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Almost Daily – 7/1/07

January 7, 2007

Kylie – Showgirl
Wembley Arena, January 2nd

These dates not only complete the cancer-delayed Showgirl tour, but also Kylie’s millennial musical rehabilitation at the hands of Cathy Dennis, Emiliana Torrini et al. Her turnaround, from kitsch disaster to Pop icon, has been nothing short of amazing, and here she seems to revel in the hard-earned affection of the crowd.

The whole performance centres on re-appropriation. T-shirts lampooning Frankie Goes To Hollywood, songs cribbed from The Wizard of Oz and even a Madonna hit (‘Vogue’) show a star happy with her place in the pop-lexicon. Only here can you see ‘The Loco-Motion’ as a burlesque classic, while ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ is accompanied by Cyber-women and retina-threatening lasers.

But Wembley is a dive; a dispassionate hangar that leaves most acts gasping for breath and anything but fanatical audiences isolated. Only the most performative popstar can carry it off, crippled by poor acoustics and dead space as it is.

Kylie fits that bill – she succeeds with aplomb – but I still found it difficult to watch. Well rehearsed and stylised, it’s different language to the raw, if inept, performances I’m used to. There’s something cold and commercial here that doesn’t quite sit right.

One (scary) day all shows will be this spectacular and well-rehearsed, beamed into our heads from vast ships traversing the emptiness of space. But then, if it looks this good, we shall all be so lucky.

© Matthew Sheret – 2007

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I’m fairly sure I could’ve phrased ‘cancer delayed’ a bit better, but that was a mare to write, not least because it is such a completely different style of performance. It’s not within my ken to comfortably describe it. All I seem able to say is that it was ‘spectacular’ or ‘visual’. On some level perhaps it was all a bit much for my wee little seeing holes to handle.

In other news, Scenes of a Sexual Nature is not a very fulfilling filmic experience and watching a friend vomit in the street while you are about as healthy as a dead parrot is not a particularly pleasant experience. The West Wing repeats on More 4 continue to blow me away. The start of Season 2, and all of the chaos that entails, is epic, startlingly written, flipping between tension and release almost epileptically. Brillaint.

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