Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Kim Wilde's Christmas Party 2015 at the Coronet

My last gig before Christmas was Kim Wilde's Christmas Party which was moved from Shepherd's Bush to the Coronet at Elephant & Castle at the last minute due to roof problems at the Bush. I'd been looking forward to this for a long time so a mere change in venue wasn't going to put me off, even if it was to the less salubrious Coronet. The huge queue to get in suggested it didn't put off anyone at all, and neither did the significant security checks - the Coronet is obviously used to the need for security and the security staff were very professional about it all.

Just as we got in and made it to the bar at the back of the hall, the lovely Clare Grogan came on stage to give us those classic Altered Images songs from the early 80s. Bounding round the stage and exhorting us all to join in, she was great fun! Then, after a short break, on came Heaven 17 to keep us firmly in the 80s with some memorable songs. They started with 'Fascist Groove Thang' and 'Come Live With Me' and moved on to do what they called 'their version of the Human League's version' of 'You've Lost That Loving Feeling'. After a few more we got the inevitable 'Temptation' and then they spoiled it all by doing a silly version of Bing and Bowie's 'Little Drummer Boy'. Epic fail.

Another break to re-set the stage and then on came Ricky Wilde and the band, getting ready for Kim and then there she was, wreathed in smiles and waving and launching straight into the songs. It was mainly a greatest hits set and that was very acceptable to the crowd! We had 'View From A Bridge', 'Chequered Love', 'Water On Glass' and 'You Came' as well as some songs from the Christmas record and the covers album. She was joined by the Spandau's Steve Norman on sax on 'Love Blonde' and by Clare Grogan in a white party dress for 'Let It Snow'.  There were lovely versions of 'Hey Mr Snowman' and 'Last Christmas' and the discotastic versions of 'If I Can't Have You' and 'You Keep Me Hangin' On' were both fab, with the latter closing the set. Might I say wow?

But it didn't stop there. O no. The next section was pure Christmas songs with 'Winter Wonderland', Kim's own Christmas hit 'Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree' sung with Glen Gregory, 'Merry Xmas Everybody' and 'I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday' with snow dropping into the audience. More clapping and then encore two with 'It's My Life' and then a magnificent version of 'Kids In America' - she's *got* to play that one, after all!

What a fab show and a great Christmas present from Kim. She's still got the voice and still got the moves, covering the stage, never still, giving her all to us ragbag of people who've been buying her records for over 30 years. Brother Ricky looking after the band and niece Scarlet on backing vocals, it's still a family business for the Wildes and long may it continue! Kim pleased a lot of people that night, including me. And I treasure my Christmas present from Kim - a Santa hat on the back of my chair left especially for me (well, I think so, anyway).

Well done Kim, come back soon!

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