Transcription: VRT Nieuws interview

How many times did you have concerts in Belgium?
Quite a few handfulls, actually. Recently I’ve been doing revival tours, eighties tours with people like Belinda Carlisle. [inaudible]

All of a sudden you disappeared from the scene. Why was that?
Well, lots of reasons. Mainly I felt like my career had really come to its natural conclusion. I was kindof bored, I was looking for a new challenge. Actually I took on a role in the theatre in the West End at the time. To think about my life. Within six months I got married with my co-star. Which wasn’t something I planned on. Of course that’s changed my life. I never thought that trying to have a family life with children and the music industry would be very compatible. So that made up my mind for me at the time.

But there were artistic reasons also?
I just felt bored really. I didn’t feel there were any challenges left for me as a writer and a performer. As it turns out I was wrong in the long term, but I was right in the short term. It was a good thing to get out when I did.

When you did it was supposed to be forever?
Yes, when I got out I never thought I’d come back. So that’s why the new album is called ‘Never say never’. But I’m really glad that I took the break. I got into a whole other career, I had a lot of time for my children, which I still do. They’re older now. And those years are really sacred for little kids, they need you around a lot. So I was glad I was there a lot.

What made you think of this comeback, then?
The comeback has really been kickstarted by a project I did with Nena in Germany. Working with her, and initially I used to not really be here at all. I used to do some promotion with her and then go back to the UK. You know, back on the chain gang. But actually, the more I started working with her, the more the idea of doing it myself became really attractive. I got approached by some record companies and EMI was very interested. I was very skeptical, right up almost to the last moment.

The Kim Wilde you see now on stage is not the Kim Wilde we saw in the early eighties.
The Kim Wilde you see now is obviously a lot more mature – I think is the word I would use – and actually a lot more confident, my voice is a lot stronger. I’m really enjoying being back. It’s a real treat, it’s like having another bite of the cherry I didn’t expect to have. There’s that sense of fun with it.

It’s another Kim Wilde but you’re singing the songs you did before. Is that a problem?
I think if I was up there not singing my songs from the past, it might be a problem for the audience. It wouldn’t be a problem for me so much. I spent the last few years not having to sing anything about my past, ‘Kids in America’, ‘Cambodia’, these songs. But it’s been lovely to come back to them fresh. And they’re such good songs. It’s wonderful, the reaction you get from the audience brings it alive again for me.

Is it hard to come back after all these years?
Initially I found it quite hard. Getting my head around it was the hardest thing. I wasn’t sure if it was really something I wanted or not. I was a little skeptical. It seems quite a long time ago now. I’ve been doing it for a year now, the whole project. It was a slow process. It wasn’t just like ‘Yeah, I’ll do it!’.

Is it a long term comeback?
I really don’t know. It’s really down to you guys, the public.