With a touch of ABBA; Kim Wilde evokes mixed feelings at her German tour opener in Cologne

In 1981, “Kids In America” was a giant hit. Today the piece which rhythmically zooms up and down like a caterpillar at the fair and cheerful honking off for a golden future, is much more than that: a hymn. And also the swan song of an era. The 1980s. From the young bottle blonde who sang at that time and, blessed with a bright, high but stable voice and the appearance of a model, was preparing to conquer the world, has now become a seasoned, still bleach-blonde woman.

Kim Wilde has achieved quite a lot. She topped the charts, was with Michael Jackson and David Bowie on tour, and stood in London’s West End on stage. She found a man who was worthy to marry him, got two children from him and started a successful second career as a landscape gardener. Hosted TV shows, wrote articles for newspapers and magazines and a bestseller. In 2003 she managed a comeback in a duet with Nena, and then they brought out a new album, went on tour, was the star guest at “Nokia Night of the Proms”.

Now Kim Wilde has made contact again. The title of her cd, released end of August 2010, “Come Out And Play” says it all: Go out and play. As on Monday at the launch of their tour through ten German cities, the Musical Dome in Cologne before 1000 people.

The audience included a mix, could hardly be more different. Fans who almost belong to the family, because they follow Wilde for 30 years. Friends that will catapult the caterpillar back in the days when they even rehearsed to be a vamp. Gay guys who are coming to do some retro partying. And voyeurs who want to experience how a 50-year-old presses herself in the stage clothes of a 20-year-old, in order to look like a mummy from Middlesex, who goes to London in the weekends to rehearse the uprising.

The two-hour program of Wilde and her band, they all come at their expense. The new songs fit seamlessly into the sound structure of the 1980s, sometimes a bit sound like “ABBA” and a lot like Kim Wilde.

The Crystalline of her voice she has kept, even if there are dips. For the family fans in the audience there is a love letter to family dog, “Jessica,” in which Wilde accompanies herself on the keyboard, for the friends, the sexy swinging “Love Blonde”, for the retro all-round supply to “Chequered Love” on “Cambodia” and “View From A Bridge” last.

The concert becomes the most intimate when bassist Nick Beggs, together as an ex-Kajagoogoo-musician and one of the protagonists of the “Golden Eighties”, Wilde, her niece, Scarlett, who as a background singer of the party, and brother, Ricky, Scarlett’s father, sitting on the showstairs of the Musical Dome bringing an acoustic set.