Duran Duran, Nottingham Arena
Fine for 15 minutes, poison over two hours
Monday 12 April 2004
The Duran Duran camp must be laughing right now. For the past decade, they've been widely derided as all that was wrong with the aspirational 1980s: while they aimed to make funk-fuelled futurist pop with art school slap on, but were stymied by blokish arrangements, vocals and videos featuring
Boy's Own adventures or women with not much on. Yet for their 25th anniversary the reformed, "classic'' 1980-1985 line-up has sold out a huge arena tour.
The Duran Duran camp must be laughing right now. For the past decade, they've been widely derided as all that was wrong with the aspirational 1980s: while they aimed to make funk-fuelled futurist pop with art school slap on, but were stymied by blokish arrangements, vocals and videos featuring Boy's Own adventures or women with not much on. Yet for their 25th anniversary the reformed, "classic'' 1980-1985 line-up has sold out a huge arena tour.
Much must be down to a renewal of interest in all things 1980s. Duran Duran also have the patronage of younger, hipper bands such as the Faint and the Dandy Warhols, and even roped in Goldfrapp, which set a sartorial standard, with Alison Goldfrapp's glittering get-up more than a match for her band's electro-disco.
After a pompous opening, "Hungry Like the Wolf'' and "Planet Earth'' proving that Duran Duran could write decently daft well-chiselled pop. They've weathered quite well too, with über-stud bassist John Taylor eliciting screams as he kneels centre stage, while singer Simon Le Bon's every jaunt clearly reminds the audience of teen crushes.
Exposure though, soon puts them into frame: at two hours, the concert provides a little too much perspective. Duran Duran may once have had arty affectations, but these days, tasteful arena rock is their poison. "A View to a Kill'' reminds you of microwave food and Roger Moore as James Bond. As for the new "What Happens Tomorrow'', it's an Oasis-esque chugger.
As befits a band who were only ever good at being famous, these days Duran Duran are good for 15 minutes and no more.
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