LIVE REVIEW: Brian and Robin’s Christmas Compendium of Reason starring Duran Duran

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE?: Eventim Apollo

WHEN: 16/12

There can be few gigs quite like this annual event curated by Professor Brian Cox and Robin Ince, from Radio 4’s Infinite Monkey Cage, which we’ve seen for the last three years.

  • Read on for reasons including Sophie Ellis-Bextor singing Nothing Compares 2 U

The unique selling point is that it’s a show set at Christmas which debunks the season and instead celebrates science and reason.

Previous years have seen The Cure, New Order and Alison Moyet as surprise headliners and 2016 is no disappointment with 80s chart sensations Duran Duran reeling off their greatest hits (see picture from the show above).

We’ve only ever seen them live before headlining at the old London Arena or outdoors in Victoria Park at Lovebox and, although we’re in the circle, their slick arena show is a joy to behold at close quarters.

They were the culmination of a four-hour show and, if pressed, we’d say they played seven songs including a Bowie tribute (see below) and opener Planet Earth introduced by astronaut Chris Hadfield.

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There’s another Bowie tribute featuring former D:Ream keyboardist, and now Professor, Brian Cox but it is Sophie Ellis-Bextor (see below) singing Prince’s Nothing Compares 2 U which is the emotional highlight of the show.

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Elsewhere comedian James Acaster marvels at playing in front of an audience of geeks, Public Service Broadcasting appear far too early in the line-up, broadcaster Steve Backshall talks sharks and science writer Ben Goldacre reveals his work outing unpublished medical trials.

It’s always an odd mix but where else would you get such value-for-money with tickets costing around £30 – and all the proceeds going to charity?

  • Main picture courtesy Duran Duran via Facebook. Tickets for next year’s event at the Eventim Apollo 1/12 are already on sale
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham or check us out on Facebook

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