Review: Duran Duran, First Direct Arena, Leeds, May 4, 2023

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FOLLOWING their recent induction into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside such legends as Elvis Presley, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, Birmingham's Duran Duran made a triumphant return to the UK at The First Direct Arena in Leeds last night as part of their ‘Future Past’ tour’.

Kicking off in grand style with the slow-burning vintage cut, Night Boat - a song performed at their very first show with their then new singer, Simon Le Bon back in their early days - longstanding Duranies were sent into raptures.

Then the big hits started to flow with a knockout duo of The Wild Boys and Hungry Like The Wolf before coming bang up to date with Invisible from their latest album Future Past showing that they haven`t lost the art of penning a smart tune or two.

York Press: Duran Duran in Leeds last nightDuran Duran in Leeds last night (Image: Mick Burgess)

Simon Le Bon was on fine form throughout, particularly on Ordinary World and had the exuberant crowd eating out of his hand as he delivered hit after hit with A View To A Kill, Is There Something I Should Know? and the Chic-inspired Notorious, replete with John Taylor's wonderfully funky bass line pumping up the already heady atmosphere.

With an impressive lightshow and expansive stage this was a visual feast but it was the music that really made this night one to remember.

A comprehensive spread of music from their 15 album recording history including the rarely played Friends Of Mine from their debut album right up to the more recent Give It All Up and Anniversary were mixed alongside some seriously big hits including their first single Planet Earth, complete with Nick Rhode's shimmering synth line, The Reflex and Girls On Film, which had the arena bouncing.

A closing trio of the sublime Come Undone, arguably the classiest moment in their illustrious catalogue beautifully performed as a duet with Anna Ross; Save a Prayer where the arena was lit up by thousands of mobile phones and the frenzied sing-a-long of Rio ended a night of pristine British pop of the highest order.

Courtesy York Press