Category Archives: Duran

A UK Duran Fan Convention – Your Thoughts Are Required!

DURAN DURAN FAN CONVENTION 2012

Another break from the norm of the Duran Diary! But I wanted to ask you – as Duran fans – what you thought of fan conventions.

A friend of mine, Dave Stott and I were chatting (in the queue as it happens for the Duran Oxford rehearsal gig) a few weeks back. We were discussing how nice it was to meet other fans for the first time and that it would be good to do that kind of thing properly Рso we could all have a chat about our mutual interests. Dave told me that around 20 years ago he had set up his own Duran Fan Convention. That got us chatting about whether or not there should be a UK Fan convention in the near future.

I would be interested to find out what these conventions are actually like – so I thought I’d throw that out to you lot. Would you mind answering a few questions on this subject? Just post it as a comment and I will show them to Dave and then he can crack on (or not I supose depending on your answers) with Duran Convention 2012!

QUESTIONS

Have you been to a fan convention before? (Duran or otherwise)

If you have was it in the UK or USA?

If you have been to a convention did you have to pay an entry fee? If so how much (ROUGHLY)?

If there was to be a Duran Fan Convention, where in the UK do you think it should be?

Would you prefer to come to a convention for a day, or have a convention/hotel/dinner package?

What sort of things would you like to see at a Duran fan convention? (Not DD themselves unfortunately!) Merchandise/DJ’s/Live Acts/Speakers?

What would you NOT want to have at a Duran fan convention?

If you have any other thoughts or ideas do let me know – then I will pass them along to Dave. After that – I will let you know the outcome! Thank you! ūüėČ

 

 

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February 2010 Somewhere in Bermonsey, London

Feb 2010, Bermondsey

Al let us know that Duran were in some studios in Bermondsey. They are sound checking for a gig they are apparently doing in Barcelona. So we went along to investigate.

Nick arrived first – MIRACLE! – and I chatted to him. I asked him if we could come in and have a listen to what they were rehearsing. (It was bloody cold out so it was worth a try to go and get warm!) He said, surprise surprise, ¬†‘sure, why not’. Shocked. He went inside but didn’t invite us to go along. BAH!

John came next. So I asked him too if we could come and have a listen. John, well he say ‘NO!’ His reason was that the sound would be too crap and we would all need headphones….blah blah.

Simon was in an amazing mood. Very sweet and funny. Lots of hugs for Sam which was nice. Roger was cool too, Lorraine had a picture done with him and as she had brought her little girl with her, she was in the pic too. Bless. At these studios were Frank, Julie, Lorraine, Alison, Gary Jones with Lorraine’s daughter and Julie’s son.

 

Notes About This Entry

I remember this day being bitterly cold. We all bundled into Julie’s car to keep warm. We only hung around long enough to see them go in and then we left. Too cold and boring to stay waiting around to see them come out and who knew how long it would be?

There is seven months between entries this time. I rarely wanted to go to this kind of thing any more but to be brutally honest, following Duran is like a aDDiction! It can take months and months, sometimes even years between the need but every now and again I feel the urge to go get my fix and see them again. It really is a case of never say never for me.

 


We’ve Come A Long Way! Christmas Concerts – December 2005

21st and 22nd December 2005

Earls Court

The first gig (on the 21st) had a great atmosphere – they played really well and seemed to enjoy themselves. The gig was packed out. Met up with Rocks and Elena too which was really nice.

Second gig was not so good. It hadn’t sold as many seats as the first night and some of the arena was curtained off. It really showed in their playing, the gig just wasn’t the same.

I went to the after show though – that was a laugh. I got quite drunk! I was with Amy, Frank, Jo and Sam – who had given birth to twins only a week before! She’s MAD!

The highlight of my night was John saying to me ‘We’ve come a long way from the BBC haven’t we? And you came to the USA too!’ YAY!

(Amy was the only one to have a picture with John. I asked if he would pose with Amy, at first he said no. He said ‘If I say yes to Amy then I will have to do it for everyone’. So I said ‘It’s Amy, please???’ and he said OK! Bless!)

One more thing. I met Matt Willis! He must have thought I was a right mad old drunken loon! I had my picture taken with him. How sad!

Matt Willis at Earls Court After Show for Duran Duran copyright Michelle-Coldwell-Simons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes About This Entry

I remember the atmosphere at that second gig. Going into the arena the day before and seeing it packed out then coming back the next day to a half-filled auditorium must have hit Duran quite hard, therefore the gig didn’t have the same energy. It was probably one of those things where they released the one date at Earls Court, near to Christmas and people treated themselves or family members to a Duran gig as an early Christmas present. I might be wrong but the second gig was probably added without much fanfare and people didn’t know about it. Shame really.

