"The success of the tour has given the band the appetite for more. Bassist John Taylor says:"To play live is instant gratification. We just want to keep building it. We're putting the energy out there and it's great to come back. Being on stage feels like home."

"I’m very proud of the band. The longer we go on, the deeper the friendship gets" says Simon.

With the band returning to the early sound in a contemporary way, it's evident that Duran Duran have come full circle. Through its ups and downs, changing band members and personal struggles, this band has survived and is stronger than never.

The 'All You Need Is Now Tour' is for the fans. Through the challenges, all they needed to do was to focus on the people right in front of them. The ones who’ve stuck by them through the years. Nothing else matters. All we need is now.

 

April 8 2012 | Happy Easter! | The band has just concluded a successful australasia tour. They played 10 shows in 20 days travelling from Dubai to Singapore, from Seoul to Hong Kong heading to Australia where they played six more fantastic shows.

This new installement is almost entirely dedicated to this new recent chapter of the All You Need Is Now World Tour. We have some cool reports and reviews from our friends around the globe, pics, exclusive scans and video downloads.

The band has got some of their most positive reviews ever just like this one from Time Out Melbourne but most of all they have made happy thousand of persons in every city they visited. This tour is definitely a party for both, the band and the audience!

dates are still in the working progress mode.

Meanwhile Duran have announced some more dates of their Summer 2012 tour. Thus far, 10 European and 12 North American dates... Yeah, more shows in the Us that they already toured twice since the new album release.

So far the band has eleven U.S. cities lined up from coast to coast, with most venues not yet announced. The band will continue to update their website as more shows are added or confirmed.

The band has a great fan following in Usa and unlike what Spin magazine says, Duran is actually one of the most loved UK band of all time. For the record we have to report that they made the Spin magazine list of the the most hated rockstars in Pop History [Duran Duran at # 21 - # 1 were Milli Vanilli and #2 Limp Bizkit]. Original article here

21 DURAN DURAN

CHARGE AGAINST: British neo-colonialist fops whose clunky dance pop kept funk off '80s radio.

CASE FILES: In the early 1980s, Duran-bashing was the favorite pastime of insecure, jealous high school dudes (and insecure, jealous dads) policing the sexual fantasy lives of teenage girls who craved swishy pretty boys. In Talking to Girls About Duran Duran, author Rob Sheffield says the band inspired the most venomous arguments around his high school cafeteria tables. But even to hard-core music fans, they often seemed like a blight: At a time when George Clinton's "Atomic Dog" was struggling for airplay, radio programmers insisted that young Americans dance to these limp Brits, who, to make matters worse, had shouldered past more interesting new-wave countrymen like ABC and the Psychedelic Furs on their way across the Atlantic. Said Robert Christgau: "These imperialist wimps are the most deplorable pop stars of the post-punk if not post-Presley era."

THE DEFENSE: The '60s generation can keep "Like a Rolling Stone." Our text is poptimism, cool synth sounds, and "Save a Prayer," and we're not apologizing for it. K.H.

 

The band have a six-date South American jaunt getting underway April 28 in Brazil, followed by a monthlong run through Europe, which includes a headlining slot at the Exit Festival on July 12, and wraps with a July 25 appearance at the Sporting Club Summer Festival in Monte Carlo. The band is also supposed to play in London on july 27 2012, that's also the day the Olympic Games begin in London... that's why more than one fan suspects that this show might be part of the Olympics games celebrations.

 

South America

04/28 – Brasilia, BR | Nilson Nelson
04/30 – Rio de Janerio, BR | Citibank Hall
05/02 – Sao Paulo, BR | Credicard Hall
05/04 – Buenos Aires, AR | Luna Park
05/05 – Buenos Aires, AR | Luna Park
05/08 – Santiago, CL | Espacio Riesco

 

Europe

06/27 – Prague, CZ | O2 Arena
06/28 – Budapest, HR | Papp Laszlo Sport Arena
07/06 – Thessaloniki, GR | Earth Open Air
07/12 – Novi Sad, SR | Exit Festival
07/16 – Verona, IT | Verona Arena
07/18 – Rome, IT | Foro Italica
07/20 – Cattolica, IT | Arena Della Regina
07/21 – Lucca, IT | Piazza Napoleone
07/23 – Carcassonne, FR | The Theatre Jean Deschamps
07/25 – Monte Carlo, MC | Sporting Club Summer Festival

North America

08/08 – Saratoga, CA | TBA
08/09 – Saratoga, CA | TBA
08/12 – Tucson, AZ | TBA
08/15 – Tulsa, OK - The JointHard Rock Hotel & Casino
08/17 – Memphis, TN | Memphis Botanical Gardens
08/18 – Biloxi, MS | Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
08/19 – Atlanta, GA | TBA
08/21 – Durham, NC | Durham Performing Arts Center
08/24 – Mashantucket, CT | TBA
08/25 – Atlantic City, NJ | TBA
08/28 – Kettering, OH | TBA
08/29 – Highland Park, IL | Ravinia

 

Current News: Simon in Japan

New writing session with Nick Wood for upcoming SYN projects and lots of fun

Simon and Nick in the new studio in Tokio

The guys having a beer ot two during their trip to Shimoda

While I write this Simon is about to leave Tokio, he has spent some time with his friend, music producer Nick Wood, writing material for some upcoming SYN projects.

Simon, Nick Wood and his wife Noriko have been tweeting comments and pics of their trip to Shimoda [where the duo went for some song writing inspiration] and also from the studio.

On April 5 Simon said:

"Nick Wood & me in the studio at SYN. Two really good little song seeds planted... one got shoots already."

Below a cool pic of Simon and Nick Wood taken on April 5 at Hanami. Wood says on his blog "Last night Syn celebrated Hanami [cherry blossom festival] at Yasukuni Shrine. The Syn team enjoyed themselves under the cherry blossoms with food, drinks, and laughter.

 

 

Simon Le Bon Visits British Ambassador in Tokio

 

“It was a pleasure and an honor to be invited to the ambassadors residence.

Sir David and all of the staff there made me feel very welcome, we talked music, business, and the meaning of life, all very useful in this brave new world that is modern Japan”.

Simon Le Bon Visits British Ambassador

News originally posted on Nick Wood's blog

"Simon Le Bon, co-founder and Chairman of Syn paid a visit to the British Ambassador Sir David Warren at his official residence yesterday April 5th."

 

A Diamond is Forever

 

What's next? 'A Diamond In The Mind'

That's not all, the band is not going to miss the live-momentum and they are about to release a live dvd and cd that will reach the stores during the summer.

Directed by Gavin Elder, the dvd was filmed live in Manchester at the MEN Arena on 16 December 2011. The dvd includes bonus documentary material, produced by Gavin Elder and James Tonkin. The documentary covers the story of 2011. Band members talk candidly about the highs and lows of that year - from the loss of Simon Le Bon's voice [which is documented with rehearsal footage] to how this catastrophic injury ended up bringing them even closer together.

The cd version was mixed by Snake Newton and mastered on 5 March 2012, at the Metropolis Studios in London. According to our source the new prodouct will be released in Europe by Eagle Rock [Eagle Rock the same label that released the Rio Classic album dvd a couple of years ago.

We just think that it's a good move to release such a product while the band is still on tour... lots of people who attended the shows will be interested in the dvd to relive the live experience.

On the right a visual insprired by the title 'A Diamond In The Mind' that I created when the album was just released.

 

According to amazon.co.uk the dvd will be released on July 2, 2012

Prodouct details

Format: PAL
Region: Region 2
Number of discs: 1
Classification: Exempt
Studio: Eagle Vision HD
DVD Release Date: 2 July 2012
Run Time: 116 minutes
ASIN: B007RONF0Y

 

Whilst we all wait to get our hands on this fan-tastic dvd and write down our own comments let's just read the flattering review of that Manchester show published by the prestigious english music bible 'Redord Collector' magazine [transcription by Salvo].

Duran Duran
Manchester MEN Arena
16/12/11
View: front

Opening with Before The Rain, a sedate track from their new album, the fans were already on their feet, and just as well, given that the cult anthem, Planet Earth, followed. LeBon was in fine voice and the rhythmic agility of the band impressive — a winning formula boasting intricate, creative percussive embellishments and John Taylor’s funk-driven bass. Girl Panic pumped out adrenalin with its energetic Latino groove, while the accompanying controversial video was screened. Amazingly, all the new cuts merged seamlessly with the staples — as if there was a few years rather than decades between them. The Reflex continues to inject a youthful, feel—good hit into the bloodstream, Tiger Tiger remains as dreamy and exotic an instrumental as ever, and Careless Memories was another flashback to their iconic debut. The energy level was well and truly rocked up for the encore Wild Boys, and the closer, Rio, left the audience on a high. J. Forrest.

 

Australasia Tour Celebration

It's time to relive the recent shows with lots of reports, articles, pics, scans, videos and tidbits. Enjoy!

