling and styled on the most prominent page of trade magazines like Hitkrant. The difference between then and Wednesday couldn’t be any more poignant. Of course, there’s always hand clapping on the front rows of any concert, but even a hit like ‘You just keep me hangin’ on’ missed the power – or at least the sign of the times – to feel like that dangerous man or woman once again. With one size more in the year 2007 the front woman may have looked her juicy self, the sound emanated from her throat without any power. No; Kim Wilde turned out to be a size for nothing at least ten years after the facts on Wednesday and we shouldn’t even think this vengefully. Some things flourish better in the ether than on stage, some nostalgia sound better from the radio than on a stage. Just the current hit ‘You came’ and the hit ‘Kids in America’ sounded decent in an encore: volume on ten and singing for two. All’s well that ends well? No, for the moment we divide the credibility of the comeback by two and we crank the volume up to ten when la Wilde reaches our ears through the radio. We won’t let the British woman get closer than that anymore.