Sunday 31 March 2024



SiGNL are an act comprising MJ and Ian who this year have released they debut singles Ksor and Mathematik as well as remixing Depeche Mode. Most of you know will know SiGNL's excellent remix of Before We Drown, which was one of the highlights of that song's remix package. The band have also remixed People Are Good and that remix is currently circulating as a promo mix in clubs. Their remix of Before We Drown really is a wonderful track on the song. In the video below, SiGNL explain their thinking behind the remix.


Prior to becoming SiGNL, Ian and MJ recorded under the name Electronic Periodic - you may recall their excellent remixes of The Sun And The Moon And The Stars and Perfect as well as other great remixes of the likes of Chorus and Winter Kills.

Unlike Electronic Periodic however, SiGNL release their own tracks. Ksor (below) and Mathematik (see end of article) are both very much worth your time. There's no doubt at all that their future releases will also be ones to look out for.

Just like Depeche Mode, SiGNL are headed to Cologne this week where they will play their debut gig at Gewolbe in Cologne on 4th April. Chris Liebing has organised the night where he will be joined by SiGNL, Ida Engberg and Dubfire for "a night of techno, some of their favourite Depeche Mode remixes and beyond."   I asked how the gig came about.

"It came about through Chris Liebing," MJ said. "He is a massive Depeche Mode fan and he'd done a remix previously for the band. We were just talking about dates we were going to see Depeche and it turned out we were both going to Cologne for the first two. He said 'why don't we do a techno night with a Depeche feel to it' and I said why not?"

SiGNL won't be DJ'ing at the event however; instead they will be playing live. After seven weeks of rehearsals, the band are now ready to go and, as well as their own tracks, expect to hear their remixes of Before We Drown and People Are Good.

I asked SiGNL what their plans were after Cologne. 

"We have enough tracks for an album," said Ian, "but for now we will keep the momentum going by releasing a track every other month or so. We might try to get them out on vinyl too." MJ added "A limited run on vinyl would be good plus we will be looking for more gigs and support slots." 

I couldn't let SiGNL off without asking some some Depeche related nonsense. I hate being asked what my Top 3 Depeche Mode songs are as that is an impossible question, so it seemed only fair that I asked Ian and MJ.

Ian: "If I thought about this too hard I'd never give you an answer! Off the top of my head, Never Let Me Down Again, you can't go wrong with Personal Jesus..."
MJ: "We can't go too obvious with Personal Jesus and songs like Just Can't Get Enough!"
Ian: "True. Stripped is really dark and moody.
MJ: "A bit like Declan Rice, the new tracks are going to become favourites. It's hard to pick one. Ghosts Again is really appealing but there are so many tracks on the album so I need to park that to the side as I can't choose. I do think Memento Mori is one of my favourite albums."

(At the mention of Arsenal's Declan Rice, I confessed to being a Liverpool fan. We agreed to disagree on the topic of football...)

MJ: "My thing is live music so tracks from this tour like John The Revelator and A Pain That I'm Used To are real favourites of mine"
Ian: "I'll go for the singalong tracks - World In My Eyes and Stripped."

We basically all came to the conclusion that if we didn't stop, we'd just end up listing every Depeche track.

Thanks very much to Ian and MJ for speaking to me. To get tickets for what promises to be an unmissable night on 4th April, go to

Follow SiGNL:

Official Site -

Friday 15 March 2024



Picture courtesy of HáňaPáňa Křížová

The last time we heard from Natalia Burgos was in September 2023 when she attended two of the incredible shows Depeche Mode played at Foro Sol in Mexico City. She set off on her travels again in February this year and ended up in Prague. Here is her great review of the Depeche show there in February. All photos are Natalia's unless otherwise credited.

