Depeche Mode set for 2013 UK tour dates
Gigs in Leeds, Birmingham, London Belfast, Manchester and Glasgow
This article is from 2013.
According to their label EMI, Essex boy stadium synth originators Depeche Mode have sold over 100 million records around the world in their lifetime together as a band. Since the millennium they’ve enjoyed nine top 20 UK singles and four top 10 albums, the latter as recently as this year’s Delta Machine. The legend which is now attaching itself to them is that this makes them the most successful electronic group in history. Where once upon a time that would have been a mark of resounding futurism, in 2013 it already sounds a somewhat dated claim to fame. After all, what music in the top 40 these days isn’t electronic in some form or other?
Of course, at the point of their formation in 1980 following various school band experiments between the various members, there was very little like them – and this despite the debt they already owed to earlier overground electronic pioneers Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and the fact that Vince Clarke’s (later of Yazoo and Erasure) songwriting guidance lent them a distinctly commercial edge, enough to turn ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ into a big hit at the time and an enduring school reunion favourite from the era.
Yet while Clarke’s departure in 1981 saw them through the rest of the 80s as a significant cult band (the transatlantic success of ‘People Are People’ and ‘Master and Servant’ in ’84 aside), the progressive darkening of tone lent by Martin Gore’s songwriting and Dave Gahan’s increasingly turbulent relationship with drugs cultivated 1990’s Flood-produced Violator, home to ‘Personal Jesus’ and ‘Enjoy the Silence’, and the reason their name is known around the world today. To many who go to see them here, these songs will remain some of the only ones they’re hopeful of hearing, but the fact their peak period stands out from afar obscures recent successes.
Hydro, Glasgow, Mon 11 Nov