Wild boys Duran Duran can still cut it
by SIOBHAN MURPHY - Friday, July 4, 2008
Hot on the heels of Wednesday's one-off Duran Duran vs Mark Ronson experiment in Paris, DD's first show at the O2 was never going to be quite as ground-breaking an event.
But nevertheless, the four remaining members of the original fantastic five showed that they and their music have stood the test of time admirably.
There may have been a distinct lack of enthusiasm greeting singer Simon Le Bon's announcement that they wanted to play tracks from latest album Red Carpet Massacre - but The Valley, the title track and Nite-Runner were delivered with energy and enthusiasm.
Keyboardist Nick Rhodes, looking every inch the creative mastermind, coolly surveyed proceedings from a raised platform, facing off drummer Roger Taylor opposite him, as Le Bon, bassist John Taylor and supporting musicians stalked the stage.
Le Bon, resembling a City boy after a night on the town thanks to his striped, untucked shirt and skewed tie ensemble, let the side down a bit by deciding to discuss the new London mayor and dedicating Falling Down to Boris – not exactly the most rock'n'roll of moments.
Once the big hits started rolling out, though, none of that mattered. Hungry Like The Wolf, Planet Earth, The Reflex, Save A Prayer (accompanied by much mobile phone waving) and View To A Kill were all included in the first part of the two-hour show. Notorious, Girls On Film, Ordinary Day, (Reach Out For The) Sunrise, Wild Boys and a rousing encore of Rio made the cut in the second half.
But, in fact, Duran Duran looked at their most striking during a mid-gig reprise of the electro-set idea they first tried out in their Broadway residency shows last year. Decked out in black, all four lined up in a row behind chic, free-standing equipment (Roger on electronic drum pads, John and Nick on keys and Simon, erm, behind something he largely ignored) to run through a thumping electro work-out of a group of songs including Last Chance On The Stairway, I Don't Want Your Love and a sped-up Skin Trade.
The 1980s pomp and bombast of The Reflex et al may really, if we're honest, only work for those who were there at the time – but this retro-futuristic segment, more than anything, showed Duran Duran still cut it as thrilling contemporary musicians.
Courtesy Metro UK