Duran Duran’s John Taylor on Latitude, Live Aid and Dua Lipa rumours

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Duran Duran bassist John Taylor has dished on their upcoming slot at Latitude, and revealed the surprising reason he’s so excited to land in Suffolk later this month. 

It turns out that John and the band - made up of Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor - have never played in Suffolk before, so it’s already a memorable one for the Ordinary World hitmakers.

In tonight’s Virgin Radio Sunday Special at 7pm, John sat down with host Steve Denyer to go through what’s in store for Latitude, their career highlights over the years, and even some rumours involving Dua Lipa.

“It’s a festival that has a very particular flavour,” John revealed when quizzed about their Latitude headlining gig. “It's in a part of the country that I've actually been looking for an excuse to visit for quite some time. The band have never been to Suffolk. I'm actually looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to the mood. Maybe summer will have arrived by then.”

Despite performing on stages worldwide for decades, festivals were a scene Duran Duran have only just mastered within the last 20 years. , having made their name on the club circuit and the likes of Top of the Pops in its heyday.

“When we came up, it was very much… clubs were cool and up to arenas, I would say. But festivals were kind of on a down.  I think the 90s, I think Nirvana particularly, kind of brought the festival back and made it cool again. Glastonbury and so many festivals around the world, like Coachella in California, just became these amazing sort of fashion spectacles and these platforms for showcases and new music.

“We started doing it seriously [around] the reunion tour, about 20 years ago now. We looked at the festival business, and we thought ‘we've got to get in there. We’ve got to find a way to bring our presentation to that kind of a crowd’. I love the flags, I love the tribal aspects of it and…meeting bands backstage.”

Speaking of Glastonbury, Dua Lipa recently headlined the Pyramid Stage, and alongside her announcement came some rumours that Duran Duran might’ve performed alongside her.

While chatting about any surprises lined up for Latitude, John confessed he learnt about the whispers of Duran Duran making their Glasto debut via text.

He shared: “I don't know whether Dua Lipa is going to be singing with us, but I got this text on Friday night from some BBC News reporter saying, and the rumour is that Duran Duran are going to be performing with Dua Lipa on the Pyramid Stage tomorrow night.

“We're like, ‘what!?’ So I'm going to put it back out there. Maybe Dua Lipa is going to join us on Latitude.”

Speaking of massive stages, host Steve then asked John about the incredible Live Aid performance, ahead of the 40th anniversary later this month.

Duran Duran were exploring new musical ventures at the time, with John touring with Robert Palmer as part of their supergroup The Power Station, but when the opportunity to perform came up, the band couldn't say no.

“Duran had to be a part of that,” he said. “We had to come together. We opened with a View to a Kill, which was number one in the US that week, but we'd never played it live before. It was kind of exciting coming together and playing together again.”

Another element that totally overwhelmed John was the impressive names backstage. He added: “That was an incredible array of talent. I'd never seen Led Zeppelin before, you know, and seeing them play with Tony [Thompson] from Power Station and Jagger and Tina Turner and Bob Dylan. Jack Nicholson announcing Bob Dylan, it was extraordinary.”

John also took the time to give an update on Duran’s guitarist Andy Taylor’s health, after he was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer in 2022.

“I think he's doing well,” the musician said. “I think he's doing better. You know, I know he played a fundraiser with Robert Plant a few months ago.

“He sounded pretty, pretty upbeat. So I think he's doing all right.”

Duran Duran will be headlining the Obelisk Arena on Sunday 28th July at Latitude Festival, Henham Park, Suffolk. Tickets for Barclaycard presents Latitude are on sale now.

Courtesy Virgin Radio