Wednesday, 31 January 2018


For this review we welcome back Luisa Carones (@tanisluis) , fresh from her Berlin experience and ready to face the trial of Early Entry in her home city of Milan. As you'll see, Luisa displayed devotion on a level many of us would get no near to and was rewarded both in terms of her place in the queue and by Mr Gahan himself. Thank you to Luisa for the great review and thank you also to Roberta Sotgiu (@RobertaSotgiu) a photographer from Genoa who has provided the pictures. She and Luisa got talking at the gig and Roberta suggested the blog could use her pictures which was very kind. The Depeche Mode family at work!

Where should I start? By telling you that Milan is my hometown and, as such, a DM gig here is a special event for me? Or by apologising for not being as articulate as I would want, as I skipped rest, nights, meals and everything else in normal life, for 4 days in a row, and so my brain is not really functioning? Or simply by stressing that Saturday gig has been the best experience I have had on this tour so far – hence my brain working even less efficiently?

If you have read my previous review, you know that I’ve been to multiple shows on the Global Spirit Tour, and Saturday's concert in Milan was number 14 for me. As you can guess,  the gig in Milan on Monday 29 was number 15, but reviewing that one is someone else’s job, luckily... 

Thus, by now, I have acquired quite a nice amount of experience in preparing that military operation aka queuing for EE; besides, being at home and thus not needing all the logistical support normally required for a woman travelling alone abroad, I could focus on the basics: what time should I start queuing? As I said for Berlin, I knew that German people are crazy and would camp outside venues starting the night before the concert, but I also know my hometown and my fellow citizens too well, so I was ready for something big. And that’s what I got: the queue started not just the night before, but at 9a.m. ON FRIDAY...yup, that means that people, including me, waited outside the arena, in the cold and in the rain, for 36 hours!

The nice thing is Italian fans are very well organized (you wouldn’t expect that, would you?) and the checking of names and numbers at regular times really works well. There is even a fan – and a big shout-out to Nicola here is absolutely required – who prepares wonderful “passes” with numbers and dates of events, each with the title of a different DM song on it. It’s a great souvenir of the evening, one especially foreigners appreciate a lot, and I can barely figure out the amount of time and love he puts into this, for free of course, even for gigs he does not attend. I hope you can appreciate Nicola’s work in the photo of my badge.

As you can see in the photo, I had number 8, which means that I managed to be in the first row and in my perfect spot facing Dave and his nice little moves...And this time it paid off! As you will see...

On Saturday, the Forum was absolutely packed and people were filling their seats well ahead the beginning of the show. Right after EMA had ended with their act, the crowd started chanting and clapping to the rhythm of the DJ set. When the charity video was shown, the arena boomed with thousands of voices singing Where’s The Revolution and when the band appeared in the clip for those 2 seconds, the roar from the audience was almost as if the boys had actually got on stage. I knew my town would not disappoint.

When they did get on stage the party began: we all know that Going Backwards is a very strong opener, but this was the first time I had felt so much energy coming from the crowd, as if everyone’s heart had burst in unison releasing the tension and anticipation they had kept inside. The voices of people singing every single word with Dave filled the place, and it was clear that even the band thoroughly felt that strong reception: Dave was laughing as a child right from the second verse of the song (not very appropriate, though, considering the lyrics...)

That energy and pouring of love kept on building and building throughout the night, and all the guys on stage were clearly pleased, happy, entertained and even moved by what they were getting from the audience, and gave their all to please and move the audience in turn. Barrel Of A Gun, for instance, was so strong and aggressive that, even though it has never been a favourite of mine, I could really feel how deeply Dave lives it, especially in the final bridge when he sings about “the holy one”.

Precious is another example of how the band senses the mood of the crowd. That song has always been a fan favourite in Italy, possibly because it has a melody which suits the Italian ear for music, and Saturday it got the best reaction I’ve heard on the tour: as in response to that, the rendition of the melody and Dave’s flawless vocals produced a magic and moving vibe in a section of the set which normally gets a little overlooked by fans around the world.

Even the usually not-so-sponateous final oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh chorus to Home – let’s face it, Martin often has to work a bit hard to get the people going – this time sounded really unprompted and, of course, it became an ovation when Dave got back on stage and conducted it. We could have gone on for hours, and actually we kept on for a good 3 minutes, even after everyone on stage had stopped. The same happened at the end of Enjoy The Silence, when people erupted in a spontaneous chorus, never heard in other cities, taking up the melody of Matin’s guitar riff for several minutes and with the band silent, happy and almost astonished on stage.

And this leads me to underline the singing and chanting so typical at concerts in Italy. Every word of every song was sung, not only by the hotheads in the first rows, but virtually by every person in the audience, and that sound was so powerful that, at times, it almost blew the roof of the MediolanumForum off. We have all heard crowds all over the world singing the chorus to Enjoy The Silence when Dave asks for it, and we also know that Martin’s backing vocals can still be heard above the voices of the crowd during his section of the chorus. Well, in Milan, for the first time, the sound coming from the audience had such a mighty punch that it overwhelmed Martin’s own voice, and the arena just reasounded with 13000 happy voices....simply amazing.

The same level of sound was kept throughout most of the songs, with Stripped sung at the top of everyone’s lungs as much as any of the fan favourites. Stripped is another song I have often felt gets overlooked at several venues, as though it suffered its positioning in the set and for that reason it sometimes comes across somewhat flat. Well, that was not the case on Saturday: people just kept the flow and level of energy at the top, without missing a bit the whole concert.

