By Carron Stacey, A Humdrum Mum
WHEN?: Sunday 10 July 2022, touring until 11 September 2022
SETLIST: Wild Boys; Invisible; All Of You; View To A Kill; Notorious; Pressure Off; Union Of The Snake; Come Undone; Give It All Up; Hungry Like The Wolf; Friends Of Mine; Ordinary World; Tonight United; Planet Earth; Hold Back the Rain; The Reflex; White Lines; Girls On Film/Acceptable In The 80s; Save A Prayer; Rio
A lifelong Durannie. I mostly only sing along to the first two albums, plus a few extras I like. Yes, I’m one of those fans.
- Read on for reasons including how Duran Duran are more acceptable now than they were in the 80s
I have seen them in various lineups and formats six times now and in my (professional groupie) opinion, they were at the top of their game last night at the close of the BST season in Hyde Park.
Let’s discuss the elephant in the room: Simon’s voice. He’s become gruffer and scratchier of late. He’d been full of cold at my second to last gig (Southampton’s Common People in 2016) and I can’t really judge last year’s postponed Isle of Wight Festival performance as I was at the front and the music was, frankly, too boom-boom to discern anything but Roger’s drumming.
Having seen Billy Ocean on Saturday (at Let’s Rock Southampton), I can say Simon hasn’t got Billy’s voice. He never will, he’s not that sort of singer. But having seen performers being wheeled out and using backing singers to fill in the higher notes, Simon’s not that either.
He uses the backing voices well but he does sing (almost) everything as per the original recordings. Last night I detected an effective wobble at the end of some of his lines, which I think is new. It worked anyway. However I have decided that he’s always sounded a bit like this and thank heavens for that.
He has his own way of delivering his lyrics to us and long may he do so. We are lucky he can hit what he can. Performing next to a huge oak, with phenomenal lighting and side panels with striking videos, the band beat even the Rio video for vibrant suits (what was that yellow called, Nick?). Colour me Duran!
After a diva delay of 15 minutes (we thought it was Nick’s missing lipgloss), the colossal Wild Boys strutted up and down the catwalk, captivating the audience who were still buzzing from Chic. Invisible, All of You, A View to a Kill, Union of the Snake (both those last two can be a bit dull but last night were awesome), Notorious with – obviously – Nile, Pressure Off (also phenomenal and also with Nile), Come Undone (not a favourite of mine but even I loved it last night), Give It All Up, Hungry Like The Wolf, Friends of Mine (oh just wow every time), Ordinary World (this time dedicated to the people of Ukraine), Tonight United (brilliant even for me, as it’s so new!), Planet Earth, Hold Back the Rain (oh my days), The Reflex (with a lovely mess up of words from dear Simon), White Lines (I am firmly on the YES side of this camp) and Girls on Film/Acceptable in the 80s.
A pathetic train timetable forced us to leave early and miss the encore (I know, call myself a fan?) but we’d heard Save A Prayer and Rio so many times before live that I knew I could imagine them in my head at any time (or check the YouTube uploads).
Nile joining them on stage was a first for me and what a sight it was to see Dom, John and Nile jamming together. I wonder if Bernard were still around, would the late Chic’s bassist join his protogee Play the fucking bass John?
His smile throughout the show (we always want to be on his side of the stage) just made it for me. You can see how much he loves being on stage. Compared to Nile’s interactions with the audience during Chic’s show, Simon was quiet and just got on with the job of performing.
He did come across as slightly smug at the Isle of Wight Festival last year with his chat, but this was just perfect. Simon, just let the huge body of music tell the story.
Duran Duran have still got it, Simon can still belt out those poetic lyrics (You’re about as easy as a nuclear war, well no, but To drench your skin of lovers’ rosy stain, hell yes, let alone Yes we’re miles away from nowhere and the wind doesn’t have a name. I could go on.)
Keep on going on, you were acceptable in the 80s and you’re more than acceptable now.
- Read more from Carron at her blog A Humdrum Mum
- Main picture courtesy Duran Duran via Facebook. Tickets
- Have you heard any of these songs or seen any of these shows? Let us know what you thought in the comments below
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