Duran Duran in Dubai

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Gail interviews Simon Le Bon ahead of Duran Duran's concert in Dubai

We interviewed Simon Le Bon, lead singer of Duran Duran, ahead of their up and coming Dubai gig… here’s what he had to say about the weather, dogs and their first public gig in Dubai...

Have you ever visited Dubai or the Middle East before?

Blimey yes! We came years ago to perform at a corporate event for a magazine launch. It was a long time ago and we stayed near the amazing Burj Al Arab. We are really looking forward to performing our public show in Dubai for the first time though.

What are your plans while you are here? Things you’d like to see and do?

I’d love to find some art galleries to have a look at while we are in town and also to go out into the desert- we didn’t get chance to do that last time we were there…

Where is home these days and tell us about your dogs? We see you tweet about them 🙂

Home is Putney SW15 - has been for 20 years - it’s a bit chilly here today but lovely crisp weather! The dogs are loving it! We’ve got 3 dogs a Boston Terrier called Cecil who’s really clever, he can do the Times Crossword; Tinka who’s a psychopathic Chihuahua, she hates all other dogs and only loves people - we think she thinks she’s a human; and Luigi, our pug, who loves to eat, eat, eat - that’s what Pugs do! We’ve also got 2 cats, so it’s a total menagerie here and with 3 daughters who think they have a divine right to fill the house with furry pets we’ll probably end up with more.

What is it like touring in a band these days? Is it massively different from the 80s?

It’s very different touring today as we have changed. We are a lot better at it now; we’re more grown up, more focused. In the old days it was a lot about the after show parties, which was ok for a while- now it’s more about the performance and the music. In the old days the screaming from the audience was so loud you couldn’t even hear the music sometimes. It took us some time to get to that stage though. The change to that cacophony was gradual but we took it in our stride.

Do you all get on? Does anyone have any travel foibles?

We all get on really well and it’s fun to travel although we are all different. Roger likes to sleep, he sleeps all day and anytime he can. Being the drummer he uses up so much energy he needs his rest! John has to have music in his room at all times. Nick is funny, so funny, he doesn’t like anything brown. He hates the colour brown. So if he gets a brown room he has to move and get a non - brown room! He is such good fun to go out with too. John and Nick tend to do our travel research so they will find out all the good places to go before we get somewhere; find the art galleries and films to see and get us invited to cool things. I’m boring! I have to look after my voice so I steam a lot to keep my vocal chords in shape and do my exercises- you have to look after yourself whilst out on tour.

What’s your favourite song to perform and why?

That’s a hard one; every song is good to perform. Ok if you push me it’s White Lines because it’s not a Duran Duran song and we have fun with it. Wild Boys is always a good one to perform as it gets such a good crowd reaction and is so powerful. I also like performing whatever song we close the show with- I love the climax and listening to the crowd go wild. I’m exhausted after we finish performing but also enervated, it’s a mix of emotions. We’ve been doing some great shows recently and ever one is getting better and better which is such a great feeling. Our audience is such a mix of ages we have our younger fans and a big chuck of the 30 to 50 age group and they are all loving our concerts.

What do your kids think about “dad being in a band”?

My 3 daughters love me being in a band. They all love music so much- one has even got her own band. All 3 are properly trained in music as was their choice- they wanted it. They think I’m lucky that the music comes naturally to me as it does to them. They do criticize me a lot though, they might say we didn’t like your shoes dad or you were a bit out of tune on that part, or a bit sharp!

Will the concert be a mix of old faves and new material? What should the crowd expect?

As we did a corporate in Dubai before this is our first public gig and we will be playing all our hits, people want the hits! We are touring our new album and our new songs have been received extremely well which is very positive. We’ve had one of our most successful videos ever with Girl Panic, although it’s hard to compare with The Reflex etc. as there was no Youtube then! The amount of interest in Girl Panic is unbelievable though. So we’ll be playing a mix of old and new and some things you won’t be expecting us to play.

We are looking forward to playing in Dubai and will see you very soon!

Duran Duran will be performing at 7he Sevens on Thursday March 8th 2012… we’ll be there in force singing along to The Reflex, Girls On Film, Wild Boys etc. etc!

Click here for more info about the show.

What: Duran Duran Live in Dubai
When: Thursday 8th March 2012
Where: 7he Sevens Stadium
Information and tickets: www.doneevents.com