Date: 6 November 2016
Originally published in: Internal Jukebox (Australia)
Last night Kim Wilde and Howard Jones played the Rooty Hill RSL in Sydney’s west and they were amazing. At Internal Jukebox we’ve seen a lot of shows this year, but this one ranks right up there. It was a fantastic night of fun, hits and very talented performers who are still on top of their games.
Retro tours are very big right now. All our favourite artists from the 80s and 90s are letting us relive the magic. When these artists were at their pinnacle we often didn’t get a chance to see them, if they toured we were either too young, or too broke. The amount of artists I lament not seeing in my early 20s is ridiculous. The retro trend is giving us the chance to see artists we adored and still love to listen to.
I love Kim Wilde, always have. I was young when “Kids in America” came out, but loved it. It was when, “You Keep Me Hanging On” came out that my love was cemented. Then while at Uni, “If I Can’t Have You” was released, and this guy played it so much I don’t know how I didn’t wear out the CD. So the idea of seeing Kim Wilde, accompanied by Howard Jones, was too special to resist. And what a show they both put on. We got our money’s worth. Starting at 8.30, we didn’t get out of there until about 11.30, and that time went so fast – this was pure entertainment.
Howard was on first. What a great set his 60 minutes was. It was a wondrous electronic playground with some real gems. Howard is such a nice guy, clearly he loves music and performing and it was such an honour to seem him do what he loves, and what he is great at. He ran across the stage and played his keyboard guitar, often times sounding like a cross between Peter Gabriel and Guru Josh – and that is a good thing. Howard’s voice still sounded incredibly strong and his tunes still sounded fresh.
He performed all his hits with a few extra songs, including a new one which was fantastic – think I’ll be visiting iTunes for that one this morning. “No One Is To Blame” was beautiful, “Like To Get You Know You Well” was a big crowd favourite, while my favourite on the night had to certainly be, “What Is Love”. It brought the house down, and it was magical hearing the crowd sing along. Howard may have worried the seated crowd weren’t enjoying the show – all I know, the people up the front were going crazy. What a great set from a great artist!
Kim Wilde was up next and she exploded on stage with, “Chequered Love”. It was evident from the start how amazing Kim still looked and sounded. She has lost none of her vocal magic, her singing was great and she handled her hits with skill and beauty. I probably dropped a few kilos from dancing, the show was so amazing – what a brilliant night. And Kim was lovely, she was warm, engaging and her enthusiasm was infectious. We all chuckled along as she giggled every time she said Rooty Hill (we find it funny too Kim). And her story of being stuck in an elevator with Howard Jones for 30 minutes earlier in the day was hilarious. Clearly she loves her fan, she was smiling at the crowd, inviting us in and giving us a brilliant show.
She performed so many of her hits, “View From a Bridge” was great, as was “Never Trust a Stranger”. Her only ballad of the night, “Cambodia” was beautiful and emotional. Sure, I would have loved to have heard, “Love is Holy”, but still was happy with everything on the setlist. Kim also did some great covers, “Forever Young” was lovely, and her encore started with a rocking version of “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”, it was timely (R.I.P Pete Burns) and incredible, the crowd danced like nothing else.
The big hits always get the nig response, we love these songs and we love to hear them. “You Came” was fantastic and it was lovely she dedicated it to her fans. Her Aussie number one, “If I Can’t Have You”, was started slow and then went full disco – it was great, and always a good sing along. Of course the two everyone was dying to see were amazing. “You Keep Me Hanging On” was special and incredible, while “Kids In America” had the crowd going berserk with jumping and singing – it certainly was the highlight of a brilliant evening.
Special mention must be given to the great band, which included Kim’s amazingly talented brother Ricky, and his daughter, Scarlett – who certainly has more than a large dose of her Aunty’s talent and charisma. And what a special treat that for the last song of the night, Scarlett and Ricky joined Kim in inviting Howard back on stage where the four could perform the Beach Boys classic hit, “God Only Knows”. It was a beautiful cover that certainly should be released as a single!
What a special night, I am still buzzing. Kim Wilde and Howard Jones didn’t just rely on the retro trend to have a good show, they brought the house down with passion and amazing talent – I want to see it again!