Madge Memories

I meant to find the time to write a gushing blog post in honour of Madge on her 60th birthday, but life has taken over recently. And what is there to say that hasn’t already been said? A trailblazer and icon, pop music would look very different in 2018 if we hadn’t have been blessed with her presence. I genuinely don’t understand why she doesn’t get the respect she deserves nowadays, quite simply as I regularly like to Tweet – if you don’t respect Madonna then I do not respect you. Instead of an academic essay exploring her influence on pop culture and society in general I shall instead list some of my most cherished memories with the Queen of Pop.

• My 20th Madonna themed birthday party. The memory of a room full of reprobates dressed as their favourite Madonna in a quiet Gloucestershire pub on a Monday night will stay with me for life.

• Dancing around my Mum’s living room to the Immaculate Collection VHS on repeat. Open Your Heart was always a fave of mine to try and recreate.

• Listening to Confessions on a Dancefloor for the first time on my Sony Discman. I left work to run some ‘errands’ on the day of release and pounded the streets of Manhattan until I finally found a store that had had its delivery – specifically Tower Records at 14th St/Broadway.

• Watching her Blond Ambition Tour on VHS at my friend Rose’s house and being absolutely blown away.

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• Two months ago when I got to spin I’m Breathless album tracks when doing a guest DJ slot at Push The Button’s Madonna night.

• When she sang the demo version of Erotica on the Confessions Tour.

• Getting away with writing an essay at uni entitled ‘Who’s That Girl. Why Madonna is the Ultimate Postmodern Icon’. I got a first for it.

• The day my childhood best friend and I went to see A League of Their Own at the cinema then went to Waterstones to stare at the sealed metallic cover of her Sex book.

• The Express Yourself choreography on the Blond Ambition Tour. I still regularly like to dance along to entire DVD of In Bed With Madonna (Truth or Dare for my US readers).

• The Miami Mix of Don’t Cry For Me Argentina. In fact Evita in general.

• Her adding Like A Prayer to the setlist for her Rebel Heart Tour in London in honour of World AIDS Day.

• Teenage me not being able to get tickets for her Drowned World Tour in London so heading to my local ticket agent (look it up millennials) and booking myself on an organised coach trip from my hometown to Paris to see her.

Madonna doing a surprise DJ set at the club I used to go to every single week when I lived in NYC. Apart from that week when I was hungover and decided to stay in and watch a film in which Freddie Krueger player a killer steam iron instead. I woke up to a barrage of texts from people assuming I’d been there.

• My Dad taking young me into town and letting me pick any cassette I wanted from Our Price, and selecting ‘Erotica’. This was highly generous behaviour for him and in retrospect it was because he’d decided to leave my Mum that week. Hey, at least I got a classic album out of it!

• When I got paid to live Tweet Madge’s MDNA Tour in Hyde Park. It was the first time out of my flat when I was suffering with clinical depression and trust me there’s no greater tonic. Obviously I had no working mobile data and had to text my Tweets to my sister to upload on my behalf. The other notable event of this evening was that I saw Kylie Minogue but decided not to speak to her to avoid drawing attention to her – we all should have the right to enjoy the Queen in peace.

• Seeing her perform Vogue, Express Yourself and Like A Prayer for the first time live on the Re-Invention Tour. Despite going all the way to Paris to see her on her previous tour she only performed four classics.

Madge, I love you – never change!

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30 Years of ‘KYLIE’