And then there are the stadium like chants (Depeche Mode – Depeche Mode in-between songs or po-poro-poro po-poro-poro at the beginning and end of Walking in My Shoes) for which Italian venues are famous. The boys clearly enjoyed that part too: Dave kept laughing all night, Martin was smiling and, surprisingly, looking at people in the eyes, and even Fletch danced more than usual showing off his skilled moves.... Everyone was having a blast and dancing and singing like mad.

The only exception to all that was Cover Me. But do not get me wrong, it was a mindblowing exception. As if by magic, with all that sound and singing, everyone just kept silent all of a sudden: 13000 pair of eyes were simply captured by Dave’s wiry figure in the spotlight and 13000 mouths lip-synced to the song without uttering a sound, enraptured by the sheer beauty of that song, which has clearly reached the status of a DM classic hit by now.

I guess I do not need to get into details of what happened during the most popular crowd pleasers, as I have run out of words and adjectives: I can just repeat myself by saying that everyone danced and sang and screamed and shouted and jumped up and down like crazy. In a word a real and thoroughly entertaining mayhem...with a band so energized by the instinctive reaction of the audience that it just responded in tune. An astounding flow of passion, love and enthusiasm going back and forth between audience and stage.

Where’s The Revolution, though, deserves a few more words. I know that some devotees think that that song has had it by now, and, actually, I felt the same. But on Saturday it sounded absolutely powerful, raw and meaningful – maybe because of the special bond of love and energy I have been trying to describe – with many people in the audience rising their left fists during the chorus, really kind of calling for a revolution.

As for the remaining songs of the usual setlist, I can’t find anything else to add which you do not know already, I just loved every minute of it and I can say – without sounding a patriotic junky, which I am not – that a DM gig in Milan is an out-of-this-world experience.

On a not-so-side note I have to add that standing in the front row has A LOT of bonuses: I could feel part of that living body of passion without being distracted by anything else (as finding room to breathe or to move), I could study the expressions and little gestures of everyone on stage and the way the guys interact with one another, with Dave always playful and in an excellent mood. But, most important, I got the chance to often lock eyes with Mr Gahan and to enjoy his beautiful childlike smile ( I go again with my fangirlish side...). You all know that he always looks for eye-contact with the audience in order to engage everyone, but when it happens to you he just makes you feel like he is singing for you, and for you only, and, geez, that’s positively amazing! 

Then, at the end of the concert, when all five of them got togheter front stage for the final bow, I showed Dave my little banner which just said “thank you”, he aknowledged it and when he came forward to wave the last goodbyes he thanked me, blew a kiss to me and made the heart gesture with his hands: I just melted on the spot and ended up as a puddle....

A pretty nice ending to a great evening, uh?


Thank you Luisa!

Monday, 29 January 2018


Not only is this is great review but it's also a Depeche Mode wordsearch! Stephan Bobinger has written this blog all about the Nuremberg gig which will entertain you both by reading it and by hunting for the 55 Depeche song titles hidden throughout it. Not a bad way to get your brain started on a Monday morning. Thank you very much for this Stephan and for the pictures too. All pictures are Stephan's unless otherwise credited (hello to Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group).

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

21.01.2018 Nuremberg – I WANT YOU NOW

The concert in Nuremberg was somehow planned as my personal absolute climax of the tour. To understand that I need to talk about some things first:


… to the time when my relation with Depeche Mode started, means going back almost to the start of the band. It was my older brother who started with Speak & Spell and their first concert in Munich when I was just little 15. At the age of 17 in 1984 I went with him to my first Mode concert in Munich, the first sounds of this concert still in my ears: Something to do (and still that happens all the time). 


… I just missed one tour (1990) in Munich since that time. But I wasn’t that crazy about the band like today. Which means, for centuries I couldn’t even think of travelling for a Depeche Mode concert to another city, country or even continent. Within TOTU tour I went first time to Stuttgart in 2009 because it was the closest concert in the winter leg and then I thought it would be fun the see the band at home in London (O2-Arena). In fact both concerts were fine but still not worth travelling so far.

This changed with Delta Machine, one of their best records for long. With the new songs and the rest of the setlist the Delta Machine Tour 2013/2014 was just perfect for me. So I started after the Munich concert to attend more concerts on the tour (especially Berlin with the DVD recording and two incredible shows in Zürich), in total I finished with six until the end of the tour. And I started to think about going to DM concerts in other countries but on that tour the dates just didn’t fit for me. I was infected just looking for them to…


So when the Global Spirit Tour came closer I started planning and this time it was different. I wanted to go to 6-8 concerts on the tour - at least. Well at the end of 2017 I counted 10, Nuremberg was my third in 2018 with few more to come, and a new highlight with the two final shows in Berlin at the Waldbühne. So at the end of the tour it will be about twenty DM concerts, feeling like a pipeline of concerts and of energy. CRAZY!?! Maybe. Not happiest girl but happiest boy.

When I read David’s “Almost predictable – almost”, I couldn’t stop nodding. Yes, every Mode concert is predictable – almost. And always the same – and so different. The fans are different, the mood, the enthusiasm, the men or women standing or sitting or dancing or singing next to you. Sometimes in negative sense but in most cases very positive. I read some reports here of concerts I have been as well, to some I can agree very well, to some it seems to me that they have attended another concert. But in fact, every review speaks the truth is – for the author.


…from home my first concert on this tour was in May 2017 in Bratislava, a town and country I haven’t been to before (but it’s nice there). As the first concert on the tour it was special to me for sure. Waiting for the sun and the rainfall later (never got so wet in a Mode concert) I was lucky to get as close to Dave as never before (second row besides the catwalk). A dangerous feeling because you want more to soothe your soul, of course. Feeling, the love, itself.