 

Duran Duran rock Dubai Dubai

 

"After 90-odd minutes of delivering one stirring melody after another the band dived into Rio , a mighty offering that consolidated they place in the hearts of each and every person present at the 7evens."

gulfnews.com

The guys played at the fantastic 7evens Stadium. The stadium works brilliantly with the abundance of space that offered everyone a good view of the stage even when standing. It also allowed for lots of dancing and singing along from the fans.

A 7000 strong crowd greeted the group with enthusiasm. With Dubai being the first show of Duran Duran’s Asian tour, the group’s performance was energetic and full of sparkle, courtesy of the singer Simon Le Bon’s disco-tastic shirt and the keyboardist Nick Rhodes’s sequinned Blues Brothers suit.

While the melodramatic and sombre Before the Rain was an odd choice for an opener, it at least signalled that Le Bon’s voice was back in order

In a tender moment, Le Bon dedicated the regal ballad Ordinary World “to the people of Syria”, before the group stormed home with Wild Boys, Girls on Film and Rio complete with fireworks.

[Gulfnews and The National]

 

Fan report: Double D & Double F in Dubai

Lost in Dubai with Duran Duran

Fabrizia and Federica, twins, long time fans and great friends of mine reports from Dubai.

Wow! That's all we can say after living a three days long dream... three long Duran-days!

My sister and I decided to have a little holiday in march and it actually coincided with the Duran show in Dubai. When we first decided to go to there we couldn't imagine that we were going to experience such a fantastic and intense Duran adventure.

It all started meeting the guys at the airport, all except John who arrived from LA the next day. They obviously were tired but sweet and surprised to see us there. From that night on we had many occasion to see the band and the crew, they were all very nice and friendly people.

The crew is like a big family and they made us feel like we were part of the the group in those days.

March 8th was probably the best day of the whole vacation, it was the show day! We took a taxi to the Sevens Stadium, which is located right in the middle of the desert, such a fantastic venue... we have to say that it was all very well organized.

Most of the crowd were european with lots of english people.

We managed to get front row, right in front of John. We waited for hours the beginning of the show but it wasn't a boring, they played a lot of 80s cool music and they projected onto the screen some Duran Duran videos... all this framed by a wonderful and surreal sunset. A breathtaking view.
The show started at 9 pm. John was surprised to see us there [we weren't lucky enough to see to see him before the show] and he smiled to us more than once.

The band sounded and looked fantastic, they played every song masterfully!

The crowd was enthusiastic, danced, clapped and sang a long all the songs but always in an orderly manner, not like we have experienced in Italy where is always hard to get front row without being pushed all the time. So it was a pleasure to see the show in such a great condition, front row and with enough human space around us.

The stage set was the same they used on the Uk tour except for the masks which were missing, we guess it wasn't easy to travel them around the world since they were so big.

Simon dedicated Ordinary World to the Syrian people, that was such a great moment of the concert and John at the end of the show thanked all the people who flew in to see them in Dubai... how sweet!

Last but not least, something quite unxpected, the fireworks! We couldn't belive our eyes, what a show! Duran in the desert and the fireworks... was that a dream?
After the show we had one more week to relax and enjoy the Dubai area and the beach...

We returned to Italy with a bag full of great memories but the ones we most treasure are about attending the Duran show and spending some quality time with the guys.

We just want to say thanks to Simon, Roger, Nick and John and all the fantastic people of the crew. You really made our holiday so special.

The guys rocking Dubai

A personal and huge thank you to the twins for thinking of me whilst in Dubai and for sending this lovely and super cool postcard signed by Simon.

 

Durasian shows

Saranghaiyo Duran Duran!

 

Eunhee & Nakyoung's tour diaries

Eunice Park reports: Many fans from a Duran Duran korean fanclub in the standing area were holding up that captial 'D' sign, some were wearing luminous headbands or holding luminous sticks. And when the band started to play 'Come Undone', some people in the audience began to fly paper planes in the air, some of which landed on stage and Simon and John picked them up and flew them back to the audience

Singapore

 

Airport Arrival
Duran Duran were scheduled to arrive at Singapore airport in the evening, so we [Eunhee, Nakyoung and two other Korean fans] went to the airport to welcome them. There were about ten fans waiting for Duran Duran. When Duran Duran came out of the gate, we gave them flowers saying "Welcome to Asia". Duran Duran smiled at us and thanked us.
Roger wasn't with them at that time. We later found out that there were some problems with his passport, so he took the next flight. Amber was also at the airport waiting for Simon. As soon as she saw him, she hugged him and they looked both happy. Duran Duran left the airport escorted by the produciton crew.

Hotel
Next morning we went to the hotel they're staying and met Duran Duran. When we met John in the lobby, he took the picture of us and tweeted it. Yeah!
In the afternoon, Nick went to Andy Warhol Exhibition and when he returned, we asked him to say hello to Korean fans. It was very kind of him to say nice words for Korean fans.

 

Right click, save target as. It's a .avi video and you can watch it easily with a vlc media player

Show
When the show began, we felt a little bizzare because the audience on John's side mostly were still sitting.
When we bought presale tickets as soon as they opened in December, John-side front tickets weren' t available. Maybe that explains.
The setlist was shorter than the UK shows we attended last year in December. Other than that, the show was great as always. Accordingly 5,500 audience cheered Duran Duran and sang along together.


Funny anecdote: at one moment Simon seemed not to be able to read the setlist, complaining that there wasn't enough light.
John made a joke, "You need spectacles, Charlie. Ahahah."


 

"Le Bon spent the first third of the show in a silver-and-black jacket before taking it off to carry on in a dark short-sleeved shirt.

He would later do a quick costume change to a flashy, glittery shirt that would have looked a little gaudy on most occasions but blended with the stage’s modern, black and steel design."

 

Seoul, Korea

 

Airport Arrival
The next day, Duran Duran took Korean Air to fly to Korea. The flight landed very late at night.
There were many flights arriving around that time, so Duran Duran had to stay in a long queue to pass the immigration.
Thank God, one official finally came and helped out John, Roger and some other staff. We were waiting for Duran Duran to pass the immingration wearing pink hats with pink D-logo attached to our bag carrier.
When John and Roger came out, we said "Welcome back to Korea". Craig Duffy, the tour manager, took a picture of us as posted on Duran Duran facebook.
At that time many Korean fans were waiting for Duran Duran outside the gate and when Duran Duran finally came out... the fans screamed and gave them flowers and presents they prepared. It seemed Duran Duran really enjoyed the fandemonium as John tweeted.

 

Right click, save target as. It's a .avi video and you can watch it easily with a vlc media player

Show
The venue, Olmpic Hall, was filled with pink D-lights and pink Duran Duran banners.
This show was third Duran Duran show in Korea after 1989 and 2008. We remember in our schooldays about 80% of schoolmates were into Duran Duran.
Now most of fans are in their late thirties or early forties but Duran Duran definitely brought back our teenage girliness.
From start to end, the audience was very enthusiastic about the show. Fans cheered and jumped with excitement and sang along songs the whole time.
Simon said he would like to dedicate Ordinary World to Syrian people as he did in Singapore.
When Come Undone started to play, fans flew paper airplanes toward the stage which made a beautiful scene.
Before the encore songs, Simon said "Kamsahamnida" [Thank you in Korean] and "Saranghaiyo"[Love you in Korean]. Obviously fans all went crazy!


Airport Departure
Korean fans were again at the airport to see Duran Duran off next day. Duran Duran were so nice to fans, taking pictures and giving them autographs. John even autographed on his hotel key card and gave it to one of the fans waiting!


Hong Kong

 

Show
Hong Kong audience was kind of wild and loud. Personally, we didn't like the crowd very much as we prefer crowd concentrating on music more.
This time Simon dedicated Ordinary World to Japanese People. Maybe because of one year anniversary of Tsunami in Japan.
We noticed Yasmin joined Amber and they also enjoyed the show near the stage.
Since it was the last show in Asia, we all couldn't help bursting into tears when the encore songs were played.


Airport Departure
Next morning, Duran Duran left for Brisbane. We of course saw them off at the airport before we took our flight back to Korea. Craig and Nick respectively asked us if we were going to any Austrailian shows as well.
We joked, "Nope, we're almost bankrupt now after reheasal shows in September, UK shows in December and these Asia shows." Hahah!

Back Home
The dream is over, shows in Asia are over... we're still full of mixed emotions. Sometimes we feel like crying, sometimes we laugh out loud.
Friends and colleagues say we seem out of our mind. Yes, how can't we after being following Duran Duran on tour?
All we can say is that we look forward to seeing them again soon even though we don't know when. We just hope Duran Duran keep hitting the road with their music again and again and again.

 

"By the time I left, with the melodies still ringing in my ears, it seemed that the Duran party would go on and on, even after the last notes faded off."

A local journalist says after the show

 

Fan report: Dian reviews the Singaporean show

"Like in a football team, everybody passes the ball accurately and knows their team mates’ next movement"

 

The guys are in the best shape ever, very tight! I have watched them once in the 90s and twice in the noughties. this formation with Dom on guitar is just lethal.

The performance was much better than the previous ones. Like in a football team, everybody passes the ball accurately and knows their team mates’ next movement.

