As if the two-night visit of Australian pop royalty Kylie Minogue to the prestigious surroundings of Edinburgh Castle – this first one bathed in sunshine for the occasion, no less – wasn’t enough, it came on the heels of her appearance in the Sunday afternoon ‘legends’ slot at Glastonbury, a moment reserved only for those with a substantial back catalogue and the ability as a performer to bring it to life.
Kylie, Edinburgh Castle ****
The reasons why she had earned this honour were brought to life once more before us here, through a set as diverse and crowd-pleasing as that of any contemporary arena pop star. Surrounded by an ensemble of dancers, our ageless host cycled through the subtly retooled nostalgic kitsch of I Should Be So Lucky, Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi and Especially for You, the latter jokily reworked as a theme for the synchronised wedding before us, and the finely-aged, house-tinged disco of Love at First Sight, On a Night Like This and Can’t Get You Out of My Head.
There were gauche diversions for the elder hipsters in the crowd too; not so much the by-the-numbers rock of Kids, but more the appearance of her Klaus Nomi-styled dancer during Hand On Your Heart; the techno-infused riff of David Bowie’s Fashion underpinning Slow; the brief foray into Minogue’s Nick Cave duet Where the Wild Roses Grow (without Cave’s presence, unlike Glastonbury, just one acapella verse to serenade a fan in the crowd); and the merging of Grace Jones’ Bad Girls with the butter-wouldn’t-melt The Locomotion.
Given her roots in the purest bubblegum, Stock, Aitken & Waterman chart pop, there might be those who still see Minogue and her music as some sort of nostalgic pop hobbyist’s fascination. On the evidence of both Glastonbury and now Edinburgh, as if her hardcore fans needed it, she remains one of the musical entertainers of her generation, as vibrant and chameleonic a presence as Madonna or Taylor Swift.