Sunday, 18 December 2011

All You Need is Now – Duran Duran gig review

18th December 2011
(MEN Arena – 16th December 2011)

I’m going to set out my stall. 


Usually when I go to gigs I feel like a bit of fraud. I probably know one or two of the more famous songs, but other than that I’m left there wishing I’d done my homework and bought the CD before the concert ticket.

Not so with Duran Duran. Hell – I’m an expert. I even know all the B-sides.

My Duran Duran collection including my scrap book and art homework, a mosaic of the Rio album cover. Got an A!

And so the evening dawned - the June 3rd concert that had to be postponed because Simon Le Bon got a throat infection. I could barely contain my excitement.

I did try to theme our entire evening by booking Tiger Tiger for dinner (track 8 – Seven and the Ragged Tiger), but was beaten to it by a Co-op Christmas party. Instead I settled on Cafe Rouge – with the intention of recreating the ‘View to a Kill’ video with Grace Jones on the Eiffel Tower.

I last saw the band in 2005 where we danced the night away just in front of the stage. The last six years have clearly taken its toll on Duranies – seating only these days. Well, none of us are getting any younger. I think the years have been kinder to Yasmin Le Bon, which is why I suspect Simon married her and not any of us.

Unlike the early days, there were a lot of men in the audience – probably on the promise of sex. There’s nothing like recapturing your youth to make you feel a bit frisky.

Shameless Duranies!
My co-Duranie in crime for the evening was my friend Cat, who it seems was living a parallel life to me in Norfolk during the ‘80’s. When we first met 10 years ago, we bonded over our Duran Duran scrap books, which we’d kept and the fact that we both loved drummer Roger Taylor (not the usual choice). 

It wasn’t always Roger though. Initially I loved Simon (I was 11 years old). I thought he looked like Irish Eurovision superstar Johnny Logan. I soon dumped Johnny for Simon, who I loved unconditionally until I read in the newspaper an interview where he claimed to have bedded thousands of women. I was devastated – I thought he was saving himself for me. I reviewed my options immediately and switched my allegiance to Roger.

While my friends and I were writing full length works of fiction featuring the fab five (my book was called ‘Five Delights in Dark Green Tights’, featuring Roger and his band of merry men), Cat and her friends were writing alternative lyrics to ‘Wild Boys’ – ‘Wild Bogs’! By far and away the best lines are as follows:

“The Wild Bogs are coming on their way back from the drain,
In Andrex toilet tissue the result of your gut pain.”

I’m sure if we ask her nicely she’ll treat us to this reworked classic in its entirety in the comments box below.

Duran Duran are brilliant live – and last night they didn’t disappoint. 

Highlights of the evening include:

  • Simon’s glittery trousers.

  • The four weird talking heads above the stage.

  • The ‘Twitter Break’ during ‘Tiger Tiger’ where you could tweet the band and have your message displayed on a big screen. Sadly I didn’t take my glasses so couldn’t read the text from where we were sitting. But it was a nice gesture and allowed at least half the audience the opportunity for a guilt free comfort break - pelvic floors aren’t what they used to be. I didn’t tweet them. I’d ‘Facebooked’ Roger earlier and he hadn’t replied so that was my toys thrown out of the pram!
  • The video of the supermodel superband for ‘Girl Panic’, featuring Naomi Campbell and various other of Yasmin’s beautiful friends.
  •  Shouting “I love you Roger”, then turning immediately to my husband “obviously not as much as you dear.”

  •  Recreating with, Cat synchronised saxophones (as in the Rio video) at the shows finale.

  •  The audience participation at the start of The Reflex.

  • Careless Memories – my absolute favourite Duran track, from their first album.
  •  Shutting my eyes and pretending I was 13 again.
    • Sticking my dignity in my hand bag – along with my shoes – and going f*cking mental to some of the best music ever made.

    The concert was being filmed so we really were Girls on Film for the evening. They didn’t actually play that one – but with a massive back catalogue and a great new album to promote they played 20 songs, a good mix of new tracks and old classics, and were on stage for close to two hours.

    So the set list went as follows:

    1. Before the Rain (exciting and very atmospheric opening).
    2. Planet Earth (crowd go berserk – shoes come off).

    3. View to a Kill (remembering James Bond, Grace Jones, Eiffel Tower and Simon Le Bon in a beret).
    4. All You Need is Now (how very true that is – shut eyes and tried to savour the moment).
    5. Blame the Machines
    6. Come Undone (always an emotional one).
    7. Safe (in the heat of the moment)
    8. The Reflex (‘Flex-flex-flex-flex-flex).

    9. The Man who Stole a Leopard (excellent sample from the BBC Newsroom).
    10. Girl Panic (supermodel superband – cannot get the bloody song out of my head).

    11. Is There Something I Should Know? (buying it on the day it was released – straight in at No. 1!)
    12. Tiger Tiger (tweet break).
    13. White Lines (something like a phenomenon).
    14. Careless Memories (my absolute favourite).
    15. Ordinary World (link arms and sway).

    16. Notorious (feeling funky).
    17. Hungry Like the Wolf (memories of Sri Lankan videos).

    18. Reach up for the Sunrise (the cardigan finally came off - remembered I really should have shaved arm pits).

    19. Wild Boys mashed with Frankie’s Relax (encore).
    20. Rio (the video that summed up the ‘80’s)

      All in all it was a great evening. The band sounded tight and Simon’s voice was as good as ever. It was so good to have them back. Having said that – after all that dancing, I can’t seem to get my knees to work today, but who cares!

      ‘All you need is now’ – my new philosophy on life.

      Thanks boys x


      1. Quo would have kicked ther arses. Signed, anon. x

      2. Thank you Mark Drury for that very insightful comment x

      3. oh I loved Duran back in the day. I got goosebumps reading this post! Love it!


      4. Great blog, Alison! You have just the right amount of spunk and flair to convey the Duran2 concert experience in a nutshell. You ROCK!

      5. Thank you Mr Le Bon. You also ROCK - but more literally than me :-)