Kylie’s debut album was the second album that I owned, Bananarama was my first (soz Minogue), but KYLIE was the first album I went into a shop and selected for myself. I can remember it clearly, selecting the cassette from my hometown branch of Boots, paying with my birthday money and taking it home to my Fisher Price portable tape deck on which it was played on constant loop.                               Kids in the world of streaming will never understand how it felt to get two new albums a year MAX and how those albums would become fully ingrained into your soul through constant listening. Before too long I had a Sony Walkman as well as my home player so my limited music library took even more of a battering. The album would be on rotation at school discos and soundtracked every single birthday party I attended during that era. I’d blast it on car journeys (as my Gramps would say “Kylie Min-O-log again?” just to wind me up) and it accompanied me to sleepovers, Brownie camp and tea parties at my best friend’s house. These were the days long before YouTube and to satisfy my Kylie desires I’d pore through the TV guide to see if my queen was due on Top of the Pops, Going Live or Wogan that week, then sit next to the telly with my finger hovering over the record button ready to add new entries to my home made Kylie compilation video. These would then be constantly watched on loop to try and learn dance routines and to check out the latest fashions. Kylie’s star turn as Charlene Mitchell-Robinson in Neighbours ensured there was a daily after school fix for my obsession; her TV wedding had more viewers in the UK than Harry & Meghan’s recent nuptials which is simply mindblowing. I’d cut out every image from my Mum’s newspaper, Fast Forward & my elder sister’s Smash Hits magazines and proudly glue into my Kylie scrapbook. It never once crossed my mind that one day I might be lucky enough to see my idol in concert, let alone to meet her 3 times. My tiny mind would have been blown to one day know that my queen would view, let alone LIKE this photograph I proudly had taken around this time in Madame Tussauds on a family day trip.                   30 years later and this album still fills me with utter joy – Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi Kylie, but I’ve Got To Be Certain that it was Love At First Sight & I Should Be So Lucky to Still Be Loving You.                                                       

Lady Jaz’s Top 101 Kylie Songs

Well, to celebrate the Queen of the Universe’s GOLDEN birthday I decided to rank my top 50 of her songs, but got a bit carried away and ended up with my top 100* instead. Even 100 songs are not enough to demonstrate the quality of music that La Minogue has gifted the planet with during her first 5 decades on Earth. We really do not deserve her; a living, breathing celestial being. Special shoutout to Ron and Carol Minogue for the gift they gave us all on the 28th May 1968!