Budapest two days later started with a funny experience like your Personal Jesus when I just made a short stop before the concert at the band hotel when Dave leaving the hotel to the car almost struck me because I was standing close to the (secret) door he came out. The concert itself featured an overwhelming Hungarian audience, with the most fantastic NLMDA waving I’ve ever seen (from my seating place). 


After attending these two concerts just on my own but not feeling alone, my home concert in Munich in the Olympic stadium was special in another point. For the first time my daughter went with me and some friends who are no Mode fans but they all liked it. Munich audience is not the best in Germany – at least for Depeche Mode. So I expected much more two and three days later from the double concert in Hannover. And you can get right with me. First, I met again Simone, a crazy Mode fan I get to know in Zurich 3 years ago and every Mode related minute with her is just incredible fun. The audience on Sunday in Hannover was just as fantastic as expected or even better. Monday morning we spent taking the breakfast just opposite the band hotel and we were very lucky to meet Fletch and Peter Gordeno when they came out of the hotel for a few minutes, we almost couldn’t breathe. The concert that evening featured the first changes in the setlist on this tour with Martin stopping a song because he forgot the words (Strangelove). 

So, five really good concerts on leg 1. But at that time (in the middle of June) I had no idea of what would be in store for me.


Fortunately as I work hard, I had one week vacation in the beginning of October, still nothing planned. And I went for more black celebration: I took a flight to the States for two Mode concerts in San Diego and San Francisco. On my way to San Diego, I made a stop at the Passadena stadium in remembrance of the 101 concert, and of course, while sitting behind the wheel I listened to incredible songs they never played since like People Are People or The Things You Said. The concert in San Diego (or Chula Vista) was an experience on its own due to a lot of bad circumstances (it was not a pain I’m used to and I didn’t really suffer well with some health problems and traffic jams as the later reported here before) and the crowd was special on its own as maybe half of the audience was more into meeting friends and family than into the concert itself but everybody was having a good time. 

On my way back to San Francisco, sure with a fly on the windscreen, I stopped, of course in Barstow at the route 66 and had to stay in a motel named the same with painkiller who fail, with me feeling sometimes like a martyr. But I didn’t surrender.

San Francisco or better San Jose was very different to Chula Vista with many more devotees dressed in black (or even wearing a new dress) and a great indoor show. But Dave had more to entertain and motivate the audience than in Germany. 


So, back at the end of November two concerts in Germany were waiting for me, again meeting angel Simone. While Frankfurt was good as expected but no more (the last time on my tour), expectations for Stuttgart were lower as I knew Stuttgart audience from two concerts before as more quiet. I was wrong – totally wrong. Even the band seemed very surprised about the audience, it was more than a party.

The final concert of 2017 for me, Simone and the five guys was in Madrid. I expected a great Spanish audience and was correct. But the German, Italian and Danish people around us at the end of the catwalk (we were first row) were even more crazy. Thank you Madrid and thank you, Dave for your handshake!

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group


…was almost the second concert in Berlin in January. While Simone made 5 amazing concerts in a row I joined her for the two in Berlin and the one in Nuremberg. A fantastic devotee time, which I will keep in my secret garden, with a good concert on Wednesday night and a special one – like full condemnation or eruption – on the Friday night. After driving back to our homes we met again finally on Sunday noon for 


I prefer standing places to seating and Golden Circle or Front of Stage to normal standing. In Nuremberg for the first time I had Early Entry (with Simone and Karola). That means you can enter inside before all others and you get some devotee stuff. But: You are not the only one with Early Entry (expect 150-300 on each concert), so if you want to be in the first row, you have to be there earlier than early. 

In Nuremberg I arrived by train from home at about 12.30 and got the number 53. That means 52 devotees can decide about where to stand before you can decide for yourself. It took until 4 in the afternoon until the door opened (only for early entry). While waiting I met a lot of nice people, so they can take a photograph of you, ask what’s your name or you can listen to the stories of old devotees. So, while waiting for the night from inside they were playing Walking In My Shoes for soundcheck or whatever in heavy rotation. At least you now have a clean toilet inside but the organization is still no sweetest perfection. At about 6 one by one can enter the inner arena and choose his place - slowly. Simone and Karola chose first row at the end of the catwalk right side and I joined them (they had a bit lower number than me). Very soon the arena filled and while we at the first or second row were sitting because for the next 90 minutes nothing would happen all the other people next were standing – very close. Maybe I shouldn’t have worn the Cover Me-Shirt?

Like in Berlin the concert hall was very hot, probably Dave wants that for his voice? As the starting time came close, the closer the audience was standing and some were even a bit aggressive, maybe some had a black day? It was a quite explosive mood but as well in the positive sense, so I imagined an audience as good as in Berlin on Friday – and I was right. 

The Nuremberg audience was just incredible and the band realized that very soon. As far as I saw, almost everybody was standing and moving from the first second, and the noise and singing was as loud as in Madrid or Friday in Berlin – sometimes even louder.

I love the new tracks, Going Backwards is perfect to start the concert, Cover Me is now a classic song in itself (please don’t drop it ever), Where’s The Revolution is becoming more and more part of the face of this tour with Dave standing on top at the end of it with his fist extending. Unfortunately they skipped So Much Love in the winter, sorry, but that’s no good. And I still miss at least Martin singing his new songs because like Fail and Eternal very much. 

But as I told you so, a Mode concert is more than singing 20 different songs. Especially when you have seen almost the same show more than ten times. Every show I realize new aspects and details, in Nuremberg e.g. concerning the lights during World In My Eyes which with its new intro is the first highlight followed by Cover Me which brought a real outburst of emotion at the end of the catwalk when Dave appeared and reached out his hand. But this time it was very difficult for all because the distance between the catwalk and the fence was larger than usual. So, I reached Dave in Madrid, but not tonight. 