Simon was in a good mood, had good interaction with the crowds and his vocal performance was solid, better than I have ever remembered it. John and Roger’s interlocking rhythm was stellar...second to none. We were totally immersed! Nick was consistent and creative. Dom was outstanding…the guitar was spot on throughout, he nailed each song perfectly. The solo on Ordinary World, for example, was clean and done neatly.

Before the Rain was a perfect opener, it warmed up the audiences nicely.Girl Panic! received the most rapturous reception. the band also showed the Girl Panic! video during the song. Cool is an understatement.

I can understand how a lot of fans feel Safe to be the weakest track on the album but watching it played live really did the song more justice. the performance of Anna Ross was great. we enjoyed her best on Safe as she took the centre stage. Great fun... and it provided a bit of variety to the show.

Simon Willescroft was versatile, we saw him played saxophone then a bit of keyboard with Nick and later percussions on Girl Panic!

There was some funny moments on the show when Simon had to stop awhile and tie his shoe lace in between songs. also when he had to see John’s set list because he couldn’t see his properly... and John asked him where he has put his spectacles…the crowds were spontaneously amused. During the introduction of the band, Simon asked a female fan to introduce him, the girl did so without hesitating and shouted something like “this is the amazing and the only one: Simon Le Bon and I always wanted to marry him!”

The band looked focused yet relaxed, played music seriously yet entertaining, matured display yet with the energy of the young.This is the band that was designed to make people party, and how incredibly they did, every time.

"It’s a show that plays on memories – you’re going to find yourself remembering where you were in 1985, or in 1991, when you first heard Ordinary World. It’s a very inclusive show, where the audience and the band share a history. I think that when we first came out, we were quite distant and had quite an icy demeanour on stage, and I think as we’ve gotten older, we’ve softened up ad are a lot more engaging. It’s a very human show with a lot of humour, as well. We’ve been doing this for 30 years and I think we know how to put on an entertaining son et lumière"

John Taylor, March 2012

Excerpt from the revirew published here


The 5,500 strong gig goers comprising mostly fans in their late 30s and 40s included groups of MILFs clad in the tackiest of 80s Top of the Pops fashion alongside folks shouting the clichéd “Simon, I love you, Marry me” or “John, Play me like a bass guitar”

Opening with the dramatic, melancholic “Before the Rain” from the Mark Ronson produced “All You Need Is Now” LP, one could already sense that the night was going to be unforgettable as the crystal clear; pitch perfect famed vocals from 53 year old Le Bon resonated. He might be 20 kilograms heavier than in 1982 but that didn’t deter him from showcasing his deft dance moves.

In fact their new songs like “The Man Who Stole a Leopard” and “Girl Panic!” shared similar traits to vintage 80s Duran Duran vibes with the hypnotic synth lines, delirious bass poundings and processed live drums.

And the night wasn’t just about the core quartet of Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor, as their supporting artistes of the leggy femme fatale, back-up singer Anna Ross who wouldn’t have looked out of place in any of the band’s famous music videos, saxophonist Simon Willescroft and guitarist Dominic Brown performed with consummate gusto as the usual set ended with the popular “Wild Boys” and a cover of “Relax [Don’t Do It]”, the 80s shag anthem by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

 

A Concert For The Fans

Jeanette Chin

Review published here

Duran Duran played the Singapore Indoor Stadium and treated everyone to a Saturday night filled with a selection of their greatest hits and songs from their latest album, All You Need Is Now. The band gave a tremendous performance, emphasizing they are first and foremost a live band.

Opening the show in dramatic fashion with instrumental number “Return To Now”, leading into the lyrically poetic “Before The Rain”, the band then launched into an energetic rendition of “Planet Earth” and James Bond theme “A View To A Kill”. Mixing fast songs with ballads, the band delivered wave after wave of musical ecstasy.

Spending 2010 promoting All You Need Is Now, the band embarked on a tour spanning the globe in 2011, taking them through UK, Europe, North America, Dubai and Singapore. They will also be heading to Seoul, Hong Kong, Australia, and South America.

Midway through the tour, lead singer Simon Le Bon had encountered problems with his voice, forcing the band to take pause and wonder about a possible future without him. Tour dates were re-scheduled, so that he could recover, and after 3 months, they were back on the road again.

On Saturday night, Simon was in fine form. His voice was buttery smooth in “Come Undone” and showed no sign of strain throughout the evening, not even with hard-hitting tracks like “Wild Boys”.

 

Seoul: Stay With The Music

Deena's great Seoul review

 

A small contingent of the Duran Duran welcoming committee at Incheon International Airport.

Duran Duran at Incheon Airport in Seoul
I've never gone to the airport to greet Duran Duran. I've never gone to the airport to greet anyone other than family or friends, actually. But, Duran Duran are like old friends to me [at least, in my mind] so I thought I'd give it a go.

This is only their third time in Korea. They came to Seoul for the first time in 1989 and then again in 2008 and then... tonight. It was pandemonium.

In Korea, it would seem that it is still the 80s.Roger was the first one through the gate. He saw the crowd. He heard the screaming... He turned around and went back in. My new friend Joon said, "Why did he go back in?" I said, "Because he's Roger." Ten minutes later...Nick and Simon emerged. Then, Roger came back out...got swarmed, poor thing.

Deena Roth

 

Correspondent Deena Roth in Seoul | Anyone who knows me well is fully aware that music is an integral part of my life. Okay, so I never quite got that band I envisioned back in high school up off the ground. I do, however, have a book full of poetry and song lyrics and I am known to spontaneously burst into song quite frequently. I also have a rather impressive musical library and have attended far too many concerts to list here. Not to mention, I worked in two different music stores back in the late 80s and early 90s, both of which went bankrupt long ago, but I loved those jobs. My point is, without music, my life would be empty.

That being said, despite my diverse musical tastes, nothing, and I mean nothing, compares to a Duran Duran concert. Why? Because, for me, they started it all. They were the first band that I ever loved, that I could truly call my own. This was not my older siblings' music. This was my music. They opened a portal to a world where riveting melodies collided with surrealist lyrics; a world of boundless joy that soothed my teenage soul.

They came into my life when I needed them most; during those tumultuous early teenage years. They taught me that it was okay to be different. I honestly believe that I would not be the person I am today if it weren't for Duran Duran. This is why, when it comes to Duran Duran, it's not just about the music. Only a true Duranie can understand: a Duran Duran concert is much, much more than a concert. It's an intensely emotional experience, to say the least. Strangely enough, I have only had the pleasure of seeing them live four times and the first two shows I saw were over 20 years apart. This was not a choice, but rather, a matter of not being in the right place at the right time, but I digress. In any case, All You Need is NOW!

As I mentioned in my last post, I hadn't seen Duran live since April 2011, at their unforgettable show at Le National in Montreal. Shortly after that whirlwind tour, Simon Le Bon lost the top of his vocal range, for reasons that will forever remain a mystery. It was a devastating blow that came at the worst possible time, as they were still on such a high from the North American promotional mini-tour of their brilliant album, All You Need is Now [2010] produced by the uber-talented Mark Ronson. Furthermore, they were getting set to begin an impressive European summer tour which was scheduled to start in July and run through mid-September and included dates across the UK and continental Europe, all of which were postponed, due to Simon's vocal problems. Devoted fans (including myself) across the world sent an outpouring of support to our beloved frontman and waited, with bated breath, for news of his recovery, as he spent several weeks consulting with numerous doctors as well as a vocal therapist.

 

When the band announced another North American tour scheduled to begin at the end of September and run through the end of October, we all rejoiced, regardless of whether we were able to attend or not. It wasn't easy, knowing that they were headed back to my hometown of Montreal while I was so far away, but I was thrilled that Simon was ready to hit the stage once again. The band also played a series of special rehearsal shows in the UK in September before embarking on the North American tour. I can't begin to describe how relieved and ecstatic I was to hear, from friends who were lucky enough to attend the rehearsal shows, that Simon was back in top form.

Of course, all of this happened after I had already begun a very restrictive one-year contract in Seoul, South Korea. Over the next few months, thanks to social networking, I lived vicariously through my friends who attended shows in North America in September and October, then later in the UK for the re-scheduled shows throughout the month of December. Duran Duran also re-scheduled some of the European dates and I followed my friends' experiences at shows in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Belgium and Slovakia in January.

When the band announced plans for an Australian tour, I started to get really excited, as it's closer to Asia and in the past, they've always announced Asian tour dates around the same time as Australian tour dates. When they announced tour dates in Singapore and Hong Kong, I immediately started looking into flights. I soon figured out that neither my pocketbook nor my restrictive work schedule would allow me to attend those shows. I was gutted. I kept my fingers crossed. Then, the first week of January, they announced that they would be playing Seoul on 12th March! I was over the moon! I walked around in a dream-state for the next two months...

Duran Duran have only played Seoul three times in their entire 30+ year career. They came here for the first time in 1989 on The Electric Theatre Tour, promoting their Big Thing (1988) album. It took almost 20 years for them to come back to the Land of the Morning Calm. I was lucky enough to be living here at the time and I attended the electrifying show at Seoul Olympic Gym in April 2008 as part of The Red Carpet Massacre Tour, celebrating their 2007 album of the same name. At the show, and on local television, they promised that they wouldn't wait as long to come back here again and, to my delight, as well as to the delight of all the dedicated Korean fans, they kept their promise...

