Kylie - Manchester Apollo - 7.3.01

She's tiny. I mean really really tiny. The biggest smallest star in planet pop hits Manchester on the first of four dates and this is no small (pardon the pun) challenge. Its hard to believe that just over a year ago (with the help of the Manics) she nearly went down the same route as her Neighbours co-star Jason Donovan. Incidentally on the same night Kylie plays to thousands, Jason plays the Brannigans chain each night for a couple of quid. Oh!!! How the mighty have fallen.

So after Girl Next Door Kylie, Sex Kylie, Indie Kylie and various other incarnations before Posh, Ginger, Baby et all came along - we now get Camp Kylie. Now if you thought that gay discos were all about Steps and Scooch then you haven't seen a Kylie show yet. With an audience of gay men that make Noel from Hear'say look butch its clear that Kylie is in fact doing it for the queens rather than the "Kids". With sailors from a Jean Paul Gautier ad, American Footballers in a Scary Movie mold and near naked men writhing round you couldn't ask for more.

"Hand On Your Heart", "Step Back In Time" and "Celebration" are like old friends. With a Britney styled catsuit she casts aside the young pouting pup with casual abandon and could you ever imagine Steps doing a big band version of "Better The Devil You Know". Admittedly the songs from "Light Years" aren't up to much but with the token new song "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" its clear we haven't seen the last of Kylie yet. Taking the retro disco style up-to-date slightly it rips off all the good bits of Madison Avenue and leaves the irritating bits to fester.

Finishing a great night off with "Spinning Around" proving that Kylie is still the queen of pop. When you look back and realize that she spans a career which has seen the Spice Girls, All Saints, Boyzone, Take That just fall by the wayside you have to admit that Kylie is the only true popstar left worth caring about. Who cares if Madonna is keeping it real with William Orbit and  Mirwais? Its blatantly obvious to most of tonight's audience that they couldn't really give a damn what Madonna's up to. OH Yeah and Kylie gets the cooler guestlist. Madonna can stick with Liam Howlett because tonight we got the ultimate TV God that is Johnny"Father of Zoe"Ball.

Alex McCann