Duran Duran with special guest Seal, perform their Paper God tour at The Capital FM Arena Nottingham on Friday 11th December 2015

Images and Review by  Kevin Cooper

When Duran Duran and Eagles Of Death Metal performed the former’s hit Save A Prayer on TFI Friday in November, it seemed no more significant than two bands of two different eras having a good time. The song however, subsequently became the last completed by EODM in the Bataclan in Paris before terrorists opened fire killing 89 people. So without doubt this song was going to play a large part in last night’s proceedings and it most certainly did.

But opening for these poster boys of the New Romantic movement was Seal, who had a huge impact. Taking advantage of the main acts fantastic light and laser show, Seal was never going to be a mere support act. Also touring to promote his latest album 7, he began his set with new number, Padded Cell. Showing that his voice has lost none of its brilliance, he quickly treated this crowd to old hits, Crazy, Killer and Kiss From A Rose.

Unfortunately, his set was way too short, as he bounded from one end of the stage to the other. Seal was a real gem and was in danger of stealing the show. If he tours in his own right, it would be a shame not to catch him.

In the 1980’s Duran Duran were synonymous with white suits, big shoulder pads, yachts in videos and big hair, and at the time might have been destined to become one of pop’s flash in the pan acts; instantly successful but quickly forgotten. Yet here they still are, decades on, touring arenas to a largely middle aged audience, and promoting their 14th studio album, Paper Gods.

To a fantastic backdrop of colours, shapes and smoke, Simon Le Bon clad in white trousers bounced around the stage to opener Paper Gods. But it was the old hits that had this crowd screaming, as Wild Boys was followed by Hungry Like The Wolf and A View To Kill being introduced by a snippet of James Bond videography on the canvas backdrop.

There were more tracks from the new album with Last Night In The City and What Are The Chances being crowd favourites, but it was the funk tones of new single Pressure Off whose studio version features the strings of Nile Rodgers, that brought this crowd alive as it closed flamboyantly retro fashion with a blizzard of yellow confetti.

There was a slight lull in the middle of the set when they played the slightly bland Only In Dreams and Love Voodoo, but many of the audience without doubt relished the opportunity to have a few minutes sit down. We could have done with a few more old hits and maybe a few less of the new ones. Where was The Reflex and Is There Something I Should Know? for example.

But they could be forgiven anything by the time we came to the spine tingling, singalong, sway along highlight that was Ordinary World. Finishing the main set with a mash up of Danceophobia, Too Much Information and Girls On Film; this crowd went wild.

For the encore Duran Duran came back to deliver their massive hit, Save A Prayer. Dedicated to the people who had lost their lives in Paris and announcing that the proceeds from the EODM cover version which rocked up the charts, will go to “something that brings people together and is peaceful”, had the whole Arena cheering. When the first chords were played, there was a sea of shinning lights from the audience which was without doubt a goose bump inducing experience which will linger long in the memory.

When the immortal party anthem Rio hit the sound system, for the closing number, there was not a person seated as they were covered in carnival coloured confetti.

With just four of the original members; Andy Taylor being absent, Simon Le Bon is still the main focus. Whilst musically they are just as good, Le Bon’s voice seems to have lost a little of its raw edge, but on tonight’s showing these wild boys are still a force to be reckoned with.