It was October 2023 and I did not have any clear plans to travel to Europe from my home in Colombia. I had a family trip to Spain in mind, but things only fell into place by the end of that month and of course, not many Depeche Mode concert dates fitted my travel plans by then. I made a list and started checking the gig or gigs that I would to try to target (preferably gigs in places to do some sightseeing too). The concerts that suited my timeframe were Amsterdam, Berlin and Copenhagen, but I ditched the possibility because I had already been in those cities before, so the remaining options were Hamburg and Prague. Without thinking too much I picked Prague despite that fact that my weird travel timing would only allow me to go to the first date, the 22nd of February.

Anyway, I was absolutely thrilled with the idea of seeing DM there; after Fletcher’s passing, I had checked an article of the boys visiting Prague in 1988 and the photos that Anton took of them during that opportunity were gorgeous, immersed in such a special vibe. I said to myself, if I don’t manage to see DM on the 22nd at least I will have the wonderful chance to know a bit of a new, wonderful city, so by the end of November I managed to book a flight to the Czech capital.

I packed my mode travel kit: a brand new Almost Predictable Almost T-shirt (thanks David!), a cute DM tote bag with a beautiful print of King Dave in ETS that I bought in Mexico City and a Colombian CD edition of Ultra, just in the remote case of finding Martin Gore or Dave Gahan for an autograph (wishful thinking!).

Now, fast forward to February 2024, I am in Prague and thank goodness I have great devotee friends that helped me search for a ticket. I got it the day before, but I also had some problems with my stupid Ticketmaster account and for a while it seemed I wouldn't be able to complete the transfer process of the ticket, despite the fact I went to a pair of booths in Prague but they were closed. Finally, things straightened out on their own and I could see the ticket on my phone by the end of the day. Phew!

I also saw a group of ladies with DM hoodies at a restaurant, and during breakfast, a group of people was singing along to ETS, I was also lectured by a Turkish souvenir seller saying that I should better be listening to salsa instead of “gringo techno music” by judging my tote bag (chuckles).

So, at this point, I was going to a seated area for the very first time, for what I think might be my last opportunity to witness DM live. Sigh. Nostalgia and excitement kicks in.

I have to recognise that I’ve been extremely lucky, tons of devotees from South America and Australia had hopes of getting some Memento Mori Tour dates and things went downhill unfortunately.

In retrospect, I feel grateful for DM. They were the first band that I saw abroad with my very own savings and since then I’ve found pleasure in planning trips around concerts. I’ve had the chance to see them in marvellous places, from northern Moscow to southern Buenos Aires, it’s certainly has been a wonderful bunch of journeys with lots of cherished memories.

Now, let’s go to the 02 Arena, I arrived around 7pm and the organisation was impeccable, I went through the security check very easily, there were no queues and the entry was smooth and fast. In my eyes, it is a pretty cool venue, with lots of places to buy drinks and promotional merch too (I bought a plastic commemorative Memento Mori cup there). I loved the sweatshirt that had “MODE” printed on the front but it was rather expensive, I thought it was made in thicker cotton material like the one used for hoodies but it was more like a T-shirt fabric, so I wasn’t convinced in the end. I couldn’t get rid of my coat in the cloakroom because I didn’t have any cash, what a damn burden for my tropical self (in Prague you can pay almost everything with cards but this was not the case).

I also saw HáňaPáňa Křížová looking splendid in a wonderful King Dave costume, she has kindly provided some pictures of this show for the report.

Picture courtesy of HáňaPáňa Křížová

My seat was towards the right side of the stage, a bit far for my taste, but the view was fine. Humanist started performing around 7:45pm with a vibrant act that ended at 8:15pm in a packed venue.

At 8:45pm the Mode Machine joins the stage! The show started off with My Cosmos Is Mine and Wagging Tongue. The audience was initially timid but they got into the vibe around Walking In My Shoes. I am concerned with the fact that almost everyone around my area is sitting down except a bunch of bubbly Italians that are a few rows in front of me! I was feeling a bit desperate, but thankfully there was a man in the seat next to me that stood up and a lot of other people behind me started doing the same, so I could clap and dance finally - what a relief1 Sitting and watching DM live seems very odd to me.

