Kylie Confirms Australian Tour

28 08 2008

Kylie has finally confirmed that she will bring her spectacular KYLIEX2008 tour home to Australia at the end of the year. Australian newspaper The Herald Sun has revealed that Kylie will hold a week-long series of shows at Rod Laver Arena in December.

“The reason I hadn’t confirmed dates in Australia is I really didn’t know what I was getting into,” Kylie explained, “but now I know. I have a show that breathes and changes and is dependent on people’s moods and environment. I can’t wait to bring it home!”

Herald Sun reporter Cameron Adams met up with Kylie backstage at one of her final European shows and today wrote :

It’s two hours until show time in the surprisingly glamorous bowels of London’s 02 Arena. The 02 is the venue where Prince played 21 shows last year, and the Spice Girls earned over $35 million for 17 comeback concerts. It’s also where Kylie Minogue is ending the European leg of her KYLIEX2008 tour with a seven show stint – playing to over 140,000 Londoners.

Minogue, minus entourage and make-up, has been driven to the venue just in time for an afternoon soundcheck where she’ll run through a handful of the show’s most musically diverse moments for last-minute technical checks. Thousands of Kylie balloons are being rounded up while Minogue saunters across the stage.

She’s no stranger to big stages (reports suggest over $20 million went into producing this tour), but this X set-up is so immense it threatens to dwarf her.

The back of the stage is an IMAX-sized video screen; the floor is made up of similarly massive screens. The band sit to the left and right of the main stage, giving Minogue and her dancers full rein of a hi-tech oasis. During soundcheck Minogue conserves energy, but come showtime she finds a new way to make sure she’s not lost in the floor-to-ceiling technology.

“I’m releasing my inner Freddie Mercury,” she says backstage. “The scale of this tour is enormous but the space is really liberating for me. That’s what we wanted to do, give me some more freedom. It’s hard to explain, but I’m in a different mindset. Parts of the show are so over the top, like those Freddie moments in Your Disco Needs You. Why not have fun?”

Fun was the overriding principle of X, an album many thought might focus on her battle with breast cancer, which derailed 2005’s Showgirl greatest hits tour. But Minogue is done with self-analysis, only touching on her emotions in No More Rain, the song she wrote about hoping to be in front of an audience again.

“No More Rain has had a phenomenal response,” she says. “I don’t even know if a lot of people in the audience even know that song. I have to assume a lot of people come without having heard the rest of the album.”

X hasn’t sold the way anyone expected. It’s provided more fodder for Minogue’s next hit collection (2 Hearts, Wow, In My Arms) but something went wrong with the album’s chart stamina. “In retrospect we could definitely have bettered it, I’ll say that straight up,” Minogue admits. “Given the time we had, it is what it is. I had a lot of fun doing it. I’m excited about bringing those songs to life on stage. Wow, In My Arms and 2 Hearts are crackers, they go off like a frog in a sock.”

2 Hearts is indeed one of the highlights of the X tour – the moment where her band get to share the main stage and Minogue moves from hi-NRG pop star to stage-prowling chanteuse. Some blame the fortunes of X on the fact 2 Hearts is not the arm-waving Europop that made Kylie an icon. Others blame the rest of the album for featuring too much of the arm-waving Europop that made Kylie an icon.

As with any Kylie album, it’s been endlessly analysed and dissected – first by the record company boffins who spend hundreds of thousands sourcing A-list and hot underground producers and songwriters, then plug Minogue into the mix. An of course the fans who spend hours analysing what went right, or wrong, with the album; a process that began before it was even finished, let alone released.

Her fans have adopted the same near-surgical attention to detail on the X tour. “I’ve stayed a safe enough distance from that.” Minogue says of the cyber-debate. “The internet and forums in particular, well it’s not like you’re face to face with people in a room and everyone raises their hands and says something. So I take a lot of that with a grain of salt.

“People want to say something and contradict each other to start conversations – that’s good, but I have to stick to what I’m doing. “I certainly don’t do everything (on this tour) the way I might have imagined it, but that’s creativity and I love it for all of its ups and downs.”

The first few shows of the tour featured three unreleased songs from the X sessions (marred by a string of leaked tunes, much to Minogue’s horror). That’s Why They Write Love Songs was eventually shelved, while Flower and Ruffle My Feathers remain; thrilling some fans, confusing others. “Those two songs are not even recorded.” Minogue says, hinting that their personal lyrics didn’t sit with the hedonism and heartbreak on X. They’re personal moments in the live show that weren’t on the album, but perhaps that wasn’t meant to be. This is where they’ve found their moment to be expressed.”

Minogue admits some of the early rehearsals were ‘grim’ and that the tour has been a work in progress with a clunky beginning (it’s no accident it wasn’t filmed for DVD until the London leg).

“The setlist of the show now is pretty much as it was meant to be. A, B, C, D, E, F, G didn’t work, so we had to change whole sections. It didn’t flow the way it was meant to. Amidst all that I was staying pretty calm, at least one on hand. I can honestly say we’ve changed something every night, whether it’s hair or make-up or putting a song in – that’s what I mean about freedom in this tour. It keeps everyone fresh and on their toes.”

Minogue jokes she’s the ‘oldest person on the stage’ but her hungry young band certainly breathe life into X.

While her last few tours featured many of the same musicians and dancers, X has deliberately taken Minogue out of her comfort zone. “It’s a new comfort zone.” she clarifies. “All the changes have been fantastic, really refreshing. With that group I feel like we could go off piste and do a gig anywhere, they’re all so enthusiastic.”

