Review: Duran Duran, BIC, Bournemouth

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THEY were one of the biggest bands of the 80's but Duran Duran in 2015 have never been better.

If you imagined the legendary New Wave - synth pop pin up boys were trudging the nostalgia band waggon think again.

Their recent collaboration with Mark Ronson on the new Paper Gods album has played its part and yet in a perfectly selected set list of old and new songs from a 35 year career, the band sounded more relevant and current than ever.

It opened with an almost self-mocking 80's vibe of excessive dry ice and thunder and lightning effects complete with Bohemian Rhapsody-inspired overhead black and white video of their singing heads. For a moment I thought Bonnie Tyler might step out from the darkness to sing Total Eclipse of the Heart.

But before we knew it the energy and excitement of the music combined with spectacular lighting and visuals, from coloured lasers to confetti cannons, had the entire audience up dancing.

This was not the light and fluffy Duran Duran of old and there wasn't a shoulder pad , frilly shirt or big hairdo in sight. Front man Simon Le Bon, 57, looked super-trim as he wiggled his hips in tight white jeans topped with tour t-shirt and leather jacket, joined by the equally youthful original members John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, and Roger Taylor who delivered two solid hours of crowd-pleasing tracks. They were joined by an additional guitarist and saxophone player plus two dancing female backing singers.

Opening with an epic, heavy bass monochrome lit production of Paper Gods - a scathing indictment of Hollywood, they eased into Wild Boys with its blaze of red and green strobe lighting and flame effects bringing everyone to their feet, followed by Hungry Like a Wolf and Bond-themed View to a Kill.

A real highlight was White Lines which had everyone bouncing off the floor and chanting while Notorious, along with Planet Earth written 35 years ago, continued the uplifting vibe. The more melancholy Ordinary World, which had been the band's come-back song in 1993 after a period in the doldrums, sounded fresh off the press. Standout tracks from the Paper Gods album included the upbeat Dancephobia and Sunset Garage - a song about hope and ambition and looking to the future.

The band took a serious moment to pay tribute to all those affected by the Paris terrorist attack .

Duran Duran together with Eagles of Death Metal had performed the former’s hit, Save a Prayer, on TFI Friday earlier this month. Two weeks later the song became the last completed by EODM in the Bataclan in Paris before terrorists opened fire, killing 89 people.

EODM have now released it as a single and Simon Le Bon told the BIC: "They have recorded [it] after what happened in Paris seemed to make everything darker. What a terrible thing to happen and it seems so futile."

He added that all sales proceeds and money due to them and Sony will " ...go into a pot. We want to do something useful with it and peaceful and something that promotes tolerance through music. Nothing we can ever do can make the world brighter for those families that lost people but we can show our support."

Following cheers from the BIC crowd they then performed Save a Prayer with the venue lit by thousands of phone torch lights. The final track Rio almost lifted the roof off the Winsor Hall topping off a truly spectacular show.

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Courtesy Daily Echo