  1. Confide In Me – the greatest and most epic song of all time, that is just perfection for overly dramatic dancing. Which is obviously the best kind of dancing. Kylie’s 1994 single was her first outside of the control of the Stock Aitken Waterman Hit Factory, narrowly missing out on the top spot it proved she was no one trick pony.   confide
  2. No More Rain – this song has helped me through some dark times. When Kylie released her post cancer comeback X in 2007 certain parties complained the lyrics were impersonal and lacked depth. Those ears obviously needed a good clean out with a cotton bud as No More Rain contains some of her most poignant lyrics of all time “sun coming up on another day, got a secondhand chance gonna do it again, got rainbow colours and no more rain”. *wipes away tear*
  3. All The Lovers – the words Kylie and euphoric have long been associated with one another but this soaring 2011 classic takes the combination to new dizzying heights. Funfact – the middle eight is the greatest ever recorded. Funfact #2 my cover version of this was featured on Popjustice so as a result I like to take sole credit for the single going top 5.                        allthe
  4. What Do I Have To Do? – everything about WDIHTD is perfect from the opening bars to the Dannii Minogue cameo in the ultra glam black and white video. Still sounds as fresh today as when I first heard it back in 1990.      whatdo
  5. I Believe In You – vocal perfection on the 2004 lead single from the multi platinum Ultimate Kylie compilation. This co write with Kylie’s pals from the Scissor Sisters was narrowly kept of the top spot by Band Aid 30 and I’ve held a grudge against every single artist who participated on this charity single ever since. We all know Band Aid II is the ultimate version anyway!
  6. Better The Devil You Know – the first time we saw “racy Kylie”. Having recently upgraded Jason Donovan for Michael Hutchence the bubble perm and baggy jeans were gone, and in it’s place was a mature, self assured Kylie that owned her sexuality.  But, thankfully, the bops remained and BTDYK has become an all time classic.                          better
  7. What Kind Of Fool (Heard All That Before) – the most underrated of all of Kylie single releases. She has never performed it on tour but I will never give up hope. Minogue – if you read this please add to the Golden Tour setlist!! It has all the hallmarks of peak Stock Aitken Waterman and a perfectly retro video clip starring a pair of red heart shaped sunglasses.                   what
  8. Made In Heaven – originally planned as a double A side with Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi despite being performed at the 1988 Royal Variety Performance it was soon forgotten about after release. Well, by many it was but never by me. I feel that it was strong enough that it could have been an album lead single and I never tire of it’s joyous refrain.
  9. Slow – Kylie’s first self penned number one single hit the top spot in 2003. Whilst the song itself was perfection the video was next level amazing inventing towel choreography, Speedos and perfect red talons expertly lit by the Barcelona sunlight.                       slow
  10. Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi – her best ballad of the Stock Aitken Waterman era, made even better by the 1950s set Parisienne promo clip. I’ve still not got my head around how she managed to dance in colour whilst her partner was in black and white, but at least I have the spoken word dialogue at the start down to a tee. Eeeet is ‘alf past seex!                                                                   jenesais
  11. Enjoy Yourself
  12. Light Years
  13. Hand On Your Heart
  14. The One
  15. Your Disco Needs You
  16. Shocked
  17. On A Night Like This
  18. Dancing
  19. I Should Be So Lucky
  20. Turn It Into Love
  21. Especially For You
  22. Under The Influence of Love
  23. Aphrodite
  24. I’m Over Dreaming (Over You)
  25. In My Arms
  26. Never Too Late
  27. Into The Blue
  28. One Boy Girl
  29. Let’s Get To It
  30. Lost Without You
  31. In Denial
  32. Finer Feelings
  33. Stop Me From Falling
  34. Every Day’s Like Christmas (SAW Mix)
  35. Nothing Can Stop Us
  36. Glow
  37. Can’t Get You Out Of My Head
  38. Wow
  39. Put Yourself In My Place
  40. Loveboat
  41. Time Will Pass You By
  42. Dangerous Game
  43. Kiss Me Once
  44. Got To Be Certain
  45. Things Can Only Get Better
  46. Password
  47. Where Has The Love Gone?
  48. Golden
  49. Did It Again
  50. It’s No Secret
  51. Timebomb
  52. Where Is The Feeling?
  53. Disco Down
  54. Closer (1991)
  55. Too Far
  56. If You Were With Me Now
  57. Some Kind Of Bliss
  58. Tears On My Pillow
  59. A Lifetime To Repair
  60. Cowboy Style
  61. Do You Dare?
  62. Right Here, Right Now (1991)
  63. Where The Wild Roses Grow
  64. Please Stay
  65. Secrets
  66. Promises
  67. Wouldn’t Change A Thing
  68. Where In The World?
  69. Cosmic
  70. Breathe
  71. 100 Degrees
  72. The Locomotion
  73. Tell Tale Signs
  74. White Diamond
  75. Koochachoo
  76. We Are One
  77. Feels So Good
  78. White December
  79. Radio On
  80. I Was Gonna Cancel
  81. I Guess I Like It Like That
  82. So Now Goodbye
  83. Too Much
  84. Step Back In Time
  85. If Only
  86. Love At First Sight (2001)
  87. Nothing To Lose
  88. Butterfly
  89. Sensitized
  90. Sexy Love
  91. Illusion
  92. Celebration
  93. Skirt
  94. Live and Learn
  95. I Feel For You
  96. Burning Up
  97. Give Me Just A Little More Time
  98. Spinning Around
  99. Word Is Out
  100. Come Into My World
  101. Red Blooded Woman

* please note in my original version I’d neglected to include Lost Without You so this is now a top 101 ranking!

Lady Jaz’s Track by Track Musings on Kylie’s GOLDEN

DANCING 10/10

I truly love this song, it’s like bottled joy and deserved to be number one for 16 weeks straight. Damn millennials and their “streaming” messing up the hit parade! The double meaning in the chorus still tugs at my heartstrings.

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STOP ME FROM FALLING 10/10

We are all familiar with this smash hit by now. Kylie’s latino and country crossover is exceptionally uplifting. I can feel my serotonin levels rising when she trills “For youuuuuuuuuu” in the choruses.

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GOLDEN 10/10

I loved this when I first heard it as the opening track at her recent album showcase gig at Porchester Hall, but the album version is even better. Will Minogue break her trend of having never released a title track to an album as a single despite them usually being A+++? Justice for Aphrodite, Enjoy Yourself, Kiss Me Once & Light Years!

