Date: 18 April 2018
Originally published in: The Chronicle (UK)
Written by: Gordon Barr
Having been a fan of Kim Wilde since she first burst on to the music scene in early 1981, it’s fair to say this was a long, long awaited headlining gig for me. I’ve seen the singer a number of times as part of 80s retro tours, where she has shared the limelight with other acts but invariable stole each show from them.
With her new album Here Come The Aliens proving her biggest chart success in years, the time was ripe for Kim to hit the road again in her first headlining UK tour in more than 30 years. Had it been worth that long, long wait to see her?
Indeed it had and a busy Sage Gateshead seemed to be in unison with that sentiment, giving her such a warm reception she was moved to tears at the end. Dressed in a figure-hugging PVC outfit, Kim wowed us all, backed by an impressive band which seemed to simply be enjoying themselves on the stage and which included her younger brother Ricky – the songwriting and production genius behind her albums – and even niece Scarlett as her outstanding backing singer (and designer of the Here Come The Aliens album cover). The concert as a whole was a sheer joy to watch, bursting with energy, class …. and hit after hit after hit.
But this was no retro tour for Kim – there was a good smattering of numbers from Here Come The Aliens, with the opening number being Stereo Shot, one of the strongest tracks on the album. Kim apologised to the crowd for her voice not being as strong as she would have liked – the tour taking its toll on her vocals. Had she not mentioned it, I doubt any of us would have realised (although the omission of the beautiful Four Letter Word was perhaps a good idea if she wasn’t on what she considered to be top form).
Four Letter Word aside, there were plenty of hits to enjoy – Water On Glass, Never Trust A Stranger, Cambodia. Another Step (Closer To You) sitting perfectly alongside new tracks like Kandy Krush and Yours ’Til The End. By the time the opening bars of View From A Bridge rang out, we were on our feet and relishing the pop rock magic that Kim is so loved for.
Chequered Love, You Came, You Keep Me Hangin’ On, 1969 and the encores of Pop Don’t Stop and, the natural finale, Kids In America saw Kim and the band on top form. A night of nostalgia it certainly was, but with a 2018 twist that was truly (and in keeping with Here Come The Aliens) out of this world!