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Jen finds out Kim Wilde’s best memories of Australia and chats about her Australian tour with Howard Jones in November.

Get ready for a double dose of the 1980’s smash hits as two of the era’s biggest icons, KIM WILDE & HOWARD JONES, return to Australia for a co-headlining tour. thanks to www.metropolistouring.com and David Roy Williams.

Mention KIM WILDE and people’s eyes light up. The blonde singer with the siren voice and girl-next-door appeal is one of pop music’s most dazzling stars. The French consider her the “Brigitte Bardot of Rock”; German fans still revere her as the sexiest glamour girl to come out of the 80s and in Australia she has always been very close to our hearts having charted three number one mega-hits – ‘Kids In America’, ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On’ and ‘If I Can’t Have You’ as well as another 6 Top 40 hits including ‘Cambodia’, ‘You Came’, ‘View From A Bridge’, and ‘Chequered Love’. To put her amazing career in perspective she has sold 10 million albums and 20 million singles and is the most successful British female artist of the 80’s! Despite being broadcast on Australian shores on MORE Digital with ‘The Kim Wilde ‘80s Show’ this will be Kim’s first performances on Australian shores in almost three years.

 

Hi Kim, Such a pleasure to have a chat with you, I was a teen in the 80’s so I lived those fun and crazy times!

Yeah it was a decade that never really wants to go away and it just holds a lot of happy and affectionate memories for so many people. It is amazing, if anything I think the 80’s is bigger now than there were in the 80s!

Yes I agree!

It is crazy!

It was just such a great time, for example what people wore was indeed crazy.

There was some pretty sharp styling pointers at that time, especially with haircuts, big hair of course. There are lots of photographs of me with big hair that makes me really cringe. I used to cut my hair myself initially and then after I made a few quid, after I had a few hits I spent lots of money on my hair and you can see the progression from out-of-the-box color to spending several hundred pounds at a hairdresser color. crikey there are so many pictures floating around but I wish were not floating around!

How many times have you toured Australia now?

So many times,  I initially came over with my dad when I was about 13, in 1973 and the last time I was there was a tour with Nik Kershaw in 2013 and we toured all over Australia. And I’ve been several times before, in ’94 I did a greatest hits tour and I was there a lot in the 80s of course, I did a lot of promotion.

Yes I watched a few countdown clips and I was going through them to find out how many times you had been here, but I gave up because there were so many times.

Exactly, it is many times and back in ’94, I say goodbye to all the bands at the airport and I say goodbye to them and I  went off with a rucksack and my mate and we went to various places around Australia. We had a great time on this occasion.

Do you have any time after this tour to have a break?

Lots of things have changed since ’94, two years later I got married and had kids so I need to be here. The idea about going for my own does not have the same appeal now. It will still be lovely to be there and  I am sure that we will see lots.

I know it is a long way off now, November seems a longtime away but do you think that you will play all your hits due to the fact that we can all relate to different things that happened to us when those songs came out?

Definitely, for me a lot of the songs that Howard will be singing is the soundtrack of my life back in the 80s. They bring back lots of fantastic feelings and memories. It is lovely to be reminded how you felt 30 years ago. Nothing can do that quite like music, is very powerful bringing back that kind of special moments. I don’t think anything can do quite as beautifully as music. So yes I will be trotting through my greatest hits and throwing in a few surprises and doing some covers of the songs that I just love from the 80s and then we’ll see where it takes us.

I was 11 when Kids in America came out and I remember being amazed by the thin microphone you sang in and the keyboardist basically playing one note on this massive keyboard.

Do you get many people telling you reminiscing stories like that? 

Yes all the time,  I mean people come up to me when I’m shopping or out about on the street, at every opportunity. It is amazing, I have become a little bit of their life and I really feel quite privileged about that. Meeting people is one of the most fun things to do. I have a passport to the world!

Is there one story that has made you either laugh heaps or totally freaked you out?

Not one that comes to mind,  I mean honestly I did get a few of the more intense kind of fans that make themselves a little bit too familiar sometimes, I have had that on occasion but not that often, I have to say. Most other time I’ve had a really nice time with the public, they have been very lovely to me and its like one of the family.  I will be in the supermarket and people will come up to say “Hi Kim” and start chatting and if I am with a friend they will say “do you know that person?” and I will say no, I have never met them before in my life!  (both laughing) It is very nice I really like it. I like people and I like talking to them.

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So you gave up the life of a pop star at 36 to have a family then after a while you took up gardening, did you find that a therapeutic change?

Yes, I did. Initially I got into gardening, as I wanted to design a garden for my kids to play in when they were growing up.  Because we did not have one at all. It was a blank canvas as it did not have any trees or bushes in it at all. So it was a steep learning curve and it took me a long time to get my head around what I was doing. I went to college and learnt about horticultural.

You won some prizes?

Yes I did but the best prize is going out into the garden and seeing  the plants that I’ve looked after for a few years come into flower. Things that have survived a harsh winter, you get prizes every day when your gardener. Something amazing happens all the time, if you are outside you are very close to nature and it is just something that keeps giving all the time.  So if you put in 10% you definitely get 90% back, I think that is a really good deal.

