Duran Duran and Simon Le Bon’s Skinny White Jeans win Monday Night in Cardiff

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**** Stars
Duran Duran

New Romantic heroes, Duran Duran, prove that the eighties music spirit is alive and well

Rio wasn’t so much dancing on the sand as battling through the storm last night. But the inclement weather didn’t deter thousands of not-so- new romantics from venturing into Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena to see one of Britain’s greatest ever musical exports.

Eighties icons Duran Duran didn’t disappoint; a tub-thumping two hour set proving that age really is no barrier to a show full of energy and joie de vivre.

The night began with celebrated singer Seal, who provided formidable support.

Granted I didn’t know who he was at first, but it didn’t take long to strike a chord – there can’t be many who wouldn’t recognise smash hit Kiss from a Rose.

A Grammy Award-winner in his own right, inviting Seal on stage was a bold move and surely put more pressure on the main event to deliver.

But his was the perfect platform from which to build and having whipped the crowd into an early fervour, the Wild Boys emerged to a rapturous Welsh welcome.

Simon Le Bon , one of pop’s enduring frontmen, looked in remarkably good shape though his skin-tight white trousers would have made those of a nervous disposition bail out to the bar.

Suffice to say, I wouldn’t have got away with wearing a pair in work.

In the main, things start going wrong for singers as they progress into their 50s – although I’m delighted to report that Le Bon’s voice was in fine fettle; early staples Wild Boys, Hungry Like the Wolf and A View to a Kill were belted out with aplomb.

Charismatic bass player John Taylor owned his half of the stage and a brooding Nick Rhodes, still sporting the eye-liner and bleached blonde hair combo, comes across dour yet strangely intriguing.

Duran’s set lost its way a bit during the middle – some of the band’s newer material receiving a flatter reception than they’d have doubtless wanted – but all was forgiven when the crowd were invited to fill in the blanks of Planet Earth (for me, the highlight).

The two blokes (yes, blokes) next to us certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves; one broke free from quick sand during Girls on Film and the other was particularly taken with Sunrise – just ask his arms.

A poignant tribute to those killed in the Paris terror attacks was made in the form of Save a Prayer, before which Le Bon spoke of the devastating impact the atrocities have had on the entire music industry.

It was an unwavering act of defiance and the Motorpoint stood together as one.

And it is that same defiance that has seen Duran Duran stand the test of time.

Finishing with a rip-roaring Rio, the band did at least send an army of middle-agers into the howling wind and rain with a spring in their step.

Courtesy Wales Online

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