Bravo for Brum!
Jan 29 2005
By Andy Shipley
Brummie legends Duran Duran returned to their old stamping ground - to thank the city for its musical inspiration.
Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor met Birmingham City stars at St Andrew's, where the band will play in May.
And they found time to unveil a football signed by celebrity friends to be auctioned in aid of the Asia tsunami appeal.
"It was great growing up in Birmingham," said drummer Roger Taylor. "Every music act would pass through.
"We got to see so many bands at Barbarella's. I saw Generation X and Blondie there."
The Wild Boys were back in town to collect a Lifetime Achievement award at the Midlander of the Year presentations last night.
Keyboard player Nick Rhodes said: "There were a lot of great venues back then. The Town Hall, the Hippodrome, everywhere had live music."
Singer Simon Le Bon, originally from Middlesex, said: "I was made an honorary Brummie by none other than Ali Campbell from UB40. I've got some great memories of going out here.
"We used to go to 'grab a bird' nights at Liberty's, down Hagley Road."
The five band members will be back at St Andrew's on May 28 for their 50,000-capacity gig, with plenty of old favourites guaranteed from a 27-year career.
The new single, What Happens Tomorrow, a record influenced by the war in Iraq, hits the shops next Monday.
The St Andrew's gig will be Duran Duran's first stadium gig in Britain since they played Villa Park 22 years ago.
"We wanted to come back to St Andrew's in 2005 - just to even the score," said Roger.
Anyone wanting to bid for the football, signed by fellow Brummies Ozzy Osbourne and Jamelia, as well as Franz Ferdinand and Justin Timberlake, can find it on e-bay.
And the May gig got a glowing preview from one fan --Blues star David Dunn. "I saw them at the NEC last year and they were good.
"I may be at this gig as well."