03 October 2018

Kip Winger – Borderline , London – 29.09.18

Signalling problems on the South West train network turned my normal easy commute into the Capital to a cross town nightmare. Consequently, I was late for the start of Kip Winger’s 6th annual acoustic set in London’s subterranean Borderline and missed at least the first two songs, Cross from his solo album Songs from the ocean floor and my all time favourite Winger ditty, easy come, easy go. Bollocks!

I first saw Mr KW as the bass player in Alice Cooper’s band on the Constrictor and Raise your fist tours in the late 80’s, then as the leader of the band named after him supporting The Scorpions, in 1991. I saw my first full Winger set in the summer of that year at the sadly missed Astoria, in which the Borderline now lies within the former foot print. The last time I saw the man on stage was at Islington in 2010 again with Winger.

This annual intimate acoustic set for was for the diehard fans and his rock industry mates alike, the success of the previous 5 years clearly is making this into a pilgrimage for some. The Borderline was not rammed, but full enough for squeeze only room to the plush bar. For a small space the sound quality was spot on and the banter between crowd and the artist was likewise.

This was just Kip Winger on an acoustic guitar and keyboard assisted along with Ben, the drummer sitting on a crate, or was it actor Toby Foster best known as the drummer (!) in Les Alanos, the backing band in Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights?… I will just leave that one out there.

The set consisted of some 17 songs covering Wingers extensive back catalogue of name sake band and solo albums including well established sing-a-longs and lesser known tracks and the odd request.

For Miles away he was joined on stage by Tessa, a nurse from the front row (read into that – scrambled like a mad hound) and had the time of her life. It was fun to watch.

During periods of cross audience conversation, we found out many interesting things about our host. He was suffering with a cold, he travelled in North Africa busking with local musicians, had a bandaged leg [a minor issue in France requiring stitches] which had to be changed on alternate days. He has a Grammy Nomination medal for his debut classical release Conversations with NiJinsky and he has been writing a Rock Opera with Damien Gray entitled Get Jack from which he sung Requiem for nothing. Not your average rock gig tune I can tell you, but he is not your average rock star either.

The highlights for me were under one condition and the instrumental Free from his solo album Songs from the Ocean floor which was hypnotic as it was gorgeous, and just proved, if proof was actually needed that Kip Winger is actually a talented musician through and through which many of us knew but some never digested. Throw into the mix he had a cold and a busted leg, he really did give an excellent performance.

Mr Kip Winger is in his element when he plays what he loves to those who love to hear it.

A memorable evening, book me in for next year, but please South West Trains don’t fuck up!

Set List

  • Cross (missed)

  • Easy come easy go (missed)

  • Cant get enough

  • Hungry

  • Ever wonder

  • Rainbow in the rose

  • Miles away

  • Under one condition

  • Spell I’m under

  • Free

  • So long China

  • Pages and Pages (piano)

  • Where will you go (piano)

  • Requiem for nothing (from show Get Jack)

  • Heading for a heartbreak

  • Blind revolution Mad

  • Down incognito

  • 17

Encore

  • How far will you go

A big thank you to MMH own Caroline Parker for arranging , taking the photos and bringing a bit of female glamour to the evening .

Skid