You came back into this industry again, were you inspired by the many many 80 pop tours that are happening now?

I did in a way. I ignored it for a few years and I was asked for a few years to get involved in the 80s revival but I didn’t feel comfortable about it. My children are still quite young and I was into the horticulture and I just got married so I avoided it several years. But then I got asked to go on tour with two of my favorite 80s artists. One of them was Human League and the other one was Clare Grogan, from Altered Images and I thought I’d be crazy to turn down going on tour with them.

 I have so many of their vinyls and remixes in my record collection. So I gave it a go and I had such a good time! That was it I was back in the saddle and thoroughly enjoying it. And I still feel the same way.

I see that you are a dog lover too, I have seen a few pics of Beau, what a cutie! I have two black labs.

I just love dogs! They are so cute. We have two dogs and that is all I can handle. If I saw a dog in the street I would much rather have an interaction with it than its owner! (Both laughing)

Yes! Me too. haha

A couple of weeks ago you joined Lawnmower Deth on stage during their set at Download Festival to sing ‘Egg sandwich’, ‘Watch out Grandma’ and ‘Kids in America’ together with the band. How was it singing it on stage so fast? I watched the video, it looked really hard to do!

Yeah it was really hard! I did practice it a lot before I went on but I still mucked it up in the second verse. It was bloody good fun and Lawnmower Deth did a cover of it a few years ago and I said at the time and I meant it, For me, and I have heard Kids in America covered quite a lot over the years and I think their version was exciting and the most fun and the one I like the best. So anyway after all these years I sang with them. It started on Twitter actually, Lawnmower Deth Pete got in touch with me on twitter and it just escalated from there. I ended up seeing some of their songs as well as Kids in America. I never thought in 1 million years that I would be performing at a rock festival like that so I was over the moon!

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Yes I often get very jealous of the lineup of Download Festival and wish that I lived in the UK.

One last question. getting back to you coming here in the 80’s do you have one funny story you can tell us about backpacking around Australia?

Yes, I do.  I loved going to Magnetic island, really love that place. I have amazing memories of the stars in the sky and I absolutely loved it. Also in the Daintree rainforest, we went there too and that was a beautiful experience, being in the most ancient rainforests in the world was great. Funnily enough will were in a taxi getting us to the Daintree rainforest from the backpackers resort and the taxi driver warned us about the Cassowary, he said you want to be careful about the Cassowary’s images as they have just had their babies and if you’re walking through the forest and if you come across one you have to stand very tall and put your hands in the air so you will be as tall as they am or they will attack you. They will rip you to shreds. We thought that he was joking and then when we got to the forest we saw a picture of the Cassowary on the board and told us all about them. however they looked quite small and I thought surely if they attacked you you could just kick it out of the way like a turkey!  (laughing) I had no idea that they were six-foot tall and really dangerous. We just thought that this guy was winding us up! Anyway we went to the forest and we had a beautiful experience and we didn’t encounter any Cassowary’s. But when we got in the taxi on the way back the same taxi driver told us that recently someone was put in hospital due to a Cassowary attack! I thought oh my God! We really thought it was just like a large turkey and if went  for us would just give it a good kick! (laughing) I have lots of lovely memories from Australia.

Oh and Molly Meldrum, I really liked hanging out with him, he is a lovely guy. I can’t wait to come back!

What a great story! Well we are really looking forward to you coming here!

I better let you go as we have gone over time. Thanks for your time.

My pleasure, thanks for your time and I hope to see you when I get to Australia.

Thanks Kim.

Thanks Jen, Bye!

Australian Tour Dates – November 2016

Wednesday 2nd November – CANBERRA, Canberra Theatre

Friday 4th November – SYDNEY, Enmore Theatre

Saturday 5th November – BRISBANE, Eatons Hil

Sunday 6th November – GOLD COAST, Jupiters

Wednesday 9th November – SYDNEY, Rooty Hill RSL

Thursday 10th November – HOBART, Wrest Point

Friday 11th November – MELBOURNE, Palais Theatre

Saturday 12th November – ADELAIDE, The Gov

Sunday 13th November – PERTH, Astor Theatre

 Tickets on sale via: http://www.metropolistouring.com/kim-wilde-howard-jones

Pre Sale: 2nd June 9am – 5th June 5pm Local time

General Sale: 6th June 9am Local time

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KIM WILDE

“…with a sprawling setlist clocking in at two dozen songs, with a two hour performance… she still looks stunning and sounds amazing, and it truly had a party-like atmosphere” – Rocksubculture

“Mention Kim Wilde’s name and people’s eyes light up. The blonde singer with the siren voice and girl-next-door appeal is one of pop music’s most dazzling stars’’ – The Dwarf

 

“by the time it came to Kids In America time even the stiffest of retro deniers was up“- The Music Review

 

HOWARD JONES

“he best represents not just the style of music but the feelings of that era” – Rock Subculture

“a synth legend, his hit songs are undeniable pop gold and his mastery of the keyboard, impressive” – Space March

             

“still has what it takes to wow an audience… if he is appearing near you at any time soon, then rush without hesitation to grab a ticket” – Purple

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