Martin singing Insight is a real magical moment like Dave often says. And Home got a real classic by the audience singing it for minutes on its own in Nuremberg.

The combination of Where’s The RevolutionWrong Everything CountsStrippedEnjoy The Silence – Never Let Me Down Again is probably is the best they ever created. Unfortunately they skipped Wrong for the winter leg but that makes it even more intense. The Nuremberg crowd singing Everything Counts like it would really count in larger amounts the longer they sing... stunning and leaving Dave confused but happy as well.

For the Encore we all expected the usual songs but the band had a big surprise in store: Martin singing I WANT YOU NOW. Never heard that song live because it was never played in Europe since 1990, the only tour I missed (in 1994 it was played in US the last time ever). And it is such a wonderful tune. Thank you, Martin! I just hope that they will play it again. The crowd was surprised too – listening in devotion.

One last new detail, in the last minute of A Question Of Time Dave throws his microphone stand on the ground (in Berlin on Friday as well, first time on tour?), feeling so much energy in the arena?

Oh well, finally after Personal Jesus the boys say go, Dave leaving the stage stripped to the waist for a final scream of the female fans and everybody having experienced another magic night. 

And I am so glad that the last curtain has not fallen.

By the way, I hope you realized that my report contained 55 Depeche Mode titles which are not part of the standard winter tour setlist. If not, you should go back to the start of this review and find them again!



Thank you Stephan!

Sunday, 28 January 2018


Today's review comes courtesy of Benjamin Ubu from Nantes, France who runs the superb blog . As well as this review, you can also find another review on his site and, even though my French is rusty at best, it's a review worth reading if you can. This one is great too - it really captures the vibe of the show. I'd read a lot of positive reports on Home and elsewhere and Benjamin's review backs that up. Thanks very much for this Benjamin and thanks as ever to Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group for the pictures.

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

Hi everyone, I’m Benjamin, a French fan of Depeche Mode. It is the third time I’m seeing them this year, and I had a blast every time. Thank you very much to David, who gives me the opportunity to write here. It’s a great honor to me, so I’m going to try and tell the story of this wonderful music night the best I can. A big thank you also to Enguerrand Lavaud a friend and capable translator, who prepared this version of the article using his best English.

It’s 2 in the morning and I don’t feel like sleeping. I’m in Bordeaux France, I drove 400 kilometers in a day and it’s raining. As I am writing those words in the room of a cheap hotel that’s built on the edge of the highway, bothered by the noise of the truck’s engines and by my neighbors that I can hear through the paper-thin walls, It looks like I should have a nervous breakdown and stay in bed.

And yet, I feel like the king of the world or even and emperor! Tonight for the second time in 6 month I’ve crossed path with Depeche Mode. And in spite of the late hour I’d really like to talk to you about this encounter!

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

I’ve put my daily grind on hold, and I became once again a child, rediscovering the thrill of earing one of his favorite bands: Depeche Mode.

And it was a F-U-C-K-I-N-G pleasure! So now I  intend to share it all with you: so don’t refuse this present !

Everything started several months ago, when a certain Elodie, reached by yours truly, sends me two seats (well positioned I should add) for the 24th of January 2018 Depeche Mode concert at the Bordeaux Metropole Arena, a brand new shiny venue which had the privilege to be inaugurated by Dave, Martin and Andy.

Weeks are passing, and I’m trying, without success, to receive the green light for a picture with the band, or even better to meet them (I’m kind of an optimistic). The 24 January morning soon is here!

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

We drive for three hours to Bordeaux. Fun fact, we practically had to cancel our journey because we didn’t have the proper mean of payment at the highway toll. But Dave and Martin where looking upon us, so we were able to reach Bordeaux without any other trouble.

As we reach the new Arena, we are left breathless, it is an impressive venue. The inside of the venue is great, hope the locals will use it well! 

The wait is starting…the opening act is a young person with a pleasant voice, she delivers a solid performance although a little conventional to my taste. We are enjoying her phrasing that sounds a bit like Patti Smith, but the similarity goes no further. As she leaves the stage, my tiny sensitive heart his beating faster than ever, I now what’s going to happen in a minute.. 

Just as for their Paris concert in July, a short film promoting the charity the Spirit tour is supporting is shown, It must be meant to remind us that or presence is contributing to a good cause. Then a quick excerpt of the Beatles' Revolution is played as a prelude to Depeche Mode's arrival on stage.

The lights are turned down and in the dark, we are still able to see that the band has arrived, greeted by a general cheering of the crowd, the girls behind me are happily yelling for good measure. I have never had this effect on woman, I assure you it’s daunting! Depeche Mode Starts the gig by the tune Going Backwards, one of my favorite on the Spirit LP.

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

To my surprise and for my greatest joy, to following tune is the wonderful It’s No Good! Masterfully delivered by a Dave Gahan obviously at the top of his game. The essential Barrel Of A Gun follows, always very powerful live. 

They keep on rockin with A Pain That I’m Used To (from the LP Playing The Angel), the talented guitarist and composer of most of Depeche Mode songs, Martin Gore, is taking the mic for the backing vocals. Then comes Useless (featured on the Ultra LP). The image on the screen freezes and Dave cracks a joke about the incident before he performs this beautiful song loaded with meaning.

Precious is next, with an unusual musical arrangement, very rock’n roll, that suits the song very well. Dave and Martin seem to be reading my mind since they proceed to a classic of Depeche Mode: World In My Eyes, which is simply gorgeous! Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful moments of the concert.

