Wembley Arena, April 14th

We arrive just in time to see Goldfrapp's last track - a superb storm through "Strict Machine" - go down like a lead balloon. They're an excellent live band, but tonight absolutely no-one cares. We're all here for one thing and one thing only and with their departure we're one step closer to the main act.

Those of us who've followed Duran Duran's career through the so-called wilderness years had no doubt that one day they'd be back. Instead of joining the 80's reunion tour circuit and waving goodbye to any credibilty, they've contented themselves with occasional set of dodgy covers and US only album releases. Last year's Outstanding Contribution Award at the Brits and Lifetime Achievement Award from MTV finally recognised their legacy and no doubt galvanised them into this current round of (extremely profitable) live activity. After their storming set at the Brits, we gladly remortgaged or maxxed the credit cards for these tickets months ago and now, at last, the night is here.

As the lights dim I look around me. I'd be hard pressed to remember the last time I was in crowd made up almost entirely of people of my own age. We're on a major nostalgia trip tonight, yet amazingly the music sounds more vital than almost all the gigs I've been to so far this year. The light show is stunning (especially during "white Lines") as are the films being played on the huge video screens. The band all look great, and more importantly are obviously having a great time. Simon Le Bon is note perfect throughout and charges around the stage all night. John Taylor looks as suave as ever and Nick Rhodes does what he's always done - very little - but manages to look supremely arch doing it. Roger and Andy add rock muscle on drums and lead guitar, really beefing up the sound.

For over two hours they keep every single member of this sold out crowd entertained. Literally everyone from the grizzled old new-romantics through the Hoxton trendies to the scary looking skinhead behind me is singing along.

It's difficult to imagine Duran Duran sounding any better 20 years ago when they were at their peak. Indeed, it's difficult to imagine anything being better. Lets hope they don't ruin it by bringing out a terrible record next year.

SET LIST: Sunrise, Hungry Like The Wolf, Planet Earth, New Moon, Come Undone, View To a Kill, What Happens Tomorrow, New Religion, Please, Please Tell Me Now, I Don't Want Your Love, Tiger Tiger The Chauffeur, Beautiful Colours, Ordinary World, Save A Prayer, Notorious, Reflex, Careless Memories, Wild Boys. ENCORE : White Lines, Girls On Film, Rio

Richy [ April 15th, 2004 ]

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