I remember that day going to see Sam with her newly born twins and she was saying – ‘I want to come with you to the gig tonight’. We kept in touch throughout the gig and then towards the end of the show Jo went out and came back in with Sam! I never would have thought that she would even want to come – she had just twins by a c-section so should have been in bed – but not Sam! She came and partied with us! Mad Woman!

 

And Matt Willis was in a band called Busted, for those who don’t know!

 


28th May 2005 – Homecoming Stadium Show

28th May 2005

Birmingham City Football Ground, St Andrew’s

Duran played a one off gig as part of their tour in Birmingham City’s football ground.

Lisa F drove us down there and we managed to get to the Hyatt Hotel where we wanted to stay. When we pulled in their were lots of people hanging around – all of which looked like fans. It seemed that Duran were staying there! We managed to get a fantastic room for the four of us – me, Lisa Jo and Sam with stunning views over Birmingham. I found out later that the Hyatt stood where the old Rum Runner Club once had – how cool!

We drove to the gig and once inside it was a great show. Met up with Frank, Gary and two of Gary’s friends and saw Julie M too as well as a few old faces from back in the day. Was a really lovely atmosphere.

We managed to get some aftershow passes which was basically the changing rooms at the back of the stadium! We met up with Koron again which was mental! We had a really long chat – some of which got a bit emotional. Chatted to John for a few minutes. John’s dad was there……they are so alike! Saw some of the Duran’s kids around too.

John with Sam Jo and I at the after show Birmingham 2005 Copyright Michelle Coldwell-Simons

Back at the hotel it was mental. Lots of fans had figured out that Duran were staying at the hotel too. It got very crowded. We went for a walk up the street to get some food – it was too mad in the hotel to hang out there so we went back to our room.

Some news…Sam is pregnant with TWINS!!!!!

NOTES ABOUT THIS ENTRY

I think this was the first time I had seen Duran in a stadium venue. I remember that there was quite a bit of space where we were standing to the left of the stage and Sam and I were doing cartwheels – we had just found out she was pregnant with twins too!!! I remember laughing a lot at the gig and that there was a great atmosphere at the gig. Once again I cannot tell you the set list or anything else about the actual show itself – having too much fun! One of these days I really must take note of the show itself and try and write a proper review!


Duran and The Scissor Sisters – April and May 2004

Wembley Arena – 24th April, 30th April and the 1st May

Fantastic set of concerts. Best i’ve ever seen them. Went backstage after the 30th April show and met Roger for the first time in 18 years! What a sweetheart! I also met¬†Jake¬†from the Scissor Sisters.

I met Ana from the Scissor Sisters on the 24th show. She was so lovely. So I called her over on the 30th’s show too and she introduced me to her best friend Christy. We had a great time.

On the 1st May show Рit was a fantastic night. It was the last show of the tour and the atmosphere was superb. Met Ana again and Christy and we chatted for a while. Then we went backstage and we found out we can use our  passes to go to the party to celebrate the end of the tour at the Cafe Royal on Regent Street.

Wembley Pass 2004

Wembley Pass 2004 Copyright Michelle-Coldwell-Simons

It was so cool. Got a smile and a wink from John but the place was so full up – it was like a cattle market! Simon was huge headed, Roger was cool and Nick was laid back.

Met up with Rocks which was lovely. Fantastic set of gigs. Superb!

Notes About This Entry

The five dates of the Wembley tour was supported by Goldfrapp for the first few and the Scissor Sisters the last. For my birthday that February my husband Gary had bought me the Scissors CD. He had heard Comfortably Numb on Jo Whiley and thought – ‘My Michelle would love them!’ He was so right. No-one else had heard of them in my circle of friends except perhaps Frank so I, for once, was so excited to see a support act. It was amazing to meet Ana for the first time. She had finished her support set and came to the side of the stage to watch Duran – she is a MASSIVE Duran fan. I was standing at the front left of the stage on the barrier so called her over for a chat. She was so lovely. The following gig she did the same but this time came over to chat to me! She had been so excited to meet Duran – even got things signed! It was so refreshing!

Another after show party – I was so lucky to go to them I can tell you. In reality there really isn’t much reason for going. Duran aftershows are normally jam packed to the rafters with industry people, models (of course), some fans (how the hell did they get in!!) and sometimes the band themselves. Not all band members would go to some aftershows. This one was attended by all although I don’t remember¬†Andy¬†being there…..I sat and talked to Rocks (DD’s roadie from the 80’s) and his¬†girlfriend¬†Elena most of the night!

(I have also written a small piece on the back of this entry where there once was a backstage pass – it had been ripped off and some of my diary entry was missing too. I had gone to see the Scissor Sisters perform in Brighton at the Concorde 2. All I can make out of the entry was that it was a sweaty gig. Ana came out to say hi, we spent half an hour chatting and she persuaded me to never get a tattoo! She also gave me an email address to keep in touch.)

