Live Preview: Kip Winger

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“The gig is the crowd,” says Kip, previewing his fourth annual solo unplugged show.

The attendance at these gigs at the Borderline is increasing each time. Why not move to somewhere bigger?

We’re right up to the limit, but I really love the venue. The audience at the Borderline is the crowning crowd of all my solo gigs. Last year I tried to film it but the camera crew focused on me. The gig is the crowd, so I might try again this year.

You invite banter at these one-man shows. Has a particular piece of audience participation left you speechless?

That’s tough. Sometimes an audience member will get up and duet with me on Miles Away and nail it so well it could be on a record. And in London there’s a guy who calls himself Samir Winger who sings my songs in an incredible high-pitched voice.

Some people might view you as being rather serious – you’re clearly not…

I’m Gemini on the cusp of Cancer, so reservation and tomfoolery are inside me. And let’s face it, when you’re an eighties dude, you can’t take yourself too seriously.

It’s the twenty-fifth anniversary of Winger’s In The Heart Of The Young album. Will that affect the set-list?

I won’t be playing that entire record, no way! Some of those songs are impossible at a one-man show. We – Winger [the band] – played that whole second record in Japan six months ago, and I’ll add a couple of extra ones [from ITHOTY] at the Borderline, but an unplugged Baptized By Fire? No way.

What else is on the horizon for you?

I’ll be mixing those twenty-fifth-anniversary concerts in Japan I mentioned and I’m premiering my latest classical music piece. It’s also been eight years since my last solo record, and that’s too long.

Classic Rock 215: News & Regulars