Billboard Bits: Duran Duran, Sarah Harmer, Abra Moore

News on Duran Duran, Sarah Harmer, Abra Moore

DuranThe recently reunited original Duran Duran lineup has confirmed a U.K. tour, its first in 18 years, beginning April 13 at London's Wembley Arena. Although the band has recently played a string of dates in the U.S. and Australia, a one-off show at the London Forum in October marked its first British appearance with all original members since the Live Aid concert in 1985.

According to the group's official Web site, a world tour will follow shortly the British dates. A long-gestating album of new material is also planned for release in the new year, on a yet to be announced label.

As previously reported, Duran Duran will be honored with the Outstanding Contribution Award at the Brits Awards ceremony on Feb. 17, in recognition of a recording career spanning 25 years and more than 70 million records sold.

Here are Duran Duran's U.K. tour dates:

April 13: London (Wembley Arena)
April 15: Glasgow (SECC)
April 17: Manchester, England (Evening News Arena)
April 19: Birmingham, England (NEC Arena)

-- Lars Brandle, London

SarahSarah Harmer has set a March 16 release date for her third album, "All of Our Names." The Canadian singer/songwriter penned 11 new songs for the set, which will be released by Zoe/Rounder Records. It's follow-up to 2000's acclaimed "You Were Here." The former Weeping Tile singer/guitarist's debut album, "Songs for Clem," was released in 1999 by Universal Canada.

Since the release of "You Were Here," Harmer has spent much of her time on the road. Along with solo club tours with her band, she has also opened dates for fellow countrymen Barenaked Ladies and Cowboy Junkies, as well as Billy Bragg and others. While her 2004 touring schedule is still being planned, she is already slated to perform during the South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, during the week of the new album's release.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

AbraAfter a long absence from recording, singer/songwriter Abra Moore will return March 9 with "Everything Changed" (Koch Entertainment). The set was recorded with producers Jay Joyce (Tim Finn, Lisa Germano), Saddle Creek Records co-founder Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, The Faint) and Mitch Watkins, who produced her 1995 debut, "Sing," and the 1997 follow-up "Strangest Places."

The set comes after work on a planned 2002 album for J Records that ultimately did not satisfy Moore and was never released. The result found the Poi Dog Pondering member amicably ultimately exiting the label. "I understood what they wanted and needed and I gave it my best shot," Moore says. "I put my heart into the songs, but in the end, they weren't mine. It just wasn't me."

The 13 songs that make up "Everything Changed" can be sampled on Moore's
official Web site. Video of a hometown Austin, Texas, performance of "Pull Away," originally not intended for the set but now included in its track list, is also posted on the site.

"I'm just now beginning to discover my voice and grow into it," she says. "I'm just letting it be. It's like a birthing, where I let whatever came out of my mouth be what it was going to be, without being too self-conscious."

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.