As Depeche Mode gear up to start the second leg of the Global Spirit Tour and fans all over the world arrange to meet up via the likes of Home and seemingly endless numbers of Facebook groups, Jenna Rose Robbins' book Faithful And Devoted serves as a gloriously nostalgic reminder of how tours used to be before the internet arrived. A wonderfully written memoir of her trek from America to Spain to follow the band on the Devotional tour, Faithful And Devoted is a book that no Depeche Mode fan wants to miss.
If you're old enough to remember Bong magazine, Faithful And Devoted will strike a chord with you. Bong was the much missed official Depeche Mode fanclub and its magazine was a source of Depeche info that fans would devour when it popped through their letterboxes. One section of the magazine was given over to people looking for penpals, and through this section, Jenna met Marta, a Spanish Depeche fan. Ahead of the Devotional tour, Marta persuaded Jenna to head to Marta's native Spain to take in three gigs on the tour. That's how it was done in the old days kids.
The book is much more than just a Depeche Mode book however - it would be unfair to pigeonhole it that way. All music fans will recognise bits of themselves in Jenna, from the thrill of taking in a concert where your heroes are within touching distance, to the obsession with the music, all the way to the wonderfully buzz you get covertly sneaking around, your parents oblivious to it, just to make sure you see your band. Ok, there might not be that many people who went to the lengths Jenna went to, but you will recognise elements of yourself throughout the book. The tension in the storyline is a key aspect to the tale too. Jenna is constantly aware of the fact that she's going against her parents' wishes and there are times she feels desperately alone, feeling a million miles away from home in a country she doesn't know.
Music is the one thing that keeps her going though, with Depeche Mode soundtracking her act of rebellion. She sees them live and ends up befriending members of support act Marxman, that friendship leading to unforgettable moments spent in the presence of her heroes. Backstage passes, parties and drinks bought by Alan Wilder - that's just a little bit more exciting than the educational trip to France she pretended she was travelling to Europe for.
Jenna's words of faith and devotion will be familiar not just to Depeche Mode fans, but to all music fans, especially those who remember how mysterious tours seemed in the pre internet days. Set against a very personal backdrop, the book is a gripping read from start to finish. As you prepare to attend gigs on the next legs of the Global Spirit Tour, arranging meet ups online, booking tickets to pre and post show parties and memorising setlists widely reported all over the internet, take time to read this and relive the Devotional era through the eyes of a Devotee.
Faithful And Devoted - Confessions Of A Music Addict by Jenna Rose Robbins is available now via Amazon and all good retailers.
Jenna Rose Robbins http://www.jennarobbins.com/about/