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Duran Duran back in Toon.

Byline: Dave Morton Nostalgia Editor

POP fans will turn back the clock to the 1980s when Duran Duran step out at Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena on Saturday.

Back in the days of big hair, shoulder pads and garish make-up (and that was just the blokes), the Birmingham-based fivepiece band were probably the biggest in Britain.

Heartthrobs for the nation's teenage girls, Duran Duran were the pretty boys of New Romantic pop, scoring a string of smash hits - including two UK number ones - between 1981 and 1989.

The subsequent decades have seen less chart action and personnel changes, but the band have retained a strong, loyal following.

When singer Simon Le Bon, bassist John Taylor, keyboard player Nick Rhodes a n d drummer Roger Ta y l o r hit the stage on Saturday, the Arena will be welcoming four-fifths of the classic 1980s Duran Duran line-up.

Newcastle Liverpool decades See Missing will be Cullercoats-born guitarist Andy Taylor who left the band for the last time in 2006.

Many might remember Andy's popular Whitley Bay wine bar, Rio's.

Police had to escort the band members into the bar as they were mobbed by hundred of screaming female fans at the opening in December, 1983.

As for the music, Duran Duran's funk-driven, synthesiser infused sound delivered their first top ten hit, Girls On Film, in July 1981.

At the height of their popularity in November 1982, as their hit Rio stormed up the charts, the Chronicle caught the group in concert at Newcastle City Hall.

"The band come at you with such a wave of energy, rhythm and enthusiasm that it's impossible to turn back," declared our reviewer.

"And their somewhat cosmetic image is subjugated to a more acceptable level as the surprisingly gutsy music takes over.

"The flaccid production that plagued their last album was stripped away to reveal a taut, finely tuned unit for most of last night's sell-out show.

"And no band with songs of the calibre of Planet Earth, Save A Prayer, My Own Way, and particularly Girls On Film can fail to conquer."

The band, needless to say, were no strangers to the luxury pop lifestyle.

When Simon Sport Le Bon flew into New-castle to record an interview for Tyne Tees TV show Razzamatazz in April 1984, he'd just returned from trips to Japan and the United States.

We described him as "looking fit and tanned" as he quipped: "It's amazing, there isn't a cloud over the whole country."

By 1989, however, the hits were drying up and our reviewer at their April City Hall show was of the opinion that "Duran Duran are at a crossroads".

Thankfully, 26 years on, the Wild Boys have persevered and survived. Welcome back.

Duran Duran and Seal, |Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, Saturday, December 5, 7.30pm.

keyboard to NOSTALGIA Newcastle United v Liverpool over the decades See Sport for TV show welcoming


Duran Duran, still drawing the crowds in 2015

Left, the former Rio's wine bar in Whitley Bay was owned by ex-Duran Duran star, Cullercoats-born Andy Taylor; |right, Duran Duran hitch a ride on a baggage trolley when they arrive at Newcastle Airport, October, 1984

Simon Le Bon arriving at Newcastle Airport. He was on Tyneside to record an interview |for the Tyne Tees Television programme, Razzamatazz, April 1984

Duran Duran at the peak of their powers in 1984. They play at Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena on Saturday
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 4, 2015
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