Kim Wilde: one for the heart and one for the garden!

Date
Published in
La Tribune de Genève (Switzerland)

When she appears in the spans of the skating rink of Malley, in the wake of her manager, one gets a small shiver down the spine. Meeting Kim Wilde is a dream of an adolescent coming true too late! And the memories come back from the famous eighties... The posters plastered on the walls. The first concerts in Lausanne. The vinyl albums in a row. The membership card of the official fanclub.
The British singer appears on the stage to have the traditional soundcheck. She has her hands in the pockets of her coat. But she has a lot of pleasure to fly over her career for the needs for the spectacle Art on Ice. With four symbolic titles. There is the first hit, the one that made her enter the charts back in 1981: Kids in America. She continues with You Came. "It's my favourite", she says later. "I will not leave with anybody the right to adapt it, it's my song!". Before ending with Chequered Love, Kim Wilde performes again the reprise of the Supremes: You Keep Me Hangin' On. The song seduced the Americans at the end of the eighties.
At the scene, Nick Boyles, her manager grimaces. In this skating rink, the sound whirls. It's not easy to find a good balance in these conditions! Kim Wilde raises the inches towards her manager. Reassured. Since two years, she has returned to this business. A need which appeared gradually. "At first I participated in a tour in England with other artists from the eighties - Belinda Carlisle, ABC, Heaven 17 and Howard Jones. I had some good times!"

But at this time, Kim is first and foremost a mother. She takes her children to school. Cleans her house. And she concentrates on a second career that came to be by accident: being horticulturalist. "Gardening is a private passion that became a job as well!" Married in 1996, the English woman dreamt of designing a proper garden. She went back to school. Got her diploma. And used her green fingers to present TV programmes - including for the BBC. She ended up writing two 'bibles' on the subject. Life sometimes works in astonishing ways...
For one month, at the end of every year, Kim Wilde swapped her gardening outfit for a stage outfit. She noticed that (all) her songs stood the test of time. The German singer Nena invited her to record a duet: 'Anyplace, anywhere anytime'. "We knew we had a big hit on our hands", she remembers. "It would change everything..."
During all this, the English singer signed a contract with EMI. It is time for her to leave the retreat. So why did she disappear? In her cabin, beautiful Kim evokes these fifteen years of her career lived under the glance of others. "I was 36 years old, my career didn't go so well and I did not see myself fighting during ten years to try to save appearances. Tired, the English woman preferred to pull back. Without fear of the future. "I did not have any more true challenges to take up, I was ready to open another chapter of my existence", she adds. Accepting one of the main roles in the musical Tommy - which ran in London between 1996 and 1997 - she didn't know she would meet her future husband: Hal Fowler. A sign which did not leave her indifferent.