In my opinion the sound inside this venue was pretty good, I didn’t hear any weird reverb, I am no sound expert though.

I loved It’s No Good with the donkey projection, personally I adore Ultra so anything from that era is such a treat. Policy Of Truth holds a place in my heart because it was the first DM song that I ever heard. It was on a TV commercial and it sort of introduced me to the band. By the end of this track, I was having a problem with a woman that was behind me, who was demanding that I had to sit down because she was with her son. I offered to exchange places with the boy and my neighbour (what an angel) exchanged places with the pissed off kid’s mum.

In Your Room and Everything Counts were well received and Dave pulled a young woman to the stage for a moment.  I had never seen this before, what a lucky lady! The white gloves projection makes you want to move your hands!

It was then the turn of Precious and after that, Before We Drown. I was looking forward to Before We Drown and it did not disappoint. It was very atmospheric and introspective with the brand new video projected on the background. I loved it. The audience was calm during these tracks, but when Martin sang Strangelove, the audience's mood changed to a cheerful one once again. He also performed Somebody and things slowed down a bit. After that Dave presented Martin and the crowd was cheering like crazy - there is no doubt that we all love Martin Lee Gore and Dave Gahan.

Then came a heart wrenching rendition of Ghosts Again followed by I Feel You. I never get tired of this groovy and exuberant track. I effing love it. Hotness is not only high temperature, it’s this fricking song too!

After A Pain That I'm Used To took its turn, Behind The Wheel certainly made people react. In my opinion they should have kept World In My Eyes in the setlist. It was such an appropriate track to remember Fletch and with BTW I felt as if the tribute was a bit diluted. After that however came Black Celebration - OMG! It’s the very first time that I get to see and hear it live! What a treat! I am blissful with this smashing industrial track. But the people next to me…not that much it seems.

Stripped is well received, gosh it is one of the very best DM tracks, that pairing with BC is superb. 

Then comes Enjoy the Silence with its glittery skulls imagery that concentrates everybody’s attention. I focus to appreciate this extraordinary techno hymn. What a delight for goodness sake! Martin and Dave seem very amused performing this brilliant track. I think I could levitate to it!

Condemnation and Just Can’t Get Enough followed and the audience was totally immersed. It was then the turn of Never Let Me Down Again. For me every time I hear this track live it’s like a spiritual experience, completely absorbing my attention, and I wave my arms as if my life depended on it. It’s lovely to be part of the wheat field wave, I make a short pause to admire the audience and it’s absolutely incredible, so uplifting, so difficult to put down in words. By the end of the song some people were throwing glowsticks, I had never seen that before, I wonder if the boys like that though.

Never Let Me Down Again

The concert ends on a high note with Personal Jesus, a tremendous classic for all of us devoted believers. Time goes by so quickly!

Once again, having the chance to experience DM live is such a privilege. To drop everything else for a pair of hours to appreciate this fantastic music that has brought so many people together, that’s the power, the magical allure of Depeche Mode.

So, if some devotee is out there and probably has the chance to go to any of the winter dates left, go for it! This is the time! They are in top shape and sounding great, if Martin and Dave decide to stop now, they leave things on an outstanding point of their careers.

I start walking towards the exit and without searching, I find a pair of devotee friends outside of the venue, just like it has happened to me in other DM concerts, it was a happy coincidence and we manage to say goodbye, I wonder if our paths will cross again. 

It has been a wonderful ride and I leave the 02 Arena with mixed feelings of nostalgia and joy. I’ve had the fortune of seeing them 11 times, will I have the opportunity to complete a dozen DM gigs? Will there be a next time? Yes? No? How? When? Where? Only time will tell. But one thing is certain, if this ever happens, I will not be seated, I will go to standing area were the action takes place, yes please!

Thursday 14 March 2024



Blog friend, film star and general all round good guy Daniel Cassus returns to reporting duties for this review of the Depeche show in Berlin on 13 February. I'm been busy at work and unwell hence the delay in publishing this. Thanks very much indeed as ever Daniel. All pictures are his so don't use without crediting him please.

