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WE CAN'T GET HER OUT OF OUR HEADS

"You're nearly as old as my career!" Kylie Minogue there, reminding a birthday girl in the audience just how long she's been doing The Loco-Motion. Quick reminder, people: the Kiss Me Once extravaganza is Kylie's 13th concert tour in 25 years, the Australian queen of glitter-coated dance-pop having somehow managed to stay atop of the game with each and every album release.

That's no mean feat, especially for a former Stock Aitken Waterman soldier (she has, at least, improved in the tunes department . . . obviously).

Kylie turned 46 in May. You wouldn't know it. It might be the outfits - red corset one minute, leather jacket (and very little else) the next. It could be that lipstick-adorned smile of hers, or maybe even the voice (clearly, Ms Minogue has been looking after her greatest asset). But no, it's something a little simpler than that. Tonight, the most likeable, down-to-earth superstar on the arena circuit bears all the excitement and exuberance of a giddy newcomer. You don't get that with Madonna.

The aforementioned birthday girl (Roisin, who kindly breaks down her name for Kylie) is welcomed on stage for a sing-song and a boogie. They chat, the hug - they even pose for a selfie. Oh yes, Roisin pushes her luck, but Kylie keeps things light and fun.

She also takes requests, makes fun of the more circus-like outfits ("I'll be calling the bingo numbers shortly!"), tries on an Irish accent for size (the usual diddley-eye) and takes a bath in a tub full of feathers. And then there are the songs.

That seductive INXS cover (Need You Tonight) proves a fine addition to the catalogue, Kylie's cheeseball repertoire getting something of a slick and stylish, rock makeover this evening, complete with lasers, confetti and flexible male dancers wearing traffic cones on their heads.

Not too flashy or showy, Kiss Me Once combines just the right amount of . . . well, everything. Nicely choreographed, with a great band and a fabulous vocalist at its centre. And hey, the star attraction gets to play dress-up. A lot.

EXERCISE

The 1980s throwback medley in the middle is easily the finest 10 minutes of live pop music we've experienced this year, Kylie and her team of Barbie and Ken dancers (seriously, they're dressed up like dolls) running through the very early stuff (yes, I Should Be So Lucky is in there) and having an absolute blast in the process.

Later, the exercise balls come out for Sexercize (a million miles from Lucky, that one). Sure, the bigger hits work their magic, and there's a whopping double-knockout in the form of Can't Get You Out of My Head and Kids. But it's the little things that count. Little things such as our stunning hostess performing Tears on My Pillow without the aid of a band. Kiss Me Once? It's not enough, Kylie. Come back soon now, you hear? HHHHI


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