Reviewed by Jude Featherby
After one of the most beautiful and hottest April days remembered, we travelled up to the wonderful spa town of Buxton to watch one of the most beautiful and hottest female acts of the 1980’s, Kim Wilde.
Watching any act perform at the historic Opera House is always a pure pleasure with its breath-taking decor and their always friendly, inviting staff who never fail to make you feel welcome. Tonight though was going to be hopefully a special evening to reminisce my youth and also enjoy some of Kim’s new work from her album “Here Come the Aliens” which is also the same name as her 19 date UK tour.
One of the most popular female artists of the 80’s having had 25 hits and more recently having had rave reviews in the press for her new album, I was sure we might be in for a real treat.
First of all, came her support act, Lawrence Hill, who was an extremely talented singer, song writer and musician. We were told Kim had talent spotted him playing in a restaurant she was dining in and admired his work, thus now supporting her on her tour. His music and voice were original and you could feel that the audience truly appreciated his set of songs.
After a short interlude it was time for the main act we had all been waiting for. The lights dipped into a UFO shape misty hue as the band members took their places on stage and began playing the start of “Stereo Shot” and then entered the beautiful Kim Wilde, looking absolutely fabulous in a tight leather black outfit with a golden tasselled jacket on top. A very glamorous biker girl, who is looking more 30 than 50.
With a big band supporting her including two sets of drummers, the show begins and the 80’s start to come alive again for the 50 (year old) something audience with “Water on Glass”. Kim’s vocals are strong and clear and although at this point the audience are quite restrained, you can hear the chorus being sung in dulcet tones. The tempo then rises with “Never trust a Stranger” but then slightly dulled down again for the lesser known electro “Candy Crush” from the new album. Throughout the evening Kim chats to us in a very approachable way. Winning us on side with how much she loves the town of Buxton and how surprised she was with its beauty and from now on its Buxton water in her shopping trolley only. She introduces her band, her brother Ricky on guitar and her niece Scarlett on backing vocals (she also designed the new album cover) makes the show feel so full of good family values.
And so the music continues thick and fast from the wonderful Cambodia to the raucous Birthday and onto the sublime acoustic version of “If I Can’t Have You” with very warmed up audience participation. The new songs and the old all have different properties of rock, electro, funk and punk in different quantities. But it was when ”You Came” the whole evening stepped up a notch and so did the audience to their feet, and then bounced onto an extended “Hangin On” with everyone singing “Set me free”
Even the lesser known 1969 was welcomed as a good friend. And then it was time to say goodbye, though everyone knew it wasn’t. As the band returned to the stage for their encore the recent single Pop Don’t Stop was a popular choice after having enjoyed a lot of radio air play and a retro 80’s feel. Finally, it surely was the most predictable part of the evening and as the group gathered together on stage to play the grinding intro of Kids in America I don’t think I was the only one who’s heart fluttered with the excitement of being taken back all those years with Miss Wilde’s unmistakable anthem.
Well I wasn’t disappointed, we certainly were all treated at Buxton Opera house by Kim Wilde and her band. A fantastic evening was had by all, I hope I can say. Not only did she sound amazing, look fantastic but she came across as a totally down to earth genuine person who I would love to share a bottle of Buxton Water with and a chat.
Kim Wilde is currently on tour around the UK, for more information and tour dates visit www.kimwilde.com.
For other shows at Buxton Opera House visit www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk. or call the box office 0845 127 2190.
Buxton Opera House, Water Street, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6XN | 0845 127 2190