Thursday 22 February 2024



Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

Depeche Mode and Berlin is always a special combination. Sarah Evans visited the city for her first Depeche Berlin experience earlier this month and here is her review. It's a great read - thank you very much Sarah. Follow her on Twitter at @sunforsarah All pictures here are Sarah's unless otherwise credited.

Picture courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos Facebook Group

Is Berlin the Spiritual Home of Depeche Mode?

It's a big question and one Americans might challenge, especially with all the band history in Los Angeles; the recent declaration of Depeche Mode day, Dave nearly checking out forever at the Sunset Marquis and the legendary 101 Rose Bowl concert, so their special relationship with LA can't be denied.

But my question, takes me back to Berlin. Home of the famous Hansa Studio's, home of Black Celebration and where DM played in East Germany before the Wall came down. There are many German influences that have seeped into Martin's songwriting.

I had heard all about the German fan base with elevated adoration levels of their beloved DM, I really wanted to experience a piece of this and see if the Berlin hype would be delivered.

Therefore a mini trip to Berlin for the 2024 back end of the tour was too good an opportunity to miss. Especially as we just don't know what lies ahead...devotees you'll have your own views on whether they'll tour again!

So far this Memento Mori tour has been reviewed as being tremendous. The Twickenham gig last summer was a great day. Meeting Twitter friends for a spot of day drinking on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in a pub garden, where the DJ cranked up our excitement, not only by being a "looky likey" Dave resplendent in shiny waistcoat, but by playing DM all afternoon to a boozy swarm of middle aged UK fans in a swathe of black t-shirts. Seeing our boys again that evening after 4 years, was sweaty and glorious.

Then more recently to a more favourable indoor gig at the O2 Arena London, where up to that time (pre-Berlin!) personally this was the best I have ever seen them play.

Before we get back to why I love DM and sharing my Berlin gig experience. I need to share....strap in.....I was a late comer to the DM scene, becoming a convert only in 1996. 

"Good grief," you say, "you missed out on your teenage years lying in front of the stacking hifi system, taping vinyl onto cassettes, learning all the words to every song and you definitely missed out on Dave in his tighty whitey jeans era." 

I know!! Roxy Music, Spandau Ballet, The Cult and Stevie Nicks predominantly, were the tracks of my teenage years. The only memories I have of early DM, were in my catholic school form room, where Joanne (the only DM fan in our year) would play the boppy sounds of See You and People Are People from the double deck cassette player and she would top up the white hand painted words DEPECHE MODE that were Tipp-exed onto her green army school satchel, before we light headily sauntered off to assembly to sing 'Salve Regina'. 

Let's jump ahead a decade to 1996 and I'll introduce you to Mr E. He was the electronic DM fan and he had been there from the start through to the heady iconic Crystal Palace Devotional gig. On our second date, Mr E knows he onto a good thing with me (*winks) and takes me back to his. He then pulls out the Devotional live concert DVD. I expect it was a test, if I dissed DM, I probably wouldn’t have made date 3. 

Oh my goodness! The form room bops had been replaced by atmospheric drums, huge visual screens projecting an assortment of sensual images and Dave with arms outstretched and gyrating arse, fed his addiction from the worshipping crowd. By the time In Your Room came on, I was mesmerised. Dave sacrificially launched himself into the adoring mob below and just as Dave loses his white t-shirt, my goosebumps cause my own clothes to self-combust!! I AM HOOKED! 

For me, Jesus Dave at that very moment (whilst off his face wasn't good for his health) is the absolute zenith of his performances. My lapsed Catholicism was overtaken by the religion that is Depeche Mode, chapters and verses to be learnt by heart from the genius of Mr Martin L Gore. 

A year later Mr E and I dance our wedding song to Enjoy The Silence...of course. 

My first time seeing DM live was in 98' at the old Wembley Stadium for The Singles Tour. Mr E was almost crying when a newly clean, back to life Dave walked on stage and I was completely unaware Daniel Miller was sat near us. Holidays over the next 25 years combined oversees gigs to see the boys in Paris, Madrid, and Miami... and now Berlin.

