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?

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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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A Kylie Christmas

How does one even begin to write about the best gig that has ever been, or will ever be? I may be prone to hyperbole (and might be slightly biased as a Kylie superfan) but that’s exactly how I feel right now. I feel like spending the day shaking and crying in a darkened room as surely nothing could reach those dizzying heights ever again?

Excitement had been building at fever pitch for me since tickets went on sale a couple of months back. I had my outfit sorted, the pinnacle of which was a custom made t shirt that actually featuring myself and the Queen of Everything on my left shoulder

*Correction* An as approved by Dannii Minogue designed t shirt.

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Queen Minogue started her set in a festive fashion, with a selection of tracks from her new album Kylie Christmas; I have to say one of the highlights for me personally was her (w)rapping her way through a cover of The Waitresses Christmas Wrapping. I love it when Kylie raps! (see any live version of Shocked)

Queen @kylieminogue (w)rapping at #kyliechristmas #ChristmasWrapping

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She also included her cover of Winter Wonderland which I like to think is a Minogue family favourite. A couple of years back on meeting Danielle Jane I informed her my ambition was to sing with a Minogue which she happily obliged. Despite it being mid November her song of choice was Winter Wonderland. Anyway *spoiler alert* more about baby sis Dannii later…

The first special guest appeared towards the end of Act One, when Chrissie Hynde joined Ms Minogue on stage for a duet 2000 Miles exclaiming “This is a dream come true!” Fun fact. When I was a child and I’d see Chrissie Hynde on the telly I thought she was my Mum as they have the same name (and hair do). Anyway, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t my Mum duetting with La Minogue last night.

@kylieminogue duetting #2000Miles with Chrissie Hynde last night #kyliechristmas

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Act Two kicked off with Kylie reemerging on the stage wearing a floor length gold sequin cape. I’ve seen enough pop spectaculars to know that cape wasn’t staying on for long… The song ended and, as suspected, Kylie whipped the cape off to reveal a sequinned red disco gown reminiscent of the one she recently wore for her performance of 100 Degrees on Australian X Factor. Could it be…. Could Dannii have trolled us all with her recent Twitter posts and could she have snuck on a Melbourne to London long haul flight… Sure enough the beats of the modern Christmas disco classic echoed around the Royal Albert Hall and before we knew it THERE SHE WAS! The siblings reunited live on stage. I don’t think I’ve ever heard an audience reaction that loud (except for perhaps Kylie’s first post cancer UK concert appearance which I was in attendance at); I personally felt like I burst a blood vessel by screeching so loudly.

MINOGUE SHIMMY!!!!! @kylieminogue @danniiminogue #kyliechristmas #100degrees

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When the song ended Kylie revealed that her very special guest had even been kept a secret from her parents and brother who were in the audience chuckling “It’s hard enough keeping one Minogue a secret, but imagine two of us!”.

Keeping the disco spirit alive Kylie trilled her way through some of her most popular uptempo hits Spinning Around and Your Disco Needs You before slowing things back down with Santa Baby (which has never been a favourite of mine – sorry Kylie!). However, all was redeemed when Queen Minogue showed JUST how magical she is by actually making it snow within the Royal Albert Hall. Strangely the song she chose to show off this feat was Let It Snow – move over Jesus!!

The next MAJOR highlight for me was the ballad version of I Believe In You which is in my top five Kylie songs ever. It’s normally magical enough but to hear it in such an illustrious setting with amazing acoustics and live orchestra is something that’ll stay with me for a long time. As if this wasn’t ethereal enough she wore an actual crown and long flowing white robes whilst mist circled around her perfectly formed ankles.

For her encore she sang Especially For You with the audience taking Jason’s part (I guess she didn’t want to parade Jason Donovan in front of new love Joshua Sasse); followed by a rousing rendition of I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday for which her younger sis bounced back on stage.

As if both singing Minogues on one stage wasn’t exciting enough, not content with making it snow Kylie Ann also made it rain balloons. Call the Met Office, our glorious leader has managed to invent a new form of weather!

