Review: Back to the Future with Style

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Review: Back to the future with style

By Ben Lowry
08 April 2004

EIGHTIES revivals began as soon as that decade had ended, and last night the masters of that remarkable era treated Belfast to two hours of the best.

Duran Duran's songs transported the cheering crowd back to 1984, but as you looked around at the bopping thirtysomethings you kept being brought back to the present.

It was like a strange experiment in which it is possible to go forward 20 years in an instant and see what has become of your contemporaries.

For decades, Rolling Stones fans have been experiencing this sort of enjoyable time travel, where people whose lives have followed very different trajectories are thrown back together by the collective stirring of deep-seated memories.

And last night it was the old Duran hits - of which there are so many - that kept bringing the audience rapturously to its feet.

When the band struck up Save A Prayer after playing three of their more recent songs, there was a huge roar.

Duran always had a much broader appeal than many of us were prepared to admit - for example, during the mid eighties, this reviewer was a heavy metal fan in his early teens with a grudging regard for the music of Duran, despite a dislike of the "trendies" who followed them.

Duran were no ordinary boyband - they are among the most talented tunesmiths in the history of pop.

Early in last night's show, Simon Le Bon told the cheering audience: "We've been coming here for a few years and the one thing we have noticed is the Belfast crowd make more noise than anyone else."

Perhaps this was only flattery, but the Odyssey crowd was certainly shouting its approval throughout the concert.

This enthusiasm reached its peak for the pre-planned "encore" Rio.

Emerging from the side door, drummer Roger Taylor said the Belfast crowd had been "amazing".

Nick Rhodes described us as "fantastic".

But with a band as talented as this one, merely churning out the hits will ensure a similar reception in very part of their tour of the British Isles.