By Matthew Cheadle
Eighties New Romantics Duran Duran are back again with their latest release, “A Diamond in the Mind”, a live DVD/CD of 2011’s arena tour. Recorded in Manchester, England in December of last year, the set is a mixture of classic favorites and a handful of tracks from 2011’s, “All you need is now”.
Opening up with an atmospheric ballad off the new record, the boys then launch into the track that started it all off, “Planet Earth”, and continue that mixture of old and new through to arguably their most famous song, “Rio” to close the show. On the way they treat us to classics such as “The Reflex”, “Ordinary World”, “Hungry like the Wolf” and “Wild Boys”, although strangely no “Girl’s on Film” or “Save a Prayer”.
The sound is good, the band is tight and Le Bon is in fine voice despite earlier that year having a scare on stage in Cannes when he lost his voice which lead to months of cancelled shows and a genuine concern amongst the band that this could be the end. In an interview documented on the DVD John Taylor says, “I did consider that this could be the end of the band. … There’s no way you can avoid those thoughts.”
As always with Duran Duran, the visuals are as important a part of the band as the music, so those that desire the full on Duran experience should go for the DVD over the CD. As well as plenty of documentary material covering the highs and lows of 2011 with interviews and rehearsal footage, the DVD includes tracks from the concert not included on the CD, backstage footage and of course the concert itself. From the band appearing through a wisp of white smoke on a black stage at the start of the show, to a winged phoenix dancing-fire-women, which made a red and gold backdrop for “A View to a Kill”, to video backdrops accompanying songs such as “Girl Panic” and ‘The Man who stole a Leopard”, the DVD displays the visual aspect to the band’s live show in all its glory.
A couple of other nice moments caught on film were Simon Le Bon catching a kiss from an adoring fan during “Come Undone”, and the singer inviting up some random local man from the audience to start off the singing on “The Reflex”. Le Bon offered to hold his pint, from which he took a sip, whilst the chap sang the “Dan na na na” intro which was then looped for the band to play over. A nice touch; showing that the band haven’t lost their interaction with their audience or their sense of humor.
“A Diamond in the Mind” was released on US i Tunes on Tuesday (July 10th).