Everything about this show was perfect. The setlist, the costumes, the dancing, the arrangements, the special guests (and lack of them *cough* James Corden), the audience reaction completely blew me away – it was truely faultless and something I won’t forget in a hurry. Kylie entered the stage as a princess, and left it (arm in arm with her new love) as the true Queen we know her be.

King and Queen Sasse-Minogue exiting the stage… #kyliechristmas

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I wish it could be Kylie Christmas everyday (or year – PLEASE!!)

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SETLIST

ACT 1
1. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of The Year
2. It’s Gonna Be Warm This Christmas
3. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
4. Oh Santa
5. Christmas Wrapping
6. Wow
7. Winter Wonderland
8. Everyday’s Like Christmas
9. Can’t Get You Out Of My Head
10. 2000 Miles (ft Chrissie Hynde)
11. Christmas Isn’t Christmas ‘Til You Get Here

ACT 2
12. On a Night Like This
13. 100 Degrees (ft Dannii Minogue)
14. Spinning Around
15. Your Disco Needs You
16. Santa Baby
17. Let It Snow
18. Jingle Bell Rock
19. 12 Days of Christmas (Acapella)
19. Locomotion (Abbey Road Version)
20. I Believe in You (Ballad Version)
21. Only You
22. Love at First Sight
23. All the Lovers
24. Celebration

ENCORE
25. Especially for You
26. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day (ft Dannii)

A Meeting With Queen Minogue…

This is something I don’t really like to talk about but I am a Kylie Minogue superfan. I’ve loved her since I was 7 years of age and can’t ever imagine her not being a part of my life. I’ve been lucky enough to meet her once before (at her Harrods book signing back in 2012); but other than that my fandom has been confined to attending concerts, listening to her music, the occasional Tweet from her, writing freelance articles about her and having my cover version of her single All The Lovers featured on Popjustice.

I woke up Saturday morning with a mild hangover and with no idea how the rest of my weekend was going to pan out… At around lunchtime I saw a Tweet from Liberty saying a competition was being held for 30 winners to attend the unveiling of this year’s Christmas window display which the queen of the universe was commandeering. I hit the retweet button, gazed longingly at my Kim Kardashian West prayer candle and hoped for the best.

Fast forward to 6pm and I was sat on my Kylie At Home bedsheets (leopard print, obvs) and applying my limited edition Kiss Me Once lipstick when I saw a notification appear on my phone… “Congratulations!!! You’re going to meet Kylie tomorrow!” I immediately turned into a shaking, gibbering mess and my heart was pounding. Although I’d met my idol before, I’d never had a photograph with her that hadn’t involved me photoshopping myself into it…was this finally going to be my chance? My mind was filled with a million questions and all I had was a time and an address to meet the following morning and an instruction that due to security no phones or handbags would be permitted.

I barely slept that evening, and woke up super early feeling like a child on Christmas Day. I was shaking as I selected a t shirt I’d designed myself to wear which I accessorised with a red sparkly giant Christmas hairbow I’d already purchased for her concert at the Royal Albert Hall next month. My journey was an unmitigated disaster. I left with twice as much time as needed but due to road closures by 11.15 I was still stuck in an Uber near Westminster; at one point I really thought I wasn’t going to make it and I think the poor driver was quite taken aback by my hysterics (fingers crossed it hasn’t affected my 4.9 rating!). At 11.26 I finally got out the Uber at Piccadilly Circus and proceeded to RUN up Regent Street. Anyone who knows me will testify I don’t run but please see the evidence below!

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With one minute to spare I arrived at the office entrance to Liberty and I was beetroot red and making little sense as I checked my handbag in with security, obviously hiding a few personal items for signing under my cape and was given a VIP wristband to wear:

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We were ushered upstairs to the 4th floor and escorted into a small ornate side room with three rows of chairs, a pink sparkly Christmas tree and two arm chairs at the front. On each chair was a small purple Liberty giftbag that contained a deluxe edition of her new album Kylie Christmas. I was lucky enough that two of my friends Danny and John had also won tickets so I sat with them and we chatted to the people around us as we made the most of the complimentary pastries and beverages.

