She promised something you’d never seen her do before, and she was true to her word. On Tuesday, Kylie Minogue took to the stage for the final UK show of her Anti-Tour, performing a set list jam packed with B-sides, demos and rarities.
The concerts were billed as everything her full scale productions are not. No big set designs. No flamboyant costume pieces. No large capacity venues. But, most importantly, there were no big hits. When Kylie arrived on stage, she even made the point of telling the crowd from the offset that they would most certainly NOT be hearing “La, la la…” or “I’m spinning around…” or “I should be so lucky…”.
Few artists could pull it off, but this year the Australian singer is celebrating a quarter of the century in the music industry, which means she has a lot of material at her disposal. Enough in fact to warrant having a book of songwords in front of her; one that came in handy particularly when she forgot the words to ‘Give Me A Little More Time.’ These little touches made the affair a whole lot more intimate.
And fans of Kylie…well, they know their Minography. Perhaps that is in part what made the night such a roaring success. These weren’t casual fans. The Hammersmith Apollo was filled to the rafters with die hards so, when each and every song got played, the audience reaction raised the roof.
The truth is, Kylie is not one of these artists who releases blindingly good singles and then litters the rest of the album with filler. That is not her bag. On the most part, her albums are solidly packed with pop gems. Hell, she sometimes doesn’t even bother to put some of her greatest moments on an album at all, and includes them as single B-sides.
Take for example, ‘Tightrope’ which originally only appeared as a bonus track on the ‘In Your Eyes’ CD single. One of my all time Kylie favourites and performed tonight for the first time live. That is something I never thought I’d see.
Other bonus tracks included ‘Do It Again’, the Karen Poole (of Alisha’s Attic fame)-penned electropop stomping B side to ‘Wow’, and ‘Paper Dolls’ which appeared as a format extra for her comeback track, ‘Spinning Around’. Both were performed and received as if they were chart topping singles.
And when it came to singing ‘Light Years’ cut, ‘Bittersweet Goodbye’, a tribute to a lost friend, Kylie proved that she really doesn’t need bombastic production values to make up for the fact that her vocal isn’t up there with the greatest singers of all time.
The track was the most stripped back of the night, as well as being the one with the most challenging notes. Only during this performance did the crowd fall silent, with Kylie’s vocal being more exposed than ever, but filled with emotion. It ended, of course, with thunderous applause.
As for old favourites, well they were certainly not lacking. Interspersed amidst her more recent material were PWL favourites, ‘It’s No Secret’, ‘Made In Heaven’ and the rarely performed 1988 hit ‘Got To Be Certain’.
Her early 90s foray from girl next door to sex siren was similarly charted with the inclusion of ‘Rhythm of Love’ album tracks, ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ and a funky performance of ‘One Boy Girl’ that included a brilliant moment between Kylie and her backing singers.
It wouldn’t have been a Kylie gig without some theatrics. Those came care of the laser light extravaganza that lit up the space, as she belted out her Calvin Harris/Jake Shears collaboration ‘Too Much’, cruelly neglected from her recent Aphrodite: Les Folies full scale tour.
As the show drew to a close, the singer noted herself that, had she the chance to do another such gig, she would easily be able to put together a brand new set list. That is testimony to her longevity in the business. That she can effortlessly thrill so many people without relying on her biggest hits is testimony to not only the quality of that music, but also to her enduring likeability and the connection she has with her fans.
The combination of the lot was electrifying. A phenominogue, if you like.
- Magnetic Electric
- Made In Heaven
- Cherry Bomb
- Mighty Rivers
- I’m Over Dreaming (Over You)
- Always Find The Time
- You’re The One
- Paper Dolls
- Say Hey
- Too Much
- Bittersweet Goodbye
- Disco Down
- I Don’t Need Anyone
- Give Me Just A Little More Time
- It’s No Secret
- Got To Be Certain
- Things Can Only Get Better
- Do It Again
- Tears On My Pillow
- One Boy Girl
- Enjoy Yourself