Kylie, HMV Hammersmith Apollo, London
As new artists are making themselves more accessible to fans with social media and small venues, Kylie, never one to miss a trend, has created her own ‘anti-tour’. It’s a “crazy idea” she dreamt up to celebrate her 25th year in pop, involving “B-sides, demos and rarities” in smaller-than-usual venues. Tonight, the last of three UK dates, is at the Hammersmith Apollo. It’s a 5,039 capacity venue, but by Kylie’s standards, it’s intimate: “To connect with you all like this is amazing” she gushes, and the warmth of her smile reaches the back of the room.
It really is low-key; the warm-up act is just a bloke playing Kylie’s hits on a laptop. But then the pop princess arrives, wearing a vintage Pam Hogg hat and Sigue Sigue Sputnik top (I know because she tweeted about it) and high, black, studded boots with the heel of her foot cheekily exposed (even the back of Kylie’s feet are sexy). She’s warm and sassy, when someone shouts a song request, she responds, “Shh! just wait a minute!” stamping her tiny, perfect foot in mock frustration.
There’s no choreography and just one slight costume change (into a different T-shirt and a red pirate-style hat) but she proves she doesn’t need theatrics. The B-sides don’t affect the positive mood, which Kylie can modulate with a gesture. We go from feeling we’re on a Friday night out at a gay nightclub with 'Too Much', to a religious awakening with the spiritual 'Bittersweet Goodbye' to a raucous karaoke night with everyone dancing in the aisles to 'Got To Be Certain' from her first album Kylie. She reads the lyrics from a sheet of paper, (it’s been a while since she last performed it) apologising, “I might have just murdered that song, thanks for helping me out”. Graceful and unaffected, she’s like a magical joy-sharing fairy, sprinkling euphoria across the crowd.
She also performs, 'Tears on My Pillow' complete with American twang, (“I promised my dad I’d sing it, I’m still daddy’s little girl”), but the crowd of self-dubbed super-fans go really wild for her disco numbers, including the uplifting hit 'Enjoy Yourself,' performed brandishing a nylon scarf from the 90s. “I love it, but there’s not a natural fibre in it” she jokes. Then, after two hours, but what seems like just moments, the stage explodes with gold glitter, she mouths, “Bye! I love you”, blows kisses and skips off.
She didn’t even need the glitter; she sparkled brightly all by herself.
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