On 12th March 2012, the energy and anticipation in Seoul Olympic Hall, as I waited, along with thousands of adoring Korean fans, was palpable. There I stood, second row centre, still in my dream-state, swaying to the sounds of the enchanting instrumental Return to Now. When the band took the stage, the crowd went wild! The haunting, opening notes of the atmospheric Before The Rain, off their magnificent, latest album All You Need is Now, sent shivers down my spine. Then, when Simon started to sing, I lost myself completely in his extraordinary, pitch-perfect voice, not to mention, his mesmerizing ocean-blue eyes. At that moment, I told myself, there is no place on earth I'd rather be.

Next, they launched into the New Romantic anthem that put them on the charts back in 1981, their first single, Planet Earth, featuring what is perhaps Duran Duran's sexiest bassline ever by Bass God John Taylor. This song always gets the whole audience dancing and despite the packed crowd, I joined in on the boisterous revelry, of course. Their next song was the phenomenal Bond theme song, A View to A Kill and yes, we danced "into the fire" and got all revved up for the amazing title track off All You Need is Now, which holds a special place in my heart, as the message of this song resonates deeply with me for a multitude of reasons.

When Simon came down into the crowd, searching for, "A man who can sing," I knew exactly what the band had in store for us. He chose a male fan to sing the intro to The Reflex, as the supremely talented Nick Rhodes played the familiar keyboard tune from one of my favourite singles ever. I reckon I was singing, "Ta nanana," much louder than the lucky man who got to share the microphone with Simon... something I can only dream of doing someday. Sigh. Nonetheless, it was an extraordinary moment and once again, I danced and sang my little heart out!


I should mention that while I was queued-up, in the garage of the venue, I had noticed two girls handing out bright pink sheets of paper with the Duran Duran logo printed on them. Everyone was making paper airplanes, so I asked them why. One of the girls told me that the plan was to launch the airplanes onto the stage during the song Come Undone, which I found rather odd, so I asked her why. She said, "I just really love that song." Fair enough.

I can't begin to describe the perplexed looks on the band members' [especially Simon's] faces when that happened. As much as I enjoy the song, I also found myself having a personal, internal giggle, as I tend to walk around Seoul in a perpetual state of confusion myself, so it was particularly funny [to me] to see the looks of "What? Why?" on their faces. Naturally, when Simon licked his fingers after the line, "Or the magic I'm feeding off your fingers..." I totally came undone! And yes, I do know that Simon wrote the song for his stunning wife Yasmin, but hey, a girl can dream...

Their next song was the disco-flavoured, Larry Levan inspired, Chic influenced tune Safe [In the Heat of the Moment] off the brilliant All You Need is Now. The album track features a rap by Ana Matronic of Scissor Sisters. In the live show, the lovely Anna Ross amazed us with her rapping skills. It's an energetic and playful song that I dare you not to dance to! Honestly, I can't get enough of the new album and I kind of wish they had played as many tracks off it as they did at the Montreal show at Le National, but believe me, I'm not complaining, because their next song was Is There Something I Should Know, which I hadn't heard live since 1987. What a thrill it was hearing it live again after all these years!

Next, they played another track off the new album; Girl Panic! an enthralling song that is infused with their classic, 80s New Wave sound, yet [like the entire album] feels entirely fresh and relevant. The lyrics were written by keyboardist Nick Rhodes and it's one of my favourite tracks on the album. The stunning video, directed by Jonas Åkerlund, featuring supermodels Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Eva Herzigova, Helena Christensen and Yasmin Le Bon was banned by MTV [as if they even play videos anymore] and has become an Internet sensation with over 5 million views on YouTube. The live performance was accompanied by a montage of clips from the superbly stylish video, but I must admit that I was too distracted by Simon's exuberant dance moves to really notice. Needless to say, I was thrown into a Girl Panic!

This was followed by what is probably my favourite track off All You Need is Now, the breathtaking The Man Who Stole a Leopard. This song simply transports me and if I were to try and describe it, I'd say it's a cross between The Chauffeur, David Bowie's The Man Who Sold The World and William Blake's poem The Tyger, but that's just me. Apparently, the song was inspired by The Collector, a disturbing 1965 film starring Terence Stamp, that I have always loved. In a November 2010 interview, Nick Rhodes compared it to The Velvet Underground's The Gift. On the album, the song features string arrangements by Canadian composer, violinist, keyboardist and vocalist Owen Pallett as well as vocals by alternative R&B singer-songwriter Kelis, which were performed beautifully by Anna Ross live. Furthermore, performed live, the song requires some audience participation, in the form of a series of hand claps, while drummer Roger Taylor sneaks out from behind his drum kit to clap along with us. The song concludes with a fabricated news story written by Nick Rhodes and spoken by British journalist Nina Hossain [who also lends her voice to the wonderful album track Blame the Machines] and in the live show, she appears on the big screen situated behind the band, superimposed before the image of a magnificent leopard. I had never had the pleasure of hearing it live, so I was absolutely delighted!

Things really got funky with the title track off Notorious [1986], the first album released by Duran Duran as a trio, after the departure of Roger Taylor and Andy Taylor. This ground-breaking album was produced by the brilliant Nile Rodgers. There was a time when this song, the first single off the album, was somewhat bittersweet for me. In retrospect, I realise how silly that sounds, especially since there is no mistaking the simple fact that this song, as well as the entire album, is pure genius. I recently came across this little bit of history [from my hometown of Montreal] on Wikipedia:

When the track made its debut on Montreal radio station CHOM during the October 20, 1986 edition of the nightly radio show Rock And Roll News, DJ Randy Renaud declared that by the next night, the song Amanda by Boston [which had been holding on to the number one spot on CHOM's charts for several weeks] could "kiss the number one spot goodbye." Sure enough, by the next night, CHOM had received enough requests for the song that it supplanted Amanda from the #1 spot on the stations nightly countdown show, The Top Six At Six.

As if things were not already sufficiently heated-up, the band then exploded into their energetic cover of Grandmaster Melle Mel's White Lines. It may not be my first choice off 1995's covers album, Thank You, but it certainly is a treat to experience live, infused with unabashed energy and bringing the crowd to a whole new level of frenzy. They actually played this song at their last show in Seoul and I personally enjoyed it this time even more than the last time.

"We’re all quite vain, we know that image is important and so we all try to keep it together. We all have a responsibility to each other to keep it together. You want to feel good when you walk out on stage in front of all those people. In what we do, there’s one fifth athlete, I’d say. You have to feel good about yourself to run around in front of all those people. Even when I’m not working, you can never let go completely, you’ve got to be aware of what you’re eating, you can’t get out of control. I’m always on a diet! You’ve got to exercise – I like to do yoga, I moisturise!"

John Taylor, march 2012

I think it was around this time that Simon started speaking in what I can only describe as a cartoon character (or perhaps even Muppet-like) voice. I normally hang on his every word, but I can honestly say that I have no idea what he said, as the giddy crowd was roaring with laughter. He then returned to his normal speaking voice, which took on a much more serious tone, as he reminded us how fortunate we all are to live "good lives" while others on our planet are suffering.

The crowd remained respectfully silent as he dedicated the exquisitely melancholic Ordinary World to the people of Syria. This was a show highlight for me because, when Simon hit those supernaturally high notes at the end of the song, it was made abundantly clear that his incredible voice is stronger than ever. Any fan who has not had the pleasure of seeing them live since the recovery of his voice, please believe me when I say: you can stop worrying. He's back and he's better than ever.

Next, the band exploded into the iconic Hungry Like the Wolf, and the crowd went mental! It's always exciting to hear this song live, not only because, as an adolescent in Canada, it was one of the first Duran Duran songs I ever heard, but because it truly showcases what talented musicians they truly are.

Now would be a good time to say that while I do, of course, miss original guitarist Andy Taylor, this Duran Duran, consisting of four of the founding members: keyboardist extraordinaire Nick Rhodes, eternally funky bass player John Taylor, supremely gifted drummer Roger Taylor and phenomenally charismatic lead vocalist Simon Le Bon also features the excellent Dom Brown on lead guitar, the exquisite Anna Ross on backing vocals and the wonderful Simon Willescroft on saxophone and let me say that this tight group of musicians are, in a word... sublime. Not only do they sound fantastic, but there is an unmistakable sense of camaraderie and joy on that stage that shines through for every single member of the audience and I have no words to describe just how amazing that feels and how much it means to me to be a part of it, however small.

If any song could embody that feeling of jubilation, it's got to be Reach Up [For the Sunrise], the first single off 2004's Astronaut, as well as the first single to feature all five of the original band members since 1985's A View to a Kill. I absolutely love hearing this song live! It's simply exhilarating to sing along with the entire audience, as we triumphantly thrust our hands into the air along with our beloved frontman.

Next, the band plunged into the raw intensity of The Wild Boys with reckless abandon and, well, so did I. I vividly remember the day the cutting-edge video for their twelfth single, which appeared on 1984's live album Arena, was released.

