Duran Duran at BST Hyde Park review: An electrifying nostalgia trip from the 80s legends

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As legendary 80s bands go, there’s no denying Duran Duran have stood the test of time.

Four decades on from when they pouted down from the bedroom walls of many an adoring teenage fan, their parade of hits remains iconic, bringing back memories of the glamour and excess of that decade, a time when jetting off to Montserrat to film an elaborate music video on a boat seemed like one of the most exciting things in the world.

And for those who turned out to see them take to the stage at BST Hyde Park as the final headline act of this year’s festival, they definitely did not disappoint – remaining as popular as ever both with old and new fans, while exhibiting just as much energy as many of their younger musical counterparts.

While original guitarist Andy Taylor is no longer in the band, the other four members – Simon le Bon, John Taylor, Roger Taylor and Nick Rhodes (dazzling us all, literally, in an eye-straining yellow suit) were all present and correct and delivered a slick, tightly executed show in front of a capacity crowd, on one of the hottest days of the year so far.

And if it was a greatest hits concert the crowd were after they more than got their wish.

Having kicked things off with a blistering version of 1984 hit Wild Boys, Simon and the boys barely let up from there, reeling off one classic track after another – Planet Earth, Girls On Film, Rio, Hungry Like The Wolf – and leaving out very little. This is what we all showed up for, after all.

But when you have as many great songs as Duran Duran do it would seem a shame not to delve even deeper into the back catalogue, and it was a pleasure to see them surprise us with such lesser-known tracks as Hold Back The Rain (from the Rio album) and the scandalously underrated Friends Of Mine, taken from their self-titled 1981 debut.

They even brought Nile Rodgers – who had earlier wowed the crowd with a set full of disco classics – back onstage for 1986 hit Notorious, sounding better than ever for his presence.

While the early 80s might have been peak Duran era, the show served as a reminder that their ability to deliver great music throughout their career is what’s kept them at the top of their game.

Newer material such as Invisible, as well as 2021’s All Of You sounded just as good as the old classics, while the brilliant Come Undone – always a highlight of their live shows – gave us another example of 90s-era Duran at their best.

And 1993 hit Ordinary World – performed in tribute to the people of Ukraine, against a backdrop of the country’s flag – is arguably their best song, and sounded as great as ever, a moment of poignant significance in a show stuffed with dance anthems.

By the time they got around to the latter end of the show, rounding things off with an audience singalong to Save A Prayer, and a brilliant closing version of Rio, the iconic album cover image displayed behind them, we’d been left in no doubt that Duran Duran remain as relevant and exciting now as they did back in 1982, and their music remains ripe for discovery by a new generation of fans.

As for the rest of us, all it took was the opening bars of Girls On Film for us to feel as though we were 14 all over again.

Courtesy Metro UK