But stay tuned! They follow with , a great number featured on Spirit,  the enjoyment doubled by the video clip in which we can see Dave play a strange cosmonaut. The songs reveal all its emotional potential, definitely a terrific song.

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

Now let’s go straight to the song Home, where Martin Gore is offering us a beautiful rendition of this classic from Depeche Mode’s catalogue. I’m really enjoying the vocals of Martin on this last one. Dave then returning for In Your Room always very exciting.

The hit song from Spirit, Where’s the Revolution is finally here, the chorus is being sung as one person by the thousands of happy fans here tonight! At this stage, I owe it to the reader to confess that I am not neutral anymore! After an hour long of music I was already on another planet, but given Dave, Martin and Andy’s energy on stage, we were still getting our money’s worth…

With a really techno sounding intro, Everything Counts arrives without a warning! The crowd’s fervor is now going up a notch, and so does the heat in the arena. But be ready for the rest of the program:  Stripped-  this gorgeous tune that I listen to virtually everyday is being disclosed, and let me tell you,…it doesn’t get any better, I close my eyes and let myself be carried by the music, I hope I remember it until the day I die. As usual it brought me to tears!

You’ll agree with me when I say we already reached a musical orgasm won’t you? But behold, the party isn’t over yet!A n immortal number, dare I say it, the masterpiece of Depeche Mode, is now being launched: Enjoy The Silence! It's a splendid longer version. I feel like I’m about to have a heart attack, but you know what, I don’t care!

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

We are already knocked out plain and simple, Dave and Martin set up to finish the job by throwing at us Never Let Me Down Again… who could remain insensitive to this song ? But we are starting to feel the end of the concert is getting closer… Two hours have passed without us noticing. The band is now leaving the stage, but since we are a couple of smarty-pants, we wait for the encore.

Martin Gore is the first to come back, supported by one musician on the piano, he sings Strangelove. It’s simply beautiful, even the girls behind me have stopped yelling. The rest of the band is now coming back as well, and there they go with Walking In My Shoes, which rings-out…I'm in seventh heaven.

Depeche Mode finishes the concert with two very famous numbers, that have been standing-out in their catalogue for years, A Question Of Time and Personal Jesus! What more could we ask for!? It was a monumental concert!

We leave the venue, surrounded by fulfilled people, we pick up the setlist from the sound engineer, who were at their best tonight. Thanks to you gentlemen. I am a little sad thinking that it is already over, but we’ll have a chance to see them again in July at the Beauregard Festival in Normandy.

Simply happy, we are heading back to our hotel. Depeche Mode is way more than a simple band, in just about an evening they had me forget my daily worries. Once again this communion with them reminded me how important they were to me. Nonetheless, we were 11 000 in this arena tonight, and I think I can safely say that 11 000 people went to bed with a smile on their face tonight.

In any case, this is a nice token of Franco-British friendship, David we can do it again any time !


Merci Banjamin!

Thursday, 25 January 2018


When I saw that Michael Rose was going to the Berlin gig on 19 January I had to ask if he'd be up for reviewing it - thankfully he was. As well as having a Depeche Mode collection that inspires pangs of jealousy every time a new picture pops up on Instagram, Michael has also featured on the BBC's The People's History Of Pop showing off his DM room and he's one of the moderators of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group where I occasionally (ahem) take a picture or two from (thanks for the ones below by the way). Oh and he's hosted the Depeche Facebook Takeover this year too. In other words, he's as qualified to write as review as anyone could be and this is a great read. Thanks Michael and thanks for the photos too all of which are Michael's unless otherwise credited. 

I must begin this review by asking you to indulge me in an introduction of sorts.

You see, this gig was going to be a proper ‘bucket list’ event – Depeche Mode live in Berlin.

This was to be my eighth German gig, having seen them in six other German cities across five tours, the first being over 30 years ago, but never Berlin.

I also need to point out that my wife, Caroline, is a fan too, and this month marked our 10th Wedding Anniversary. For the first time, the dates worked out and we could make it to Berlin, a long standing ambition for both of us. The planets were aligning, this was really going to happen, and it was going to be one hell of a trip!

I landed in Berlin with a list of Depeche Mode related locations I wanted to visit while in the city, and on the day of the gig got off to a flying start by visiting the ‘Hand mit Uhr’ sculpture by Joachim Schmettau, as featured in the video for Everything Counts. Berlin had already made me a happy man!

As we arrived at the arena that evening, the normal pre-gig excitement was building, but with the added element of the unknown: a new city and new venue.

On getting to the bar, I was relieved to see that the ‘Global Spirit Tour’ cups were available: I was going to be able to complete my collection of all four designs! (I do realise that the nerd in me is becoming apparent to you now!). I was also lucky enough at this point to meet up for the first time with long time online acquaintance, and friend of the blog, Panos Sialakas, who had travelled all the way from Greece for the event.

We took our seats in plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere before the show started, and it was already clear that this was going to be something special. It felt different, the excitement in the room palpable, it was truly electric, the anticipation immense.

This only intensified when the ‘Charity Water’ film was shown. When the band appeared on the screen, the place erupted as if they’d really taken to the stage! We, plus the other 17,000 or so others in attendance, knew we didn’t have long to wait.

Right on schedule at 20:45 the lights went down, and the whole venue leapt to its feet, making a deafening roar in the process. I remember turning to look at Caroline to confirm this was actually happening, and letting out my excitement as something audible, but not necessarily coherent.

What follows, in terms of set list, you’re of course all well familiar with by now. The first segment of the set goes as expected, although it highlights that no two Depeche Mode gigs are the same, but you know that already, of course! The band seem to be performing with something added, the songs delivered with such power and passion that the audience are feeding off the energy. Or are the band responding to the audience, feeding off us?