Whenever I hear this song, the memories of being a 15 year-old, gawking at Simon Le Bon strapped to a windmill flood my brain. This was not the first time I'd heard the song live, but it was the first time that I got to hear it combined with a cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Relax and it was bloody brilliant! Yes, I did have that t-shirt when I was 15, and yes, I wish that I still did. The band left the stage after this song, but it wasn't too long before they came back for an encore...

I always look forward to Simon's band introductions during the delectable Girls On Film, but I also start to feel sad because I know that the party will soon be coming to an end. Nonetheless, I, along with the entire crowd, enjoyed every blissful minute of this forever popular, sexy signature song. I've been promised a professional video of this, along with Rio, filmed by a cameraman friend of one of my new Korean Duranie friends.

In the meantime, I have no footage, so for those of you who may be unfamiliar, the phrase "Play the fucking bass, John," is an awful lot of fun to chant and I highly encourage you to try it. Also, you should know that Nick Rhodes is “The future of the human race, man. Comes from outer space, man.Got such a pretty face, man. Can I come over to your place, man?”

When Simon jumped down into the crowd and asked if anybody could introduce him, I can assure you that I raised my hand and calmly suggested, "ME!" Then, he said, "In Korean, of course," so I put my hand down and said, "Oh. Not me."

Nick Rhodes is “The future of the human race, man. Comes from outer space, man.Got such a pretty face, man. Can I come over to your place, man?”

Simon Le Bon, Seoul

In retrospect, I should have said, "Je peuxteprésenter en français, Simon," because that might have got his attention. Anyway, the first Korean girl he asked just gave him a blank stare. He gave up and walked right in my direction. My heart skipped a beat. He chose the girl standing directly in front of me. On impulse, I decided to put my arm around him. I mean, this man, whom I've adored from afar for nearly 30 years of my life, was standing right there beside me. How could I not? It's okay. He'll choose me next time. Tee-hee.

The last song of this spectacular show was the iconic Rio, featuring the most memorable sax solo of the 80s, performed on stage by the talented Simon Willescroft.

It was our last chance of the evening to fully appreciate the magic that is Duran live and I embraced it with every fibre of my being. It's been a week and a half since the show ended and I'm still on cloud nine. The really good news is that I'll be back in North America in the autumn, just in time for the second leg of the North American tour. I'm so pleased that the boys thought of waiting for me.

I will try to see as many shows as I possibly can, because honestly, there's no place on earth I'd rather be!?

"Uber-cool keyboardist Nick Rhodes, 49, pounded out the chords on his decks with unremitting panache.
So much so that, later, when Le Bon was introducing the band, Rhodes was referred to as "the future of the human race... from outer space".

AsiaOne

 

Time machine: Seoul photo-flashback!

 

and the whole touring band...

 

 

Hong Kong

Review by correspondent Ruth Benny

Duran Duran - Hong Kong Asia World Expo 14 March 2012


Only four years since their last concert, DD came back to Hong Kong on 14 March 2012. When I saw them in 2008 on the Red Carpet Massacre Tour, it had been almost 20 years since the tour of 1988/89 tour I'd followed all over the UK, just before I left the UK to live in Hong Kong.

In 2008, they had played an unusual outdoor venue. This gig was the venue where Lady GaGa has just sold out four nights that holds 14,000 people but Duran Duran were playing in a smaller hall - Hall 10 - that holds almost 6,000. It also wasn't sold out.


I was part of a small welcoming party to greet them at the airport the evening before the gig. The guys were tired but very sweet.


At about 8:40pm without any support, the guys took to the stage opening with 'Before the rain'. Unfamiliar to a lot of the audience, it was a little of a sombre start which was obviously deliberate when we heard the opening of the next song, 'Planet Earth' and the audience went nuts!

"I was part of a small welcoming party to greet them at the airport the evening before the gig. The guys were tired but very sweet."

 

Simon looked good and was striking all the usual poses. While his dancing hasn't really improved over the years, it is his very own style and he does it well. Simon's energy throughout the show was impressive, since the other band members get a pretty easy time of it. Simon's daughter, Amber, showed similar [inherited?] energy in the wings, dancing away the whole show.

At two points, Simon descended into the audience. The first time picking a guy to sing in The Reflex with the 'Wai ai ai ai ai...' & the second picking a woman to introduce him. Both times, audience members grabbed him and kissed him and he didn't seem to mind at all!

The huge TV screens at the back alternately showed the band members' faces and other footage. I felt the 'Girl Panic' video to be a bit intrusive and detracted from the guys on stage. I'd never seen The fake 'Leopard' newsreel which was funny.

They played plenty of old classics, mixed with AYNIN tracks and the relatively recent classic, 'Ordinary World' which Simon dedicated to the victims and survivors of the Tsunami in Japan which had happened a year and a few days earlier.'White Lines' doesn't really fit, if you ask me, but that's just my opinion. Not sure if the guys are trying to sell the song's message, but it's a bit old now.

The other band members were great. Andy wasn't missed at all with the string skills of Dom Brown. Simon Willescroft claims to be a saxophonist but he is much more. He started out with Nick at the keyboards, did play some sax and also drums. Multi-talented.

After two upbeat songs, 'Sunrise' and 'Wild Boys', we saw the guys leave the stage and leave us wanting more. Only a few minutes later, they returned to finish with 'Girls on Film' and 'Rio'.

Nick took quite a few shots of the audience as he joined the others for a final bow and then they were gone. Simon did promise to 'make up for' Duran Duran's lack of tour dates in this part of the world over their career and I can only hope he lives up to that promise. If it's another 20 years, I doubt any of us will be able to rock it out like we did the night of 14 March 2012.

 

 

Press from Hong Kong

 

Great new interview to Simon in Hong Kongonese newspaer

 

After 34 years, 13 albums, numerous line-up changes and a history of gamechanging live shows and videos, Duran Duran might have seemed indestructible. But the pop rockers, who in their early 1980s heyday as the “fab five” were the biggest and most glamorous band in the world, almost didn’t make it onto the current leg of their mammoth “All You Need is Now” tour, which includes a show at Asiaworld-expo on March 14...

That’s because, on an earlier leg of the tour last year, singer Simon Le Bon – icon of suaveness, the voice that launched a thousand hits, and so on – suddenly lost the ability to sing. “I had a problem in May,” he says. “I was onstage in Cannes and I went for a high note and it just wasn’t there. I lost the top third of my range, which is about an octave. I wasn’t able to access that for more than three months. It was a long and challenging recovery period.”

The five-week swing through the US followed by some dates in Europe, he adds ruefully, “was supposed to lower me back in” before the band embarked on their most ambitious tour of their native Britain. “The most I can hope to do is five shows a week, and we were back to that almost straight away.”

For a man who has been one of the world’s most successful singers and songwriters for more than three decades, losing the very thing he’s famous for was, to say the least, a scary experience. “There were definitely some times during those three months” when he feared he might never get his full range back, he says. “In the first two to three weeks, there was no improvement at all. I was going to five or six different consultations a week; I had four therapists and a vocal coach. I spent a lot of time to no avail.

“It became very depressing. I questioned my whole career, my whole reason for being here. People tend to define themselves by the job they do, especially as they get older,” says the 53-year-old.

“It was a frightening thought: what would I do with my life? After a month, I cancelled all my therapy sessions and went on holiday – I went sailing with my family around the coast of Croatia, which is so beautiful. It took the pressure off. When I got home, I sat down at the piano to see what I could do, and of the 12 semitones that had been missing, I was able to get to five. Then I knew it was going to get better. You can imagine the sense of triumph and relief.”

Triumph and relief are emotions the band have felt quite a bit since the release of the 2010 album from which the tour takes its name. After a series of releases that were only moderately successful, All You Need is Now has not only notched up impressive sales [and been accompanied by a rapturously received tour which Le Bon describes as among the most rewarding he’s done] it has also been their most critically acclaimed album for a long time. “We really want to get this album out there,” says Le Bon. “More people have heard this album than the previous three put together, probably.”

In fact, pretty much every album since their third, 1983’s Seven and the Ragged Tiger, has been compared unfavourably by critics to previous releases – in particular to the benchmark they set in 1982 with the album that brought them to worldwide attention: Rio, featuring the singles Rio, Hungry Like the Wolf and Save a Prayer. But then critics have often been so blinded by their mistrust of the band’s good looks and carefully crafted pop image that they forget to listen to the music. Fortunately that doesn’t really bother the band, or their fans, who have bought more than 100 million of their records over the years.

"People will always be prepared to pay money to go to see a band that write a song from the heart and play it with passion and expertise."

So while it might be nice that All You Need is Now, powered by musician and producer Mark Ronson’s Midas touch at the controls, earned the band some of their best-ever notices, Le Bon isn’t going to get carried away. In fact, he admits, he’s still reluctant to read reviews. “You do get a bit wary,” he says. “We’ve been hammered by critics before, and it’s kind of hard to read reviews. If you read the good ones, you’ve really got to read the bad ones as well.

