Wednesday, 13 November 2013


Mode Take The High Road

Well it's not the Highlands, but we're glad to have our 80's Electro Pop heroes back in Scotland, Glasgow to be precise, in the brand new Hydro Bowl shaped Arena ( not quite Pasadena and not complaining )

By the time the Quality Electronic warm up set by one Martin L Gore is in full swing the packed venue are shaking their stuff, the beats build and the volume gets higher. I look up on to the balcony and see middle age men throwing down shapes. Their ready to party like it's 1988 and so are the rest of the Masses.

Here is a taste of a Preshow warm up mix from their last tour.

I have a long history with D.M , first getting in to them in the late 80's just in time for their Masterpiece Violator to be released. The World Violation tour was my first live encounter with the lads from Essex. Blown away to say the least. Since then I was devoted to the cause and haven't missed a tour, sometimes getting along twice and to see them in other countries. It's an ongoing love and a disease that’s not easy to shake. ( Sorry )


A Excerpt of Welcome to my World provides the walk on music for the band, Lead man Dave Gahan elegantly twirling on to the stage like a wind up ballerina. Welcome To My World ( Delta Machine opener ) and Angel are up first. Beach Balls and Balloons are being thrown around in the crowd creating a Carnival atmosphere, like a Saturday night out but it's a Monday and we don't care. “Good Evening Glasgow “ Gahan shouts.

The Electro Goth Classic from Songs of faith and Devotion Walking in my Shoes never sounded better, though this is D.M without Alan Wilder. Featuring the now comfortable live set up of Christian Eigner on Drums and Peter Gordeno replacing Wilder on Keys, only Gahan, Gore and Fletch remain from the original line up.

The set is once again supported by stunning and imaginative video's by the visionary genius Anton Corbijn. Precious gets a montage of cute Dog's and Heaven has a Stylish, Black /White grainy and ghoulish vibe

Black Celebration falls a bit flat for me but is picked back up with new single Should be Higher The visuals continue out around the venue's middle section in a band of sparkles. The physically fit looking Gahan work's his magic strutting and shaking his hip's on the cat walk into the adoring crowd. The band as a whole are on top form, this for me is the best Mode gig I've seen in years. Policy of truth is the first tune to take us back to Violator and the crowd are loving every minute. Before we know it we are seven songs in and the band leave the stage.

What used to be just one man and his acoustic is now two men and a keyboard. Gore and Gordeno remain performing a stripped back Delta Machine's The Child Inside (not a favorite ) Then they perform an absolute curve ball with Stripped B-Side But Not Tonight For me the first time seeing it played live and a real delight. The crowd carry on the melody as Dave is back conducting along with the biggest grin.

The full band are back, ready to unleash a driving and danceable rendition of the paranoid road song from Music for the Masses with Behind the Wheel Now we know D.M have had many a tune remixed to success with respectable nod's from the fan's and the band themselves, so much so they released two album's worth of the best efforts. This tour they have chosen to perform a few:

A Pain that I’m used to ( Jaques Lu Cont's Mix )

And the spine tingling Goldfrapp mix of Halo

Gahan proves age hasn't caught up with him yet performing his trade mark 360 degree spin with Mic stand in tow on A Question of Time. Gore shows off his collection of vintage and stylish guitars throughout in not so flamboyant attire as past tours, a waistcoat and what looks like tartan trousers. Fletch does whatever it is Fletch does, what that is we're not quite sure, but it works.

The backdrop visual for Enjoy the Silence I would describe as “Yoga gone wrong “ Mr Gahan (a man of few words on stage ) finishes the hit single shouting “MARTIN..L.. “ and we all shout GORE!

A sleazy - slowed down Blues riff introduces us to Personal Jesus before a full on rampage on stage by the band. The chorus REACH OUT AND TOUCH FAITH we all have the hands in the air hanging on to every word from our Hero and Dave's waistcoat is finally off.


A return of Gore and Gordeno for another surprise Shake the Disease. Just as we are thinking we can't get enough we get, you guessed it? Just can't get Enough receives many a appreciative cheer from the packed venue. Even the band look like their enjoying playing the 80's pop classic.

I'm guessing what the next tune will be and I’m not wrong, it's back to the Devotional days of hedonism and near death with the Storming dirty blues stomp of I Feel You. The backdrop a silhouette of a female D.J with full decks. Looking round the place is jumping like a House club night and only one song is left that unifies a D.M crowd , they don't let us down. Anyone who has ever been to a Depeche Mode gig knows what's coming. Mid song the whole of the Hydro is arms aloft swaying back and forth to the hypnotic John Carpenter synth style of Never let me down again. It's a beautiful and uplifting sight.

For some a night of nostalgia and for many, like myself who have followed and grown along with the colourful career of Depeche Mode are here to salute their long lost friends ( maybe not so lost now) It's a celebration but not so black. With new tunes sitting right at home along with the classics, it's a joyous occasion, all feeling the love among the current line up. We can only hope they'll continue making relevant and inspirational Electronic music. As a fan of 80's bands , It was a pleasure to experience a iconic treasure, who are not just walking in old shoes.

Set List

  1. Welcome to my world
  2. Angel
  3. Walking in my shoes
  4. Precious
  5. Black Celebration
  6. Should be higher
  7. Policy of truth
  8. The Child Inside
  9. But Not Tonight
  10. Heaven
  11. Behind The Wheel
  12. A Pain That I'm Used To ( Jacques Lu Cont's Remix )
  13. A Question Of Time
  14. Enjoy The Silence
  15. Personal Jesus
  16. ENCORE: Shake The Disease
  17. Halo ( Goldfrapp Mix )
  18. Just Can't Get Enough
  19. I Feel You
  20. Never Let Me Down Again

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