Right, let's get into it. Berlin...

We had very civilised pre gig cocktails with Dave & Jane, two of the lovely devotees we have met through Twitter (never X). Both huge fans from teenage times and devoted travellers where seeing the Global Spirit Tour finish in Berlin Waldbuhne was their highlight from following DM. 

Mr E and I are up high on the side seats, and the excitement in the German crowd is rippling through the arena. Humanist plays as support, the drums and guitars are good and I'll certainly take a listen to their 2020 album.

I'm next to a very no nonsense German woman, who it would turn out, had the loudest claps and whooooooooops known to womankind every time Dave spun, gyrated or wiggled his bum. She was already standing and bumping along to the build-up tracks before I get to my seat. 

I ask her if the German crowd will be amazing tonight, she answers without hesitation "of course". She's probably thinking I'm a stupid Brit and no wonder we left the EU. 

I press on "why is that?", and quite simply she says; "It's Berlin" 

The stage is reset, the Germans are already bouncy, about 5 minutes before the gig starts, the energy is almost making me well up, my emotions are held together with a big breath. 

The boys walk on stage and we're off, everyone in the seated block is on their feet. What songs will get Berlin ecstatic? How will this gig differ from London just 3 weeks ago? 

Observation to start with; German fans don't leave their seats for beers and wees, there are in it for 2 hours of unbroken adoration. No one's chatting, everyone knows the words and there is a lot of cheering.

Walking In My Shoes is sublime and the Germans are now hypnotised. Mr E post-gig rated Policy Of Truth and My Favourite Stranger as his favourite tracks of the night. Everything Counts sends the Arena into a frenzy, I do love the white gloved hand visuals.

While Dave takes a break (Do you ever wonder what he does for 10 mins especially as he is getting older?, little lie down on the chaise longue maybe?) Martin sings beautiful renditions of Strangelove and Heaven.

Ghosts Again is very well received by the crowd, I was really hoping for the setlist with Before We Drown and Behind The Wheel but it wasn’t to be tonight. I Feel You gets my German gig neighbour excitable, which is a joy to me. We rock it out as if we're strippers in a dodgy communist backstreet joint. Outstanding!!

With the return of World In My Eyes I've got tears seeing the audience gesturing their love to the images of Fletch on the big screens with their fingers joined to make Andy eyes. 

As a late comer to DM, Violator and Songs Of Faith And Devotion will always be my go-to DM listen. When Black Celebration starts up however, this is my chance to really experience what this song means to Berlin. I see a couple dancing together as if they are all alone in a Euro club, totally engrossed in each other. Everyone else around me are just losing it by singing aloud and then I simply get it. It's a deep seated Berlin anthem overcoming the challenges of the past, East and West long since united but still with that bleak history that will never be forgotten. But my interpretation of this industrial track may have been influenced by spending too much time at the remnants of the Wall!

Enjoy The Silence is gorgeous – it is such a crowd pleaser; the skull visuals are perfect.

For the encore Waiting For The Night was beautiful, the arena filled with twinkling phone lights.

And then my second set of tears start as the wonderfully euphoric Berlin crowd give it all, hard and energetic arms are swinging in the air to Never Let Me Down Again. As I looked around the Arena it was triumphant from front to back, it was an OUTSTANDING wheat wave. I have never seen a crowd react in such a way!

To “We’ll see you next time” Dave, Martin, Peter and Christian receive huge applause, there’s a lot of hugging and back slapping, they truly looked like they enjoyed their performance and revel in the deep love from their German fan base. 

So is Berlin the spiritual home of DM? 

My gig neighbour's words "It's Berlin" resound, of course we wouldn’t expect anything less.


Thanks Sarah

Monday 19 February 2024



This review comes courtesy of The Dark Outside ( For those who don't know, The Dark Outside is a Scottish label and radio station that broadcasts from deep in the gorgeous Galloway Forest Park. The link to the label's bandcamp page is at the end of this article - do make sure you check it out. As a native of Dumfries & Galloway, I love the label and I'm delighted that The Dark Outside has provided tis review of Depeche Mode's Copenhagen gig on 10th February. Thank you very much indeed. All photos belong to The Dark Outside.

