Kylie Minogue goes country at Cafe de Paris in London - review

Princess of Pop showcases new material from her upcoming album Golden at this intimate show

Darren Scott
Thursday 15 March 2018 09:30 GMT
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Kylie is fully re-embracing cowboy culture and country, with her new album being described as ‘Dolly on the dancefloor’
Kylie is fully re-embracing cowboy culture and country, with her new album being described as ‘Dolly on the dancefloor’ (Redferns via Getty)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

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Kylie Minogue’s stall is, quite literally, set from the outset, at the first of a series of intimate gigs to launch her new album, Golden.

To get into the gig at London’s Café de Paris, the lucky fans who were able to get a ticket had to walk past a merchandise stand stacked with neckerchiefs, sheriff stars and Stetsons – pink, naturally – as Kylie fully re-embraces cowboy culture. So far, so Madonna 2000.

Although Kylie did dabble with the sound somewhat with 1997’s “Cowboy Style”, she hasn’t hung a project off that particular peg until now, with her upcoming 14th studio album being described as “Dolly on the dance floor”.

The show opens with the sound of horses whinnying – just in case we really, really haven’t got the references. It’s surprising you can’t smell a waft of hay-scented air freshener around the room.

Kylie descends a spiral staircase in double denim. It’s less than 30 seconds into opening number “Golden” before the audience of confirmed bachelors are covered in a golden shower of foil confetti, fired from a glitter cannon.

It should be pointed out that these performances across the UK and Europe are to showcase the new material, and not the usual bells and whistles/shirtless male dancers/electropop extravaganzas you’d normally associate with the pint-sized Princess of Pop.

She performs “One Last Kiss” and “Raining Glitter” – new songs from Golden – and the confetti cannon is fired again as Kylie encourages a wonderfully camp hand wave dance move that the crowd immediately picks up on in less than a second.

“I barely know the songs,” she says of the new material. “Luckily you don’t know them either, so you won’t know when I muck them up.”

There’s a song for her dad, about his car – called “Shelby 68” – and she’s surprised that the ardent fanbase know exactly what kind of car it is. That’s dedication. “You like that? I’ll let my dad know.”

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“Radio On” follows, and there’s a theme emerging that the tracks are all very Radio 2-friendly: similar, yet comfortable.

Kylie talks of how she went to Nashville, and how it was a life-changing experience, tipping her cap to country legends. She’s joined by her guitarist for a cover of Dolly Parton’s “Islands In The Stream”.

Despite throwing in some lines from ABBA’s “SOS”, Kylie will, however, have to go a long way to out-gay the duet that Dolly performed with The Divine Miss M on Bette Midler’s shortlived sitcom.

“The One”, from 2007’s X begins as yet another paired down version, before bursting into familiar poppers o’clock territory. Then it’s back to banjos for more new songs: “A Lifetime to Repair”, and a duet with Jack Savoretti, “Music’s Too Sad Without You”, which doesn’t quite take off.

There’s another lounge/country version of an old hit, this time 1989’s No1 “Hand on Your Heart”. It’s something that artists seem to insist on doing, when no one really wants to hear slow versions of their bangers. “Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!!” by The Vengaboys as a torch song? No thanks.

“Stop Me From Falling”, her latest single, gets the biggest reaction of the evening, before she returns for an encore of “Sincerely Yours” – which is oddly reminiscent of Texas’ “White On Blonde”.

“Dancing”, for which she stands on a stool, closes the evening. It’s going to be interesting to see how Golden-era Kylie translates to a bigger stage for her autumn arena tour.

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