Today's review is the first of a two part Rachel Blackman (@g0disadj) special as she's covering Budapest for the blog too. Rachel is a long term blog supporter so I was really chuffed that she volunteered to do the reviews. It's not often that I'll allow a Manchester United fan anywhere near here ;) As you'll see, Rachel had quite an adventure in Bratislava. Enjoy.
|Rachel on the right|
Hello fellow fans! I suppose I'm a recent convert to travelling overseas to see my favourite band - 1st time was Munich Olympic stadium in 2009 & it was a good tactic for encouraging my partner Jill to 'get on board'. We had a great trip to Berlin on the last tour & that's where I met devotees that were to become friends & social media pals. In the 4 year cycle of tours I've become friends with so many more. And that's what I look forward to - going to a new city, DM t shirt spotting, meeting friends & enjoying the collaborative experience of the gig! So, this time around 2017 brings Bratislava, Budapest & London... maybe more?
Bratislava had been bathed in glorious sunshine for days leading up to the gig. We met up with Chris (who I've 'known' on twitter for the last few years) for breakfast & set up our plans. A drink in the brewery next to our hotel & then a 50min walk to the stadium (with a couple more stops for cheap beers), with conversations of 'was it going to rain? What time was it going to rain?' Once at the stadium it was fan shirt spotting time, Dave Gahan lookalikes, guessing nationalities & glancing at the merchandise stall - €35 for a t-shirt/€25 for a beanie! What got me most was 2 posters of same size - one for the tour at €7 & one for specific city €25 - cynical exploitation.
The Stadion Pasienky is not banked very high around the sides like other football stadiums & Bratislava is generally very flat. The wind was picking up & you could see the stage curtains blowing & I felt sorry for the 2 guys high above the mixing desk on the spotlights with very little protection from the elements. Chris left us to have a mooch & find his own spot for sound recording the gig. It's a hobby of his & he trades recordings with other nerds (his own words) around the World. We caught most of F.O.X (apparently from Essex) & thought they were pretty good - quite catchy songs bit Florence & the machine? Bit Euro-pop? Bit Siouxsie soux? We missed The Raveonettes queuing for a non existent hot dog & were starting to feel a bit chilly. I've wrenched my shoulder somehow & my immediate thought is 'oh no! I'm not going to be able to do the arm wave'
Back into the crowd (we were in general standing) to warm up & hearing John Lennon's voice with Revolution & we were off. I've not been hooked by the new album but what I will say is that they've chosen the best songs from it for the setlist. First sight of Dave & he's all Italian Mafioso meanness, strutting about. Glittery jacket, glittery boots & possibly some shimmering glitter on his chest? Going Backwards brings out Dave's strong vocal performance that continues through the night, with maybe just Barrel Of A Gun sounding too wordy (but oh what great thumping noises coming from the speakers for that!). Crystal clear sound & great visuals - Depeche are back and I'm loving it!
Black clouds & rain have started around BOAG & by Martin's solos we're getting soaked to the skin. It's such a shame as Home is absolutely one of our favourites but we're now so cold, soaked & I can't see for rain streaming down my glasses, my shoulder is now very painful. To cut a long story shorter we very sadly left the stadium, abandoning the gig - we just weren't prepared for the soaking we got. I'm pleased for those that got to see the whole set because it still sounded amazing as we were walking back towards the city - the songs just kept coming. I can't believe I missed Everything Counts - I think I cried into the rain running down my face at that. The only thing that gave us hope was that we had Budapest in 2 days & the first thing we were going to buy in that city?.... a massive tourist waterproof poncho, & maybe a fleece?... out the window is 'what cool retro Depeche t shirt am I going to wear?
As you can see from the post concert video below, this was a gig that was beyond wet. Sorry it affected your enjoyment Rachel, but thanks for soldiering on for the benefit of the blog. Budpest will be different - look froward to reading all about it.