It's been a while since I last saw Depeche Mode. It was 1988 in Edinburgh. 

So, er, quite a gap.

To make matters worse, it had been 41 years since I first saw them in Glasgow in 1983. 

So, fast forward a bit to 7 months ago ish when the Glasgow tickets were on sale and turns out that there was a clash and dates and planets misaligned. That sort of thing. 

Where else were they playing ? Ooh, Copenhagen. 

The Royal Arena is huge. Spotted a few Dave clones and lots of balding heads ( though, not on the Dave clones ) Nadine Shah is today's support. Really good. 

Despite the Swedish blokes on the same row going to the bar or toilets every few songs It was an enjoyable set ( disclaimer - I wasn't too familiar with Nadine Shah's music although I've rectified that now) 

Pic courtesy of Depeche Mode Classic Photos & Videos

Dave owned the stage, was a wee bit pitchy during some songs, camped it up, wiggled, hammed it up gloriously.

Martin singing Strangelove was a new one on me ( it has been a while ).

Swedish guys really need to drink less. 

Sadly, people talking through gigs seems to be a universal constant. Gits. Visuals were great although I did not have donkeys on my Depeche Mode Bingo Card. 

Thankfully they skipped the songs I really did NOT want to hear ( looking at you The Meaning of Love and It's Called A Heart ). 

Will not be leaving it so long next time.


Thanks very much to The Dark Outside. Go and visit the Bandcamp page -

Monday 12 February 2024



When I last ran a tour review project, Henno Teams reviewed the band's Paris Lollapalooza gig and that was a great read. Happily for us, he's back and here's his wonderful review of the Antwerp and Amsterdam gigs. Thanks very much indeed Henno. All photos are Henno's so don't steal them.

Last time you all heard from me when writing a review for the Paris show in 2018 I was 21, now I’m closer to 30 than 20 and my head does not cope with this thought well at all. A lot has happened in the meantime, the world has seemingly managed to simultaneously fall apart into a thousand little pieces and put itself back together again, as it usually does every now and then. 

Depeche Mode are no strangers to this phenomenon. Sadly we lost our dear Fletch and it seemed all was lost, but no, we were treated to Memento Mori and its subsequent tour. The boys would treat us to a new cycle of touring as a new invigorated band playing like you’d expect  few people in their twenties would. And now we find ourselves once again in the closing stages of this era of Depeche Mode. 

Last year I attended both Amsterdam shows. I had only booked the first show, luckily managed to grab some golden circle tickets for it, and I think like many others was unbelievably happy to see the boys out again on tour. The show that night was so good I did my best to snag another golden circle ticket for the second show and was happily successful. The shows were absolutely incredible and it felt like the boys were testing the waters, learning to be a band again so to speak, with the audience helping every step of the way.

This year was completely different. I had only booked Amsterdam on this 3rd and last leg of the tour, and went for the standard general admission this time around, but lo and behold my feet got itchy. I wouldn’t let this last leg of the Memento Mori tour go by with one last attempt to get up close to the band right? Right. As by now all shows were sold out and the resale price for the Amsterdam golden circle was beyond belief - seriously the pricing of concerts together with VIP experiences and these dreaded platinum tickets is becoming a big problem - so I had to make another plan.

Enter Antwerp. This show had no golden circle so a standard general admission ticket would suffice and after a few days I got lucky with a nicely priced resale ticket and off we went to Belgium! So this will unexpectedly turn into a double review! Oh my what did i get myself into, I hope you enjoy my ramblings and my photos from the shows as well.

Antwerp February 6th

As some of you may know, unlike most of the tour, the UK leg of shows were mixed by Marc Carolan, front of house engineer for Muse amongst others. Tonight Jamie would be “Behind The Wheel” again (sorry, bad pun). The Sportpaleis is no easy venue for an Audio engineer to mix live music as the venue is renowned for horrendous acoustics no matter the setup. But as it turned out there was no need to worry, the mix was powerful yet crystal clear, the Sportpaleis seemingly gave up and waved the white flag.

After a lengthy entry procedure i managed to secure myself a spot close to the b stage on Dave’s side and before long it was already time for Nadine Shah to warm up the crowd. I’m completely new to her music and thought her set was quite good, not really my taste personally, although I did say the same thing about Depeche Mode in 2013 and look what happened... 

As the clock ticks to 20:45 the lights go dark right on time, and it’s time for the big MODE to do their thing. The first few songs were a little hit and miss for Dave as he seemed to be struggling with his monitors on stage and his vocals were off for a bit every now and then. I saw Dave pointing to the side to have different levels changed and soon it seemed the problems were fixed and Dave shifted into higher gear. 

Right when Dave shifts into top gear, in comes my absolute favourite Depeche Mode song and the first time I’m ever hear it live - Policy Of Truth! And wow does it not disappoint, I almost cried a little! Now we’re in full swing and the band is sounding better than ever.

Superlatives aside, i think this is the best i have heard them sound as a band since my very first time seeing then in Lille back in 2017. This might just go into the books as my favourite DM show. And as is becoming quite clear, I’m not the only one enjoying it as the arena lets out a big cheer and starts clapping along to the intro for Everything Counts, the venue feels alive!

However, not for everyone. It has become very obvious some Tik Tok or Instagram influencers splurged out on some Early Entry tickets and had taken up the barrier besides me. Quite a shame really considering 4 people were taking up space where easily 7 could stand, but pushing me away when I danced too close. For about 80% of the show the people next to me seemed totally unbothered, looking towards an empty b-stage when the show was in full swing on the main stage. I don’t think I saw these people clap even once all night, but to each their own I guess.

As the night goes on I can’t help but feel that last year's shows feel like a rehearsal compared to this year. This is the full blown victory lap, the band is out guns blazing tonight. And as the set nears its conclusion it feels as if we are flying, all 23 thousand of us. 

By the time Enjoy The Silence arrives I feel in love, yet absolutely shattered, Depeche Mode just broke me into a thousand little pieces just to glue me back together again. It seems even the Tik Tok influencers have finally woken up from chatting on their phones and realised the show was happening behind them, despite not a single acknowledgement that they’re watching one of the very very best to ever do it though. 

After 23 wonderful songs the night comes to an end with the ever so rapturous Personal Jesus! Even the influencers are wagging a single finger up and down now, consider it a win Depeche Mode, consider It a win. 

As we head out i buy myself another piece of merchandising, i blame the band for being too good. And surprise surprise, i see one of my old DM related friends for the first time since we met in Lille at my first show, it can’t help but feel like a full circle moment. And so concludes my solo adventure to Antwerp, onwards to Amsterdam with the family!

Amsterdam February 8th

Today is different to last Tuesday in Antwerp, my tickets tonight won't allow me to get up close and it’s a family occasion tonight as well,  so let's enjoy this one together. 

The clock is already well past 8 by the time we get into the venue. Even if I had access to the Golden Circle I wouldn’t have come early today. The weather was absolutely dreadful with constant rain and whilst it’s only 3 degrees outside, the 18mph wind makes everything feel freezing. Brrrr.

We get a beer and make our way inside, opting to stand behind the front of house with the added bonus of seeing the engineers hard at work on the show. These guys are some real unsung heroes. I want to mention one of these great men in particular Jamie Pollack, front of house engineer and responsible for mixing the live show on this last leg of the Memento Mori tour. My god is he doing a great job. Not only is the sound crystal clear but it sounds powerful enough to shake you off your feet.

The show itself gets underway exactly one minute late - who cares -  and it is already clear to me from the start that Dave sounds even better tonight. His voice tonight sounds stronger than I’ve ever heard it live, and Dave seems more confident too. 

Yet the crowd tonight in Amsterdam seems unusually quiet, especially during the first half of the show, with the people in the 100 and 200 sections mostly remaining in their seats.

Even i am finding it more difficult to get into the flow of the show this time, maybe in part because I’m with family this time so I’m holding back a little, or because I’m standing in the very back. It feels more like watching the best band play instead of being in the middle of it, and very much part of it as it can feel that sometimes, the crowd becomes part of the band, Depeche Mode being a prime example. 

The band switches into higher gear again, once again Policy of Truth feels like a pivotal moment in the show, the band and the crowd are getting in sync now, time to take off once again. I think everybody is just as happy as me it is finally solidly back in the setlist. 

The second highlight of the night comes in the unexpected form of Before We Drown. It's my favourite track from Memento Mori and to be honest I never expected them to play it. It was already a treat in Antwerp, but the even better acoustics tonight make sure the song comes across much stronger. Martin's backing vocals on this song deserve extra praise, the swelling vocals together with the dark ominous synths just combine so beautifully. 

Seeing Depeche Mode live could better be described as a religious experience, it never gets old, we sing the same songs again and again and every time we leave the shows feeling stronger. Screaming along to I Feel You for instance, there’s something visceral to it, you feel part of the music, part of the experience and you can feel it reverberate in your bones. 

One would begin to question, will we ever get enough? By the time Martin, Dave, Peter and Christian take us for one more ride with Never Let Me Down Again, you know all is well. No we Just can’t get enough, ever. 

One more time the show must come to an end, one more time we get an invigorating performance if Personal Jesus but tonight I’m sad. How long before they’ll be back? As this is seemingly the last leg of the Memento Mori tour, we start questioning again whether or not it’s the last time. Given the absolute stellar form they’re in, you’d think they will definitely be back for one more round but then you have to as the question - how long will the wait be this time? Hopefully I’ll get to write for you again, and hopefully it wont take 6 years again. 

So of these two shows on this 3rd and final leg, which one was my favourite? Even though the performance by the band was slightly better at my home show in Amsterdam, Antwerp will be the one to beat for a long time coming, nothing beats seeing a band like this up close, it will Never Let You Down (Again).


Thanks Henno!

Tuesday 6 February 2024



When I was at the Twickenham show last Summer, I was struck by how much of a celebration it was; the whole crowd was enjoying itself and within that crowd, me and my 6 friends were having a great time too. The gig experience was enhanced because of that. After all, sharing good times with your friends and a band you all love, one that you have all loved for more decades than you might care to admit, is a wonderful thing. Ahead of the two gigs last week in Glasgow and Dublin, I wanted to aim for the same experience and hopefully enjoy myself just as much. As it turned out, I had a better time than ever and enjoyed two of the best Depeche gigs I've seen.

Wednesday 31 January - Ovo Hydro, Glasgow

I live in Glasgow, so any Depeche Mode gig that doesn't involve trains or planes is no bad thing. I went to the concert as part of a gang of ten, two of whom (hello Heidi and Carolyn) were seeing Depeche Mode for the first time. As you might imagine, I'd sent them a Spotify playlist with explanatory notes just to make sure they knew what was in-store. It's one of the "perks" of knowing me.

Another perk is that you get a free t-shirt. I realise this increasingly sounds like I have to bribe people to be my friend, so let's move on.

Thanks to a ticket buying cock-up on my part, my wife and I ended up with VIP tickets. Basically, that means that we paid twice the price out friends did and ended up standing with them anyway albeit we at least had something they didn't - a Depeche Mode toilet bag featuring a candle (above) and an eye mask (that and toilet bag below). It also has a lanyard in it too with text on the back making it abundantly clear that wearing it entitles you to no perks at all. 

Believe it or not, it's not the only Depeche Mode candle that I own. I think the one below might be a bit more in demand however.

Anyway, to the concert itself. Nadine Shah was superb. I must admit that I'd not heard much of her work before but I was converted immediately. She was a great fit as a support act and if you get the chance to see her on her remaining support slots on this tour, make sure you do.

The Hydro in Glasgow can sometimes sound a but crap but there we're no issues at all last Wednesday. Depeche sounded superb. It was great to see the lights and backdrops for the first few songs indoors too as, until last week, I'd only seen stadium gigs on the tour. The lighting for the opening two tracks My Cosmos Is Mine and Wagging Tongue works brilliantly with those songs.  The first half of the set featured a couple of newish changes. It may be maligned by many people, but Policy Of Truth is a bloody marvellous song and it sounded huge in the Hydro. Before We Drown has rightly gone down well since its introduction to the set in London and it sounds fantastic live. It's great to see the band adding in a brand new track late in the tour. 

Martin's two songs, Strangelove and Somebody, were wonderful but then I always love Martin's mini set. I also love the version of I Feel You they play on this tour. It's shorter than previous versions and that really helps the song retain its punch. 

Behind The Wheel is a welcome addition to the setlist and it's great to see it played with the video on the screens however, I do find its addition at the expense of World In My Eyes a slightly odd one. At last summer's shows, and indeed every show until Behind The Wheel joined the set, World In My Eyes featured a special film that exclusively featured Fletch. It was his favourite song and it gave everyone the chance to pay tribute to him. Personally, I found it very moving each time I saw it and I don't know of any Depeche fans who didn't feel the same. Losing that from the Memento Mori setlist does take something away and that's a shame. Ultimately, the band have paid beautiful tribute to Andy since the album was announced and they may well feel they don't need to keep doing that which is of course entirely their right. Andy's loss was so vast however that it seems a pity that we no longer see that film. While he does of course feature in the Behind The Wheel video, everyone else does too. I don't know, it might be the emotion of both gigs still catching up with me and perhaps this is all just the ramblings of a man who spends too much time thinking about these things. We all still miss you a lot Fletch.

There was one more track I hadn't heard on this tour and it didn't disappoint - Black Celebration. For years, the band haven't quite nailed this but on this tour it is incredible. The new intro really builds the mood and the song is stunning. I went quite berserk when it came on and when they followed it with a thunderous Stripped, I lost my marbles. Two of the finest songs any band has ever written. 

The ones that followed weren't bad either of course. Enjoy The Silence sent the entire arena crazy. My friends were jumping around, singing along and everyone around us was too, even the chap behind us who knew all the words but none of the tune. Never Let Me Down Again did what it always does and the closing Personal Jesus almost took the roof off the venue. Absolutely brilliant. Happily, my friends loved it too from the concert veterans such as the two Johns and Andrew, to the debutants. Sharing that gig in my home town with my closest friends was a glorious experience and, the band never play in Glasgow again, that was fine last visit to the city for them. 

Saturday 3rd February, 3Arena, Dublin

My word, Dublin was good. The 3Arena really is a tremendous place to see a concert. The venue is big but still feels intimate and the sound, always good whenever I've been there before, was incredible this time.  The day before the gig we had a rare old time enjoying a medically unwise amount of Guinness and meeting a few DM fans around the city. That carried outside the gig the next day with the t-shirts again attracting a few hellos. It really is a very odd but lovely experience to meet people who say they love the blog. What started as a way for me to post a few pictures of records really has taken a turn I didn't see coming. On that note, hello to Andy Ryan who we chatted to outside the arena.

The set was the same as Glasgow in the main and that was no problem at all as it was bloody marvellous. Every song sounded incredible and the band were on great form, seemingly more relaxed than normal. 

The encore contained the one change from Glasgow and one change that I had not yet seen on the tour. Instead of Waiting For The Night we got Condemnation which I was particularly pleased with as my tuneless roaring along would attest to.  Once again, the closing Personal Jesus threatened to take the roof off the place. 

Tuesday 6th February, Glasgow

Back in the real world, I've been able to reflect not only on two incredible gigs but also on what made them feel so special. As ever, there is always the feeling that the last leg of any Depeche tour is the last leg they will ever play. They are getting older, as are we, and there is no way that they can do this indefinitely. With the band stripped down to just Martin and Dave now, they may not want to do this again, despite the clear fun they are having every night. No-one outside Dave and Martin know what they want to do of course but I couldn't help feeling that this might be the last big tour, if not the last tour full stop. 

If it is to be the last time, then I got to enjoy two of the last Depeche gigs I will see with my friends having a wonderful time enjoying a band that has been a huge part of our lives. Having a great time with great friends soundtracked by the greatest music I have ever heard is no bad way to spend a few days. 

That's what made Glasgow and Dublin so special. That's what makes Depeche Mode so special.