Kim Wilde makes you happy

Just over a month before her 58th birthday, the English pop queen Kim Wilde has stopped by in the Zurich Volkshaus. Included in the luggage: all the old hits, a few new songs and a lot of family. A good mix, as it turned out.

Bad tongues claim: if you know one Kim Wilde song, you know them all. With the first few numbers in the practically full Zurich Volkshaus, the soon-to-be-58-year-old Briton is not exactly trying to prove the opposite. Water on Glass, followed by Kandy Krush, then Cambodia, followed by Yours’ Til the End: It’s a ping-pong-playing undynamic pop hit with sing-along chorus from Kim’s oldest and her latest album. The drums thunder, the guitars rattle, the synthesizer fills the last gaps with his electric sound carpet. And that from the first to the last bar. If the show continues so overloaded, it gets boring quickly. And with Nanana songs like Cambodia for the good public mood, the British pop queen is soon out of action. Two are still with her.

But of course the woman is also aware of that. With Solstice she tries the turn-around. Electric piano, plus her voice. Then nothing. Suddenly she’s there, that voice, cutting like a laser beam, cheeky as Joe Strummer, happy as the Easter Bunny. And without any sound jungle to hide, Kim Wilde reveals weaknesses. The voice trembles, breaks briefly, catches itself again. She has grown old. One suffers with her, until finally the band starts and Kim can relax vocally again. The background singer, Scarlett Wilde, gives her a hold. Ricky Wilde, the rhythm guitarist, agrees. The song echoes through the Volkshaus like a chorale through a church. Rescued.

Ricky is Kim’s brother. Scarlett, his daughter, hence her niece. Pretty much family in the eight-headed band so. That makes the stage almost to the living room, if it were not the visibly inconvenient outfit of the singer. Korsett or not: When she starts to celebrate the 30th anniversary of her album Close, she wipes the last boredom concerns from the table. Close is the highlight of Wilde’s work. And to celebrate this, she banishes the entire band except the family members from the stage – to drink beer, as she says.

The threesome play Hey Mr. Heartache, folkily hummed by Ricky. A very intimate moment, which is still trumped by Four Letter Word. Kim’s brother tugs a bossa groove, while she herself – again shaky – sings of a past love that she had previously smiled about in the announcement, but now suddenly weeps about. The talking and singing Kim are two different people.

When the band returns, there is another change of mood. The number Cyber.Nation.War from the current album Here Come the Aliens shows Wilde from an unusually gloomy, world-pessimistic side. Unusual? Small mistake. As if she were aware of this intuitive thought, she is hooking on her ’80s hit View from a Bridge, which is about a girl committing suicide by jumping from a bridge. Gloomy also went over 30 years ago. Only the beat at the time was more driving, danceable. Whether to dance to such a song is another question.

And as if Kim could also read this intuitive thought, she also attaches Chequered Love to the song series. The same driving beat, composed simply in major instead of minor. Dancing? No problem. Now she uses the moment. You Came follows and the hall sings. (You keep me) Hanging on is just another thing. What a run! Actually, it should be over now.

But Kim grabs a miniscan flashing in neon colors and tells something about aliens that she wanted to have seen in 2009. They are real and she wants to protect us all from them, says Kim. And swings her plastic revolver. Then comes the title track of the new album. A groovy groove, sing-along chorus, thunderous drums, guitar-boarding, synth filling, whatever else you can fill. Kim Wilde according to Scheme F.

That’s the end. As well as. The Kim Wilde fan has counted: After Cambodia and View from a Bridge missing the third Nanana song. Kids in America, the superhit. It comes as a last encore. The Volkshaus is screaming “Nananananana”. You can hardly leave a concert hall happier.