Tuesday evening of this week saw a pilgrimage to the "cow shed", as Simon Le Bon called it, that is Wembley Arena, for the Duran Duran reunion tour.
Bizarrely, I never got round to seeing Duran Duran live at the peak of their fame. Looking back at dates, I suspect that was because my main concert-going years were 1984 and 1985, which was a smidgen after DD's peak (in my opinion) and probably meant that they were only playing Wembley or similar, while I was usually going to Hammersmith Odeon (as it was then). Didn't even see them at Live Aid as they were playing the US leg, not the UK leg.
I was quite prepared for them to be old, and fat, and crap, but glad to be broadly disappointed on all three fronts. They have aged reasonably well, all things considered; Simon Le Bon is carrying a few extra pounds round the waist, but he wasn't exactly skinny back in the early eighties, either. And he can still sing, which is good.
The songs were largely, but not completely, from their Eighties back catalogue. They played three out of four of my favourites ("Careless Memories", with an excellent manga-type video which I would love to get a copy of (I'm pretty sure it's not the original but would have to find a working VCR to make sure), "New Religion" and "Save A Prayer"; had they played "Last Chance On The Stairway", my evening would have been complete). There was also some stuff from what I tend to call the "Mid-Years Crap Period"; "Wild Boys", "Union Of The Snake" and "Is There Something I Should Know?", along with a few newer odds and sods.
I was surprised during the encore, having obviously had my head in the sand completely during 1995 (sounds plausible; I was starting a business at the time) and missed the release of the DD covers album "Thank You". (I note that I have a CD of covers of Duran Duran tracks, including a fine version of "Girls On Film" by Bjorn Again (themselves, for those who don't know, an Abba tribute band), but not any covers by DD. Unless you count their cover of Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel's "Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)" which was on the B-side of "The Reflex", and actually very good.) Therefore them covering "White Lines" came as a bit of a shock, not least because the extended version of the original is on the CD in my car at the moment (thanks, wimble ;)) and so I'd last heard it the day before. (And next heard it the day after. See below.)
Any romantic comedy involving zombies and set in London is going to be worth seeing, so it was with high hopes that we headed out yesterday evening to see Shaun of the Dead. Hilarious. Occasionally it couldn't quite make its mind up how funny it wanted to be, but generally great fun and with lots of the right sorts of actors (i.e. those from Spaced and/or Black Books) in it (Simon Pegg, Jessica Stevenson, Nick Frost, Dylan Moran -- where the hell was Bill Bailey?). Can't quite decide whether I want to see it again tomorrow. Decisions, decisions.
Sorry, dreamingchristi, I couldn't quite spot you ;)
"White Lines" shows up in this, too; Messrs Pegg & Frost are singing it on the way back from the pub. They couldn't get the synchronised sniffing quite right, though.
Sort of like something Michael Marshall Smith might've written, but with fewer cats and, I suspect, a different ending.