There is another gap of nearly a year or so in my diary. The next entry will be from 2005 – the year I get to fulfill one of my dreams!!

 


It’s Been A Long Time Coming – An entry from the Naughties

April 2004

Oh good Lord! How can this be? Still going, diary – 18 years later.

Things have developed a bit since 1998. I have seen Duran a couple of times in the past few years. I saw them live – Pop Trash tour. It just wasn’t the same for me with John not being there. I found that tour well – TRASH!

Still. I saw Duran – Well Simon Nick and Warren do Storytellers for VH1 in 2000 – and I was 6 months pregnant at the time. A lot of us won tickets and had to meet under the clock tower at Waterloo Station then board a bus to the wilds of Windsor for it. We had to sit on filthy dusty sofas for hours……but it was interesting.

Then October 2003 РDURAN as in Simon, Nick, JOHN, Roger and ANDY (!!!!) reformed and played at the Forum. Of course I was there with Jo, Frank, Sam, Amy and Rae. It truly was FANTASTIC! I finally, after 21 years got to see ANDY play live with Duran. The original five members. It was magical. They sounded better than ever, really tight and really seeming to enjoy themselves.

I went to the aftershow party too. It was in a really posh restaurant. There was lots of press there and photographers. The best thing was when all the press were finished there were all these hangers-on trying to get the bands attention. But John came over to us (Jo, Frank, Sam and Me) and just chatted. For ages. About this and that. I asked him if he remembered me. He said ‘NO’ and I believe him!

Aftershow Reunion Gig 2003 Copyright Michelle Coldwell-Simons

And now it’s April 2004. It’s been 20 odd years and the fab five are on the road again touring. They are playing¬†FIVE SOLD OUT GIGS at Wembley. I went to a great show on the 13th April, didn’t go to the 14th but I am going to the one on the 24th and 30th of April and the 1st of May! I am so looking forward to it.

I may be 33 now and people have said I should be over this by now. If Duran are still up for it and the oldest one of them is 12 years older than me – WHY SHOULDN’T I????

NOTES ABOUT THIS ENTRY

A big gap this time between entries. I had moved from London to Brighton on the South Coast in 1998 so I would presume that the diary would have been packed and left in a box in the loft until I managed to find it again to write this entry! It is a shame that I didn’t have it to hand because I only remember parts of going to the VH1 Storytellers and being 6 months pregnant at the time didn’t help with my memory! I would have to watch the footage to¬†remember¬†any of it to be honest!

I love the Forum gig. It truly was the best gig EVER for me up to that point. I had seen Duran live many times before but I had never seen Andy with them. (My mum wouldn’t allow me to go to gigs so my first Duran tour was the Strange Behaviour tour in 87 – minus Andy). I was with all my old Duran friends and we had an absolute blast. The aftershow too was brilliant because it seemed that once all the press stuff was over John genuinely wanted to talk to us, ask us about the gig and what we thought – almost to reassure himself that it went OK. He was very lucid and chatty because he was NOT ON ALCOHOL! And John didn’t remember me. He never does! (I should have a complex!)

The next entry describes the concerts in a bit of detail along with the first time I met the Scissor Sisters……


A Lone Entry In 1998 – Talking To Myself

December 1998

I know this may sound extremely sad dearest diary but I have,  since my last entry in 1995, seen Duran.

I got tickets and backstage passes for a gig at Wembley.

John left Duran. Such a waste. He has done a solo project ( I listened to his album, I thought it was utter drivel mostly about the break up with Amanda) and he is also with a group of muso’s calling themselves the Neurotic Outsiders or something.

It may seem sad to you (well to me because I am writing this to myself aren’t I?) that I still make an effort and write in this diary.

I have even seen Duran after this concert. We went to see Duran do the lottery show at the BBC.

But if the phone rang right now to tell me that John Taylor would be at the airport/studio/somewhere I’d get a baby sitter and be there in a fucking shot. Sad I know, but I miss him.

NOTES ABOUT THIS ENTRY

This is a very brief one off entry where I am¬†obviously¬†on a bit of downer! John had left Duran the year before. In my mind from that point on it wasn’t Duran¬†any more. John was Duran Duran. When he left he killed a lot of my love for the band. I think that it did the same for a lot of Duran fans.

I didn’t even write about the Duran gig that I had been to see and to be honest I have no recollection of it either! Or of the Lottery show I went to see them on. I think I tried to keep the diary up for habits sake and the entry is very half hearted and miserable isn’t it?

I love the fact that I would drop everything (getting a baby sitter obviously!) and go and see John again. In my mind it just wasn’t worth going to see Duran¬†any more¬†unless John was there.

It shows as my next diary entry isn’t until 2004…………..