Tag Archives: Duran Duran Las Vegas

March Katy Kafe with Simon!

The studio, a cocktail, and some very timely television recommendations are all on tap with this month’s Kafe!

Cocktail of the month – Espresso Martini

While this is totally out of order, given our worldwide circumstances at this time – we should probably all start with a cocktail (if so inclined!). In a shaker, add the following:

  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 oz Kahlua or Tia Maria
  • 1 oz (or more) of espresso
  • cream
  • 3 coffee beans

Shake the drink “to wake it to life, not put it to bed”. (Listen, I took that straight from the Absolut website. Feel free to interpret that however you want!) Pour the drink from the shaker into a coupe glass and garnish with the 3 coffee beans. Enjoy!!

(my original notes from the Kafe didn’t include the espresso, so I looked it up online and most recipes include it)

Notes from the studio

Simon says he’s been laying down lots of vocal tracks. Personally, I wish they’d do something… ANYTHING…to share with us just so that I could take my mind off of the craziness outside, but I know that’s a virtual impossibility, and an admittedly selfish one at that.

As quickly as he mentioned the vocal tracks, he reminded Katy that he wasn’t going to be giving any information about the album, remarking, “it’s the nature of the business.” He said that these are the final vocals for the album, and that as a band they’re very much in that “determined” phase.

He did say later as part of a radio interview that there is a EuroDisco song which makes my heart soar with hope and anticipation, and that they worked with Giorgio Moroder, Mark Ronson, along with a a duet with Lykke Li – all points destined to make longtime Duranies squeal with excitement.

(I only question why Simon was so willing and able to share such juicy info to a radio interviewer and not to his own die hard fan base. Probably best for me not to think too much about that.)

Back in the Kafe, Katy steered the conversation towards how the band must feel, whether they’re excited or just nervous about the new music. Simon pointedly commented that “Some members of the band are half empty, while others are half full.”

Don’t you just wonder….or do you think you know… who sits on which side of the glass??

For Simon’s part, he considers himself to be half full, and Katy believes that Simon’s enthusiasm can change other people’s minds. He is happy about what it IS, not unhappy about what it is not. (Reasonable point to remember in the coming months!)

Upcoming shows

During the summer, assuming those shows and festivals take place, Simon believes they’ll undoubtedly do some new songs, but not a lot of new songs until the album is released. (I am hearing September as the current date, but one has to wonder if the coronavirus will end up causing a delay.)

Speaking of shows, Simon and Katy commented how there has been an excitement for Duran Duran during the past 10 years or so, and that energy has allowed them the prestige to play in some fantastic venues, including the Hyde Park festival happening this summer. They believe that this is because Duran Duran plays the hits, instead of just playing new material. They tend to rely on those hits to reach a wide audience.

I would not be doing my job if I didn’t point out that they seem to do a lot of festivals these days, and they didn’t play many dedicated shows outside of the US on the last tour for Paper Gods. Now, perhaps what they meant was that they’re being offered prestigious festival appearances as headliners, along with a few very special gigs like the Apollo 50th. Katy herself mentioned during the Paper Gods album cycle that promoters were not coming to them with great packages for actual tours, outside of those for the US – and it made her sad to see so many fans begging for the band to come to their country. It’s Also, Las Vegas feels like a residence at this point, they’ve been there so incredibly often. Yet…

Katy asked Simon if he’d be interested in doing a Vegas residency. At this point, I have to wonder why they haven’t signed on for one – it has certainly felt that way, albeit the shows are spaced out so they come back every six-eight months for a couple of shows. Simon himself is up for one, while others in the band consider it a cliché.

From my own biased point of view, I contemplate the set lists I’ve seen performed. The band plays their hits, and I think they tend to rely on them to sell shows, depending upon the type of show and venue they’re performing. Vegas audiences don’t necessarily know the band’s new music, uses of course we consider the somewhat few die hard Duranies in the audience. That means the majority of the audience comes to the see the band play the music they know best – which is obviously that of the 80s. They’d never get away with not playing Hungry Like the Wolf at this point. Like it or not, that does make them a bit of a nostalgia act, at least in Vegas. Isn’t that what they had hoped to avoid?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not finding fault, but I am saying that it’s time we accept the space we’re in. After all, just like Simon, I’m happy about what it IS, not unhappy about what it is NOT. I just think it’s interesting to see the evolution of what the band has become, and embraced during the last decade. They still create new music, and I believe they embrace those studio opportunities, but they’re also very realistic about what sells to a more mainstream, middle-of-the-road listening audience looking for a night out. We – you, me, and other Duranies around the world – are the exception, not the rule.

Television picks

If you’re like me – and you should be – staying at home these days is the priority. So, what shows does Simon recommend? Here’s a list:

  • Chernobyl
  • Killing Eve
  • Baghdad Central
  • Outsider
  • The Young Pope
  • Good Omen
  • Fake Heiress

Happy watching! Take care of yourself and those around you!!

-R