A week ago I went to Kim - eighties pop princess- Wilde’s concert. She is doing a greatest hits tour of Europe. She might come to your town too.
I suppose I thought it would be a fun ironic event to do with my girlfriends. As I walked into the hall I saw a middle-aged lady on stage, who had put on a few pounds. She wore black tight jeans, red lipstick and let her peroxide hair blow softly in the wind blower, just like in this video.
I wondered why we had come. Buying tickets is one thing. Actually having to sit through an evening of irony is another.
But I am glad to say Kim proved me wrong. Thank goodness for British self-depreciative humor. I left with warmer feelings for Ms Wilde than I came in with. Her voice has stood the test of time and nostalgia was conjured within our innards as we sang along to 'Cambodia', 'Don’t leave me hanging on' and the grand finale; with no hands left by the sides, "Kids of America." Who oh! Besides the audience was an eclectic mix, worth viewing.
I will give you a brief summary.
Sitting in the corner on the right two scrawny school kids hunched up, with ear plugs in their ears and heads stuck between their pulled up knees, waiting for it to end, for god’s sake. We imagined their mother going crazy on the dance floor, although we did not identify her. On the balcony; an extended family, with a tomboy kid standing and singing along to each Kim Wilde song. She knew all the words. We imagined her parents introducing her to Wilde at an early age; a whole family of Kim Wilde fans. It struck us as funny. You may not think so. There was a friendly looking couple on the balcony of at least seventy, wearing plaid shirts, reading glasses and trouser braces; hair: gray, long and fuzzy, as if they had walked out of a hill-billy country western movie.
They carried binoculars, which they passed to each other in turn. The strange thing was, they kept making notes in a little notebook each time they finished looking through the looking glass. What were they writing? What did they see? When they were not writing, they jigged along to the music.
The front standing rows were dominated by balding heterosexual men passing flowers to the stage. One balding gentleman however sat on the balcony, his beer belly resting softly under his pinstriped shirt. He leaned over the balustrade and did not move, looking angry throughout the show. What had Kim done to him?
Did they have posters of the young Kim on their walls when they were younger themselves, and did they dream of close encounters? Did they still see that girl in the woman on stage, with the blowing peroxide hair?
Maybe Kim Wilde’s niece, the backing singer, who whipped her hips from left to right, showing off her midriff under her leather jacket, helped them to remember. Her youth was obviously a reference to the younger Kim Wilde, projected in images on the overhead screens.
The rest of the audience was made up of the young fit and gay and work colleagues drinking too many beers for a Wednesday night, dancing unsteadily and shouting: "this is so funny, isn’t it?" The evening made me happy and sad all in one. And that was a good thing.