Reunion of the snake
By Adrian Caffery, Evening Mail
DURAN Duran are well and truly back in the big time. Since the classsic line-up got back together they've had a top five single, enjoyed a sell-out stadium tour and received an Outstanding Contribution award at the Brits.
And on May 28, Simon, Nick, John, Roger and Andy will be at Birmingham City's St Andrews ground for their biggest UK show since they played Villa Park in 1983.
"The reunion has been great," says 46-year-old singer Simon Le Bon. "It's been everything we had hoped for and more. We still get on and it's been a lot of fun.
"We wanted it to be about new Duran Duran music, not former glories. Our new album was three years in the making and we all feel it's a really strong one."
Astronaut peaked at number three in the album charts and spawned the infectious (Reach Up For The) Sunrise and the new single What Happens Tomorrow, out Monday.
But with so much talk about the fab five playing together for the first time in 20 years, it's easy to forget that Duran Duran have never really been away.
A depleted line-up continued to release fine albums every three or four years - although the two most recent, Meddazaland and Pop Trash, went almost unnoticed.
Does Simon think the reunion has devalued these records?
"I think Astronaut has put the other albums in the shade because it's superior. But the good thing is that people are rediscovering our Nineties work."
Duran Duran has played to over a million fans in America, Japan, Australia and the UK over the past three years, including three nights at the NEC last May.
"It was such a surprise to find out how many people still wanted to see us," says Simon. "After the great UK gigs the record companies came clamouring."
Still trying to make up for lost time, the Birmingham boys are about to embark on a world tour, with the only UK date being on home turf
at St Andrew's.
"We all thought it would be great to play the Blues ground," says Simon. "We were a bit worried that it might rain so early in the summer but we're British and we're used to it.
"We only have one real home and that's Birmingham. It's where we come
from. It's a no bull**** town. There's a Birmingham cool but when they get going they're crazy."
So it's Duran mania all over again. But 20 years ago they didn't have families to worry about. Simon admits the workload wouldn't be possible without support from home.
"You need families who are proud of you and like what you are doing. "It would be no good if you came home and they said 'you've been away all this time and your record is rubbish'
"I sat my kids down and told them I was going to be away a lot and they said 'it's alright, daddy, we love you being a pop star'.
"They are too young to be familiar with the term rock god!"
Courtesy Evening Mail/IC Birmingham