“We’ve been around for three decades; the one thing that can’t be argued with is our longevity. I’m very proud of the band. The longer we go on, the deeper the friendship gets. You get good at something and you want to carry on doing it. I like having a job, to be honest. I feel good about myself. That’s a massive driver. And it’s a good job. I get to travel around the world and do what I love doing. I’m very lucky.”

Live shows have always been at the heart of the Duran Duran experience, and they’ve a reputation for innovation. It’s part of why they are a fully rounded pop package – along, of course, with their frequently dazzling videos. Fortunate to come to prominence at around the same time as another musical phenomenon, MTV, they wrote much of the vocabulary of the modern music video with highbudget, high-gloss productions such as the Indiana Jones-themed Hungry Like the Wolf, the raunchy Girls on Film and the yacht-tastic ’80s glam-a-thon that is Rio.

That does create a pressure to constantly up the ante, says Le Bon, “but it’s like a pressure to look good – it’s something you want to do. It’s like as a teenager, when you want to look good to get girls. It’s the same with the shows and videos.

“And I still love touring. The most important criterion in our list is always the crowd. Over the years, we’ve become aware that audiences are different in different parts of the world, and there are some places that are especially enthusiastic about us. We’ve done the least amount of work in Asia, but we’ve had some incredible shows in Hong Kong. It’s one of our strongholds in Asia, along with Seoul, where for some reason they’re crazy about us – and they’re very passionate people.”

To be able to draw such responses 31 years after they released their first album is quite an achievement. The secret, Le Bon says, is very simple: “People will always be prepared to pay money to go to see a band that write a song from the heart and play it with passion and expertise.”

Whilst in Hong Kong Simon didn't miss the chance to attend a party held on... a boat! Pics above.

 

Australia: "home away from home"

 

After a long absence from Australia [last in 2008], the band returned to play in Oz with shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and the Hunter Valley.

The tour comprised a run of spectacular arena shows, as well as two outdoor concerts at Sandalford Estate [Swan Valley, Perth] and Tempus Two Winery [Hunter Valley, NSW].

 

Reviews

Excerpt from canberratimes.com.au's review

Sidney Entertainment Centre, March 27

Their rock-heavy, synthed-up, oh-so '80s style translated seamlessly into 2012, in part thanks to the recent resurgence of young bands recycling '80s synth-pop and new wave, in part because they have actually never stopped making music.

The crisp electro of Blame the Machines, taken from their 2010 album All You Need Is Now, nestled in comfortably beside the dreamy chillwave of 1983's Tiger Tiger and the anthemic first song from their first album, Girls on Film.

There were moments that bordered on the abysmally lame (Simon Le Bon's demi-god pose as the final applause raged, his daggy dad dance moves, a couple of recent songs like Before the Rain and All You Need Is Now which are just plain bad) but wouldn't you be disappointed if there weren't? Nostalgia ain't nostalgia if there's no cringe factor.

By the two-hour mark, the fab five had roared through a mini-medley of Hungry Like a Wolf, Sunrise, a cheeky glimpse of Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Wild Boys and still had energy to go.

In between the hits, the burning sax solos and the irresistible guitar riffs, there was banter that made this ol' gal, Sydney, feel like we were the only one.

Most of all, it felt like they actually wanted to be there. They were actually enjoying themselves. And so were we.

 

"The nucleus of a tour is never the old songs, it’s always the new songs and even if you end up only playing two or three songs off your new album, by the end of the tour you still feel that’s the direction you’ve taken the show in.”

Simon Le Bon, March 2012

"Each song is a story that I am telling. It's this urge to communicate, that's what it is all about for me. I don't have this overview of what is going on. It is difficult to stand on stage and actually do the job without starting to think of what it means to people while you are doing it."

Simon Le Bon, March 2012

Excerpt from creammagazine.com

  • Right from the get-go, the lads delivered a finely tuned and crisply produced set, selecting some of the better songs from their current album All You Need Is Now, but ensuring fans would hear just about every one of their single release successes.
  • There was, however, in the middle of the gig, a major stuff-up with the power, sending the stage into darkness and even seeing the bars shut down due to lack of refrigeration. But with graceful style, Le Bon insisted on taking a break until the generator was fully revved up again. Nobody seemed to mind the 20-minute interval, since they knew plenty of familiar tunes were yet to come.

>> Caption time | OMG! Have you seen a ghost John?!

No no... I just heard the news about Andy writing a new book!

Excerpt from the Melbourne review published on vintagevinylnews.com

Songs covered the well known such as Reflex, Hungry Like the Wolf, Notorious and Wild Boys to the lesser known Something I Should Know, Tiger Tiger, and Come Undone. The original band members included Simon LeBon, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor who seamlessly interacted with each other like a couple of old married couples. Backing singer Anna Ross was a huge asset providing additional talent and a touch of glamour to the night. Nick Rhodes had a bit of fun with the local crowd telling us about his desire to learn about the history of Melbourne from the Ned Kelly movie to black box flight recorders and the electric drill. Apparently all were invented or created in our fine old town.

The boys enjoyed a lot of repartee on stage with Le Bon singing, ”Whhyyyyy don’t you use it?” and Rhodes replying “I left it at the Countdown studios years ago.” The audience ate it up! John Taylor dedicated the show to Molly Meldrum saying he was “loved to death in the nicest possible way” a gesture the local crowd really appreciated.

The encore began with an extended version of Girls On Film with a little interlude featuring Frankie’s Relax just to add to the 80s feel. Rio finished the night and the fourth wall was smashed with Nick Rhodes taking photos of the audience whilst Simon Le Bon had his arms outstretched Christ like and his head flung back basking in the adoration of his fans; young, old and almost delirious. The fashion has changed, the attitude has mellowed but the beat stays on…….the band, like the iconic movie that featured their name, is altogether timeless.

 

Sandalfords, Swan Valley March 24 | therockpit.net, By Mark Diggins

 

There was a time when Duran Duran was one of the biggest bands in the world and to many gathered here tonight at a packed Sandalford Winery, on a beautiful night in the beautiful Swan Valley they probably still are.

Tonight’s openers from Sydney, Red Ink, consists of a female singer and two guys behind decks, they’re pretty uninspiring and get a lukewarm response from the crowd except when they either throw in a snatch of a familiar song by another artist into their mix, or mention the name of tonight’s openers ‘Duran Duran’.

Despite being slightly late on stage and beset with technical issues [with the power twice cutting out during the show meaning that at one point they are off stage for twenty minutes] nothing either dampens the spirit of the massive crowd gathered here or the band themselves tonight.

We get off to a surprisingly low-key start though, as the band walks out and Simon stands in the deep blue shadows. A lot of the crowd is expecting they will kick the show off with something big. Instead we get the slightly morose ‘Before The Rain’ and although it’s immediately apparent that many of the crowd know the song you can’t help but notice the rise in the intensity of response for ‘Planet Earth’ and the further increase in crowd volume that meets ‘A View to a Kill’.

Girl Panic! from their latest album released last year, All You Need Is Now, replicates the same 1980s formula of slap-heavy, funk bass lines from John Taylor, heavy synthesizers from Nick Rhodes, processed live drums by Roger Taylor and Le Bon’s rousing choruses.

The Straits Times

A band like Duran Duran, that is still a going concern and recording new music, is always going to have that slightly sticky predicament of giving the crowd what the majority obviously want – a set of the Greatest Hits, and plugging their later catalogue.

They seem to almost get the balance right tonight, though the back to back placement of newer songs in the set like ‘All You Need Is Now’ with ‘Blame the Machines’ and later on ‘Girl Panic’, ‘The Man Who Stole The Leopard’ and ‘Tiger Tiger’ does try the patience of some, but it keeps the bars busy so at the end of the day everyone is happy.

Duran Duran was first in WA back in 1983 when they played the old Entertainment Centre, and Simon enquires of the crowd [in between banter about stromatolites and the water in London] how many were there on that warm November evening – the answer seems to be that there were quite a few [and quite a few more that probably wish they were and so shout out anyway].

So almost 30 year later he we are, and after a subdued ‘Blame the Machines’ from 2010, Simon is out into the crowd to find a likely participant to help him with the next song. And it’s Mick, plucked from a few rows back, who proves up to the task of making the appropriate opening noises for ‘The Reflex’ which receives the biggest ovation of the evening so far. Rather than capitalise on that though they launch into ‘Come Undone’ which despite being a US Top Ten single back in the ‘90s seems to be less than familiar with most of the crowd.

Despite few missteps tonight: ‘Safe’ probably gets the most subdued of crowd reactions before the audience lights up again for ‘Is There Something I Should Know?’ before the power cuts out for the first time. While we are waiting we almost get a joke from Simon but as it’s only two minutes before we’re back up and running I guess we’ll never know how a career as a stand-up would suit him?

As the ‘Careless Memories’ track kicks it, it’s interesting to think the song is 31 years old this year. But before we really get going the band is off the stage for 20 minutes as the power cuts out again.

Coming back with the new single ‘Girl Panic!’ might quite not be what most of the crowd was after, especially after a few more wines. But Simon gets the participation going for ‘The Man Who Stole a Leopard’ with it’s fake news broadcast intro.

