COMMENT | How I Learned To Stop Worring And Love Kylie29th June 2015
My mini joke was always that it was a homo crime for which I could have my Gay Card confiscated.
And there have been times in the company of my peers I’ve been the odd queer out. But the truth is I never was a Kylie fan. Quite the opposite in fact.
My personal opinion was that she was the poster girl for all that was bad in your average gay CD collection. And I was way hipper than that. My taste veers between skinny white kids with guitars to tortured hip hop ghetto types to electronic artists that are barely household names in their own households.
By comparison Kylie Minogue always felt a bit, well, naff. From my cooler than thou music bunker, I had ruled years ago that she was kiddie pop sung mainly through her nose by a now middle aged ex soap star. Move on, nowt to see here…
Anyway, with heavy heart then I accompanied my Kylie lovin’ other half to Hyde Park to watch her headining the BST Festival. When I say heavy heart, Grace Jones and Chic were on the bill, both acts that put a nicely designed tick in my hipster music box, so on paper it was not going to be a total waste of a day. Though of course as the selfless boyfriend I am, I would have to tolerate Minogue.
Grace and Chic were excellent. Predictably so. I kind of knew that before both played a single note. But I digress. For this is not a column singing the praises of the support acts. Oh no. This is me relating the tale of just how I became a Kylie convert.
The trade off of the big name summer outdoor gigs is always high ticket prices, restricted view due to distance from the stage in a huge area (we were not that far back but still felt like we were standing somewhere in Essex) and the sense that they are more about corporate interest and sponsorship than musical quality. At BST in Hyde Park all of this was on show. And yet…
It was roughly three songs in, during the glorious glitter ball rush of Wow it clicked. I “got’’ Kylie. Yes, it’s a simple formula on paper; keep the BPM high and hit the chorus at full throttle. It is however brutally effective.
Plus as my other half so succinctly put it at her strongest, the biggest surprise is that thanks to some clever state of the art production Kylie sounds both ultra contemporary and like the future. Simmering beneath the pop sheen of a Can’t Get You Out Of My Head or a Get Outta My Way is something darker and quietly subversive.
In a royal park on a summer Sunday night amongst the heavy branding of credit card company sponsorship, the moment the harsh electronic rhythm of Slow was cranked up, as heavy as anything in underground EDM became a mass communal moment.
Then there is Kylie herself. After several decades in the business, it seems fairly redundant to say she is a polished performer. But likability without blandness is no mean feat to pull off. Unlike her contemporaries, the grim determination and often joylessness of Madonna for example, Minogue comes across as hugely likeable. Niceness is pop stars is so rare that in her case it feels refreshing rather that forced or insincere.
I will always struggle to stay in the room for The Locomotion and I Should Be So Lucky still is the wrong side of cringeworthy. But after years and years of dismissing her, I can honestly say I have found corners of her back catalogue I genuinely love.
Until the next time KM.
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Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.