Date: 25 July 2011
Originally published in: Frankfurter Neue Presse (Germany)
Written by: Mike Marklove
The British pop singer made her appearance just as nostalgic as a boisterous party.
It was an evening full of nice little stories and insights. Partly because Kim Wilde – dressed elegantly in black – was accompanied by her brother Ricky (guitar) and her niece Scarlett (vocals). They are joined by bassist Nick Beggs also, founding member of the New Wave group Kajagoogoo who landed a huge hit in 1983 with “Too Shy”.
Beggs wears his long, blond hair braided in long braids and looked very cool – like the bald Ricky Wilde, who has written all the great hits of sister Kim – with his mighty sunglasses. The mood however wasn’t cool at all. Even when the Wildes came to the stage, the fans couldn’t be stopped. The people danced and partied to songs like “Keep Me Hanging On,” “You Came” and “Never Trust A Stranger”. In between Wilde asked if they had something against it, if they would play “old stuff”. Of course, knowing that the majority of the audience had come precisely for that: after all, they celebrated their successes so important in the 80s.
And Wilde and her fellow musicians were not stingy, they played all the hits, plus some new pieces interpreted by fellow musicians like Erasure (“Respect”) and Tasmin Archer (“Sleeping Satellite”). The highlight was of course “Kids in America”, the biggest success of Kim Wilde.
The singer has stood the test of time over the years, and not only visually. With a steady voice and tone she performed the pop pieces, and at no time was she short of breath. And she had put together a band that sparkled with pleasure in music. It would therefore be an almost perfect evening.
But the fun was marred by excessive volume, as Wilde and Co. have misunderstood something: Just because one part of the audience getting on in years, that does not mean that all wear hearing aids. The overdriven keyboards at the beginning, the delicate guitar solos presented in the ears hurt sometimes.
Through the sound of an overdriven tube Kim’s impressive voice cut through and unfortunately sometimes less clear. The result: a soup of sound, which was ultimately borne by the rhythm instruments, drums and bass. Even with the few who presented only with an acoustic guitar songs, a few less decibels of the music would have done well. When the lights came on again and the encores had stopped, the visitors came to this conclusion: The next time only earplugs will help to protect the ear canals. Like in the old days, in the disco.