Cracking Return for Duran Duran / Evening Mail

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Cracking return for Duran Duran Apr 19 2004

Duran Duran, NEC, Birmingham, By Adrian Caffery

A reunited Duran Duran bravely chose to open their homecoming show with a new song called Sunrise - and it could prove to be the dawning a new era.

The track's a complete unknown but had such instant appeal that a packed NEC was soon on its feet and singing along with Birmingham's very own New Romantic legends.

Sunrise screamed comeback single and anticipation for the Fab Five's forthcoming album grew further as they previewed more new material during a storming 2-hour set.

But rather than looking forward, Duran Duran's 17-date UK tour is much more about rejoicing in former glories.

It's the first time we've seen Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and the three unrelated Taylors - Andy, Roger and John - share a stage since Live Aid almost 20 years ago.

Looking just as trim and each with a full head of hair, they dusted down such classics as Rio, Girls on Film, The Reflex and Wild Boys.

Planet Earth was introduced as the song which rocketed them from the Rum Runner club on Birmingham's Broad Street onto a worldwide stage.

The slushy Save A Prayer was brought into the 21st Century when the 30-something crowd was encouraged to wave aloft mobile phones, rather than cigarette lighters.

Bizarrely, Careless Memories was accompanied by a cartoon depicting the band as Ninja warriors battling the evil forces of the music industry.

In between, an exhilarated Le Bon told his adoring home crowd: "Tonight's a special night for us. We've a lot of family here so we'd better be good."

Of course, Duran Duran have never really been away. Over the last 20 years there have been seven albums and several tours, thanks largely to Le Bon and Rhodes.

That Notorious, Ordinary World and I Don't Want Your Love stood up to their early Eighties hits was a tribute to the pair's unstinting faith.

And you get the feeling this faith will continue to be repaid for many years to come.

* Duran Duran are back at the NEC tonight and return on Sunday.

THE SETLIST

Sunrise, Hungry Like The Wolf, Is There Something I Should Know, Union Of The Snake, Come Undone, View To A Kill, What Happens Tomorrow, New Religion, Planet Earth, I Don't Want Your Love, Tiger Tiger, The Chauffeur, Beautiful Colours, Ordinary World, Save A Prayer, Notorious, The Reflex, Careless Memories, Wild Boys, White Lines, Girls On Film, Rio

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