Duran Duran are back. Of course, they've never actually gone away and have been consistently chucking out albums in various permutations of the lineup for the last 30 years. They're the New Romantic Rolling Stones™. No, when we say they're back we mean they're sounding exactly as you'd want Duran Duran to sound. And the new stuff is really, really good. They're breaking all known laws of pop longevity!
We can't pretend we went along to the sold-out warm-up show at Shepherds Bush Empire expecting to be reminded of why Nick Rhodes was once our hair hero, and why those first three albums meant so much to us as a pale, makeup wearing schoolboy. After all, the band have moved on, as have we. Our hair is now in its natural state, even if Nick still sports a floppy blonde fop-mop (and a blouse). It would be foolish to expect them to be the same band of our childhood. Except, fuck me they really are. If not better.
It's a note-perfect Is There Something I Should Know? that gets us first - their first UK number one and now a goosebumps on arms moment. While we're busy tweeting our excitement, The Reflex sends the audience several different shades of mental. And rather than supply a toilet break, the new songs more than hold their own amidst the hits. Girl Panic!, All You Need Is Now, Mediterranea (our favourite. A possible sequel to Rio), could've come from 1983's Seven and the Ragged Tiger. They have that sound possibly thanks to producer Mark Ronson but largely down to Simon le Bon's hall-filling tenor, which is a revelation tonight. We can't recall him ever singing so well, but it's been a while since we checked.
Duran Duran look lean, fit and miraculously have their own hair. Their fans remain predominantly female and gloriously hysterical. Who else still elicits screams from girls after so many years? (And don't say Gary Glitter). The two Taylors (there was another but we don't talk about him) are now chiselled and handsome where once they were boyish and pretty. Simon still prances with hetero camp, while Nick is Chris Lowe's flamboyant dad. "Why-y-y-y-y don't you use it?" asks le Bon. "I rarely do," quips Rhodes.
Having knocked Ordinary World out early, and blasted through an adrenalin fuelled Careless Memories (regressing us to our awkward childhood in the process) the encore is a triumphant Girls On Film, played with all the cocksure panache of a band who've just realised they're pretty damn good at this job. Welcome back. Again.
Duran Duran - All You Need Is Now is available from iTunes now. An extended CD version is released on March 21.
See Duran Duran live at the following places (and you really owe it to your Duranie selves):
05/18/2011 Metro Radio Arena Newcastle
05/19/2011 S.E.C.C. Glasgow
05/21/2011 LG Arena Birmingham Birmingham
05/22/2011 Capital FM Arena Nottingham
05/23/2011 Liverpool Echo Arena Liverpool
05/26/2011 Admiral Palace Berlin, Germany
05/28/2011 The O2 London
05/30/2011 Brighton Centre Brighton
05/31/2011 Bournemouth International Centre Bournemouth
06/01/2011 Cardiff International Arena Cardiff
06/03/2011 MEN Arena Manchester
06/04/2011 Motorpoint Arena Sheffield
06/10/2011 Le Bataclan Paris, France
07/16/2011 Roundhouse London
Read the whole story on Holy Moly! http://www.holymoly.com/reviews/music/live-review-duran-duran-shepherds-bush-empire-0703201153918#ixzz1G276ligc
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