Pop Act Will Not Sing the Blues

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Pop act will not sing the Blues

Dec 10 2004

He may be a die-hard Aston Villa fan, but Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor tells

Neil Connor he will be leaving his footballing loyalties backstage when Birmingham's most successful pop group play at the home of the Blues next summer

They are preparing for their biggest UK show in recent years. The date: next summer. The venue: Birmingham City's stadium, St Andrew's.

"It's all about the music, football has nothing to do with it whatsoever," said Roger Taylor, the 'quiet' one from Duran Duran.

Nothing strange about that statement you might think. Roger is a highly-respected musician with more 'outstanding achievement' awards than Simon Le Bon has shoulder-padded jackets.

However, the Nechells-born drummer gave the game away when asked about the band's last UK stadium concert - at the home of Blues' local rivals Aston Villa in 1983.

"It was such an honour for me to play there because I was brought up at that ground."

Well, there you have it. Taylor, the music world's Dwight Yorke, switching from Aston to Small Heath.

However, things were different when Duran Duran played Villa Park at the height of their 1980s pop fame.

During that concert, Roger, Simon Le Bon, Andy Taylor and fellow Brummies Nick Rhodes and John Taylor were met with screaming girls.

"The crowd could barely hear the music and nobody on stage really knew what was going on," said Taylor, who clearly has no time for that sort of adulation. Indeed, therein lies the path to his

leaving the band. He said: "I was very much into performing and writing music. But that seemed to be a very small part of what we were doing."

At St Andrew's on May 28, there are unlikely to be the same wild scenes of adulation because Duran Duran - who used to get themselves glued onto windmills for video shoots - are, ahem, serious.

"We still have a lot of adulation. Some of our fans are quite intense. But we have a much more mature audience than we used to have so I don't think it is going to be like it was 20 years ago," said Roger.

But in a bizarre twist, they seem to have gone full circle in terms of perceptions of musical integrity.

Before they were considered to be the eighties equivalent of Take That, Duran Duran were just one of the many bands vying for attention at Birmingham 's Rum Runner club.

Taylor was there when he saw Duran Duran's previous line up, from which only John and Nick survive.

"I said to myself 'These are going to be the next big thing to come out of Birmingham'. Luckily, they needed a drum-mer. Those were great days. Every band that played at the Rum Runner would be on Top of the Pops the following week.

"Birmingham was a very successful place for bands in those days."

Shame the same can't be said for its football clubs today.

 Courtesy www.icbirmingham.co.uk