DURAN Duran performed at Manchester Arena last night, Quays News entertainment reporter Amy Williams was there for us…

Duran Duran are a classic band who were formed in Birmingham in the 1970’s and have catapulted their way into success in the world of synthpop. Having produced a ‘greatest hits’ album and selling 100 million records around the world, their music has proven to be one of a kind.

Their unique tone has provoked a large fan base to maintain a consistently satisfied following who are loyal and are the reason for Duran Duran’s many sell out shows since they first began.

The four piece band have produced a new album, ‘Paper Gods’, that was released in September; adding to their many albums that they have constructed over the endless years that they have been active. In this year’s tour, they’re visiting many cities around the UK, including Manchester’s Arena, along with their support acts ‘Bloom Twins’ and ‘Seal’.

Bloom Twins were the first act to grace the stage, and began with the psychedelic aura that cannot be faulted. The twins had a phenomenal chemistry on stage, where the soft sound of their vocals made the audience hypnotised, unable to take their eyes from them or lose interest. Evoking emotion and tranquillity, Bloom Twins created a settled and passionate set, preparing the Arena for a night to remember.

What was thought to be the following support act was Seal: one of the greatest soul vocalists from the 90s. Unfortunately, Seal didn’t make the set but the crowd was ready for the act that everyone was anticipating: Duran Duran themselves.

The lights were low and the crowd was ready; Duran Duran walked onto stage created a transatlantic ecstasy. Everyone was adamant that they would scream the loudest, as the audience couldn’t shout enough to let the band know their appreciation. As the noise of the synth was heard, the song ‘Paper Gods’ was played – a song from their 14th album.  Being a band that have topped the charts all over the globe, Duran Duran’s new album looks like it could do just the same; three decades on and their style has morphed into one that is current but still has that sound like no other.

A hit released back in their prime, fast forward to the present and ‘Hungry Like A Wolf’ still got the seated Arena up on their feet, unable to refrain from grooving to the beat that was played awesomely. Other crowd favourites include ‘Notorious’, ‘Planet Earth’, ‘Girls On Film’ and ‘Ordinary World’.

Each member demonstrated their upmost efforts to deliver the best show: Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Rodger Taylor. Hyped and excited, ‘we’ve had some great nights in this place, and we want more!’ was shouted from the stage and prompted a relentless reaction from the audience.

Throughout the whole performance, the lighting and aesthetics of the stage fitted perfectly with the mood. At emotion driven tracks, the arena was a sea of lights and silhouetted applause which added something memorable to the atmosphere. The audience were encouraged to sing along, ensured that they inherited the best vibes possible; Duran Duran did an impeccable job of entertaining the entirety of the crowd.

This encore was one that was slightly more special than a usual one at a Duran Duran gig. Le Bon stood at the front of the stage and made a dedication to the people affected by the Paris attacks, leaving the audience in deep reflection and enjoying ‘Save A Prayer’ in a way that was different. Showing respect, the arena was silent for Simon’s words, as he referred to the VICE interview with Eagles of Death Metal.


Performing the penultimate track ‘What Are The Chances’, the crowd were taken through different emotions and swayed to the mellow vocals before the final tune ‘Rio’ began: an 1982 single that has lived on and is known by most.

The Duran Duran tour continues to Leeds next, where their fan support will continue. During the gig, Simon acknowledged the band’s considerable following and stated his gratitude:

“We count ourselves very lucky; we get to play to other music lovers like yourselves! It’s you who’s kept us going.”

By: Amy Williams

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