By Neil Durham
WORTH A LOOK?: ****
WHEN?: Tuesday 27 September 2022, last night of tour
SETLIST: Rage To Love; Never Trust A Stranger; Million Miles Away; Can’t Get Enough (Of Your Love); If I Can’t Have You; The Touch; The Second Time/Pop Muzik; Kandy Krush; Birthday; Water On Glass; Love Is Holy; Love In The Natural Way; Four Letter Word; Another Step; Cambodia; View From A Bridge; Chequered Love; You Keep Me Hangin’ On; Pop Don’t Stop; Kids In America
Born in 1960, Wilde tells us she grew up listening to The Beatles, was a teenager during punk, glam rock and ABBA, and, perhaps most importantly was 20 in 1980.
- Read on for reasons including how Wilde was reunited with an extra special duet partner during this show
We’ve seen her perform at lots of 80s festivals and, while we love her smash hits from that decade, it’s the rarely heard songs live that she isn’t able to squeeze into those abridged sets that we’re most enjoying during this 110-minute headliner performance.
Love Is Holy (a number 16 UK hit in 1992), for example, was 1 of her final hits in the early 90s and is both gorgeously melodic and reminiscent of Belinda Carlisle.
Four Letter Word and Love In The Natural Way are perhaps less frenetic and synth-driven than the big pop anthems with which she made her name but show off a fine singing voice, a stagecraft buffed by musical theatre and a band marshalled by her brother Ricky which is so tight that if it were jeans it would be positively obscene.
Wilde teases a special guest on the last night of this UK tour and she is joined onstage by Junior Giscombe who she duetted with on Another Step (Closer To You), a number 6 UK hit in 1987. Both are pictured below.
It’s an emotional moment to see the pair reunited after 35 years and is a fitting highspot for this memorable gig.
As she did when we saw her at KOKO in 2018, Wilde mentions that her former pop star father Marty is in the venue (he must be so proud), and it’s a real family affair because she is joined onstage by niece Scarlett Wilde and her writer/producer brother Ricky.
The Palladium crowd starts seated but people begin rising to their feet through their early songs and we’re only 7 numbers in after a medley of The Second Time and a cover of Pop Muzik when Wilde declares it the best reaction of the tour thus far.
In fact the band do as others including Pet Shop Boys have started to do which is move from song to song, sometimes without an applause break, to build the momentum of the atmosphere.
We remember the reaction to the KOKO show and the vibe becomes almost moshpit-like towards the set close as Wilde moves nearer to us, we’re in the 4th row, and starts touching the hands of those at the very front of the stage.
We love that Wilde is reclaiming her pop roots during song Pop Don’t Stop and the music is perhaps best described as where rockabilly meets rock most of the time with a drizzle of pop hits in the mix.
It finishes with the song that started it all – Kids In America, a top 30 hit in America but big all over Europe and Australia as well as a UK number 2 – and it’s been an absolute blast.
Kim Wilde and her band – always reliably brilliant live.