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A LIFETIME TO REPAIR 11/10

I’ve loved this song more than oxygen since the very second I first heard it. Just when you think it can’t get any better you get Kylie belting out the chorus like a sledgehammer to the heart. Heartbreak never felt so good!

SINCERELY YOURS 10/10

Kylie’s love letter to her fans, a truly touching moment that genuinely tugs at your heartstrings. I “love you dearly, yours sincerely” too Min!! The ad libs really make it for me, especially the “SO I PUT IT IN WRITING” at 2 min 38 secs.

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ONE LAST KISS 8/10

I imagine this is one song NOT written about the slimy lothario Joshua Sasse – can’t imagine Kylie would want him and those hair plugs that close to her ever again! A bouncy album track but not my favourite. I do really love the “so baby come to me, oh baby come to me” refrain though.

LIVE A LITTLE 8.5/10

Another positivity anthem. I enjoy the contrast between the verse and chorus but I feel this is a little throwaway. Weirdly (for me) I prefer the ballads on Golden to the more uptempo moments.

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SHELBY ’68 9/10

I’m a little conflicted about how this is in honour of Dad Ron Minogue yet features some romantic sounding lyrics. Fun fact the car sounds at the start are actually from Ron’s car and were recorded by Brendan Minogue meaning all three siblings are now officially popstars.

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RADIO ON 10/10

Completely heartfelt and moving ballad about Kylie finding salvation in music when her life has gone to pot. We’ve all been there babe. Weirdly uplifting despite the melancholic message just like all perfect pop songs.

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L.O.V.E. 9/10

Alas not a cover of the 2005 Missy Elliot featuring Ashlee Simpson single. Kylie’s harmonies are perfection on the choruses.

RAINING GLITTER 7/10

My least favourite on the album (soz Minogue). Is a very solid album track but to me just sounds like a Fever b side with a few added banjos. For a lot of people Fever is their favourite Kylie album but alas it isn’t mine! WHOOP

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MUSIC’S TOO SAD WITHOUT YOU (with Jack Savoretti) 10/10

I still don’t know who or what a Jack Savoretti is but I adore their voices together. The swirling waltz like melodies and orchestration sound gorgeous. I could imagine this playing over the end credits of a 60s British classic film starring Julie Christie & Richard Burton.

BONUS TRACKS

LOST WITHOUT YOU 11/10

One of the greatest, most broodingly epic masterpieces that Queen Minogue has ever been involved with. If you look up perfection in the dictionary you’d find her spoken word interlude. “Can I be honest with you, can I tell you the truth?” breathes Kylie at the start of the track and to me this feels like a metaphor for the album as a whole.

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EVERY LITTLE PART OF ME 9/10

One of the poppiest tracks on the album, that has a very fresh and modern sheen. I could picture this song having some fab choreography, and in all honesty is there any greater compliment in life?

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ROLLIN’ 8.5/10

Probably deserves its place as a bonus track. Works well with the rest of the album, but isn’t a standout to me.

LOW BLOW 8/10

Perfectly enjoyable saloon bop, but the lyric “swinging your lasso at my rodeo” is not gonna convince those skeptical about her new sound to hop on the Kylie train.

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What are your thoughts thus far on Kylie’s country opus?

A Midnight Date With Kylie Minogue

Ever since HMV announced the competition to win one of 300 places at the midnight launch of Kylie’s 13th studio album GOLDEN I had a strong feeling that I WOULD be attending that wasn’t even slightly dampened by failing to be picked in either the original draw or the subsequent re-draw. When there’s a will there’s a way. I’m certain the HMV customer service team were delighted by my daily correspondence on this matter. With 5 days to go I’d been informed that all tickets had been allocated and that there would be no further draw for tickets, or as I call it – a technicality.

