Leaden skies, drenching showers and a wind sweeping in along the coast were all far removed from the sun-kissed beaches of those early Eighties videos but who cared?

Duran Duran's much-anticipated and long-awaited appearance at the Lytham Festival was a communal experience of sheer joy - from the sell-out 20,000 crowd dancing in their plastic ponchos to the band themselves who were clearly taken aback by the warmth of the welcome by the seaside.

"I think John's fallen in love with you," singer Simon le Bon told the fans as bassist John Taylor appeared reluctant to leave the stage following a brilliant one-two encore of Save a Prayer and Rio.


Simon Le Bon and John Taylor (Picture: Martin Bostock)

Simon Le Bon and John Taylor (Picture: Martin Bostock)


Given the energy and musicianship on display throughout the 19-song set, it's hard to believe that Duran Duran have been around for more than 40 years.

But they are no heritage act and remain a fully-functioning, genuinely inspiring and still relevant band.

Songs from their most recent album, Future Past, featured in the set with Invisible and All of You fallowing immediately after a dramatic Wild Boys which opened the show.

The set was a cleverly thought-out offering spanning the band's career - one of the highlights for me was the punky Friends of Mine from their debut album.

We got some newer songs and then we got the classics; everything from A View to A Kill to Girls on Film. Ordinary World was dedicated to the people of Ukraine with the giant video screens showing the yellow and blue of the Ukraine flag as a backdrop to the action on the stage.


Duran Duran headlining Lytham Festival (Picture: Martin Bostock)

Duran Duran headlining Lytham Festival (Picture: Martin Bostock)


With their massive success in the Eighties, purists were all too quick to dismiss Duran Duran as a pop band or just the latest teen sensations.

With time - and especially when you see them live - they demonstrate just why they have been voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year.

The back catalogue is impressive - Hungry Like the Wolf, Notorious, Planet Earth all being sung back to a clearly delighted Simon le Bon by a drenched crowd with gusto. We got a reworking of Grandmaster Flash's White Lines and even an outing for their most Eighties' sounding song Union of the Snake.

Bassist John Taylor is phenomenal combining funk with precision and teamed with drummer Roger Taylor's rock steady rhythms they act as the backbone allowing Nick Rhodes to weave his magic on keyboards.

Le Bon remains a charismatic frontman and the voice remains spot on.

Yes we got soaked but did we care? Hell no. We'd seen Duran Duran give a memorable performance.