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Sunday, 18 March, 2001, 13:13 GMT
Kylie puts on the glitz
Kylie Minogue performing for Australian troops in December 1999
Kylie's career is entering a new phase
Kylie Minogue played the first of six concerts at London's Hammersmith Apollo on Saturday night with a show which owed more to a Broadway musical than a normal gig. BBC News Online's Ian Youngs was there.

This tour has marked Kylie's transition from one of pop's sugar-sweet contenders to a real, raunchy superstar in her own right.

There were two hours of high-energy songs, six costume changes, eight dancers and an emphasis on glamour and enjoyment rather than worrying about being a "serious" musician.

The sets and costumes took their inspiration from things as diverse as South Pacific, American big bands, pole-dancing clubs and sci-fi movies - and, odd as it may sound, it worked.

After the curtain fell, she appeared being lowered on a giant silver anchor as hunky sailors and women in grass skirts danced around a mock-up of an ocean liner's deck.

Space stewardess

This was a taste of what was to come. Other backdrops included a New York skyline and the inside of a space ship, and at different points Kylie wore a red leather outfit, glittery trousers and bikini tops, a white suit with top hat and the outfit of a strange space stewardess.

Kylie Minogue
Minogue knows her audience well
And the crowd loved it - especially when the on-stage theatrics combines with her best-known songs like Spinning Around and Light Years from her latest alum, and old favourites including Hand On Your Heart and a slow version of I Should Be So Lucky.

There was a surprising lack of teeny-boppers in the 3,400-strong crowd, but Kylie obviously knows her audience well.

Extravagant

The show was surprisingly raunchy and also extravagant and tongue-in-cheek enough to appeal to her huge gay fan base and the ex-teenage Neighbours fans who want to postpone growing up.

The singer herself looked to enjoy it almost as much as the crowd - with much hip-wiggling and arm-waving - and did not mind covering old musical ground.

She described London as her "second home town", and thanked those in the crowd who were of "a certain age" and have followed her throughout her fifteen-year career.

Her remaining London shows are already sold out, and she will soon move on to continental Europe before taking the show to her native Australia.

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See also:

27 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Kylie gig put on ice
21 Dec 99 | Entertainment
Kylie entertains the troops
24 Sep 00 | New Music Releases
CD Review: Kylie Minogue
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