Kim Wilde & Howard Jones @ The Gov, Adelaide 8/11/2016

With the English pop pair of Kim Wilde and Howard Jones on the one bill, on face value it looked to be a bold but promising punt by promoters, public and venue. Howard Jones opened the show at 8.00pm sharp (much to the disappointment of late comers) with the popular Pearl In The Shell and played songs mainly from his first two studio albums Human Lib and Dream Into Action from the mid 80s. To follow was an onslaught of hits including Look Mama, No One Is To Blame, Everlasting Love and Life In One Day, truly taking audiences back to the golden age of “synth-pop”.

The near capacity crowd were appreciative of Jones’ energetic performance as he seemed happy to be back on stage interacting with the vocal crowd. Howard Jones’ accomplished keyboards were well accompanied by his slick two-piece band, comprised of a crafty keyboardist and a tight drummer, who both returned to the stage to played in Kim Wilde’s backing band.  To end the set, Jones delivered his biggest hits including What Is Love, New Song with an extended dance version of Things Can Only Get Better to close the set.

After a short break and a lot of anticipation, Kim Wilde joined her six-piece band (including her brother and collaborator, Ricky on guitar and niece, Skyler on backing vocals) on stage ready to rock an excited and supportive Adelaide crowd looking forward to a taste of the 80s pop icon. Kim opened her set with one of her biggest hits, Chequered Love, from her first self titled album, followed by View From A Bridge and Water On Glass which got the crowd in the mood to dance and sing along. Kim told the crowd ‘I am going to play some old ones from the 80s then some covers we love to play’. Next were the crowd pleasers Cambodia, and Wilde’s first cover If I Can’t Have You originally performed by Yvonne Elliman. This was followed by Never Trust A Stranger from the 1988 ‘Close’ album.

With a career spanning over 35 years I am dedicating the next song to each of you’ said the English native as she commenced ‘Forever Young’ the much loved Supremes cover. This proceeded ‘You Came’ ending the set with one of her huge 1986 single You Keep Me Hanging On, also another Supremes cover. With a quick costume change Kim returned to the roar of the energetic audience for an encore consisting of You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) (originally performed by Dead or Alive), followed by the world wide smash hit Kids In America. The final song of the night was a family affair with Kim, her brother niece and the returned Howard Jones to sing The Beach Boys’ God Only Knows.

This was sung to the original backing track featured on the 1966 iconic album Pet Sounds, dedicated to Brian Wilson for penning one of the greatest songs in its magical fiftieth year. Halfway through show Kim commented on the historic venue claiming ‘it is one of the coolest little clubs I have ever played in, so keep coming to support it’. Bringing back 80’s nostalgia seems to be a current winning formula as for one night audiences were taken back to their “hey days”, witnessing two of the finest pop artists of that era.

Words By DJK

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