Kip Winger The Borderline London 17-09-16

It has to be said that Kip Winger’s annual evening at the London Borderline is nothing short of the gig that keeps on giving. Stepping into the venue’s intimate surroundings for this show is almost like entering Kip’s front room for a personal performance of unforgettable live music, whilst creating the opportunity to make some new friends and to catch up with the friends you made at previous year’s gigs. You could in fact be forgiven for thinking that for one night you had been admitted as a member of Kip’s extended family!

Two years ago Fiona – one of my all-time-favourite artists – opened the show for Kip and regular readers of these pages will recall that it turned out to be a magical evening that will remain etched in my memory forever. 

So, two years on, and after learning that Fiona was returning to start proceedings off, I’m back at the front of the stage, excited fit to burst! I’m standing next to Eli; Kirsty, Belinda, Samir and my mates Mark and Neal are all nearby and Paul Dix from the “Everything Fiona” Facebook page is armed with his camera and ready to capture… well… everything!

The gang’s all here and we are ready to rock!

Fiona came onstage at around a quarter to eight to a fantastic reception and the most noticeable detail was that she brought more musicians out with her this time. Harry Reilly (acoustic guitar) and Jorge Salan (electric) had accompanied her two years ago, but tonight she also had her lifetime friend Fritz Doddy on electric bass and the appropriately named Ben Hans on percussion.

For the next 45 minutes or so we were treated to an excellent set spanning Fiona’s superb catalogue of albums and this is what she and her friends played for us:

Ain’t that just like love
Running Out Of night
You better wait
Victoria Cross
Badge of love
Loved along the way
Talk to me
Love makes you blind
Hang your heart on me

It was immediately apparent that much more thought and preparation had gone into this year’s show: from the outset Fiona seemed a lot less nervous onstage; as usual she was warm and good humoured in her banter between songs and the expansion to a full band format really added so much more to the whole live experience. It was brilliant!

I loved every single second of her set, but if I had to pick some highlights, I would mention opener “Squeeze” – an anthem delivered with real gusto; “Badge of Love” and “Loved along the way” from the magnificent “Unbroken” album, and (of course) the sublime “Running out of night” from the wonderful “Beyond the Pale” album – that actually celebrated its 30th anniversary this year!

As Mark will talk about later in this review, Kip had contrived to involve Fiona and her band much, much more in the whole evening this time, which really made you feel that you were part of a real event rather than merely watching a support act and a headliner. The band accompanied Kip on one of his solo numbers, the groovy “California”; returning with Fiona for an awesome group rendition of Winger’s “Under one condition” before Kip and Fiona rounded the evening off with a storming version of their duet “Everything you do (You’re sexing me)”. Absolutely fabulous and the audience… sorry… I mean the extended family… simply lapped it all up with rapturous applause!

Sadly, it was all over far too soon, but I was very lucky to meet Fiona again after the show. I would sincerely like to thank her once more for signing my LP sleeves and for spending some time to talk to me (see what I did there?) and for being very kind. She really is a wonderful lady.

To reflect upon another magnificent evening, the chemistry that Kip, Fiona and the band share, through being friends for so many years, is really plain to see. It drives the whole event and is something that the extended family totally buys into.

As a result, going forward I would really like to see Fiona and her band return with Kip every year (or at least every other year), perhaps under the banner of “An evening with Kip Winger, Fiona and friends” because this format really does work beautifully!

In recent years Fiona has re-emerged as something of a rock legend – a title she most definitely deserves – and long may it continue! As the song goes: Let the good times roll!

Steve Lewis

Kip Winger returned for his Fifth annual evening with show which for anyone present in the past is a must see event.

Coming onstage 15 minutes early to cram as much music chat and banter into the show he was as ever the perfect host for the show that he says is his favourite every single year.

Here is what he played

Easy Come Easy Go
Can't Get Enuff
Deal With The Devil
Who's The One
Miles Away
Under One Condition
Headed For A  Heartbreak
Blind Revolution Mad
Spell I'm Under
Rainbow In the Rose
Down Incognito
Everything You Do (Your Sexing Me)

Friendship have been made in the crowd and from the stage too and if there is one atmosphere I would love to bottle and open when ever the need arose this is it.In fact they have filmed the last 2 years but seem to be struggling to get it across on film or audio the love being generated.

Every song is lovingly crafted with Kip being in great voice as are the crowd who add backing vocals all night long and when Kip allows us to take over.

Kip tries to phone Reb Beach and Alan Parsons and Kane Roberts all with no luck but we all leave a phone message for them all before a quick chat with Rod Morgenstein Winger's drummer.

Kip was joined at various times by Fiona on backing vocals and most of her band with Jorge Salan on guitar from Jeff Scott Soto's band again impressing with an electric lead on Miles Away as Kip was joined by a man this year.Sorry missed his name but he did a great job as Kip said no looking in my eyes!!!!!!

The percussion by Ben Hans was superb and adds a real depth to the songs and the Eastern tinged atmospheric's of the instrumental Free was a real show stopper from him.

As on other years there is so much banter going on and shout outs from the crowd for songs Kip ends up playing the last 4 songs at break neck speed to get them all played which included Seventeen that Kip changes every year with one chorus of 44 which the crowd sang back at him leaving him laughing heavily and actually missing a beat.

I love the way someone shouted out Deal With The Devil and off he went straight into it.The taped set list is there as a reminder it seems.

Another fantastic evening with the after show queue to meet Kip going around the venue and he signs it all.

I over heard a conversation on the way out discussing if next year's show needs moving to a bigger venue to get a bigger crowd but I honestly believe the charm and atmosphere could be lost and each year it feels like our own special private party so that is a no from me.

Roll on next year.


  1. Thanks for the wonderful review. It was a joy to play at the Borderline with my friends! fritzdoddy

  2. It was a joy to play the legendary Borderline with my friends. Thank you for a wonderful review! fritzdoddy

  3. I agree with Fritz. Thanks for the kind words. See you next year?

  4. Great review. I think the keyboard player deserved a mention too though.

  5. Ouch... A couple of footnotes to add here, I think: (1)The gentleman who got up to sing with Kip on "Miles Away" was called Pete and (2) The keyboard player, Tim West, was awesome! Please accept our apologies for the omissions - we were still coming down from another intoxicating evening when we wrote this review. :-)


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