I first saw Kylie live when I was 16. It was in the tiny Ritzy club in Plymouth as part of the Hitman Roadshow, a low budget tour that showcased the biggest Stock Aitken and Waterman acts of the day. So it’s fitting that 30 years later I was stood in Cafe de Paris in central London watching Kylie unveil songs from her forthcoming 14th studio album ‘Golden’ to a couple of hundred fans, many of whom have, like me, been along for the ride for the past three decades.
Back then of course, she only had a handful of hits to sing. Little did I (or anyone else) know that she’d wind up being one of the of the most successful female artists of all time, thanks to a glittering back catalogue of shiny pop classics and a canny knack for reinvention.
The latest of which is country-pop Kylie, or as Ms. Minogue puts it, ‘Dolly on the dancefloor’. Which brings us to this evening’s gig.
Kylie has always been in her element on stage and tonight proved to be no different. From the minute she appeared decked out in double denim, she had the crowd in the palm of her tiny, but perfectly-formed hands.
Kicking off with the album’s euphoric title track, complete with glitter cannons, she set the scene for what was going to be a very special night.
The country-tinged pop kept coming – as did the glitter – with each glorious chorus of future gay anthem ‘Raining Glitter’ accompanied with more blasts of sparkles onto the adoring crowd. Well, she certainly knows her audience.
This show was all about the new era, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t going to treat us all to some gems from her extensive back catalogue. Eschewing the obvious hits, Kylie told the crowd of uber fans that this was the perfect opportunity for her to “sing some songs you don’t hear me sing very often”. So we got the brilliant (and seriously underrated) ‘Breathe’, the gorgeous ‘Put Yourself In My Place’, plus new versions of ‘The One’ and ‘Hand On Your Heart’.
But one of the biggest cheers of the night – and when we truly reached peak Country Kylie – came when she duetted with her guitarist on Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers’ country classic ‘Islands In The Stream’, with a snippet of ABBA’s ’SOS thrown in for good measure. The lady’s certainly got taste.
Alas, the other duet of the night with special guest Jack Savoretti on the plodding album track ‘Music’s Too Sad Without You’ was less successful, but things were soon back on track for a rousing finale of her latest singles ‘Stop Me From Falling’ and Dancing’, and her love letter to her fans, ‘Sincerely Yours’. It was never more apparent than tonight, that the feeling was more than mutual.