After she had some successful singles, Kim Wilde was seen live in concert in the Netherlands for the first time. Yesterday night she performaned in a virtually sold out Vredenburg.
She follows a road that is exactly the opposite of most pop band and artists, who usually perform live a lot and finally make records to widen their appeal. The inverse tactic of the Wilde family is a result of her background: she is the product of a well thought out success formula, mainly in the hands of her father Marty.
Dad Wilde had a series of hits in and around 1960, knows the details of the trade and writes lyrics and music together with her brother Ricky. On top of that Kim has the successful producer Micky Most behind her. It all results in a well thought out formula, which Kim represents physically and which is reflected in records, posters, t-shirts, programme booklets, badges and sweaters.
Her modern, somehow nonconformistic but stylish and goodlooking exterior, in which fashion trends like disco, hard rock and punk are fused together, is a success with various audiences. And then there's the music, consisting of short, fresh, contagious and optimistic popsongs with vague lyrics, betraying the talent of the makers of this type of music.
The stuff is not very deep, but it is pop entertainment after all. Kim (real name: Smith) is called the modern version of Dusty Springfield by some, although it is still the question whether her work will be remembered twenty years from now, like Dusty's is.
She has a characteristic, but high and frail voice. Still she did quite well last night live, although her records sound a little better thanks to the production.
As for her style, and that's no wonder because of her father, it leans heavily on the pop music of the early sixties when Merseybeat started to change the sound. It has been fit into a modern jacket. It's not surprising that the main solo instrument is the saxophone. This instrument performed the most solos in the band consisting of saxophone, two keyboard players, guitar, bass, drums and two backing singers. The band played well, not counting the drummer who played a bit stiff.
Kim played, beside songs from her two albums, all the hits, including the new single 'Child come away'. A great atmosphere was reserved for the slow 'I really can't explain', which had a great sax solo. The celebratory 'Kids in America' ended a concert that didn't have the quality of Kim's records, but during which she was able to present herself well with her band.