The day of the event arrived and weirdly I’d still not received a notification that I’d been allocated a GOLDEN ticket. Working just a few minutes stroll from the venue I decided to pop along during my lunchbreak and see if I could work my charm. I managed to procure an impromptu meeting with Simon, HMV’s Head of Events who informed me, alas, that there was nothing he could do as the event was already oversubscribed so they would not be running a reserve list. I enjoyed his advice that I snap up a cassette if possible, as this was the most limited of all the formats. “Babe, I have a delivery for every single format pending since the dot of midnight they went on pre-order!”. I thanked Simon for his help, and trotted back to my office with only a very faint feeling that I should doubt my proven Kylie Karma.

Despite all of this I still felt in my heart that Cinderella would be going to ball. Back at work I saw a notification pop up on my phone from my friend Danny (a competition winner) “Dear. Spoke to HMV again. You can come with me”; “ARE YOU JOKING??????!?!?!?!?!?!?” was my highly restrained response. It turns out that darling Danny had won twice (under two e-mail addresses) and had spent the past week trying to convince them to transfer one to me to no avail. He tried one last time that day by speaking to a lovely chap at the store who informed him that as long as I entered the venue with Danny I could attend. All seemed too good to be true, so I called the store myself to speak to my saviour Jason, and he confirmed that all was legit and that within a mere matter of hours I would indeed be in the presence of royalty.

This lack of notice was probably a good thing for the stability of my mental health as it meant I didn’t have time to get too worked up beforehand. I headed home from work to select an outfit and plumped for a vintage ‘Kylie Says Relax’ t shirt from her 2006 Showgirl Homecoming Tour with a leather jacket. I caught up on my soaps then popped back on the bus to join my friends. There were many familiar faces in the queue so it was delightful to catch up with so many people. Another Danny who I ALWAYS go and see Kylie with had also won a ticket so I joined the queue with him and many others joined our group as we waited for the clock to strike midnight.

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Minogue herself arrived at about 11.45pm to a sea of paps, some of whom ran in the building after her and had to be dragged out by security. Despite being very near the front of the queue I’m not much taller than Kylie herself so this was all I saw of the scuffle.

At about 12.30 we were ushered into the store to select our product for signing. Despite having every single format on preorder from Kylie.com I panic bought another picture disc as decided this would look best signed, and I had no intention of playing it anyway. So if anyone wants a picture disc (unsigned) holler! We joined another queue where we were issued with GOLDEN wristbands and given an as-invented-by-Romy-&-Michele Post It with our name spelt correctly on.

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We were then ushered to the fourth floor where we joined another queue that had a stage at the far end with a GOLDEN tinsel backdrop. “It’s ACTUALLY KYLIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I proclaimed to my group.  Whilst queuing I saw my buddy Simon from earlier who had changed into a snazzy pink suit. Looking at me with a mix of disbelief and confusion he said to me “You made it in then?”. “Why of course!” was my response as I beamed a big smile at him. The queue moved along quite swiftly and I suddenly felt like I was having an out of body experience, my legs felt like jelly and I kept thinking I was going to drop my record.Before I knew it I was at the front and handed my phone over to the attendant who started snapping away.

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“Hello Kylie!” I cheerfully exclaimed “I so enjoyed your Spotify gig the gig the other week”. “Why thank you!” replied the Queen of the Universe “I enjoyed it too!”. “Nice choice Jasmin!” she said as she took my picture disc from me, GOLDEN pen in one hand.

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“Kylie” I said. “Can I ask you an odd question?”. “I THINK so” giggled back my idol. “Well. This has bothered me for 30 years now. WHAT were you wearing on your bottom half on your debut album cover?”  “Oh gosh” she replied. “I really don’t remember”. “Did you accessorise your hair hat with jeans or was that a black dress?” I embellished. “It was a long time again” replied Minogue “I’m really sorry I just don’t remember” “Oh well, if you remember please Tweet the answer! I’m so excited about this new album” and with that our moment was over. It may have been fleeting but meant the world to me.

On the way out the HMV social media team asked to take a pic of Danny, Laura & myself with our signed vinyls as we looked “fab” and we happily obliged. And that was that. I’m delighted to report that Kylie did not turn into a pumpkin at midnight and would implore you all to check out her FAB new album GOLDEN available from all reputable outlets now.

