Copyright Roderick Arnold.
After 26 years in show business Kylie Minogue is still making her mark.
For someone accused at the start of her career as being a manufactured pop star, she has always had a finger in more than one pie, whether juggling soap actress duties with singing, or balancing reality show judging with her musical path, and its still going strong.
Kiss Me Once is the twelfth studio album by Australian recording artist Kylie and its released by Parlophone this week. It's her first studio album release since Aphrodite, and first album under the management of Jay Z's Roc Nation.
In a surprise move for both pop and hip-hop fans, when the Australian soap princess joined forces with hip-hop behemoth Jay Z; we wondered what the direction might be musically for her new work. No big musical digressions however, this pop princess knows not to fix that formula if it aint broke. There's no intention for her to rap, aside from a Blondie Rapture style spoken word moment on her track ''Body Language''.
However, there is a nod to dub step and the urban music genre in the new material. As well as having worked with Darkchild, Stargate and Will.I.Am in the past year, its clear she understands that urban music is not just a passing fad and she knows hit makers when she hears them.
Like a chameleon, Kylie hitches a ride on passing music trends with each subsequent album, but stays true to her own unique brand of cheesy pop. She's done it all; corny pop, electro pop, all out dance pop and now has music man of 2014 ,Pharrell Williams, as well as practically unknown superstar songwriter, Londoner Wayne Hector who has also written for her latest offering.
Kylie performed new songs from her latest album at an exclusive show for fans at the Bloomsbury Bowl ballroom in Holborn where drinks and mini food platters were served to the 300 winners.
The stage set consisted of a backdrop curtain of pink tinsel streamers, backing singer line up, live band and for some inexplicable reason, the drum kit was sectioned off and protected by a perspex pull out separator.
To hysterical whoops of joy from fans, Kylie came onstage in a virginal white Grecian inspired outfit, which her dancers matched, in their white leotards with cutout body parts. Her dancers were all tall, brunette and chic with classic side bun French chignon hairstyles.
A special nod must go to the choreography, which was typical Kylie stylee. Long beautiful poses straight out of a Parisian art café book, poses and pouts a la old music hall chorus girls, long slow vogueing gestures and still fashion posed shots that could be captured at any point for a fashion shoot and had you mesmerised. The vibe was very Robert Palmer in his 'Girls' video.
Her backing singers, once again were all brunette, tall and model-esque. Its a very unusual thing for a female singer to have other females onstage with her who are taller and thinner. Many superstar solo ladies don't like to be compared to females that they could be compared alongside unfavorably so this really shows how secure and balanced as an act and person Kylie is. Having said that though, tellingly no other female onstage was blonde - that would be a step too far and perchance distract from the main lady.
Kylie's second outfit was a red rubber/ PVC style dominatrix dress, which she looked hot in. She explained as she glugged back water from a bottle ''I certainly have to stay hydrated wearing this!''
Kylie's dancers second outfits were black versions of their leotard- this time complimented by tassels. The dancers third and final outfit were black leotards with wide red cumberband waistbands and matching red lips hats- a humorous ode to the new album title ''Kiss Me Once''. The whole feel of the set was stylish chic with a Parisian twist.
Kylie was natural and chatty with her adoring fans, making small talk, agreeing to pose for selfies in this modern social-media demanding world. For fans like Lee Parkinson who had traveled all the way from across the UK, and been involved in a bus crash on route to the show on the M6- it had all been worthwhile when he was asked by Kylie to jump onstage for a selfie. A telling sign of how social media savvy 46 year old Ms Minogue and her team are and also showing just how technology and social media has changed the way humans engage with every possible experience.
After a fast uptempo track Kylie smiled
''my album is out this week and I'm relieved, nervous and excited all at once!''
She surprised another adoring fan - Gordon with a signed set list of the show as he was celebrating his anniversary and impending nuptials, and finally she announced that two unsuspecting fans would meet her right afterwards backstage in her dressing room.
Whilst Kylie's by no means a renowned or exceptional singer, her tenacity and perseverance over the years has generated hits and fame and at best she is a very apt entertainer and throws a party onstage like no other encouraging her crowd to clap in unison with her, pointing out and acknowledging diehard fans and connecting strongly. Remember, this is the lady that took on cancer and won.
The Kiss Me Once tour doesn't begin until much later this year in September, by which time fans and across the board music lovers will have had a chance to get familiar with the album. So this made her small intimate gig even more special.
Teeny Aussie gal done good.