For a band with such a huge back-catalogue it’s clear though where people’s hearts lie – and it’s that decade called the ‘80s where Duran ruled the roost. ‘Notorious’ goes down a treat [though I always found it a little innocuous], as does the cover of “White Lines’ [though some are asking why a cover when there are still so many hits to play] but the best is still to come.

The laid-back ‘Ordinary World’; with Simon pondering the plight of the Syrian rebels, and dedicating the song to their cause; leads into the hysteria and mass crowd boogie that greets ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’ and it’s all light and shade as ‘Sunrise’ leads into a riotous ‘The Wild Boys’ which includes a smattering of Frankie’s Relax…

It’s a funny way to end as ‘Wild Boys’ clearly hasn’t dated as well as most of their catalogue – though I suspect that may very much be the point! Duran Duran has left the stage. After only the shortest of breaks, we’re back for the encores and an extended ‘Girls On Film’ that includes an extended jam and thorough introduction to the band including Simon getting another random patron – this time - Sarah to introduce him. And a great job she does of it too. The band closes with a sublime rendition of ‘Rio’ and with the condensed package of eighties pop in just those two songs everyone goes home happy. The band bows and are gone; and we wander off under the stars…

 

I meet Duran Duran with the help from all over the world

Evelyn Wade tell all about her exciting and funny Duran Duran experience

 

"I was so overwhealmed from the help I received from so many people, from facebook and on the radio's liseners as well, people I dont know wanted to help, I never in my whole life thought I would ever get to meet them."

By correspondent Evelyn Wade in Australia |

What an amazing trip I have been on. It all started when the band announced they were touring Australia, I have bean buzzing ever since. I got great tickets to two of their shows, and a VIP pack, I was awaiting for its arrival every day! I received an email saying we probably wont receive our VIP packs until after the shows due to customs... that was a bit of a let down.

I heard that they were giving meet and great ticket away for the Tempus Two show on KOFM Newcastle station, well I emailed them, Facebook and messages, asking & asking them for tickets to meet them, I told them I have a tattoo on my wrist and that I was sooo worthy for these tickets, well no reply, I waited for the que to ring the station to try and win them, I got thru on the third day they were giving them away, the guy on the phone asked me my name and said wait, I could hear the radio on the phone, the first caller got the answer wrong, but the second caller got it right. Ripping my hair out, they guy came back on the phone and said so sorry but the caller infront had just won them. Noooo I pleaded with him say I really wanted these tickets and telling him I had been sending messages and etc. and he goes 'Oh are you Evelyn with the tattoo on your wrist' and I say 'yeah!' He got my number and said he will give me a call back latter in the afternoon...

OMG what did this mean, I thought to my self. But with my phone in my hand all day, sadly I got no call. So I hit their facebook again, and to my surprise a reply, Ok Ok Evelyn we will call you in the morning at 6am, dont miss our call, I was put to a challenge to try and win the tickets.

I had 24 hours to get the radio station 500 Likes on their facebook page. 'I accept' I said and of I went, on the computer all day getting my family and friends to get their laptops, Iphones to help, the first few hours it was going slow, until I got some help from my teenage family members then it started moving faster, I started asking all my facebook friends as I seen them coming on line, which of all days for all my Druranie friends to be off line until later in the day, then I started getting responses from friends like Duranasty who shared my message on his wall.

 

"Then around from the corner walks Simon, Nick, John then Roger, it was like the world had stopped moving, I'm sure my face looked like the scream mask, lol."

Evelyn Wade

But by 9:30pm I got over 526 Likes for their facebook page. Well I spent the next two hours thanking everyone that posted on the page, you can imagine the feeling of excitement in me when I nearly hit the 500 likes [ran around the room, arms in the air, shouting out yeah, hugging everybody in the room]

I received the most wanted phone call the next morning, Yay! I got them, with all the help from all over the world, I feel so blessed.

The radio station had been playing shorts from the conversation all week, funny bits like David asked me why am I walking around with my cup size on my wrist OMG how embarrasing, DD, another short bit they were playing when David also said to me, you know Simon is listening to this conversation right now, I gaspped, he said he may have to hire a few more security guards now after listening to me, well I said he's gonna need them...

 

The show

OMG Sydney concert! Right up front, so amazing, having the best time, I got some great photos, some of them looking into my camers, after the show I was a slow leaver didn't want to go so soon, we got ushered out by security to leave the venue, I was just standaing out the doors, and this guy walked past me and handed me a green sticker saying "Did You want this?" I said "what is it?", "it's a a back stage Meet and Greet". What was going on in my life for all these miracles that where happening to me.

 

The above kiss picture was taken in Melbourne on March 19 during the band intro in Girls On Film. Pic by Kim

I looked at my friend who was coming with me to the Tempus Two concert and I was feeling uneasy about my meet and greet because I had chosen my cousin to come with me and my friend would have to be along while we went, As I was looking at her with amazement, I handed it to her, I felt such a feeling of excitment that I was able to give her this opportunity as well, I was so excited awaiting to hear of her experiance.

I was waiting at the back of the centre with about another 80 to 100 fans, then suddenly screams, Simon just came out of the back stage doorand walk along the fence line signing, he got to me and sign my book then I asked him if he could sign my arm near my tattoo, he stopped looked and signed an S. with a full stop, now John and Nick were on the way to me as John had just past me some smarty pants behind me shouted, Oh come on John Smile, then with big grin he says ok that's all and walked to the car, it was Nick's turn he had a silver pen and signed my book I reached out and touched his hand and thanked him he smiled at me, Roger was half way down the line and then he was ushered to the car as the others were waiting, I was so sad I missed him.

Magical night, concert number two, two days leading too it I am shaking like crazy, so nervus, thinking omg I'm gonna say something so stupid and the words will not come out when I open my mouth. Ok we had to be seated in our seats by 7pm, it was ten to seven when we arrived, I was freaking thinking I was going to be too late, I had decorated some little clip on Koala toys and glued some instraments on them to repsent each member of the band and left them in the car, I want to clip them on my bag strap and hope it to be a talking point and wanted to give them to them, well that didn't happen, nearly running to my seat.

I meet the other KOFM winers and were al excited to meet the band, but I was the only one dressed up, so now I felt awesome that I made an effort for the ocasion, but one guy had a mullet wig, which was cool. OMG here comes the lady with our special sparkly blue armbands and we al stood up and march through the crowd felling on top of the world, going through the gate to go behind the stage, I had prepared my self for this moment I knew I would be so nervus I took two anxiety tablets and had a double shot of Kaluah and soda.

Simon just walked past us and no one notice, I said Simon just walked pas us did anyone see him, the SAX Player, and only one girl said oh was that him, I was so worthy to be there! Someone comes out of a mobile building and said come thru, we had to line up along the fence like school kids. Then around from the corner walks Simon, Nick, John then Roger, it was like the world had stopped moving, I'm sure my face looked like the scream mask lol, I kept telling myself stay calm, they stood infront of a well lit wall and looked like they were posing for us to get a photo of them, but we were all getting our own photo with them...

 

 

I could not beleive this was happening I was standing there with them only a metre or two away, It was my turn, I walked up to them and said thank so much I'm one of their greatest fans, [straight away I thought, why did I speak] John said, Oh thats right! I turned to get my photo, I was so nervus and excited at the same time, it was my cousins time after mine, in her photo Nick is looking at my direction where I was standing. He must had ben looking at my decorated Pirate shirt with photos and logos of them all over it! We were all asked to move back as the last person got their photo and and the security guard said thank you everyone that's it, straight away I thought noo, they all walked away.

I asked the guard if he could please take my book and pen for Roger to sign it as I had the other three already, he took it and then Nick turned around and came back and said ok what can i sign, someone got their tour book signed I asked if he could sign my shirt and with his hand on my shoulder and the other writing it felt so soft and slow as he was writhing I could have just screamed.

I turned and thanked him and touched his hand once again, my cousin got her picture signed and the guard returned with my book, then we had to leave. I was shaking uncontrollable right then with such excitment. we went back to our seats but mine was far right to the stage on Dom's side and I stopped at the spot to be infront of Simon, none complained to me that I was standing infront of them so there I stayed, the night was full of magic times all through the night.

They seemed so happy on stage and Simon was clowning around a bit having fun, he did his Na Na NA with someone in the crowd and a few songs later he came back down climbed up on the fence turned around and fell back in the crowd I got such a shock I could have touched him, he was been past back about two metres and the dick heads droped him, he went to the ground... the guards were going to just jump on me and push me aside and I was standing next to a nine year old girl with her mum and aunty, she was frightened from the guard going to jump in between us, but Simon got up and girl were diing at him but he got his way back through and up on stage again.

Ok, that was unexpected excitment, wow what a night and to top of my wild Duran Duran ride I ended up with Rogers Drum stick, I screamed out "yes!" looked up and I saw Nick smiling at me, OMG I feel so blessed right now. I just want to thank you all the people that made my dream come true.


