Duran Duran - Manchester MEN Arena - 18.12.05

Their last tour road through on the waves of nostalgia, but it was the display of men desperately trying to cling onto their youth. From the start of tonight's show something's different and they've redefined their definition of cool as they cryogenically regenerate themselves as purveyors of classic cool dressed as the Usual Suspects.

If tonight's all about nostalgia then it certainly doesn't feel like it as these songs are as relevant as ever with the likes of The Killers, The Bravery and The Departure all owing much of their sound to Duran Duran. The hits roll out with "Friends Of Mine" leading into "Planet Earth" before the ballad of "Come Undone", a song not dissimilar to the more well known "Ordinary World", which display just how impressive Simon Le Bon's vocals actually are. In the revisionist history of Duran Duran it's always the videos or the fact they write effortless pop songs which take in strange jazzy basslines and electronica as much as traditional rock and roll, but with Le Bon his vocals are often overlooked for the fact he dances around the stage like your dad after a few light ale's.

"It's 25 years since John Lennon left this earth, but his music lives on. This is a song we did for Amnesty International" Le Bon announces before he launches into "Instant Karma". For many bands performing a song such as this would make their own material flat and redundant, but with "The Reflex" and "Point Of No Return" to follow straight after they manage to stand their ground. Entering a Geri Halliwell philosophy moment Le Bon announces "Ordinary World" as a song for all the peacemakers, cos that's the hardest thing to do" before going into "Skin Trade" with "We all need a bit more money".

"Notorious", "Electric Barbarella", "Save A Prayer", "Girls On Film" and "Wild Boys" followed taking in every genre under the sun and making it a cohesive package. On previous Duran Duran shows something was missing, but tonight it came together as a lesson to younger bands that as much as Duran Duran defined themselves by a style and supermodel girlfriends it's the songs that have survived the test of time.

Alex McCann

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