GIG REVIEW: Depeche Mode

BY: Carron Stacey

WHERE?: London Stadium

WHEN: 3/6

Two admissions – I’m a fair weather Moder, preferring the older pop stuff, my allegiance culminating circa Enjoy the Silence, with Everything Counts as my ultimate favourite.

  • Read on for reasons including are they ashamed of their poppy roots?

Second, I peeped at the set list. I wish I hadn’t. I had an inkling they wouldn’t be playing Just Can’t Get Enough or New Life. I was right. But a flicker of hope lived on in me, a vague hope that as this was a rare UK gig (edited: now they’ve announced three more UK gigs – how cheeky!) and the fact they hail from just up the road, they might deign to play the hits that, let’s face it, catapulted them to fame all those years ago.

Even a medley would do! Diva Dave strutted onto the stage. For all he’s done to himself, he is in fantastic shape for a 55 year old ex (?) smackhead, albeit looking a little like the bastard child of one of the Sparks brothers and Midge Ure, Vienna era. Tossing away his red jacket, he stood ready to be crucified. Come on world, what else can you do to me?

But this is all his own, carefully created character (caricature?) don’t forget. My, does he have fun though? Peacocking on stage, harking his ears to the adoration around the area, his voice has not been affected.

We need to mention La Gore. Sadly not in a dress, but still sporting his trademark eyeliner and black nail varnish. (Can you have nail varnish tattoos?) Martin had fun too, his backing singing is… well he’s the best backing singer I’ve heard.

When Dave took a little tumble, his grin displayed on the screens to the whole arena was pure joy. What did they sing? Lots from the new album; yes I know, they have to do that. And it’s so political – well they do live in the US now…

Halfway through the set, after an emergency wee and Pimms run (in that order, ready to forego my place in either queue should the chords of My Favourite begin), My Favourite was played. Well, the whole crowd went mad. We went mad, grabbing hands, the lot. I was done. That was it for me. One of my most favourite songs in the whole history of music. Ever. Taking me back to listening to Construction Time Again on vinyl, after hot days at the beach.

It surely can’t get any better. It does. Enjoy the Silence takes me back to clubbing in 1990 when I was at college in Plymouth. All I ever wanted, all I ever needed… arms draped round my two uni girlies, the words resonated.

We’ve been through a few things and although everything was not in our arms at that point, you now what I mean. Never Let Me Down Again – brilliant. Dark, but in keeping with the hue of the set.

Time for the encore – Somebody, a beautiful ballad sung by Martin – a song I’d (shamefully) completely forgotten about. There was so much love in the audience for him; I really feel he IS Depeche Mode. Sorry Dave, you did do an awesome cover of Heroes, but we had the same thoughts as the Guardian – was it really a good use of their time, or should they have sprung in a little synth melody?

I Feel You (I keep using words like awesome, but these songs were) and then Personal Jesus to finish. I love that song, but it seems to be the only thing La Mode are known for these days, and it is therefore so overplayed.

So, no early synth pop – does Vince prohibit their performing it? I actually think they are ashamed of their poppy roots. Don’t be, boys. Yes you always sell out, yes you were amazing, but don’t tell me that the majority of the audience (of a certain age, I might add) wouldn’t have belted out a few high energy ones? My other half said Dave is the difference between a pop star and a rock star. But for me, we just didn’t get enough.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Depeche Mode. Tickets
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @AHumdrumMum or check out Carron’s blog.


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