Irish Star : Duran Duran Does Dublin

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Duran Duran Does Dublin.

By Catherine Halloran.

It is almost 18 years since Duran Duran heart throb John Taylor glanced at me with pity as I was body-surfed into the pit of the RDS after almost passing out at the sheer sight of him.

I was mortified. There was the Adonis that adorned my teenage wall and all I could manage to get from him was a pitying smile as I was dragged out and brought to the First Aid room for treatment.

It was a dark secret that - as a committed Duranie - I carried around for years.

But I have been relieved of this dark secret and the man responsible is none other than that very same Adonis, John Taylor, who - during a cosy 20 minute chat - actually called me 'baby'!

Gone are the cringe-worthy feelings of practically missing Duran Duran's first gig in Ireland and gone are the mortifying flash-backs of Taylor giving a look that said 'ah, ya poor thing'.

The boys are coming back to town and, for the first time since their Live Aid appearance in 1985, Irish fans will be treated to the original line up of John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Andy Taylor, Nick Rhodes and the enigmatic Simon Le Bon.

The concert in Dublin is already a sell-out - a fact that overwhelmed Taylor when he was informed of the fact by The Star.

"It is fantastic. We are selling more tickets on this tour than we have ever sold in our careers. I had a feeling that if we put this band back together again that the public would respond in a positive way," he said.

"There has always been a lot of love for the original band and the ticket sales have really stripped our expectations."

Taylor said being back together as a fivesome is 'amazing in the true meaning of the word'.

"It is a little mind-blowing. We've had to work really hard to get to this point. We had to work through a lot of stud and a lot of egos clashing."

"It has been our love of music or some kind of belief that we could achieve something together that we stuck it out."

"We always did get on. We always had the most fantastic time. Nick and I grew up together. We have been friends since we were 11 and there is a reason why we formed a band together."

"But I suppose the pressure started to come down on top of us. It is like a business - everything around you can be quite divisive if you are not careful."

"We are finding more and more that we have to draw a ring around ourselves. There are certain decisions that we have to make ourselves. You have to put each other first always."

"You cannot let people come in or if you do, it cannot be at the expense of the inner relationship. We are as good as the strength of the connection between us."

Since reuniting with his fellow Durans, John said they have experienced a power in the music that he never had experienced before.

"There is a chemistry between us and when we are focussed and working together, it is really powerful. It is still work, but doesn't seem like it when we are all getting along."

Having made a very feeble but committed effort to flirt with the great John Taylor for 20 minutes - he did let me in on one little secret which, as a journalist, I feel obliged to pass on to fans.

When the band take to the stage of both the Point Theatre in Dublin and the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, be prepared for a little perversity - yip, that's what he told me!

"Irish fans can look forward to hearing everything they would expect and more."

"But we have one little perversity. We like to leave out one huge hit so that people are always going 'why didn't you play The Reflex?' And we say 'but we played everything else'."

"I don't think you will be disappointed. We play a bit of everything. We have some killer album tracks from the old material - songs like New Religion and Waiting for the Night Boat, which are killer songs to play live."

"Those songs were written to be concert songs. They were not written to be played on Top of the Pops. They were written to be played on a concert stage."

"There will be a small bit of new music too but I don't believe in beating people over the head with it. This tour is not about the new album."

"There will be a new album out at the end of the year and hopefully we will be back in Ireland next year and that will be a show about the new music."

"I think it would be perverse of us at this point to come into town and just play a load of new music - whether you like it or not. That is not why people are coming. People are coming to see the five of us back together and playing
songs that they have been loving for all these years," he said.

"And do you know what? I'm happy to do that," he said.

Lest any people think that Duran Duran are just an aging boy band - shame on you! They are five lads who play their own instruments and write songs in the good old-fashioned way that music is supposed to be written and performed.

And don't get John started on reality talent shows!

"I have been watching a bit of American Idol and I thought how much more interesting it would be if people were singing songs that they had written themselves."

"I'm not really interested in singers per se, unless they can write interesting songs. I never have been. Just because someone can sing 'Don't Leave Me This Way' - there are people like that all over the Dublin pubs - I don't need to watch that on TV and I certainly don't have to pay money to see people like that."

"Talent shows have always been popular. It is very populist entertainment. It is a notch below Top of the Pops. I would never have auditioned for them. I don't know why, it is just not my bag. I never really liked that kind of thing," he said.

And so, the years have been kind to the forty-something Durans.

They have changed from being idols for teenage girls (and boys) to eye candy for the professional woman (and man). Yet their music remains the same - unique, melodic and timeless.

They no longer have any problems with female stalkers hiding in hotel wardrobes.

"I think the people around us today, they are more sensible," said John.

And sensible is something that the band, well certainly John Taylor, has become over the years - he has no plans to party in Dublin during his brief visit here.

"Does that mean late nights? Nah, I can't do it baby. I have made every mistake imaginable in this game. One of the mistakes is that you just don't have the energy to give the people the best show that you can. I am a big believer in
that today. I'm not taking this lightly."

"I'm coming to Dublin for one reasons and that is to blow the roof off the show."

Bring it on!!