Cover Me has become a clear stand out on this tour, many have it said it before me, but there was something deeply emotional about it tonight as it leads us into Martin’s set. I felt genuinely moved, but hey, maybe that was just the beer?

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

This was night two though, so we have the set list changes to surprise us, surely? I know where the changes are likely to be, and even what those changes could possibly be. So, as Martin takes centre stage, we’re waiting for the first note: what’s he going to sing? Tonight, we get Sister of Night as our first change.

Once Dave has finished conducting the audience for the post Home singalong, he tells the Berlin audience “so much better than last night” (meaning Wednesday, of course), “you’ve been practicing”. Is he right? I’m not to know, but the crowd are eating out of Dave’s hand, and they take it regardless.

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

In Your Room follows, and with it, goose bumps. This is my wife’s favourite song, and the version on this tour returns it to its former greatness. When Dave hits the ‘your favourite slave’ line, I turn and put my arm around her, giving a knowing squeeze, words unnecessary. At the same time, a woman behind me screams, overwhelmed, emotional. It’s like she’s in on the moment, and you remember you’re sharing this intimacy with thousands who feel the same, a collective worship.

The biggest shock for me follows, unexpectedly, and for the first time, Where’s The Revolution is dropped from the set as a change, and replaced by Policy Of Truth. I saw just one lonely balloon rise from the crowd, in a sad and futile attempt to recreate the former glory of the ‘Tour of the Universe’ performances.

We go with it, but it’s not the set list change I was hoping for!

Everything Counts goes some way in defining what’s different about this crowd and performance tonight, the place descends into absolute delirium as that brilliant new introduction kicks in. They’re loud, they’re lively, they’re united, and I doubt there’s an unmoved soul in the arena. After a lengthy singalong at the song’s end, Dave even comments that we’re still going, and naturally tells us “Berlin, you really are the best!”. For the first time on this tour, I think I believe him!

Stripped is greeted like an old friend when the intro starts, the momentum continuing with a clear fan favourite. As Dave gives it his all during a monumental Enjoy The Silence, we’re counted in with an ‘Eins, Zwei, Drei, Vier’, which goes down well with the native speakers, before heading into the dramatic main set finale of Never Let Me Down Again. I naturally take a moment to survey the whole arena of waving arms, and what a beautiful sight it is, as always!

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

Martin returns with another set list change, treating us to Judas. This is followed by yet another crowd rousing performance of Walking In My Shoes. Then, unexpectedly, the audience continues with a previously unheard singalong of the distinctive intro, with even Peter Gordeno joining in and playing a few notes here and there to accompany the audience. ‘Da, da da, da da. Da, da da, da da’!

The fourth, and final set list change for the fact fans is I Feel You in place of A Question of Time, and I have to admit, another change I wasn’t fond of. But that’s not going to spoil anything tonight, and before you know it, we’re drawing this magnificent concert to a close with Personal Jesus, and we’re reaching out and touching faith for all our worth.

We’re spent and deliriously happy, but our night is not over yet. Earlier on in the day, I found out we were lucky enough to have been put on the guest list for the band’s after show party. So, like salmon swimming upstream against a surge of black, we have to make our way through the exiting crowd, in the opposite direction to the lounge where the after show is to take place.

I know we’re in a privileged position, and I’m content to be here having my post gig drink in quite a unique setting, just enjoying the moment.

Fletch arrives first, followed by Christian, Peter and Jez. I leave them to mingle, not wanting to intrude. Martin then makes an appearance, as does Daniel Miller.

I naturally let them catch up with friends and family, and when the time is right, take the opportunity to say hello to Martin. We manage to spend some time with him, and thank him for a great night. We have a few laughs, and of course make sure he’s aware we’ve travelled from Essex! He’s gracious and friendly, and actually confirms that tonight was much better than Wednesday, and that the crowd were incredible, the best night. The band really do feel the difference, it’s definitely a two way relationship.

L-R Caroline, some bloke, Michael

As the night draws to a close, and we leave the venue, we bump into Daniel and get the chance to say hello to him too. A perfect end to what had already been a pretty spectacular night.

Berlin, you really are the best!

Thanks to David for asking me to do this, I’m happy to be involved in such a great project.


Thanks Michael!

Monday, 22 January 2018


I knew this project would be an odd experience and it certainly is, but one great consequence of it is making new friends in the Depeche world. One of them is Claudia Schulzi who I've met at a few gigs which is cool and, even though she's contributed so much to this blog already, she volunteered to review the Cologne gig last week. I was delighted as her reviews here and on her superb My Daily Mode Blog site are always a great read. The day of the Cologne gig was also Claudia's birthday and as you'll see, she got a rather nice present from Mr Gahan. Thank you so much for this and the pictures Claudia.

Happiest girl – Depeche Mode, Lanxess Arena, Cologne, 15 January 2018

Good evening everybody, my name is Claudia, I wrote the Manchester review and was a part of the Hamburg review.

I'm so happy to write the review about Cologne, because it was my 52nd birthday and Cologne is my hometown. Can you imagine a better birthday party?

I'm the owner of my own small Depeche Mode Tour blog, David is a part of it now:

We came back on Sunday from Amsterdam and we met many friends in a great vegan restaurant "Bunte Burger". I'm vegan, but the most of my friends are not, but we had a wonderful evening, devotees from different cities, even different continents. Two friends from Tampa arrived to see Depeche Mode in Germany. I'm not sure if there is another band which such good devoted fans.

We had the little hope that Martin Gore will come for dinner to this restaurant, but he didn't.

