Date: 3 March 2011
Originally published in: Stuttgarter Zeitung (Germany)
Written by: Jan Ulrich Welke
The British singer Kim Wilde relives the old days of yesteryear in the Theaterhaus.
Nick Beggs is a very interesting musician with one – apart from his previous job as a garbage man – enigmatic artist biography. He has worked with John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, Gary Numan and ABC, but the bassist is best known, the older ones remember, his band Kajagoogoo. Beggs does not play like Tony Levin of King Crimson, Les Claypool of Primus and Stanley Clarke, but that’s probably because he, to say the least, currently a bit of challenge should be.
And thus on Tuesday evening in the well-filled main hall of the Stuttgart Theaterhaus he is in fact a side musician of Kim Wilde’s tour band. And so he can come up with an original outfit (skull studded skirt and throughout the concert XXL headphones on the ears), at one point he may also even play a small slap solo. Otherwise, it is however his task to play the grooves which may well have been learned in his London music school Guitar-X in the first semester.
Now probably noone attending a Kim Wilde concert is there because they expect extraordinary musical artistry. And certainly no one comes to hear rare studio outtakes, single B-sides or material from her colossally commercially unsuccessful albums in the nineties. No, the people come to hear in the course of the concert, “Chequered Love”, “Cambodia”, “Never Trust A Stranger”, “View from the Bridge,” “The Second Time” and if possible in the two encores still “You keep me hangin ‘on” and “Kids in America”. And who would have thought: in this exact order they appear.
Kim Wilde are to treat these successes, each of these hits is in itself a very ordinary song. The expectability their well-measured course spreads across the entire one hundred minutes distributed sequence, however, from such a tepid, improvisations and spontanity free tour routine, that in the meantime ever asks why well-designed Bob Dylan every night his set list from scratch or a even a single Depeche Mode concert would be recalled, in which the band would have played all their hits without exception. Sometimes you feel in this revue that is used by the British singer also sold exactly like this (multiple times, it points to lesser-known songs are almost apologetically, that it now certainly again be “in the Mood for Some Old Stuff”), to the Nokia Night of the Proms, recalls the way she three years ago had the pleasure to participate. . . But only at the margins.
On the edge a stage jewel which has been dead for decades: the illuminated show stairs, the good old remote keyboard, apparently with the Scorpions borrowed her guitar on stage hard “rock out” brother Ricky, and the fan that blows Kim Wilde at the edge of the stage, the perky blond streaks from the face. Uff!
Noteworthy from a musical perspective, however, still three things: soon after the start is Kim Wilde Anyplace, anywhere, anytime, her surprise duet from 2003 with Nena, though not in the time unexpected bilingual, but a version resembling the German original. The first encore opened with “Forever Young” from the German band Alphaville, also a throwback to the actual driving forces for the concert, which will finally be the same words.
In between, we Kim Wilde gathers herself behind the electric piano to hear the – do not laugh please! – song composed for her dog “Jessica”, an intimate round on the show stairs to give a small acoustic set (unclouded by Beggs on bass guitar) and a medley-like interlude. The cover of Tasmin Archer’s “Sleeping Satellite” illustrates to the most excellent, why Kim Wilde may have become known for many things, but certainly not for her vocal skills.
So now, but leave an end to music critical description parameters mentioned towards the drive, the good old days in the eighties in the mind’s eye once again pass in review and in person with open eyes on the stage. Has it worked out, the memory of Blue standing parties, first kisses, holding hands and bashful, unclouded teenage carelessness and innocent joy of existence? Not really, of course, in the face of a fifty-year old singer who wound down before the majority is not much younger audience their Tour Show. On the other hand, but then – a bit already.