At around 12.15 a buzz went around the room… She was on her way! First into the room was her new exceptionally handsome boyfriend Joshua Sasse who lingered at the back staring at her adoringly. Seanny Sean her tour manager was also accompanying her. A representative from Liberty brandishing a microphone came out and introduced her as the entire room stood to give her a standing ovation as she entered the room. “Sit down, sit down!” she said as she took her seat.

The representative from Liberty proceeded to interview her; I presume for their website as the entire event was filmed. Kylie explained that she’d decorated the pink sparkly Christmas tree herself as part of a charity initiative for ITV’s Text Santa. My Christmas tree always features my Ms Minogue Barbie doll dressed as an angel but I guess Kylie was going for a more understated appearance for her interior décor.

Tree

The interview itself was mainly about her thoughts on Christmas and Minogue family traditions. The most revealing part which had the room howling was probably that her ideal Christmas day would involve “spending the morning in bed, then I’d take it from there”. Also, world exclusive, on her Christmas list this year is a wick trimmer which I initially misheard as “wig trimmer”. I was sat in her direct eye line, and each time we got eye contact my inner 7 year old died a little.

When the interview ended it was time for the meet and greet part of the session, and each person got to go up to the front one by one, row by row. After the first photograph was taken Kylie took command to alter the set up as there was a table with a floral arrangement on between the two chairs. “This isn’t working. Let’s move this table” she said. “The guys will get a much better picture if the chairs are closer together”. Thanks babes!

Eventually it was my turn and as I sat down next to my idol it struck me how much this reminded me of a Santa’s Grotto, but with an opportunity to meet someone much more glamorous and fragrant than Father Christmas.

“Hi nice to meet you, I love your bow!” was Kylie’s opening line. “Thanks so much, I bought it for your Christmas gig at the Royal Albert Hall; thought I might as well get in the festive spirit early” I responded. “Oh you’re coming!” she said, “I’m so excited about it and want to make it special. I hoped all the audience would be dressing up!”

Being a responsible Aunt I have brainwashed my four year old niece into being a Kylie fan too; and when she found out I was meeting our shared idol she burst into tears, informing my sister “That’s not fair, Auntie Cha Cha has already met her”. I handed Kylie a photograph of Florence singing into a microphone with Kylie on the television screen behind her. “Oh my goodness, she’s so cute!” said Kylie and she looked horrified when I told her she was upset she couldn’t come due to the no plus ones policy. “Why couldn’t she come? It’s not a school day” was Minogue’s response as she dedicated the picture to Florence and we talked about how much fun being an Auntie is.

As a side note Florence is not sure that Kylie did indeed sign this herself as she’s not sure that Kylie would be able to spell F-L-O-R-E-N-C-E, but at least this is a great souvenir for when she’s feeling less sceptical.

Florence

The next item I’d bought with me was a bit of a gamble as I handed Kylie a photograph of some artwork I’d created in which I’d superimposed myself into a photo with her and Dannii. “Please don’t be alarmed by this” I warned as I handed it over. “What is this? And how did you do it?” asked Kylie as she raised the picture to her perfectly formed face to inspect closer, as she cackled away. “Oh just a little something I created using a phone app” I retorted as my brain envisaged the nail varnish emoji. “I always fancied being the third Minogue sister”. “I can see that!” giggled Kylie.

Minogues

Other items that she signed were the Christmas CD she had gifted me with and also I bought the insert she’d created to replace the dire cover for her Greatest Hits 1988-92 album. “This is a blast from the past!” she informed me as she signed the collector’s item.

CDs

We posed for the professional photographer who took some pictures of the two besties and it was all over. “Thank you so much Kylie!” I said, “I hope you have a fab Christmas”. “You too!” said Kylie as she beamed her magnificent smile at me.

And that was it. The whirlwind was over and I exited the room. It all seemed so surreal and dreamlike. I only hope that when the photographs are e-mailed to me later this week I’m not pulling an odd facial expression. But, hey, even if I am at least La Minogue approves of my photoshop skills!

