Kim Wilde – The Old Fruit Market, Glasgow – 2 April 2018
After being disappointed at the Greta Van Fleet gig in Glasgow the night before, I headed back in to Glasgow with managed down expectations to see Kim Wilde. “Yes THAT Kim Wilde” I explained to bemused mates.
A couple of beers in the Beer Caffe, a quick wander around in the rain and snow and we finally found the Old Fruit Market hidden in the City Halls but well worth the find, it is a stunning venue. Why more rock bands don’t use it is beyond me.
The crowd was an impressive size and on the mature side, not that I’m saying that there was a smell of rose water, Brut and biscuits J
I had been lucky enough to hear the new Kim Wilde album and as an 80’s hair rock fan I thought I knew roughly what to expect. I was wrong in a really good way.
KW walked out on stage around 9 o’clock as her impressively sized band took up their places. The band has 2 drummers, 2 guitarists, bass player and keyboards and a backing singer to ably support the main lady. It’s basically a family thing.
What became apparent was the stage set up and the stunning backing lighting that let KW walk up to the mic and Stereo Shot kicked off the show.
Kim Wilde may be 57 but boy does she rock a white leather biker jacket with tassels and she went into Water on Glass seamlessly to keep the 80s fans happy.
The switch between new and old stuff worked like a dream. The white jacket was ditched and the full black leather rock ensemble caused gasps (mainly by me and I felt my wife’s elbow’s full effect).
KW seemed genuinely taken aback by the crowd size and reaction and she thanked Glasgow for being the only place in the UK to have “Here Come the Aliens” in the top 10. Her modesty and thanks went down well as did Kandy Krush and Cambodia and a crowd member gave her a teddy bear with obligatory saltire.
Now some of my less educated/kind friends had been sneering about our attendance at the gig stating that 2 weeks ago I went to Hard Rock Hell AOR and now this. Well KW would not only hold her own at a melodic rock gig, she’d blow it to pieces. I’ve seen Lee Aaron and Lita Ford in the last 2 years, neither hold a candle to the latest KW show.
She oozes quality, professionalism, has stage presence and the full set list to back it up. Her band are tight and seemed to be having a ball. Scarlett Wilde sang her own lead and her support of her aunt would bring a tear to a glass eye.
The acoustic section of slower songs was a superb change of pace and showcased the KW vocal along with brother Ricky.
“It’s time to rock it up a bit” (or words to that effect) led into an upbeat Birthday and Chequered Love which is pure melodic rock with the 80’s pop edge. This bounced into You Came, You Keep me Hanging On before 1969 (the elephant in the room she told the crowd, due to her alien sighting) ended the set. Superb stuff.
The guitar solos were pure melodic rock joy (I think the phrase used is “they shredded it”.) The 2 drummers were a nice touch, the bass drove along the rockier songs and KW led her troops like a modern day Boadicea.
Her harmonies with Ricky and Scarlett are done superbly and the choreography with the band showed how much time and effort has gone into this show.
Pop Don’t Stop and the iconic Kids in America ended a brilliant night on a high with a massively appreciative crowd. I left with a very impressed if more green eyed wife than I arrived with, we both had smiles as wide as the Clyde.
The mix of 80’s classics with fresh breath breathed into them and the latest album tracks was masterfully delivered. A top, top gig.
Would we go to see Kim again? Well as it happens we’re on a 2 night break in York in 10 days’ time……..no prizes for who’s playing the venue next to our apartment and as my wife planned the break I’m totally innocent……for once!! J J
Review by Lawrie Willcox