It doesn’t get much more off-piste than Australia. When the X tour was first announced, an Australian leg was not on the cards. Minogue admits it was far from a forgone conclusion she’d bring the show home. “No it wasn’t, to be honest. Not at all. I didn’t know what the show was going to be. The last thing I wanted was to book an Australian tour a year out.”

Since her health battle, Minogue works at her own speed. X, like Showgirl, features an interval – but it’s as much to let the technical crew prepare the new sets as tO let Minogue have a break in the two-hour show. Insiders suggest it was only once Minogue physically got to the halfway mark of the European leg of the X tour that talk of extending it could even be entertained.

After a break that takes her into next month, she’s now booked for a quick visit to Asia, her first ever tour of New Zealand, and a short victory lap of Australia in December – just shows in Sydney and Melbourne, leaving her home for Christmas.

“I couldn’t actually say last September ‘I’ll do a tour all year long’.” Minogue says. “I had to do it in increments. That’s really worked, it’s been broken up into phases. We’ll have our break and then everyone will be excited to see each other again. It’s a really good vibe, relaxed but really on it.”

Indeed the night before this London performance, Minogue took control of the mandatory pre-show huddle. “I was sincere in saying to everyone I can’t believe we’ve come this far. It’s been amazing and challenging and with a really difficult start. It was all about getting to London and here we are. There’s parts in the show where it’s emotional, but that’s the point of doing a show, all those different forms of emotion.”

The tour has been Minogue’s one constant in an unpredictable year. She turned 40, received both an OBE and France’s highest cultural honour, endured rumours of everything from rekindled love to adoption and took another shot at the US market. After a promotion blitz that included performing on America’s Dancing with the Stars, X failed to crack the US Top 100. One report claims this prompted Minogue to throw her hands in the air and say, “That’s it, never again!”

The truth was far less dramatic. “I always go over there with the same attitude I’ve always had, which is ‘If it’s to happen it’ll happen’.” Minogue explains. “I’m kept pretty much busy enough. We’ll see. I’m not racing over there. I’m heading home!”

For Kylie-watchers, the most interesting part of the American assault was when Minogue went off script. It was on Ellen DeGeneres’ TV talk show, after fellow guest Hillary Clinton mentioned the issue of misdiagnosis of breast cancer, that Minogue impulsively ditched her Prepared banter to reveal her cancer had initially been misdiagnosed – she was told by British doctors she didn’t have anything to worry about just weeks before a second opinion saw her undergo surgery in Melbourne.

“I think it deserved to make a big splash.” Minogue says of the way the media seized on her misdiagnosis revelation. “That’s not who I am, I don’t like doing stuff like that, but that’s a fact of life. That happens and it happens frequently. One can’t point the finger of blame in any particular direction but I feel better for having shared that. It’s a tricky one. It’s not to scare people and I know it’s a cliche but if one person thinks `I might see someone else, I just don’t feel right’, then good.”

Minogue says her health is ‘good’ these days. “This tour is definitely keeping me fit.” she declares. And there have been several chances for the star to put her feet up – she hired out an entire cinema to watch Mamma Mia! with her band and crew. “We did it for Sex and the City too.” Minogue admits sheepishly. “That was a very cosmopolitan afternoon. When there’s a day off we organise something that’s do-able for everyone. That was the first time I’d been to the movies in ages.”

For the record, she loved both movies. For another record, she didn’t spend a cent. “Tickets to the show for tickets to the cinema.” Minogue says. “The good old fashioned barter system.”

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13 responses

28 08 2008
Samara is KylieKrazy

She’s playing Australia and New Zealand and now I just read this morning she will be in South America!!! North America needs to see X Tour too!

28 08 2008
Anonymous

That first picture is great 😀

28 08 2008
Dennis

Oh yeah and that comment above was by me 🙂

28 08 2008
Blake

i live in a city in New South Wales called Newcastle (in Australia)
and we never get kylie
it’s a small stage why can’t she fit in there???

28 08 2008
Blake

kylie’s coming back home 🙂

28 08 2008
Calle

Ha that is great! Still sucks for Americans tho. Haaa North America sucks. Sad for us 😦 wish she could come here! But still great news for everyone in Australia of course 😀

29 08 2008
Mark Varner

What an excellent article. Kylie is so together. I send her love from the USA.

29 08 2008
Beth

That was really long!
I can’t believe she hired a whole cinema out!
Lucky, lucky girl.

1 09 2008
Anonymous

Love the site. Can’t wait to see Kylie in Australia.

Will you be adding any more audio of the tour? It’s great!

22 06 2009
Mike

Thanks for steadling loads of my photos from Flickr and using them without permission, credit or even a link back.

Kindly remove them immediately.

24 06 2009
The Impossible Princess

I didn’t take them from flickr and I always try to give credit where it is due.

Apologies for any offence.

This site will soon be no more so you won’t have to worry!

27 07 2009
Mike

I still need you to take them down. I’m sorry, but you can’t just use people’s images without permission. You also can’t just take images from the web without permission, even if it wasn’t you who took them from Flickr. I’m asking quite nicely, any of the professional photo sellers would just sue you.

28 07 2009
The Impossible Princess

Hi Mike, I have removed your images.

As I said before I genuinely didn’t take them from flickr, it isn’t the sort of thing I would do.

Anyway, no offence was meant.

Dave.

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