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So the key takeaways are thus….

a) Daniel Langrish-Beard is an ABSOLUTE LIVING LEGEND

b) The power of manifestation. There’s never been a thing on this planet that I’ve not been able to make happen if I’ve really set my mind to it whether it’s moving to New York on a whim or attending a ticketed Kylie Minogue competition that I’ve not even won. It’s all in mind! I wonder what I’ll work on next?!

Kylie x Spotify

The excitement started last Sunday morning. I’d woken up early for another day of essay writing when my phone pinged; my friend Rob had sent me a screenshot of his phone indicating that he’d won a competition to attend a mysterious exclusive and intimate Kylie Minogue Spotify gig. “RSVP IMMEDIATELY” was my highly chilled out response. This all seemed far too good to be true, and I felt the same way until I firmly had a wristband attached to my arm on Wednesday afternoon. The collection point was at a private members club in Soho so I was easily able to stroll along during my lunchbreak and interrogate the Spotify crew as to what we should expect the following day. I managed to conclude that she would be singing a mix of songs from her new album Golden and a selection of classics and some “surprises”, the venue was tiny with a capacity of just 400 guests. I was also thrilled to discovered there there was going to be a free bar as Spotify wanted us to “have a good time”. As I apparently have no filter system for good measure my mouth managed to blurt out that “I don’t even do streaming. I’m very loyal to my iPod Classic”. Whoops. I accepted a complementary drink from their choice of four juice options (pineapple) and trotted back to work safe in the knowledge that as long as nobody chopped my arm off to make off with my precious contraband I was definitely going to see my idol live the following day.

The concert day arrived and my boss thankfully agreed that something “spectacular” had indeed occurred and he was cool with me leaving the office early. I popped onto the 36 (westbound) bus and was soon at Porchester Hall where I joined the queue as the 6th person in line. Being not much taller than La Minogue herself I was DETERMINED to get an excellent view and luckily the other fans who had had the same idea were absolutely delightful and we merrily chatted away as the countdown began. Doors were due to open at 7pm with Kylie Ann on stage at 8pm. My friend Danny had also won tickets so he and my friend Kate (+ unborn child) as well as Rob joined me in the queue as we continued our wait. Me and my big mouth had obviously made an impression the previous day as the guy I’d met from Spotify was walking along the queue to check if anyone need to collect a wristband & said to me “I know you don’t need one. I remember you from yesterday.”

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7pm came along and we began to shuffle into the venue. I was in such a rush to get to the front of the stage I bypassed the free drinks and accessory table; but it was worth it as I found myself right against the front barrier. That’s correct. FRONT ROW. In a tiny venue. As soon as my spot was secured I knew I was in for a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Danny kindly offered to take our freebie tokens and collect us some drinks from the bar (wine for the non-preggos, Coke for the preggo) and also managed to visit the accessories table selecting me a gold sequinned hat reminiscent of the Enjoy Yourself era. I was delighted to be informed that combined with my giant hoop earrings I looked very “Mel & Kim”.

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There was some mild concern amongst my party that a banjo and acoustic guitars were laid out on the stage, but these fears were soon laid to rest when Kylie set off glitter canons during her opening track which was the title track of her absolutely fabulous sounding new album ‘Golden’ (available from all major retailers on the 6th April!). Kylie was on absolutely stomping form. I dread to think how many times I’ve seen her live during my decades of super fandom but she looked happier and more relaxed than I can ever remember seeing her before. She is clearly delighted with her new material and it shows. Her stage set up was reminiscent of the Anti Tour with backing singers and a live band and not a dancer in sight. My highlights of the gig were as follows:

