As Winger are in the midst of writing and recording their highly anticipated seventh studio album, frontman Kip Winger took a short break and made it over to the UK for a very special acoustic show.
Kip Winger – The Black Heart
Words: Kahmel Farahani
Photography: Dawn Osbourne
Now something of an annual Christmas tradition for Kip and his UK fans, tonight’s gig is a treat for hardcore Winger fans who shout out for almost every single song from Kip’s rather impressive songbook.
Playing to a packed venue tonight, Kip Winger is accompanied only by a percussionist, and it’s this stripped back to the bare minimum sound that makes tonight’s performance one to remember.
Kip has all the bases covered, from the lesser-played gems of the Winger songbook like Ever Wonder to the big hits like Headed For A Heartbreak.
Kip’s voice is in top form, having lost none of its gritty charm over 30 years and the huge sing-along of Miles Away is a particular highlight tonight. “I missed you guys, I tell you,” says a smiling Kip Winger. “Here’s a song I haven’t done in about ten years, but this is request night with my friends from the UK”.
Nothing (From the Moon To The Sun) is a remarkable gem, with its world music percussion arrangement and Winger’s stark and beautiful voice. Where Will You Go is laid bare on a keyboard while Headed For A Heartbreak brings the house down.
Songs like Down Incognito from Winger’s underrated Pull record particularly lend themselves to an acoustic reworking. Somebody requests So Long China, and Kip duly obliges after a quick check on his phone to look up the lyrics.
Ending with the crowd-pleasing sing-along Seventeen, Kip Winger leaves to raucous applause on a night that feels like it could keep rocking until the small hours.