 

Simon and the sea

Article originally published on the Australian Courier Mail on March 24, 2012

Le Bon onboard


Years back, well the late ’70s and ’80s, when pop group Duran Duran were international celebrities, Toni Ferguson [pictured right] had a pin-up of lead singer Simon Le Bon. Imagine her surprise when the Gold Coast girl, who is married to businessman Tony Burnett, found a bearded Le Bon on their boat last week. The history was that, years back, a good friend of Toni’s went to a Duran Duran afterparty when Le Bon, a keen yachtie, asked if anyone had a boat so that he could go out the next day and experience the Coast’s waterways. Toni’s friend did and so began a regular tradition. Duran Duran were in town last week and her friend phoned asking if they could use her boat as they had sold theirs. ‘‘He was absolutely charming and very down to earth,’’ she said. ‘‘He even captained the boat back.’’

During the Australian tour Simon spent most of his free time on a boats... In the pics collage below you can see Simon and his wife Yasmin, with part of the the touring crew, enjoying a trip on a yatch, near the port of Sydney.

 

'80s Megastar, Simon Le Bon drove the delightful Swan 90, at Nautor’s Swan Australia Rally'

"Simon too shared in the enthusiasm surrounding the rally and was delighted to not only be involved, but also talk with fellow guests and have his picture taken."

Gold for Nautor’s Swan Australia Rally | article originally published on sail-world.com

'80s Megastar, Simon Le Bon drove the delightful Swan 90, Die Swane. - Nautor’s Swan Australia Rally'

Since 1966, the craftsmen at Nautor’s Swan have toiled, mostly in the cold and dark at Jakobstad, which is above the Arctic Circle in their native Finland, to produce just on 2000 of their iconic vessels.

On a sunny Friday at the end of March, after a dreary and wet Summer, something like 0.5% of this total came to swan about on Sydney’s magnificent harbour. However, when you consider our geographic location, literally at the dichotomous end of the globe and also the size of our population, relative to that of the whole world, this small percentage was more than a significant achievement.

As a testament to the high standards of these craft, which epitomise the zenith of build quality, the 10 vessels that came along for the Nautor’s Swan Australia Rally ranged in age from 1974 to 2004. As such, they also spanned all of the designers who have applied their typical visual cues to each and every one of the Swans. Firstly there was Sparkman and Stephens, briefly Ron Holland, then German Frers and most recently, his son, Mani.

Certainly the owner of the Swan 90, Die Swaene, was very happy to be out and about with all his fellow sailors. Stuart Gibson is a jovial Scot and seemed to have not only had a great time, but quite literally the best he’s ever had across many avenues of activity. Such were the laughs from all present as he recounted his day, that you almost did not notice just how ramped he was – and Stuart did not even drive.

That particular duty he happily passed on to Simon Le Bon, the very same 80s icon who is no stranger to yachts. Simon too shared in the enthusiasm surrounding the rally and was delighted to not only be involved, but also talk with fellow guests and have his picture taken. Alas, word of his seaward adventures had escaped, for there was a growing armada following Stuart’s impressive vessel, as they made their way around the harbour an under the other icon of 80 - the Sydney Harbour Bridge itself.

 

The Le Bons, what a couple!

Simon Le Bon's Guide To Matrimony

Article originally posted on express.co.uk

He has been married to a supermodel for more than 26 years – now rock star Simon Le Bon has slammed divorcing couples, claiming many give up on their lives together too easily.

The Duran Duran front man, 53, who is married to model Yasmin Le Bon, reckons too many modern-day marriages come a cropper.

“These days I think people give up too easily,” he says.

“Everyone says it’s about compromise, which it is. Love, compromise, promises, presents, help. But ultimately it’s about not giving up. People are led to believe that if it’s not perfect then just ditch it and change it, these days. That’s a mistake.”

Simon married Yasmin, now 47, in December 1985 after seeing her picture on a magazine cover the year before. They have three daughters – Amber, 22, Saffron, 19, and Tallulah, 17.

The singer admits it hasn’t been easy seeing his girls bring boyfriends home.

“It’s hard because you know what they are thinking,” he laughs.

“But they are great girls with strong shoulders and it would seem they also have great taste because the boys they are with are great guys.”

 

Duran Duran rocking the fashion world

 

Excerpt from the interview originally posted on 7days.me

  • “I remember it very clearly, we were playing a show at Newcastle City Hall (in the UK) and Roger Taylor was suffering with sweat running down his face into his eyes.
    “He got a towel, tore a strip off it and tied it around his head. I looked at it and thought ‘that looks kind of Jimi Hendrix-ish’ so I did it as well. That was on the Friday night and by Monday, all of our fans were doing it. And then, look what happened with the headband in the 1980s!”
  • “I don’t feel like an eighties person for sure. Although it was a lot of fun for us and it was an amazing time to break out and for things to happen.
    “In a funny sort of way it was the last age of innocence really, musically certainly. It was an incredible time and I wouldn’t change where we’ve come from.”
  • “We’re not allowed to go out if we don’t play at least two of the following songs – ‘Save a Prayer’, ‘Girls on Film’, ’Notorious’, ‘Rio’, ‘The Reflex’
  • “If you go and see the Rolling Stones, you’re not really going to be happy unless you hear ‘Jumping Jack Flash, ‘Satisfaction’, ‘Gimme Shelter’ and ‘Brown Sugar’ and it’s kind of like that for us.
    “Whatever we play, people will always want to hear ‘Rio’ or ‘Girls on Film’ as well, but it’s a great problem to have. It’s far better than having one song that is your only recognisable hit that everybody has to hear,” he adds.
  • “I have an amazing time and I intend to go on having an amazing time,” he says. “I have a great job and apparently you can continue in this job until you drop!”

 

Taylor x 2 book update and a film in the works?

 

Andy Taylor [ex Duran Duran] and Luke Sky [fashion] to publish book on Birmingham scene

According to thisisnotretro.com former Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor and Luke Sky of Fashion are currently writing a book on the Birmingham punk and new wave scene with Sky promising 'This will not be your usual autobiography, it's a whole new slant on Fashion, Duran Duran and the Birmingham punk/new wave scene of the 80s'. More details to follow closer to publication.

'In The Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran'

According to amazon.co.uk the title for John Taylor's autobiography is 'In The Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran' [but we assume that it might be just a working title].

A film about Duran Duran in the writing process?

 

According to this article Bret Easton Ellis is discussing a film about Duran Duran. Ellis tells Paris Review: “Every one of my books is an exercise in voice and character, an exploration…of the pain I’m dealing with in my life.” But in recent years he’s lost interest in novels and now spends all his time writing screenplays and TV series.

“What are you working on right now?”

“Well, a shark movie is taking up a lot of time. It’s set in Tampa, but for certain tax reasons it has to be shot in Spain.” He’s also discussing a film about Duran Duran, the English pop group of the 1980s. “Unfortunately,” he notes, Duran Duran offers no tragic material: “They’re all very well off and very nice and they live in castles. They’re married to beautiful women. No one died of a drug overdose.” Ellis says he also has more interesting projects. “But today? A shark and Duran Duran.”

 

and... are they already thinking to a new album?

John is already up for it!

Below John Taylor's comments from a recent intervierw published on ahlanlive.com

"I have no idea what next year is going to look like, I have no idea what the next music that we write is going to sound like.

I have no idea who’s going to produce the next album; if there’s even going to be a next album! I just don’t know. I’m up for it; if that’s the way it rolls out.

When you’re in I think we always have to keep the energy flowing, there’s nothing worse than art that’s devoid of energy and new ideas. Otherwise it starts to get flat and boring, and we’ve been through phases like that.

Anybody that’s been making albums for 30 years is going to have flat and boring albums in that mix, you just have to make sure the next one isn’t one of them."

 

International press scans!

7days 8 january 2012

7days 22 dececember 2011

7days Dubai advert

7days Dubai advert 2

7days Dubai march 4 2012

7days Dubai march 4 2012 cover

7days Dubai march 6 2012

7days Dubai march 8 2012

Daily Telegraph Le Bons

A&M issue 16 winter 2011

Apple Entertainment Hong Kong march 2012

Daily Telegraph Sidney march 26 2012

Friday magazine 2 march 2012 Dubai

Gulf News Tabloid march 6 2012 article

Gulf News Tabloid march 8 2012

Time Out Hong Kong march 14 2012

Gulf News Tabloid march 8 2012 article

Gulf News Tabloid march 11 2012

Herald Sun march 20 2012

Korea Vogue march 2012

OK!_mag ME version 368 march 2012

Record Collector 2 12

The Straits Times Life! feb 24 2012 cover

The Straits Times march 12 2012

We din't manage to get proper scans of The Straits Times article [feb 24 2012] because it's too big so we have pics of the two pages. But they are big enough to read the text. Page one and page two

 

 


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This installment is dedicated to Sandy.

We believe a little part of You inside of us will never die.

 

Special thanks to Duran Duran for the continuous inspiration, Nick Wood and Noriko.

This page wouldn't have been the same without the help of:

Federica and Fabrizia reporting from Dubai, Eunhee & Nakyoung from Asia, Dian and Ewa from Singapore, Deena from Seoul, Ruth from Hong Kong, Evelyn from Australia, Eunice, Kim, Brendon and everyone who has contributed news and pics, the journalists and the photographers. Thank you all.

 

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