Archive for the ‘Duran Duran’ Category

Hazel O’Connor Newcastle City Hall 1st December 1980 and 17th September 1981

Hazel O’Connor Newcastle City Hall 1st December 1980 and 17th September 1981
hazeltixBreaking Glass is a great film, and a pretty gritty, but quite realistic and authentic, reflection of the music business of the late ’70s. I first saw Hazel O’Connor at the Futurama festival which took place at Leeds Queens Hall in September 1980. Breaking Glass had just been released, and Eighth Day was climbing up the charts. Futuruma was an amazing event, which I must blog about one day. Hazel_o'connorprog1It featured some great bands, but Hazel was the highlight of the second day of the festival, and her performance prompted me to go and see the movie. A few months later and she was headlining Newcastle City Hall, with support from Duran Duran (I have no recollection of seeing Duran than night; maybe I stayed in the bar 🙂 ). Hazel was one of the best newcomers to emerge from the new wave scene of the late ’70s and early ’80s. Her music showed much more versatility than most punk acts of the time, ranging from the rockier “Eighth Day” and “Decadent Days” to the beautiful “Will You?”, which remains one of my favourite songs. She was also an energetic and quite “in your face” performer. Hazel was back at the City Hall a year later in 1981, this time with support from (according to internet sources) 21 Guns and Positive Noise (however, my programme shows Bumble and the Beez as support?). Hazel+O'Connorprog2I found a setlist from a 1981 show: So You’re Born; D-Days; Men Of Good Fortune; Runaway; Hanging Around (yes, the Stranglers song, I’d forgotten that she used to play this; Hugh Cornwell was her boyfriend at the time); Animal Farm; Blackman; Do What You Gotta Do; Hello Old Friend; Cover Plus; Dawn Chorus; Will You?; Sons And Lovers; Eighth Day; That’s Life; I Won’t Give Up; Give Me An Inch. Think its time to dig our my vinyl copy of “Breaking Glass.”
“On the eighth day machine just got upset, A problem man had never seen as yet, No time for flight, a blinding light, And nothing but a void, forever night. He said, “Behold what man has done, There’s not a world for anyone, Nobody laughed, nobody cried, World’s at an end, everyone has died” (O’Connor, 1980).

Duran Duran Newcastle City Hall 1982 Rio!

Duran Duran Newcastle City Hall 1982
By the time of the Rio album and tour Duran Duran were massive and at the top of their game. They sold out two nights at the City Hall, and I attended the second night. The set included all the hits; their first two albums contain a load of great songs: Rio, Hungry Like the Wolf, Save A Prayer: all good. I was pretty near the front and the crowd was going crazy around me: great stuff! This was the last time I was to see Duran Duran in concert, other than their appearance at Live Aid in 1985, which signalled the end of the band for some 20 years until the recent reunion. Setlist: Rio; Hungry Like the Wolf; Last Chance on the Stairway; Lonely In Your Nightmare; Sound of Thunder; Night Boat; New Religion; Friends of Mine; Save a Prayer; Planet Earth; Hold Back the Rain; Careless Memories. Encore: Come Up And See Me (Make Me Smile); My Own Way; Girls on Film. Interesting to see that they covered Cockney Rebel’s Make Me Smile as the first encore on this tour. Support came from Bloomsbury Set (thanks Greg!).

Duran Duran Newcastle City Hall 1981

Duran Duran Newcastle City Hall 1981
I first came across Duran Duran when they supported Hazel O’Connor on her Breaking Glass tour at Newcastle City Hall. It was clear then that this was a band with a strong image and some great pop songs with catchy hooks, which transcended the New Romantic tag which they had. A year later they were back with their own headlining tour. I remember being surprised at the time at how quickly this new band had risen to headline status. They had released three singles in quick succession: Planet Earth, Careless Memories and Girls of Film, but I still doubted that they could fill the City Hall. But the gig was full; Duran Duran had already started to build their own strong following.
Their short set on this, their first UK tour, featured the new album and a cover or two. I remember being very impressed by them, and by Simon Le Bon in particular. They were much more than a group of pretty boys, they were a great live band, on their first major tour, and clearly enjoying their new success. It was obvious that they were going to be very big.