"Berlin is the Depeche Mode capital.” Yep, those words came out of my mouth and they are on film, much to the chagrin of my Los Angeles friends (I still stand that I said Berlin AND Los Angeles, but that got cut in the editing room). So it’s only fair Berlin would be the first European city to get more than 2 shows in a row. Except they weren’t in a row because there was a show in Hamburg between the second and the third one, but you get what I mean.

I arrived just as the opening act Humanist was playing Shock Collar, the song on which Dave collaborated with vocals though he is of course he is not on stage. Less than an hour later he is however, as the show begins with those bangs from the ending of Speak To Me blending into the beginning of My Cosmos Is Mine. This was my first show seen from the front, so it was the first time experiencing the full imagery and lights. The giant “M” on stage slowly gets the brushstrokes, while the band is lit from behind.

We then move into Wagging Tongue where the lights above the stage are almost like an extra band member. Walking In My Shoes is a fierce performance with the screen all up in red. With It’s No Good, Anton reminds us of his passion for animals on film by showing donkeys on a beach. So far it’s the same show they played last year.

Now comes the first change. Sister Of Night got replaced with the seemingly mandatory Policy Of Truth. As much as I adore Sister Of Night and wished for a full band performance with Dave on vocals ever since the song was released, when it finally became a reality, it was a bit of a downer in an otherwise upbeat first few songs. I confess I prefer Policy Of Truth in this spot for once. The band tweaked the ending of the second bridge so Christian could do a power drum fill, but that was the only relevant change. In fact, most people probably didn’t notice this little nitpick of mine.

In Your Room was brought back in its Zephyr Mix form again followed by Everything Counts and Precious. At the point you start to think it’s the Global Spirit Tour setlist again (and you wouldn’t be that wrong). Both songs still rock and work great, but it was the song that followed that I was waiting for. Before We Drown was a very positive surprise this winter leg brought. It takes the spot that was occupied by Speak to Me and My Favourite Stranger, neither of which I think work very well live, so the change was very welcome (don’t worry, these other two were played in the following Berlin concerts).

Time for Martin’s slot. Gone are the piano version of Soul With Me and the full band version of A Question Of Lust. Instead we get acoustic versions of Strangelove and Somebody. They’ve been playing Strangelove quite often on recent tours. This one is another I wish they played the full band version of.

Dave comes back and we get the great Ghosts Again, a song that still brings a tear to my eyes during the line “everybody says goodbye”. We’ve all said goodbye to lots of people in the 6 years since the last tour. Talking of which, we’re brought back to “GST Mode” with I Feel You and A Pain That I’m Used To, as usual, played as the Jacques Lu Cont Mix.

One change however saw World In My Eyes replaced with Behind The Wheel. The backdrop video is simply the original music video (album version recently reissued on the Strange DVD). Fletch still got a quick shoutout at the end. Wrong also got replaced with Black Celebration. This one got a slightly new intro with Peter fiddling with some chord progressions. Then the main set closes with Stripped, the slightly longer version of John The Revelator and Enjoy The Silence. No surprises on the former and the latter, though.

The encore starts with Condemnation, which seems to have become the main track for this slot instead Waiting For The Night. Then the stage goes totally colourful for Just Can’t Get Enough, a track that I never imagined they would still be playing in 2024. We then go to Never Let Me Down Again and the mandatory arm waving. We conclude with Personal Jesus, which still has the slow acoustic intro but thankfully not as painfully slow as in the “Delta Machine Tour”. Reach out and touch faith… and it’s over.

Overall I think the setlist improved from the summer leg. It was expected that it would default a bit to the “best of” setlist, but it works. And that was it. I definitely enjoyed it much more seeing the band from up front. In a way it was almost the first show of the tour I got to see Anton’s videos properly. To me the giant M on the stage works so much better than the split screen from the GST and the globe from the TOTU.