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Renowned For Sound

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Live Review: Kylie Minogue – Tuesday 3rd April 2012 – Hammersmith Apollo, London, UK

6 min read

Kylie’s Anti tour took to the road recently with a very limited number of shows around the world. It was so limited in fact that the string of gigs was restricted to 7 performances in total – 4 in her native Australia and 3 over here in the UK (Manchester and London) where she has become a staple in the world of pop music.

It’s such a rare thing these days for an artist to go on the road and perform equally rare songs that the majority of music lovers are unfamiliar with and it takes a very special artist to not only pull that off but to pull if off in spectacular diva style. Of course, such a task could only come so naturally to an artist like Kylie.

With the enormous feathery costumes and hunky dance troops left to one side for this latest string of concerts, the Anti tour was a tour quite like no other that I have been a part of before. Now, it doesn’t take a die-hard fan to appreciate the rarity of seeing an artist as prolific as Kylie take to the stage to perform a show made up of rarities, demo’s and b-sides. Being witness to such a one-off performance was a pleasure and honor as Renowned For Sound set forth to the intimate confines of West London’s Hammersmith Apollo where a very lucky 5,000 camp, pop loving fans descended upon to bear witness to a spectacular show of stripped back Minogue.

Passing the venue in the mid afternoon, the crowds in front of the venue were already in their hundreds. Unsurprisingly among the crowd were fans donning Kylie t-shirts and feather boa’s as they awaited the 18.30 door opening and clutching the hottest ticket in town. By 18.30 the crowds have enveloped the Apollo and we ushered in to find their place as close as they could to pop royalty.

With no support act in sight the crowd was warmed up to a variety of camp hits before the lights dimmed at just after 20.30 and the band, the same backing the singer enlisted for her Aphrodite tour last year, took to the stage to thousands of screaming voices. The fever reached an all time high as the pint-sized starlet emerged from the right of the stage donning a cute pair of torn denim shots, a white, print t-shirt and a black, gem studded hat.

The singer jumped head first into a weighty set of some of her finest b-side recordings with the powerfully charged Magnetic Electric from her X-era taking the opening honors. Further into the set Cherry Bomb got the crowd heating the venue with dance moves before BPM, a B-side to her 2004 hit I Believe In You, took hold of the 5,000 strong crowd and showcased the singers faultless ability at working up a crowd and making each member of the audience eagerly beg for more. More is certainly what was in store throughout the set as, over the course of two hours, we were offered 25 tracks from the hidden Kylie vault. With so many numbers to take her pick from over a career that has so far spanned a successful 24 years, seen the release of 11 studio albums and racked up a staggering 70 million record sales, there was not a boring moment in the set as she pumped out track after track to a frenzied flock of Minogue followers.

Tightrope proved to be an obvious highlight within the set with the crowd singing along to the infectious rhythm while Give Me Just A Little More Time offered some humor in the night and displayed just how stripped back the evening was with the singer, as with the whole evening, taking occasional guidance from lyric sheets pegged to a music stand in the centre of the stage. Mid song the singer began forgetting her lyrics but was helped along in pure panto fashion by her fans and later confessed, “Thank you for helping me out. It has been a while since I sang that song but you sounded incredible”. Though she was clearly embarrassed she was among friends and was able to laugh it off.

Of course no Kylie gig would feel right without at least one commercially successful single and that came in the form of the incredible Got To Be Certain. The crowd erupted as the 1988 number one hit for the singer shook the walls of the venue with the token commercial number hidden within the evenings set-list.

Confessing to adding the following song to her set list at the request from her father, we were given a doting performance of Tears on my Pillow. The track was a swaying and nostalgic addition to the latter half of the evenings performance as the singer took to a seated position to perform for her adoring fans.

With the singer swinging from disco queen to heartfelt pop beauty in a heartbeat the night was given a faultless coating from the princess of pop and a diva who proved that her hits were not solely reserved for mainstream radio play but also hidden on the back of her single releases and unreleased demo recordings.

Kylie paid tribute within her set to a number of her acclaimed show-biz friends and collaborators. Within the crowd was music mogul Pete Waterman who helped launch Kylie into the international spotlight as well as long time collaborator, Richard ‘Biff’ Stannard who has written countless hits from Kylie’s post-millennium catalogue, bother there to support her iconic Hammersmith performance.

The night was perfectly balanced between ballad and disco floor fillers and when the mood changed and was revved up a few notches, it did so with gusto. Although the grandeur stage set up was left out of the latest mini-tour the singer did pull in an electrifying laser display on some of her more upbeat, club orientated inclusions and seeing the display in such close quarters was incredible to say the least as they hovered above the heads of the standing stall members, creating a wall of colored light between the standing crowd and fans seated in the circle levels.

Throughout the night Kylie remained bubbly and enthusiastic, clearly enjoying performing some of the recordings she herself never thought she would have the chance to perform in concert. Anyone who has ever been to a Kylie concert will know what to expect – a grand, choreographed, colorful spectacle. The Anti tour proved to be a completely laid back affair with very few commercially successful hits performed but nothing too over the top or extravagant but nothing short of true performance perfection.

Set list:

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