Behind the mike today: Kim Wilde

Bremerhaven. Music, love, gardening: three things that accompany Kim Wilde. The British singer is on tour again. She also comes to town hall in Bremerhaven. Before that, she has granted NZ an audience on the phone.

“Hello,” she says. “Sorry, I’m a bit too late.” “Not really,” I say. “I’ve only been waiting 25 years to do this interview. Some five minutes is really not so bad.”

Ice is broken? I think so, she is happy. Kim Wilde is barely older than me. Not that I now count all the hits of the lady among my favorite songs. But we have shared some moments in the villae disco. She sounded out from the speakers, I was on the dance floor. She laughs when she hears this.

She was barely 20 when the success came to her. Kim Wilde landed a worldwide hit in 1981 with “Kids in America” – followed by many more. Her portrait adorned the walls of many kids’ rooms. In the annual election of the youth magazine “Bravo” millions of readers voted her their favourite four times in a row, giving her four “Golden Otto”. Today, the trophies stand somewhere in her English country house.

In the mid-Eighties, she landed a worldwide hit again. With “You Keep Me Hanging On” – a cover song by the Supremes – she managed a Top 10 hit across Europe. In the U.S., Canada and Australia the song even topped the charts. “I just came back from London,” she says over the phone, “for concerts.” She has brought a skateboard for her son, she chats. “I hope he doesn’t lose it at school, then there’s trouble” – again she laughs.

Kim Wilde loves pop music, show business, too. “It’s always fun,” she says. Unlike many others who have celebrated success during the Eighties, she has remained grounded – inevitable as the musical success and the music industry is changing slowly but surely. At 30 she plays a role in a musical, falls in love with the love of her life and had two children. She pulls away from London, studies horticulture – and is again successful. She presents television shows, writes articles for leading newspapers and gardening books.

In early 2000, there are the first wave of revivals. The 80s are back strong. Bands like Human League and ABC go on tour, Kim Wilde too. She only incidentally goes into the garden – the music and the business have her back again. She always prefers to sing live. Something she has not done during the start of her career all too often. “I like it very much,” she says, “you know?”

She will sing her hits in Bremerhaven, and a few pieces from her latest CD “Snapshots” – a compilation of some of their favorite hits. A question must not be missing: Have you ever been in Bremerhaven? “Yes,” she says. “I remember that it was super windy. And there is the best Greek restaurant ever. Let’s see if I find it again. We shall see. “