Duran Duran Live From London (Coming Home Studios) Released 07/11/05
By: Neil Condron on 07/11/2005
With the influence of the exotic, synth-driven pop of the 1980s being felt more strongly now than ever, its amazing to think that feather-bonced pin-up Simon Le Bon is now old enough to be Brendan Flowerss father. And yet, a quarter of a century after he and his band set about ravishing the world with an onslaught of smash singles, platinum albums and epochal clips, the original line-up of Duran Duran (Le Bon, Nick Rhodes and several blokes called Taylor) are reunited to show us really who are the daddies.
Recorded over the last two dates of their sell-out run at Wembley in 2004, this DVD captures the Wild Boys in spectacular form. Conducted by the Warholian Rhodes, the band give a flawless performance of their hits, kicking off with (Reach Up For The) Sunrise from 2004s Astronaut album, before firing into the classic singles Hungry Like The Wolf and Is There Something I Should Know. Le Bon is as mesmeric as he is pitch-perfect, causing sensations in the ladies in the audience that many of them hadnt experienced since the 1980s.
As with many concerts of this scale, the onstage banter and communication with the crowd verges on the cliched and cringey, but that can be forgiven, particularly when the spectacle is this enjoyable. Breezily dispatching 1993s Come Undone and Ordinary World and 2004s What Happens Tomorrow, Duran Duran remind us that they are a lot more than a New Romantic nostalgia trip. Nevertheless these boys know on which side their bread is buttered, racing through hit after hit towards the shows close, climaxing with an encore of the two slices of glamour pop perfection Girls on Film and Rio. With that, a few thousand grown women barely suppress a scream while their partners consider dusting off that white blazer in the loft.
Theres nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to the extras: a commentary from the band on selected tracks, a booklet and a documentary featuring behind-the-scenes footage and interviews make up the package. It is, however, worth obeying the yuppie within and shelling out a bit extra for the deluxe edition that has a 10 track live CD that you can throw on in the Cortina when driving home from the wine bar. Really though, the show itself - wonderfully shot (and in Circle Surround 5.1, tech geeks) is worth the wedge alone. One of a few bands who can match visually the glitz of their tunes, Duran Duran show at Wembley why the world could not get enough of them in the 1980s and why their star, though less frequently seen, continues to burn bright. Flowers and co: watch and learn.
FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS