As Kylie Minogue takes to the stage 26 years after her first single for her 14th world tour, she performs with all the zest and oomph of someone still in their early twenties.
Watching her play London's O2, the city she calls her “second home”, it is hard to believe the singer is in her mid-forties. The pint-sized pop star overspills with energy as she performs hit after hit, stopping to change her outfit no less than six times, each one more glittery than the last.
Her stage presence is warm and her smile throughout seems genuine – Kylie looks like she is having fun, which has always been part of her broad appeal. She is confident singing across genres– helping her set hang together well as she changes from siren, Eighties disco queen, twee Fifties housewife, PVC policewoman and Disney princess.
At times it feels she is too eager to prove she is still down with the kids. Her dancers wear neon rave gear, while she saunters around in a leather outfit Rihanna would not think twice about wearing. Midway through the set she stops to take a mass selfie with a member of the audience’s iPhone. For new song “Sexercise”, dancers twerk while a Beyoncé-inspired black and white video of Kylie flashes in the background.
Kylie has always capitalised on her sexual energy. She warms up the crowd with “Sexy Love” from her new album, rising from the stage on a giant pair of lips surrounded by dancers with long tassels for nipples. As she finishes her first three songs it’s clear she doesn’t want the audience to forget she still has it – not that she need worry.
Although her new material may rely too much on the current trend for electronic dance music-inspired pop songs, her use of pulsing beats and neon lasers throughout the show compliment her Eighties disco sound. “Can't Get You Out of My Head” becomes a slower, darker version of the original, while “Spinning Around” benefits from pulsing, funky Eighties beats and flashing disco lights.
The crowd seems most pleased when she goes back in time via a pink, twee set to sing her Eighties classics, complete with clips from her old videos blown up on the screen behind her. “I Should Be So Lucky” begins in a way only a Kylie song can, featuring the performer in a bubble bath as she sings the first verse before bursting out in sequinned hot pants and a heart-shaped bodice. “Got To Be Certain” is unapologetically camp as male dancers are stripped down and run off stage boasting six packs and Y-fronts.
To have survived this long in the music industry is no small feat. Kylie’s voice is pleasant but not outstanding, her dancing is good but not breath-taking, and yet she does not rely on her set to carry her. Her shining stage presence sees her through and is likely to keep her going for another decade.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies