Tuesday 25 January 2011

Violator - rain, a Fiat Regatta, Bulk and Enjoying The Silence

The First in a series of Depeche Mode things

Depeche Mode are my favourite band of all time and always will be. Simple as that. Their music is inspiring, uplifting, occasionally gloomy but most of all simply fantastic. From Dreaming of Me to Everything Counts, Stripped, Personal Jesus and beyond they have constantly evolved always challenging the listener and must surely be viewed as one of the most influential acts of all time. This month is the 21st anniversary of my finally getting Depeche Mode and ultimately becoming worryingly obsessed about them. How did that all happen though, you ask. Well....

Castle Douglas High School was ten minutes from the house I grew up in. One rainy day in January 1990 however I decided to be a lazy bastard and get a lift from my Mum as I didnt want to get wet. Instead of wandering up to Bulk's house I'd sit in the car and leave him to the elements. Seemed harsh at the time but it turned out to be a wise move. Once in the family Fiat Regatta (F511 JSM as I recall) I stuck Radio 1 on and was instantly mesmerised by the beats and chorus of Enjoy The Silence. I'd never heard anything like that before in my life. This was hugely different to INXS.

I'd heard of Depeche Mode before then obviously. I had a copy of 101 which I loved as well as a copy of the Personal Jesus cassette single sourced from Bulk's big brother Graeme oddly enough but that was all. Enjoy The Silence was something different entirely however. The melody, the lyrics, the beats - it sounded amazing. From that day I was hooked to such an extent that I ventured into Dumfries the next Saturday and bought the 12". Heady days.

From hearing Enjoy The Silence until Violator came out in the March I tried to get my hands on as much Depeche Mode as I could and absorbed every bit of what I heard. Violator's release was the first DM album that was released when I was a fan. I bought the cassette as soon as it came out and spent the next few months listening to it on constant rotation until I memorised every single part of it. That could be excused by the fact I was only 15 at the time but it still applies today.

Since then I've spent God knows how much on Depeche Mode and bored everyone I know rigid by banging on about them seemingly constantly but I dont see that as wasted money or time. Quite the opposite really. I imagine I would have discovered Depeche Mode at some point anyway but if I hadnt been such a lazy bastard it would have taken a bit longer