Music Review: Duran Duran, Summer Pops, Liverpool

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MUSIC REVIEW: Duran Duran, Summer Pops, Liverpool
Jul 7 2008 by Emma Johnson, Liverpool Daily Post

MORE than 25 years have passed since they last played Liverpool, but Duran Duran more than made up for lost time when they landed at the Echo Arena for their Summer Pops date on Saturday night.

Now a four piece following Andy Taylor’s departure, it was the classic Duran Duran line-up with frontman Simon Le Bon joined by bassist John Taylor, drummer Roger Taylor and keyboard master Nick Rhodes. The wild boys of the 80s may now be middle-aged men, but for two hours and some 25 songs they showed that they have still got it.

It was a surprising opening with The Valley, a track from their latest album Red Carpet Massacre and chances are many of the largely forty-something crowd had never heard the new stuff but they went with it, dragged along by Le Bon’s enthusiasm. "They have a different sound up here in the north of England . . . and we love it," he drawled.
Four tracks in and the opening bars of 80s favourites Hungry Like the Wolf and Planet Earth reassured us this was not a night for showcasing new material but giving the fans what they wanted.

The tempo slowed a little for the Justin Timberlake produced Falling Down, before Le Bon introduced a "song for romantics – new romantics and old romantics", the haunting 90s ballad Come Undone.

As much the showman as he was in the band’s 80s heyday, – if a little thicker around the middle – Le Bon’s voice has not aged a day and he was clearly having the time of his life pouting, posturing and playing with the crowd.

John Taylor, meanwhile – who, judging by the screams, the majority of the women in the audience were here to see – stalked the stage, exclaiming: "It’s been way too long since this band graced Liverpool’s streets," before telling us to light up our mobile phones for a showstopping rendition of the classic, Save a Prayer.

By the time it came to the band introductions, the whole Arena was in a frenzy. With most of the favourites played already, there were still two to go. and the guys were not going to disappoint. Wild Boys, sung by a wild-eyed Le Bon, was the perfect finale, while the encore, Rio, saw the band off in style.

They do say good things come to those who wait, but here’s hoping Duran Duran won’t leave it quite so long next time.

Courtesy Liverpool Daily Express