Kim Wilde – Across The Ocean

Kim Wilde

Kim Wilde hardly needs any introduction with a stellar career selling ten million albums and twenty million singles including classics in the ilk of Kids In America, You Keep Me Hangin’ On and If I Can’t Have You and You Came to name a few. The news gets even better for Aussie music fans with Kim Wilde teaming up with Howard Jones making for one awesome bill. Across The Ocean spoke to Kim about the tour and reflecting back on her career.


An Australian tour with Howard Jones is great news with nine shows in eleven days, are you looking forward to it?

I can’t wait! I love Australia, the last time I came was 2013 with Nik Kershaw and we had a great tour there and I have been coming to Australia since I was thirteen years old, I was there with my dad and he was performing. We had just arrived as Sydney Opera House was being completed and then I came back in the eighties, then the norties and the nineties. It is an enduring love affair and I can’t wait to get back because I had an amazing response the last time I was there.

Do you feel like pinching yourself when you see your career build and continue to get stronger and stronger?

Yep, of course! That is a great thing and for me I watched my dad who is seventy-six and he’s just announced a tour over here in the UK so I think I have it in the genes really. My career playing live has only really just blossomed in the later part of my career. In the last fifteen years I have done more gigs than I have in my entire career together. My experience now is that much better and my voice is so much stronger as a result. I think my confidence about walking on stage, and if you can find that from somewhere you can’t fail.

Does it amaze you that a lot of eighties acts are making a resurgence now?

Most of them are still writing material and some are having number one records like Rick Astley here in the UK. With all the new stuff going on and of course there should be room for us eighties guys. We’re still as passionate about our music as we were in the eighties, we’re a bit older and a bit wiser some of us. The passion is what keeps us doing it and that’s the overwhelming thing to keep doing it. I’m still really passionate about music.

Do you think people are worn out by the music of today and just want to go back and listen to great songs from the eighties?

I think there was a lot of variety in the eighties, there was a lot of synth pop, a lot of pure pop, some great rock and some great dance stuff. There were a lot of great music styles and great songs written that stood the test of time. So I’m very happy that my career happened in that decade but my dad always says to me that his decade was the best when he started in the fifties. His recording career spanned through the sixties which is truly phenomenal and he would argue that was the best time. Maybe people in the future will talk about now as being the best time, I just don’t know! It will be interesting to see if some of the music now has a thirty year life span.

How did the partnership with Howard Jones for this tour come up?

We’ve worked together many times especially here in the UK where we do a lot of eighties retro festivals and flashbacks. We’ve done a lot of gigs together and I’m looking forward to getting to know him even better. I know he is a sweet, humble, lovely, passionate man with a beautiful voice and some great songs under his belt. I think it will be a very powerful evening.

With so many great songs in the back catalogue do you still enjoy singing them knowing how much they mean to people taking them back to a particular time in their lives? 

That is so true, that’s exactly what makes it great all the time is the people who make it great. If you’re singing it every day and those people aren’t there you would probably top yourself! Singing them in front of these people and seeing how they’ll react is such a privilege and so much fun and such a blast. The energy you get from the people when these songs begin and the reaction after is just incredible and amazing to me. I’m a much older gal now and I’ve got two teenage kids who will soon be flying the nest, I can still go out on stage and watch thousands of people erupt for a lot of the songs I sing especially the ones people know like Kids In America, You Came, Hanging On… it’s amazing!

What do you see as your next big career challenge as you have done so many different things?

I’m in the possession of a virtually finished album which I’m incredibly proud of but I’m not in any rush to put it out until it’s right, maybe next year, who knows? Maybe not? It depends but we’ll see what happens. I’m very happy and excited about the new songs that we have and I still love singing the old songs we have. I have a very open mind on it at the moment and I’m so excited about touring and playing live. For me that’s the place that I really feel at home and it makes me happy that I’m coming back to Australia feeling that way. I’m coming back from a position of great strength in my head and my heart. I have great memories of fantastic reactions that I’ve had from Australian audiences.

New album? Is it the mechanics of the industry that’s stopping you moving on this one?

It’s weird because in the old days there was not an insignificant financial benefit from getting a record deal. Everything was very different then whereas now people are giving away their music for free as a way to promote their live situation. It is kind of odd how things have turned on its head but I don’t things have changed that much at the end of the day because it still is about great songs and people who are passionate about music who would do it regardless if there were lots of noughts on a big fat cheque or not. It is a good level playing field now and there’s not a lot of money in getting a record deal any more. It’s just down to how passionate you are about making your music and getting it down.

Rob Lyon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rob Lyon has been writing about all things music for well over ten years in Adelaide clocking up more live shows each year seeing the best going round.

Whether it is rummaging through vinyl at record stores such as Clarity and Title finding hidden gems to scouring the internet to find that album by the next big thing or chasing bands to get that elusive autograph and photo his passion is music all the way.
Rob Lyon

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