Later I heard the band stayed in Dusseldorf for the two days, not in Cologne.

Dusseldorf is the neighbourhood city, not far away, smaller, but luxurious.

Next evening we met us all a few hours before the concert in the restaurant in front of the Lanxess arena. Another friend of mine, André has birthday, too, so we celebrated it together with many friends.

Andre and Claudia - Happy Birthday!

And so we went into the arena with such a large group of friends, an amazing warm and embraced feeling.

My expectations were not very high, concerts in the Lanxess Arena are often not very good, bad sound and the audience .... well, the people of Cologne have too many parties.

It often comes differently than you think and luckily it was the same here in Cologne.

From the first minute everybody was standing and the Cologne people greeted Depeche Mode with a huge applause.

I felt so good, everybody brought me drinks, everybody wanted to embrace me, wanted to take pictures with me, can't describe how I felt. Happy, happier, the happiest....happiest girl!

Mr. Gahan was in such an unbelievable mood. A friend said: "something has changed in his mind and yes, that's so true. Never saw him so relaxed like on this tour....touching hands, smiling....

The tempo was really fast in Cologne, it was an amazing feeling to see how my friends enjoyed Depeche Mode. Many of my friends came just for me, not because they are fans. Everyone knows and loves Depeche Mode, but a real fan, no.

They were all conquered by the Mr Gahan.

The magician who cast a spell on everyone!

The strong devotees and the fans, just for one day. To unite everyone, that's true art.

The whole concert was a party, but yes, there was one best moment.

I got many wonderful gifts from my friends this evening but the best present gave my friend Micheal to me.

He took me on his shoulders at Cover Me. You all know the moment when Dave is dancing to the end of the catwalk.

He shook hands, let himself be touched, formed a heart for the fans with his hands and made his "Man in Space" dance.

He must have seen me all the time, because I was at his height, but he ignored me, but then suddenly he turned to me, looked at me, threw me a kiss, I threw one back and then he knocked several times on his heart and then stayed for a while in this pose while he smiled at me.

A birthday gift from Dave Gahan

It was difficult not to fall off Michael's shoulders. When Dave left the catwalk, I climbed off Michael's shoulders and everybody hugged me, it was amazing.

I needed a small pause and went out to the restrooms. Many people spoke to me and said, wow, happy you.

Yes.... happiest girl I ever was!

The concert went on in this unbelievable mood. Sometimes I didn't like it when the people go crazy to the hits, but the Cologne people celebrated all songs and they went really crazy to the hits like  Home,  Everything Counts ( Dave thanked with "Dankeschön), Enjoy The Silence and Never Let Me Down. I spent another two times on the shoulders of Michael and Thomas. Thank you guys for this unforgettable moments.

To fast the concert came to the encore.

I gave really all I had at Personal Jesus. I love my life, I'm a really happy women, but if life had ended in that moment, it would have been fine. Surrounded with your dearest friends, your family, your "Personal Jesus", singing and dancing to your favorite music? Perfect.

Together with Rome the best concert of the whole tour. And I thank you all my friends and family, Depeche Mode and Mr. Gahan for this unforgettable birthday.


Thanks Claudia.

Friday, 19 January 2018


Berlin is one of those cities that most if not all Depeche fans want to see the band play live in. The band's link to the city, the German crowd, the fact that Berlin is a wonderful place - all these add up to make a DM Berlin gig a must see. Luisa Carones (@tanisluis) was one of the lucky gig goers on Wednesday night and this is her review. A lifelong Depeche fan, Luisa only saw the band live for the first time on this tour and she's made the most of it. It's a great read and one you'll really enjoy. Thank you to Luisa and thank you too to Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group for use of the pictures.

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

So guys, here I am trying to put into intelligible words for you what I felt – and what I normally feel, for that matter – at a DM gig.

Ever since I – purely on a whim at the back of a VERY black day - answered David’s call over the net for reviewing some uncovered winter leg dates, I have been thinking about what I could possibly write which might be of any interest and which hasn’t been written about this tour yet. Pretty much a hard task, considering that, unlike many of the reviewers here, I’m not such a music expert. I see myself as an average DM fan (well, maybe not that average, as you’ll find out), by now every devotee on the planet knows everything there is to know about every gig and, on top of that, English is not even my language. So, I’ve just decided to have a go and try to convey what goes through my mind and soul at a gig and in preparation for it. Hope you enjoy.

But first things first, I must confess that I have a – VERY – soft spot for Mr Gahan – yeah, who would have thought it, right? – so I apologise in advance if I get a bit carried away on that subject.

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group
The Global Spirit Tour

My first memory of a DM song is Master And Servant, which in 1984 won me over for its melody, industrial sound, the outstanding warm deep voice of a young baby-faced lad and, yes, its lyrics – I was a naughty girl, wasn’t I?.... Thus, as you can imagine, I’m a pretty old fan. I even remember seeing the boys by chance at Milan Linate airport in (I guess) 1986, with no one else taking notice of them....but, because life is strange and takes you to diverse directions, for many different reasons I have never been able to see the band live until this tour. So you can imagine my anticipation for something I had been waiting to do for 30 odd years. For this tour I was determined to resume my teenage years habit of going to multiple gigs and of doing it alone.

Going Solo

I know it may sound strange to many of you, but going to concerts on my own is my favourite way of enjoying such a special event. I simply love being part of a crowd only united by the same enormous amount of love for what is going on on the stage: I do not want anyone to comment, to talk to me during the concert or to even try to understand and put into words what is happening. I just take in every second of the pure energy flowing from the stage to the audience and back. I do not even take photos, such is my level of involvement in the music and the performance. After all, as “someone” said, we are kind of odd, we just do not fit in with “normal” people, right? So, alone I went, and now that I’m old enough I can choose the best venues I want to attend without asking for anyone’s permission.