Window

A lookback at Kylie Minogue’s Anti Tour

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Three years ago this week St Kylie of Minogue really got into full swing with her #K25 celebration of her first quarter century in the music business by embarking upon the ‘Anti Tour’. With the Anti Tour Kylie trod where none of her peers would dare to by doing a handful of dates (in both Australia and the UK) in which she sang rarieties; b sides, album tracks and unreleased demos. Anyone who’s been to see Kylie live will be aware that these are not typically understated affairs, but Ms Minogue stripped all of this back to perform theatre venues with just a backing band and none of her usual embellishments. Except perhaps a small glitter canon. And few tiny lasers.

I was lucky enough to be in attendance at her one London date at the Hammersmith Apollo and it truly was a unforgettable evening. As (despite rumours to the contrary) it has never received a DVD release all that survives of the evening beyond my memories are a selection of YouTube clips and my much prized souvenir t shirt. As tricky as it is to sift through such a one of a kind performance I’ve tried to pick some of my absolute highlights below:

MADE IN HEAVEN 

In the 25 years of Kylie fandom I’d experienced prior to this moment ‘Made In Heaven’ was the number one track I was desperate to see live. The only previous memory I have of the b side to number 2 hit single ‘Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi’ being performed live was at the 1988 Royal Variety Performance, and I’d nearly worn my taped-off-the-telly video cassette out I’d rewatched it so many times. Back in the heady days of the late 1980s my only way of listening to the audio was via my 7″ inch record; I was unable to listen to it via my Fisher Price cassette player as Queen Minogue had failed to include it on her 2 million selling debut album. Perhaps this omission has helped it to reach godlike status in my mind but whatever the reason this was an absolute highlight.

ONE BOY GIRL

KYLIE! RAPS! This was my immediate thought when I first listened to Kylie’s 3rd album release ‘Rhythm of Love’ back in 1990. Rapping had previously been the exclusive domain of the People’s Minogue younger sister Dannii. Perhaps I was too young to know better but I genuinely thought her rap skills were second to none. Well except perhaps Betty Boo that is. The One Boy Girl rap has long since been an in joke amongst Kylie fans and thought of her performing this live seemed preposterous. But then the Anti Tour came along and blew all of our preconceptions out of the window: “Hey yo Kylie, wats up wit that one boy girl thing”. Classic!

YOU’RE THE ONE

An unused track from her 1998 classic ‘Impossible Princess’ album ‘You’re The One’ has never been commercially released and only exists in a very low quality scratchy leaked demo version. The fact that Kylie even acknowledged that her fans have enjoyed it over the years speaks volumes about her relationship with her fanbase and when she chose to sing this live it was such a special moment.

TOO MUCH

The only track from La Minogue’s 2010 album ‘Aphrodite’ not to be performed live on her epic Aphrodite: Les Folies World Tour. Co-penned by Minogue herself with Calvin Harris and Jake Shears from the Scissor Sisters it’s madness to me that this amazing song was overlooked as single choice. Classic Kylie. However it’s fun to see such a stripped down fun version. In terms of spectacle Aphrodite: Les Foiles set the benchmark for touring productions, I can’t imagine any of her peers ending a concert with a human water fountain; and the contrast between this performance style and the Anti Tour demonstrates Kylie’s versatility and comfort on stage.

ENJOY YOURSELF

The title track from Kylie’s 1989 sophomore album is in my top five Minogue tracks of all time. Never has the feeling a song gives you been so perfectly summed up by it’s title, pure joy from start to finish. However my 8 year old self could never understand why she sings ‘enjoy it’ on the chorus when the song is called ‘Enjoy Yourself’, and 26 years later I’m still confused. The perfect song to end the gig with this underrated classic is a pure adrenaline shot and I always blast it if I’m feeling blue. The reaction she got from the audience was so great that she even resurrected it for last year’s Kiss Me Once Tour. I defy anyone to listen to this song and not have a smile on their face.

My original review of the Anti Tour can be found here: http://www.virginmedia.com/music/features/kylie-minogue-anti-tour-review.php

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What were your highlights? Comment below!