This is the first concert review in the 26 years of Cherry Lipstick that is by someone that wasn’t there. By the miracle of 21st technology (something to do with wires and non-stick frying pans), the concert in Miami on Tuesday night was filmed and uploaded to You Tube on the Wednesday. It features the whole show minus Pressure Off and I Don't Want Your Love (“my arms got tired, sorry” said the uploaderer, coolbritannia97) and is for some reason in non-chronological order. It therefore starts with Rio, but scroll down as the links to each track are included.
We start with shots of the outside of the theatre (with the on-stage time clearly showing 8.30pm!) and are then chucked into Rio. Simon has made his usual effort and appears in his latest Duran t-shirt. He is looking, though, rather svelte considering some of this recent public appearances. Ever the showman, he’s got match-fit for these shows. We have a front row spot for this video, which is great for us (some lovely shots of the band saying goodbye at 8:40) but you feel for the people alongside who had to stand next to the filmer while they deliberately did not jump around. I’m sure the band would appreciate more audience engagement as well.
Friends of Mine is a joy (introduced by Le Bon thus: “It’s nice to play songs we haven’t played for a while. Kinda makes your arsehole go like this sometimes, but we got away with it.”). Simon throws shapes and hits the punk vocal notes perfectly (“my God we’re looking old!” is a great ad lib at 12:25), while Hammer Horror images play behind him.
The shocker of the night, Tempted, seems to hit the crowd with no warning. Si throws some huge shapes throughout. Presumably played to stunned silence a saucy devil woman frugs away in the visuals doing her tempting thing. The track kicks on when the vocals are shared. Overall, an unusual, but very welcome choice. It certainly raises the bar on what other deep cuts might be expected in the future.
Seventh Stranger gets a bit croaky on the vocals. The Sing Blue Silver visuals playing behind might seem to be far more effective with a more bouncy song (Girls On Film?) but if we go with the ‘juxtaposition of opposites’ it works effectively. The oddest bit of the whole show then happens. Just as Dom is about to play the solo, Andy appears full screen (38:58) and stays there throughout the solo. Perhaps AT can walk on stage at Duran’s final ever gig just to play that solo 20 seconds?
I couldn’t be bothered to make my way through Ordinary World, Come Undone, Girls or HLTW (and can’t even be bothered to type the titles out), but headed next to the opening track, New Religion. No sound of those infamous boos from the impatient / fed up audience as the choir music plays, and at 1:04:00 John skips across the stage. It feels like a pretty underwhelming opening, but our view ignores the whole of the theatre so maybe everyone was bouncing and waving behind the camera. Those familiar opening bars from Nick make you long to be there, though personally I’d rather hear this half-way through the set once I’d warmed up. It’s an undoubted joy to see John kick in with the alter-ego lines. It’s a thrilling song, and it’s lovely to see the band perform it again.
This is a rather odd little run of shows. There were only 15 songs and there has been speculation that this a way of crowd-funding the new album in the wake of Warner Bros’ apparent jettisoning of the band. Whatever, they are out and about, digging out some really interesting choices, and showing us there’s some legs left in these guys yet.