As we all know, Berlin is a special place for DM and, having been to Paris, London, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Madrid and Amsterdam (and, of course, most Italian cities), Berlin was still missing to my list, so I set out for this 5-day jaunt to the German capital.

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group
The Queue

I knew it was going to be tough because of the weather and the German fans: yep, I’m the kind of fan with EE tickets who starts queuing up very early, and in January it can get f**ing cold...and it just happened that on Wednesday it was positively freezing: a cold breeze and hours of snow could discourage less devoted fans. But, oh no, not the German Black Swarm! At gigs in Germany there's always the same group of loyal people who defy any weather condition and start queuing up at the EE gate the NIGHT BEFORE the concert. They are probably hardened by the hell of a weather they normally get, while I'm used to more forgiving climate or, simply, I'm well past the age of spending nights out in the cold like that, so, when I got to the Mercedez-Benz Arena at 7 a.m. (7 in-the-bloody-morning!) I was number 34, which is not bad, though no chance of making it to the front row.

Then the long wait starts, but, as many of you know, that is all part of the fun of going to DM gigs. In the queue you get to meet up with many people you saw at previous gigs – actually we are more or less always the same crazy bunch – you chat with people from all over the world and we share our experiences and emotions. DM fans are just great!

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group
Doors Opening

During the day the queue is generally quiet and relaxed, but, as the time of doors opening approaches, you can really sense the anticipation and the thrill going through the crowd. Up to that moment we are normal, civilised adults, almost making friends with one another. When security checks start and the doors are about to open however, everyone starts looking at their neighbours as impostors and competitors for the best spot in the pit: no more friends. I would say sharks ready to fight.... I am really glad that security reasons nowadays do not allow running and pushing that much.

As I hinted at above, I have my own preference concerning the band, unfortunately that preference happens to be shared with another hundred women of all ages in the queue, and that’s where the real cat fight begins! Anyway, I think you all guessed which is MY perfect spot in the pit....yeah, that’s right!!! I’ve been incredibly lucky – and strong-willed, and resilient – in the winter leg. I have been standing up front centre stage at many venues, sometimes even first row, generally second or third. I have however always succeeded in standing right opposite Dave’s mic stand, and the ladies here know too well what that means. This time I got to second row, slightly to Dave's left. Luckily I’m quite tall – many on this blog have underlined that tall people seem to concentrate in unusual high percentages at DM gigs, dammit! – and most of the time I can manage to get a great view of the proceedings.

My 2+ Hours Of Bliss

OK, I might be overreacting a bit here, but, actually, every time for me the concert itself is like suspending reality, just let everything go and have a blast. This time around I entered the venue with mixed feelings: in Frankfurt the German audience had felt a bit flat – at least to my Italian sensibility – but I also hoped that Berlin would deliver a different atmosphere. And it did.

As I said, I’m not a music critic so I won’t take you through each song – besides you know the setlist by heart. I just would like you to feel the atmosphere and the emotions of the night.

As soon as the usual charity video was over, the crowd got into a frenzy: the floor audience started to launch into Mexican waves while everyone in the seats was clapping to the rhythm of the DJ set music. This even before the Beatles introduction had started and with the arena still lit. When the lights went off and the familiar boots appeared on the screen, the roar from the audience was stadium like, only to grow even louder when the band walked on stage, turning into thunder when Dave, unexpectedly, stopped for a brief moment at the left of the stage, his back to the audience, his right hand up in the victory gesture, before getting up to the elevated catwalk. That fleeting moment told me that Mr Gahan was in for a serious performance. I know he always delivers, I know he has such a great charisma that no one in the audience can take their eyes off of him for a second, but, maybe because of the special meaning of Berlin, last night his vocal performance was extraordinary. He was extremely focused throughout: in the verses of Useless he hit some amazingly deep baritone - almost bass-like - notes I had never heard him hit before: my soul is still vibrating with that sound. He harmonized the “engine’s humming” lines of Where's The Revolution in a different key, once more his awesome deep silky baritone, which made my ears dancing with joy. I had never witnessed a more consistent and high quality vocal performance, especially in the first half of the set, which, sometimes, just flows by as an intro to the hits part of the gig.

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group
Another vocal highlight for me was In Your Room. That song builds and builds live in a way that the studio version does not, and it also gives Dave the chance to delight us ladies with his mic stand pole dance, which is always received with enthusiastic screams by the female part of the audience. The same must be said of course for World In My Eyes with his repeated suggestive hand gestures and hips movements we lust after (err...ok, I am getting carried away here...). Ahem... getting back to the general atmosphere of the gig, besides the usual crowd pleasers of the second half of the set, the audience, and your reviewer, went nuts for A Pain That I'm Used To and A Question of Time, during which the whole first four or five rows jumped up and down like mad: simply cathartic!

The usual closing to Personal Jesus left everybody exhausted but happy and wanting more.

So, that’s it. As always, the experience is so overwhelmingly magical that I forget the hundreds of times in the queue I said this would be the last time I’m doing such things, that I’m too old for queuing up at night outside concert venues, that I’m too tired and too cold, etc. etc. and I’m ready and eagerly waiting for my next fix (by the way, that will be tomorrow, hoping for the usual slight changes of the setlist on second shows in the same city). I’m almost appalled at the idea that this tour is coming to an end because I know I will sorely miss feeling “my senses to overflow” like this... 

On reading back, I realise that I will probably come across sligthly fangirlish and completely addicted. Yeah, I know, but DM do this, you see.


Thank you Luisa!