the post-punk movement brought upon music otherwise known as new wave in early 1980′s britain. malaysians called it diskang (bastardisation of the word disco). as atok astutely described, the diskang look was… shall i say, unique. i could remember ah bengs at wisma punca emas, then seremban’s prime shopping mall, in the largest carrot-cut trousers with only a 12″ circumference at the bottom, sporting large nick rhodes-like permed/highlighted bouffants. it has always been the case that yesterday’s fashion is looked down upon. i remembered how people took the mickey at 70′s fashion, but hey – this decade has its fair share of reviving the 70′s look. since fads happen on a decade-by-decade basis, i’m not really looking forward to 2010. thankfully enough, no one looked that cringeworthy when duran duran came to town a two years back.

newly reformed with the original line-up, i had to see this band live. it’s 20 years too late but what the hey. the 20 years also meant the hot chicks of 1984 were now… err, not that hot. hahaha. the last time they played live with this line-up was at JFK stadium, new york during live aid in 1985. bloody ‘ell. i was doing my sijil rendah pelajaran, man. as a kid, i remembered watching a gig video from their 1984 tour. forget the looks (itu budak perempuan punya department!), this band could really play. the band had described the frustration that in those days, what greeted them were chicks who would scream throughout the gig regardless. anyone remember why the beatles stopped performing live after 1966?


simon le bon sounded older and a lil’ bit on the tak larat side but kicked off the gig with the uplifting sunrise from their current album. well, with any reunion gig, it’s the old stuff that the old fans would be waiting for. they sounded fresh as hell, as if the tunes were only written yesterday. union of the snake was spot on, with andy hamilton on the sax (ada lagi mamat tu!). i’d like to add that apart from synths and electric drumkits, the saxophone was pretty much a vital component of the 80′s new wave sound. the band looked relaxed, smiling and laughing all the way. none of the perasan jambu pout they’d have two decades ago.

it was nice to see the original members playing duran material from the 1990′s like come undone. their new material still retains their original atmospheric synth-ladened hooks, with a more organic feel. roger taylor had always played an acoustic tama kit even in the old days, with the addition of electric drums during fills, unlike many of their contemporaries. another organic component in their sound was also andy taylor’s understated guitar playing. the lone geordie rocker (the rest of the band are brummies) in the band, he’d be happily playing away on his white gibson les paul custom with the peavey stacks’ gain on full. and john taylor still played an aria pro, after all these years.

for synth fans, seeing nick rhodes performing tiger tiger and the chauffeur was simply breathtaking. pity they didn’t play new religion, though (the synth on the killerssmile like you mean it is reminiscent of this duran tune). the encore of girls on film and the eponymous rio simply capped off the gig with a bang.

despite their apparent ponciness, you get the likes of deftones‘ chino moreno and the killers’ brandon flowers citing duran as seminal musical influences, which actually says something about this band’s music. so, it’s not just an impending 80′s fashion comeback, but the music as well, which i actually welcome more, really.

hallam FM arena, sheffield 27.04.04 set: SUNRISE / HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF / IS THERE SOMETHING I SHOULD KNOW? / UNION OF THE SNAKE / COME UNDONE / A VIEW TO A KILL / WHAT HAPPENS TOMORROW / THE CHAUFFEUR / PLANET EARTH / I DON’T WANT YOUR LOVE / TIGER TIGER / NIGHT BOAT / BEAUTIFUL COLOURS / ORDINARY WORLD / SAVE A PRAYER / NOTORIOUS / THE REFLEX / CARELESS MEMORIES / WILD BOYS / encore: WHITE LINES / GIRLS ON FILM / RIO

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* – gambar sekadar hiasan (i didn’t have a digital camera then. hehe)