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  • An impromptu acapella rendition of the 1988 classic ‘Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi’. Rob and I had been joking outside that we hoped she’d sing it but not in our wildest dreams did we anticipate that might become reality.
  • The new songs. It comes as no surprise that I’m usually more thrilled than most when Minogue releases a new album, but after this concert I am even more excited than usual thanks to the strength of the new material that was debuted at the gig. Key tracks for me on first listening were ‘Sincerely Yours’ (a love letter to her fans no less), ‘Radio On’ and ‘A Lifetime To Repair’. Fun fact: I really had to restrain my emotions to stop myself from bursting into hysterical tears during the performance of this one. This is the first time since Impossible Princess 20 years ago that Kylie has co-written every single track on an album, and god does it show from what we’ve heard thus far!
  • Amusing myself by carrying out the original PWL choreo (as learnt from her ‘Kylie On The Go: Live In Japan’ TV special as she performed the Abbey Road ballad version of the 1989 number one hit single ‘Hand On Your Heart’.
  • Kylie being close enough that we made eye contact several times, the accumulation of which was her laughing when I did a cheesy #No1 finger signal during her performance of underrated banger ‘The One’.
  • During my favourite line of the aforementioned classic single (Close to touch like Michelangelo) she actually made her pal touch fingertips with her reminiscent of the scene painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. My highbrow goddess!

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Another special mention needs to go to Queen Kylie herself for being kind enough to pose for this selfie with myself and Rob. My only criticism is that my glasses clearly need a wipe!

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Thanks so much to Spotify and Queen Kylie Minogue herself for a truly Premium experience!

SETLIST

  • Golden
  • One Last Kiss
  • Raining Glitter
  • Breathe
  • Wow
  • Shelby ’68
  • Radio On
  • Islands In The Stream
  • The One
  • A Lifetime To Repair
  • Hand On Your Heart
  • All The Lovers
  • Stop Me From Falling
  • Sincerely Yours
  • Dancing

Kylie Christmas – The Sequel

My experience of Kylie’s second ever set of Christmas gigs was so special that I will never be able to forget it; and mostly because I was lucky (lucky lucky) enough to take along my 5 year old niece (and fellow superfan) Florence to her first ever concert. Seeing such a wonderful experience through the eyes of a young child was so moving; I truly think on my deathbed when I think back on my life experiences this will feature up there as one of the most magical I’m likely to ever to have.

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The excitement reached fever pitch even in the run up, with frantic rewatching of last year’s concert on YouTube and outfit planning; and as Florence rightly announced “Kylie Minogue is the biggest popstar in the whole world”. I met my sister outside the Royal Albert Hall, who dropped off her daughter leaving her in the care of myself and Ms Minogue for the evening. Before we’d even entered the venue Flo pointed in the window; screeching at a white tutu covered in musical notes “Auntie Cha Cha! It’s my favourite dress of Kylie’s from last year!!!”.

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We showed our tickets and went straight to the merch stand; Florence left with a programme and badge set whilst her slightly older Aunt left with the same plus a t shirt. We had our photograph taken posing with the tinsel dress featured on the Kylie Christmas: Snow Queen Edition reissue album; and Florence basked in the compliments she received regarding her sequinned bomber jacket (she was mildly annoyed with me for not wearing my matching one). We bumped into several other fellow Kylie fans who all wanted to know Florence’s thoughts on what was about to happen.

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After picking up a chocolate ice cream (a girl after my own heart, one of Florence’s biggest concerns was what snack selection the RAH would offer) we made our way to our seats. She was delighted to find a santa hat on the back of our seats and even though it was so big for her tiny head and kept slipping over her eyes she insisted on wearing her “present from Kylie” for the duration. I pointed up at the ceiling to a net bag full of balloons, and told a wide eyed little girl that I wouldn’t be surprised if they were released during the final song…

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We chatted with the chaps sat in front, a lovely couple who’d flown over from Holland for the show who were both very impressed such a small girl was a huge Kylie fan. Florence decided to entertain them with a rousing rendition of Little Donkey and her favourite Kylie hits whilst we waited for Kylie to take the stage.

