Yes you read that headline right, I am a bit of a Depeche Mode fan, not so much really early doors but definitely Violator times onwards, and they’ve sat on my bucket list for a while the only issue they are so big they only ever do huge dates, such as this 80.000 crowd in leafy Richmond. Before going into the review I have to say infra-structure wide the set up for this was superb once we hit Richmond, with Buses laid on taking you right to the stadium and returning you back to Richmond every 5 mins.

The gig itself? Opening a Scottish band called Young Fathers, a new one on me and a band I’d not listened to before. And do you know what? They were pretty tasty looking back their first LP “Dead” won a mercury prize back in 2014, they’ve gone on to release 3 Albums since the latest “Heavy Heavy “coming out this year in 2023. They also provided tracks for the Danny Boyle directed Trainspotting 2 .

Live apart from the usual sound issues which miraculously dissipate when the headliners come on they were great coming on like a Drum and Bass heavy version of Massive Attack, vocalists constantly cutting and Changing, powerful intense and full of energy and definitely the sort of band you would hope to catch in a small club rather than on a huge festival stage (as an aside they are playing at the Green man Festival this year) definitely a band to check out.

On to the headliners and Depeche Mode really do know how to put on a show, they’ve been at such a high level of Arena headlining for such a long time,  and it really shows, audience interaction is minimal but unnecessary, and the setlist drawn down from no less than 10 different LP’s made sure that there was something from and for every generation of followers. What surprised me was the sheer intensity at times when the band locked in giving NIN a run for their money, while conversely tracks like “Its no good” and “Everything Counts” take you right back to those early club days, there were hints of Bowie, elements of New order but ultimately it was all Depeche Mode. In Dave Gashan you have one of the ultimate front men and in Martin Gore a more than equal foil driving the music forward.

Stand out tracks for me were a spine tingling version of “I feel you” (From songs of Faith and devotion), “My Favourite stranger”, “Stripped”, “John the Revelator”, “Enjoy the Silence” and a Question of lust, but truth be told they played for over two hours and it felt like 10 minutes, always a good sign of a great gig, I have to also give a special shout out to the version of “World in my eyes” dedicated to Andrew Fletcher and the audience response, both locked together in tribute.

Definitely ticked off a Father/Daughter bucket list event, and if you get chance definitely a band to catch in the live arena.

Author: Nev Brooks

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