Kim Wilde, Paradiso, April 6, 2009

I can’t resist seeing one of my childhood idols live. Kim Wilde, who debuted in 1981 with ‘Kids in America’, was the one who made me dye my hair blonde for the first time and throw my good girl exterior overboard. Yes, I thought the songs were nice, but not great. Kim sang well, but not outstanding, but she had that certain something. Maybe just the usual X-factor, I don’t know. I was secretly in love with her of course, but I kept that to myself in those days.

I wasn’t coming with high expectations as I watched Kim climb on stage. I was expecting a nice evening with greatest hits, no more, no less. But how I underestimated her! In June last year, when I saw Duffy on that same stage, I saw a singer who didn’t know quite how to fill the stage and who played the audience in an artificially studied way. Tonight I saw an experienced artist, who spilled her innermost secrets on stage and made contact from the first minute. Her singing surprised me, I had no idea that Kim could sing so well. She sang all the notes, even the high ones, sometimes supported vocally – it has to be said – by Scarlett, the daughter of Kim’s brother Ricky, responsible for all her hits and guitarist tonight.

Kim showed a lot of herself, also in new material, an acoustic ballad written by Ricky. Great band, by the way, with amongst others bassist Nick Beggs (from Kajagoogoo, who remembers them). Great lead guitarist and drummer too, but I didn’t get their names alas.

Kim rocked. The audience came for the tracks they knew and got much more than that. The house was already brought down after the second song, much to the pleasure of a visibly enjoying Kim Wilde, who seemed at times overwhelmed by the enthusiasm from the overheated room. Kim was laughing and waving to her loyal fans in the audience, whom she thanked by dedicating ‘You came’ to them. A diva without pretences and with the warmest smile I have seen on stage in a long time. Kim is still beautiful by the way, without botox or other artificial ingredients, what a beautiful woman!

But it was all about the music and that was delicious. Lots of hits, a large amount from Kim herself, with of course ‘Anyplace, anytime, anywhere’, her most recent hit with Nena and ‘Kids in America’, saved for the encore. Not a lot of new material, few ballads, but well placed in the set and great additions of eighties hits by others (Depeche Mode, Erasure and Plastic Bertrand, a bull’s eye!) and everything fresh and bubbly, without any sign of boredom or dustiness. Okay, the quality of the sound left a little to be desired – back up vocals by Scarlett couldn’t be heard – but it was just a detail; we came for a party and we got one, delicious!