Duran Duran Wiki
Mencap Concert
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benefit concert
Venue Villa Park, Birmingham,
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Date 23 July 1983
In aid of Mencap
Genre Pop, rock
Length 6:00pm - 10:00pm
Location Birmingham, UK
Compère Peter Powell
Duran Duran on stage
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event photos

Duran Duran's benefit concert at Aston Villa football ground was held in Birmingham, UK on Saturday 23 July 1983.

About the concert[]

This was a benefit concert for Mencap, a charity based in the UK that works with people with a learning disability.

Birmingham was chosen as the venue, as it was where the band members' first met and formed the group. The concert and subsequent shows in the area have always been regarded as a "homecoming".

This was the second of two special UK summer performances by Duran Duran, the other was the Prince's Trust Rock Gala held three days earlier.

The show was held at Villa Park, a 42,788 capacity venue that's home of Aston Villa Football Club. The event was particularly special to Roger Taylor as he once had ambitions to be Aston Villa's goalkeeper and was a regular spectator at the ground.

The evening began at 6:00pm with host Peter Powell introducing Prince Charles and the City Beat Band. This group would later support Duran Duran on their US leg of The Sing Blue Silver Tour in 1984.

The second opening act was Robert Palmer, who included "Jonny and Mary" and "Some Guys Have All The Luck" in his set. Friendships from this concert led Palmer and members of Duran Duran to form The Power Station in late 1984.

Watched by 18,000 people on a warm evening with the sun setting behind the stage, Duran Duran launched their set at 8:40pm. As the band delivered the opening intro to "Is There Something I Should Know?", two giant black stage started to open. Unfortunately one of them got stuck and Duran Duran had to restart the show.

Performing on a stage with a backdrop featuring Roman style columns, the band dressed in white then burst into "Hungry Like the Wolf". Simon Le Bon introduced the song by saying "Good evening, its great to be back. We're gonna play a little song for you now about those cute little fury animals. So all you little bunnies better run, because we're hungry like the wolf!" During the performance, Le Bon ran energetically across the vast stage, which stretched out in front of the speakers on either side.

The second ever live performance of "Union of the Snake" followed, an unknown song at the time.

Before playing "Lonely In Your Nightmare", Le Bon said "We've been twice around the world now and where did we end up? Right here, back home where we started. Its great to be back, thank you very much for coming tonight. We gonna play a slower song now which will just spread a little bit of evening calm."

The setlist was similar to The Sing Blue Silver Tour shows, but included various differences. These differences include all the Seven and the Ragged Tiger songs missing, except for "Union of the Snake". Tracks from Duran Duran and Rio were missing from the next tour.

This was the last live performance of "Night Boat" until 1998, when Simon Le Bon performed the song with The Smashing Pumpkins. "Lonely in Your Nightmare" was not played again until 2001, during The Up Close and Personal Tour in the USA. Also included was a rare live cover version of Iggy Pop's "Funtime", a song Duran Duran have never recorded in the studios.

Near the end of the show, Duran Duran returned for two encores with Andy and John Taylor wearing Aston Villa football shirts. The concert finished at 10:00pm, with an after show "homecoming" party held at the city's Rum Runner nightclub.

Tickets for the event cost £8.50. The programmes were designed by Assorted iMaGes, which consisted of 11-glossy double sided flyers housed in a white glossy folder. They cost £2.00. The event logo incorpated a Duran Duran 'DD' with an Aston Villa 'lion'.

The show raised less money than expected; Paul, Michael and the band each contributed £10,000 to make up the difference.

This was Duran Duran's biggest Birmingham gig with 18,000 people attending, until the 2004 St. Andrews show watched by 28,000 people.

Duran Duran's setlist[]

  1. "Is There Something I Should Know?"
  2. "Hungry Like the Wolf"
  3. "Union of the Snake"
  4. "Lonely In Your Nightmare"
  5. "New Religion"
  6. "Night Boat"
  7. "Friends of Mine"
  8. "Save A Prayer"
  9. "Planet Earth"
  10. "My Own Way"
  11. "Hold Back The Rain"
  12. "Careless Memories"
  13. "Rio"
  14. "Funtime"
  15. "Girls on Film"


Duran Duran are:


Robert Palmer band are:

  • Robert Palmer - vocals
  • Frank Blair - bass guitar
  • John Staehely - guitar
  • Jack Waldman - keyboards
  • Alan Mansfield - keyboards
  • Michael Blair - drums
<< Prince's Trust Rock Gala Live In Australia '83 >>

See also[]