“It was Love at First Sight”
Magic Presents Kylie Minogue – Secret Gig – Omeara, London – 26th July 2019
This was a Kylie fan’s dream, an intimate show in a secret venue and completely free courtesy of Magic FM. I was one of the very lucky, lucky, lucky ones and managed to win a pair of tickets after a nerve-wracking 15 minute telephone on hold only to get through to the studio, answer a question and then feel my heart rate go through the roof when Kylie said “correct, you’re a winner!”.
Advertised as a secret gig, with the only way of bagging this hot ticket was to win them via Magic FM. Having strict instructions to not tell anyone or post on social media where the venue was, I arrived at the queue point a few hours early to a delightful gang of fellow die-hard Kylie fans. I don’t think I have queued for a gig with so many lovely people, testament to the power of Kylie to bring people from all walks of life together.
The venue, Omeara, is a cute 320 capacity venue for emerging talent and for household names to break the rules. Situated in a side street, opposite a church and under a train archway in Southwark, it has buckets of charm and the live space is intimate and fun, almost like seeing a gig in a large living room. Yes, it really is that small a space.
And then there was Kylie….
With the start of the gig being introduced by Magic FM host, Harriett Scott, she barely had to say a word before the room erupted in cheers and shouts. As she read out the amazing statistics for Kylie’s career (so far), the fans were shouting out the results. And then Kylie arrived to a roar from the room. Wearing a stunning ivory dress and her trademark heels, her hand in black with lots of sequins and looking equally stunning, Kylie breezed into Love At First Sight. Clearly bowled over in seconds by the entire room singing along, her and her incredible live band and backing singers grinned broadly as the crowd seemingly got louder and louder. Taking a second after the first song to thank Magic FM and to remind people to be with her for the entire gig, to take it all in so she could see our faces and reactions and not to take pictures or video. Everyone agreed, except one or two who got a stern telling off from Kylie after the initial warning!
Launching into the classic Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi, the third of four top five singles released in 1988, she took her ear mic’s out again to listen to the overwhelming biggest singalong in London, while she swayed along and smiled widely, clearly in her element and loving every second of the intimacy of the moment.
Then came the impromptu danceathon with Hand On Your Heart, and the accompanying hand movements from the whole crowd, hand claps from Kylie to the front row, with the entire room sounding as one as the chorus hit, of which Kylie almost forgot the words and laughed as everyone else just picked it up for her and she joined back in.
Next, and the first surprise of the night, was A Lifetime To Repair, which was a non-single release from 2018’s Golden, her 14th studio album, her fifth no 1 UK album which also reached Gold status in the UK. This song had been last performed on the Golden Tour but has not been heard on the Step Back In Time Summer Tour, which this setlist was borrowing heavily from. The fans responded loudly and sang along, with Kylie jumping at the 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 many times. I am sure I could almost feel the floor moving at this point!
Heading back into the summer show setlist, she settled into a steamy Bowie-mashup of Slow, marrying Fashion into a bass heavy summer anthem. Slowing it down for a minute, we got Confide In Me, from the self-titled 1994 album as part of her DeConstruction era, a 2 album deal that saw her move into indie, house and deep club grooves far from her pop PWL era of the previous 6 years, with many fans considering these albums as personal and intimate material from Kylie. Her voice soared through this and into another unexpected back catalogue track, I Believe In You, the 2004 electro-pop hit produced by Shears and Babydaddy of Scissor Sisters for her Ultimate Kylie greatest hits album.
With a guitar riff and a touch of percussion we hurtled into Kylie asking us if we knew the next track, of course we did, with the quieter strains of La La La, La La La La La, building through the crowd as we started the 2001, 5 million worldwide copies sold mega-hit, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head. By this point the crowd needed no encouragement to sing and dance and Kylie ecstatically danced across the stage and the heat in that room was definitely over 100 degrees.
Continuing the singalong, we got Especially For You and then the new Studio 54 inspired version of the Locomotion, with Kylie encouraging everyone to dance along before pulling two fans from the front row to dance along with her on the tiny stage; laughing afterwards that there was barely room for her let alone dancing with others!
Kylie then swiftly swept us into the final songs with All The Lovers and Dancing, looking thrilled at the crowd singing every part of every song, with the finale, Spinning Around getting an added quick gold burst from a cannon. Which is now the law at a Kylie concert no matter where it is!
As she left the stage, thanking her amazing backing band and singers, she was clearly overwhelmed and ecstatic at the reaction from the crowd. Finishing with a closing comment from Magic FM, I can honestly say that again, I am lucky, lucky, lucky to have won a ticket to get to this once in a lifetime event.
Editors note: There was a strict no-photography / video policy in place for the event, hence the lack of Kylie photos.