European Tour 2022 Review



May 1 – Ushuaïa Touch the Sunrise, Ibiza R May 21 and 22 – O2 Academy Leicester, UK May 26 – Jelling Musikfest, Jelling, Denmark F May 28 – Skansen, Stockholm, Sweden F May 29 – Lillestrøm in Oslo, Norway F June 2 – In the Park, Helsinki, Finland F June 4 - Queen’s Jubilee event, Buckingham Palace, London, UK June 13 - St. Anne’s Park, Dublin, Ireland R, F June 17 - Castle Howard Estate, York, UK R June 19 - Zeebrugge Beach, Bruges, Belgium F June 23 - La Prima Estate Festival, Lido di Camaiore, Tuscany, Italy June 25 - Rock in Rio, Lisbon, Portugal R, F July 1 - Lytham Festival, Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, UK F July 2 - Caledonian Stadium, Inverness, Scotland, UK July 5 - The Piece Hall, Halifax, UK July 8 - Cruilla Festival, Barcelona, Spain F July 10 – BST Hyde Park, London, UK R, F


F = Festival, R = Rescheduled

Lisbon: 2020 normal expectation, 2021 unsure hopes, 2022 relieved reality


Duran Duran exited Covid last year with 4 UK shows in September 2021 (two re-arranged dates plus the two Birmingham warm-up gigs), and another 4 in the USA. With Future Past becoming something of an increasingly distant memory, they re-emerged in 2022 with what eventually became a ‘European Tour’ of 17 dates.


This was a curate’s egg of a tour, in that five were re-arranged from 2020 / 2021, and 10 were festival dates. Shows seemed to pop up at random points throughout the start of 2022, with Inverness, Leicester and Halifax being announced at short notice, as Duran zig-zagged their way across the UK and Northern Europe.


The dead hand of Covid seemed to play its part in this tour. All bar Leicester were open air, and the use of festivals will have mitigated the insurance risk of last-minute cancellations.


As it happened, Covid only seemed affect the first show in Ibiza. After concerns about Simon’s vocals on the night, it later emerged he was probably very close to calling off the whole thing after becoming stricken with the virus. Ibiza is the anomaly of this list, being the show amidst a rather controversial venture with Pollen. Having considered the issues raised in the Cherry Lipstick review, DDHQ seem to have taken on various points for consideration. The extent to which lessons have been learnt, to maximise the best from the weekend, will be known at any future link-ups with Pollen, which are rumoured to be in place in 2023.


It seems to have got the tour off to a positive, and interesting, start, for the band. Simon called Ibiza “a lovely place to start this whole thing off,” and remarked on turning the island into Duran-land. John enjoyed the chance to have an art exhibition with Nick. Different is good.


The other notable musical issue from Ibiza was the set list. Invisible opened the batting for the last time, and a mid-show crowd-deadening run of Tiger Tiger–Come Undone–Ordinary World–Tonight United was quickly and sensibly pruned thereafter. The subsequent set lists would spread delight around the Duraning world in terms of choices, rotation and sequencing.


The issue of set lists has been a constant feature of fan conversation – and some frustration. Here come Ordinary World, Notorious, Come Undone and Rio again! Birmingham (September 2021) had mixed things up a bit with Pressure Off, Skin Trade and Perfect Day . John has his own more realistic views: “It’s not that the newer material is ‘less than’,” he said in Katy Kafe in May. “But they don’t live inside people in the way the earlier songs do. There’s nothing on Paper Gods, All You Need Is Now or Astronaut that has the reach of something like Save A Prayer that sold in its millions.” He mused that they could play What Happens Tomorrow (which then happened) and said that Nick is always keen for Sunrise and Pressure Off (the name of which John could not remember).


Simon had let slip about Leicester gigs in a Whoosh podcast earlier in 2022, and the assumption had been they would be warm ups for Ibiza. However, the announcement came on 20th April for the two shows a month later. They are already cementing themselves in Duran history, a legacy secured within the first three minutes of the first show as Velvet Newton faded out and the band launched in to Faster Than Light. Cue jaws dropped, gobs smacked, and disbelief abound. In that moment, anything seemed possible.


Here are the 29 songs that were eventually played at these 17 shows:


17 plays (8 songs): Invisible, Notorious, The Reflex, Ordinary Come Undone World, Planet Earth, A View To A Kill, Girls On Film


16 (7): All Of You, Give It All Up, Save A Prayer, Hungry Like The Wolf, Hold Back The Rain, Union of the Snake, Rio (not played at Leicester 2!)


15 (2): The Wild Boys, Tonight United


11 (1): The Chauffeur


8 (2): Friends Of Mine, White Lines


5 (1): What Happens Tomorrow


4 (1): Anyone Out There


3 (2): Tiger Tiger, Pressure Off


2 (4): Beautiful Lies, Faster Than Light, Anniversary, Careless Memories


1 (1): Sunrise (only in Ibiza)


29 tracks played from 10 albums:

Future Past (6)

Duran Duran / Rio (5 each)

Seven and the Ragged Tiger (3)

Decade / Wedding Album / Astronaut (2 each)

Notorious / Thank You / Paper Gods (1 each)

Big Thing, Liberty, Medazzaland, Pop Trash, Red Carpet Massacre, All You Need Is Now (0)


The non-festival shows tended to feature 19 or 20 songs. Anniversary was much-missed for a long time, and seems to have been cut at the last minute from Hyde Park due to a late-running show and a strict curfew. Tiger Tiger was last played at after Leicester. Pressure Off may have only come back in prep for the Nile Rogers collaboration at Hyde Park.

Halifax: Proof it does offer more than flat caps, whippets and building societies


The main change from the 2015/16 Paper Gods tour, apart from the usual 4 or 5 songs from that album, were the loss of New Moon On Monday, I Don’t Want Your Love and Is There Something I Should Know, with Too Much Information and Love Voodoo having occasionally mixed things up. More interestingly, Sunrise and White Lines cannot now seemingly take their place in the starting line-up for granted any more. The 40th anniversary of Rio is seeing over half of its album being played.


17 songs were the mainstay of the set list, with space for only 3 or 4 others as the setting demanded (even at Leicester). We shall see if this shifts about at the American shows, but the smart money is on ‘probably not’.


After Leicester, the band battled the weather in Scandinavia, before well-received re-scheduled shows in Dublin and York (minus the parking problems at the latter). The Lisbon show went down well, with a croaky, unwell Morten Harket unable to upstage SLB. Simon’s voice became another topic of concern / prurient interest. After Ibiza, the choice of songs was scrutinised as to whether certain numbers had been added (Tiger Tiger) or removed (Anniversary) based on Si’s vocal health. Maybe. Whatever. He’s our leader - No Simon No Party.


CL does have a couple of gripes helpful suggestions for DDHQ:


1. More John engagement, please. A ‘hello’ and song introduction every now again would not be difficult and would be most appreciated.

2. Whilst the words, ‘this is from our new album…’ are the death knell to a song’s introduction, more Future Past branding is required. Sell the CD for a tenner. Have some visuals at the back of the stage. The ad budget must surely extend beyond a pic for Roger’s drum kit.


The tour ended with a triumphant blast at Hyde Park. This seems to have typified this tour: Being adventurous and daring in venues, experiences and setlists, leading a charge out of Covid, planting a flag as a premier British band of all time. With the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, Madison Square Garden, and the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame to come, 2022 looks like being a very special year in Duran’s history.

Hyde Park: Day-Glo fun for the masses

 

COMING NEXT TO CHERRY LIPSTICK:

An exclusive interview with the mighty Joanne Joanne: playing Duran songs for the fans, by the fans.


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