Monday, 19th December 2005
Duran Duran @ M.E.N. Arena
CHRISTMAS SHOW: Duran Duran
4 out of 5 Stars
SIMON Le Bon is the kind of man that women love and other men love to hate.
It's all down to envy, obviously. The geezer has had a fabulous career as lead singer of Duran Duran; he's married to beautiful ex-model Yasmin Le Bon; and he's held on to his hair and boyish good looks.
Now to rub it in, he's even shed weight and his lardy-boy pants and is enjoying a critical and commercial renaissance with the band who were the acceptable face of new romanticism in the eighties.
At the M.E.N. Arena last night on a stage decked out with five rectangular screens that doubled as spectacular flame-throwers, it was easy to see why new groups, such as the ultra-hip Bravery, name-check and ape the Duranies.
Simon was simply in rock god mode, damn him, whipping the well-preserved ladies in the audience into an almost Tom Jones-style knicker-throwing frenzy.
The bounder even managed to crowd surf.
Perhaps his suave playboy act went too far when he invited a girl called Monica to gyrate on stage with him, but that one taste of cheesiness was the only thing that jarred all night.
From opener Friends Of Mine to set-closer Wild Boys, the band, dressed in cool black and white and wearing fashionably thin ties, hit all the right notes.
Le Bon said that on their last tour Manchester was the best concert, and this gig must come close to being the highlight of the current one.