At a Paris press conference streamed live to the world via the internet, DEPECHE MODE have announced they will be releasing a new-as-yet-untitled album and undertaking an extensive European and North American tour.
The album has been produced by Ben Hiller with assistance from Christoffer Berg who has worked with FEVER RAY, while the final mix is being undertaken by Flood who produced DM’s classic albums ‘Violator’ and ‘Songs Of Faith & Devotion’. The album is expected to feature a writing collaboration between Martin Gore and Dave Gahan following the success of their first co-write ‘Oh Well’, probably the best track to have emerged from the ‘Sounds Of The Universe’ sessions in 2009 and included in the subsequent 4CD boxed set.
‘Sounds Of The Universe’ itself was disappointing but despite a life threatening illness which struck Dave Gahan down in Athens and led to a rescheduling of the ‘Tour Of The Universe’, DEPECHE MODE proved again their formidability as a live act, performing to over two million people. Playing new material has always been something Gahan has relished: “I love the live performance. I love the concert performance with the fans and presenting the songs for the first time and that whole nervous energy and the challenge of it. I still like that more than any other aspect of what we do, to be honest”. In an interview with Clash Magazine, he suggested that the new album is “definitely influenced by the blues”. Certainly the new track unveiled at the press conference with accompanying in-studio video footage indicates this is the case.
Rumours abounded beforehand that Alan Wilder and Vince Clarke would be rejoining the band. Of those, the Alan Wilder one probably had greatest credence as he had he appeared with Martin Gore to perform ‘Somebody’ at DEPECHE MODE’s Teenage Cancer Trust gig in the Royal Albert Hall in early 2010. Wilder said to The Electricity Club of that night: “it was like I’d never been away”.
There had been whisperings at Short Circuit Presents Mute in June 2011 that Vince Clarke would reunite with his former bandmates as Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher were DJing on the same night that ERASURE, YAZOO and THE ASSEMBLY were playing. However, Dave Gahan’s absence from the event put paid to that possibility although the four did have dinner together back in May of this year. The novelist Tonya Hurley, who is Clarke’s sister-in-law, posted a photo of the occasion on her Facebook. Clarke reunited with Gore earlier this year as VCMG and has recorded a stark cover of ‘Fly On The Windscreen’ with vocalist Ane Brun as part of promotion for Hurley’s new book ‘The Blessed’.
Meanwhile, the live dates announced have indicated that while the rest of Europe still holds DEPECHE MODE in high regard with numerous stadiums in Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany, Italy, France, Ukraine, Russia and Poland on the itinerary, the band’s home country continues to be largely ignorant of one of its biggest music exports, as reflected by the one UK date at London’s O2 Arena on 28th May 2013 confirmed so far.
Bas Productions will be tying in a special DM themed event to follow-up the highly successful BASII. The two day BAS2013 party will take place between Sunday 26th May to Monday 27th May 2013 on the Bank Holiday weekend prior to the London O2 Arena concert. Sunday night will be a band showcase and club night while the whole of Monday will be totally devoted to DEPECHE MODE. Please visit the Facebook Event Page and www.basproductions.co.uk for more details and updates.
DEPECHE MODE European Tour 2013 includes:
TEL AVIV HAYARKON PARK (7th May), ATHENS TERRA VIBE (10th May), SOFIA GEORGI ASPARUHOV STADIUM (12th May), BUCHAREST NATIONAL STADIUM (15th May), ISTANBUL KUCUKCIFTLIK PARK (17th May), BELGRADE USCE PARK (19th May), BUDAPEST PUSKAS FERENC STADIUM (21st May), ZAGREB HIPPODROME (23rd May), BRATISLAVA INTER STADIUM (25th May), LONDON O2 ARENA (28th May)
MUNICH OLYMPIC STADIUM (1st June), STUTTGART MERCEDES-BENZ ARENA (3rd June), FRANKFURT COMMERZBANK ARENA (5th June), BERNE STADE DE SUISSE (7th June), BERLIN OLYMPIC STADIUM (9th June), LEIPZIG RED BULL ARENA (11th June), COPENHAGEN PARKEN (13th June), PARIS STADE DE FRANCE (15th June), HAMBURG IMTECH ARENA (17th June), MOSCOW LOCOMOTIVE STADIUM (22nd June), ST. PETERSBURG SKK ARENA (24th June), STOCKHOLM BORLANGE PEACE & LOVE FESTIVAL (27th June), KIEV OLYMPIC STADIUM (29th June)
DÜSSELDORF ESPRIT ARENA (3rd July), BELGIUM ROCK WERCHTER FESTIVAL (7th July), BILBAO BBK FESTIVAL (11th July), LISBON OPTIMUS ALIVE FESTIVAL (13th July), NIMES ANTIC ARENA (16th July), MILAN SAN SIRO STADIUM (18th July), ROME OLYMPIC STADIUM (20th July), RAGUE SYNOT TIP ARENA (23rd July), WARSAW NATIONAL STADIUM (25th July), VILNIUS VINGIS PARK (27th July), MINSK ARENA (29th July)
Please visit www.depechemode.com for official details, ticket information, news and updates.
Text by Chi Ming Lai
23rd October 2012