WORTH A LOOK?: ****
WHEN: 26/4, tour runs to 29/4/18
SETLIST: Stereo Shot; Water On Glass; Never Trust A Stranger; Kandy Krush; Cambodia; Birthday; Yours ‘Til The End; Another Step; Words Fell Down; Bladerunner; If I Can’t Have You; Rosetta; View From A Bridge; Chequered Love; You Came; You Keep Me Hangin’ On; 1969; Pop Don’t Stop; Kids In America
It’s rare for an act of Kim Wilde’s vintage (first hit 1981) to release a new album (Here Come The Aliens in March) that sits so well in a greatest hits set.
We’re here at KOKO in Mornington Crescent because we know we love Kim Wilde (old and new) but we can’t be sure we’ve ever seen her live before and we know from her stage career that she’s already a reputation as a fine live performer.
The 1,410-capacity KOKO is one of our favourite venues and, although we knew before we got here that this gig had sold out, we weren’t expecting it to be more rammed to the rafters than we’ve ever seen it.
We’re up in the rafters for most of the set and hear an exchange in the bar that could set the tone for the evening – but doesn’t. A fan tells a young barmaid that he was last at this venue 27 years ago when he was 23. As he leaves, she turns to her equally young colleague and says: ‘I can’t ever imagine being that old. Most of them look so sad.’
Downstairs the 57-year-old is having the time of her life dressed like something out of Barbarella (1968 film), explaining that the new album’s title was inspired by a sighting just up the road in Camden and introducing backing singer Scarlett Wilde (pictured above with Kim), surely soon to be a star in her own right who is the daughter of Kim’s brother Ricky, also on stage.
The theme of family has always been an important one for Kim and one of the set’s most moving moments is when she dedicates big hit Four Letter Word to father Marty, who co-wrote it, and is here tonight.
We leave our vantage point in the gods for the final seven songs and join the throng on the dance floor who are having as much fun as their idol and the first thing we notice is how rock the guitars are and how impressive the sound is.
It could quite easily be the 80s again on that KOKO dancefloor as Kim is rocking out and the big pop hits like You Came and You Keep Me Hangin’ On (the ‘definitive’ version insists the fan beside me) flow.
Kids In America (clip above) is perhaps so defining of that time that it’s near impossible to match but we include Kandy Krush from Here Come The Aliens above to give a sense of how at the top of her game Kim currently is.