The lights dimmed and Florence gripped tightly onto my arm, shaking with overexcitement as I said to her “that means she’s coming on stage” and right on cue Kylie entered stage right. She started proceedings with “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” as Florence exclaimed “I love this one!!” and we both danced and sang along at the top of our lungs. By the third song (“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”) Florence leaned over to me and whispered “I think this is better than last year; the costumes are MUCH more Christmassy”. She also took great delight in pointing out every single time the setlist deviated from the previous year; which is exactly the level of detail I want to be having in a conversation with my five year old niece. My highlights of the first half were “Confide in Me” performed as the original single version and “Better The Devil You Know” dueted with Olly from Years and Years. Florence preferred “The One” (despite being unfamiliar with it she couldn’t stop singing “love me, love me, love meee” afterwards), the HEY! bits of “Christmas Wrapping” and “Celebration” for which she was delighted when I told her seeing as she’s so small she was allowed to dance standing on the chair.

Next up was interval time; Flossie reveled in learning all of these new and exotic terms. “Interval”, “duet”, “encore”; it was like her tiny mind had been opened up to a entire new world as she relished dropping these into conversation afterwards. During the interval on a quick trip to powder our noses Flo was delighted to spot two other little girls in the queue; as she smugly informed me once back at our seats “those kids were defo older than me Auntie Cha Cha”. Nails emoji!

Part two kicked off with something that I never thought I’d see let alone enjoy…a duet of “Your Disco Needs You” with opera singer Katherine Jenkins. Last summer (after turning up to babysit her and her brother with rainbows painted on my face) I taught my niece about the importance of gay pride. Florence was as pleased as punch to point out the significance of the rainbow flags on the stage. I’m proud to reveal that YDNY is now her favourite Kylie song – apologies to “Hand On Your Heart”! She also massively got into “100 Degrees”; during the intro I asked Flo if she thought Kylie’s sister might duet with her…she then innocently said to me “Is Britney Kylie’s sister?”. Close Floss. Close.

During “Let It Snow” poor Florence looked crestfallen to see that it did not actually snow. “Never mind she said” as I tried to distract her with chocolate buttons. Her attention was soon alerted when I pointed to the giant disco ball high up in the roof of the iconic venue…. “Look Florence; it’s coming down!” I exclaimed and my young niece gasped as we were suddenly in the midst of the biggest disco in town as Ms Minogue belted out her cover of “Night Fever”. Act Two came to a close with “All The Lovers” complete with confetti drop. Whilst Florence was suitably impressed she asked if it was time to go home (it was three hours past her bedtime); “Not yet Floss; don’t forget about those balloons!!”.


Once the encore was up all of a sudden something really magical happened. As Florence has been informing anyone who’ll listen ever since Kylie Minogue made it snow indoors. Whilst singing “Silent Night” no less. It really did seem made for the venue as my niece and I held hands and sang along. Kylie then moved onto a duet of “Especially For You”, dueting with the audience instead of Jason Donovan. I suppose it was her fiance’s birthday (Flo had taken great delight in joining the room to sing happy birthday earlier on) so wheeling out her former beau might have been a faux pas. Luckily Florence has received an excellent education so was more than able to duet with her idol. She ended the show with a rousing cover of “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday”; and finally a very tired little girl saw her dream of balloons descending from the ceiling.

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“Next year Auntie Cha Cha perhaps we can sit nearer to the balloons” was Florence’s very matter of fact answer as the final applause ended and she beamed me a big smile.

Setlist

Act One

  1. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
  2. “Wonderful Christmastime”
  3. “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”
  4. “Christmas Wrapping”
  5. “At Christmas”
  6. “Come into My World”
  7. “Confide in Me” (with John Grant)
  8. “The One”
  9. “Better the Devil You Know” (with Olly Alexander)
  10. “Celebration”
  11. “Stay Another Day”

Act Two

  1. “Your Disco Needs You” (with Katherine Jenkins)
  2. “100 Degrees” (Solo version)
  3. “Spinning Around”
  4. “Christmas Lights”
  5. “The Locomotion”
  6. “Santa Baby”
  7. “Let It Snow”
  8. “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”
  9. “Night Fever”
  10. “Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)”
  11. “Love at First Sight”
  12. “All the Lovers”

Encore

  1. “Silent Night”
  2. “Especially For You”
  3. “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday”

Big shout out to Stephen Smith for gifting Florence with one of the aforementioned special balloons!

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