In recent weeks I’ve got to know two of the guys from Speak & Spell, a UK-based Depeche Mode tribute band, learning how they spend months programming the sets and pulling their own sound together (no wholesale sampling of original Depeche material, it’s all home-made or from synth libraries, and incredibly accurate).
Simon Forsyth (who once helped Alan Wilder service his synths ahead of the Collected auction) and Keith Trigwell, both keyboard players, joined band mates Joe Beaumont and Dave Gahan-esque frontman Paul Wood last weekend for their own celebration of Violator, performing the album in full (ahead of a “classics” set) at a packed Islington O2 in London.
These guys are good – extremely good, in fact (and I’m not just saying that because they allowed me to hand out the flyers to fans during the evening!).
Say what you like about tribute or cover bands (sadly, too many are absolute rubbish), but the work by Speak and Spell that goes in to recreate and perform the Depeche songs (especially some of the old tracks, such as Tora Tora Tora and Puppets) is very impressive.
Inevitably, they went down very well with the extremely lively crowd 🙂
It was a very enjoyable evening.
(Not particularly good, sorry) clip from the final song of the night, Never Let Me Down Again.
So, huge thanks to Rob at Phoenix FM. Also to Keith, Simon, Joe and Paul (plus Sandie, their manager).
Any such rumblings of discontent from Depeche fans can perhaps be soothed a little bit when the track is consumed part of an “overall journey” (as the dreamier DJs like to call it).
As such, you could be forgiven for assuming Prydz had ascended to a higher pedestal in front of his raving fans, given the glowing comments poking their light sticks into various corners of the web following his recent Epic three-hour set at Madison Square Garden.
Mentioned frequently in the coverage was his “dropping” of the Personal Jesus mix, two-thirds of way through.
Check the Soundcloud mix below… If you don’t want to absorb the full set (it is three hours long, after all), fast forward to around 1hr57m.
In the vein of hyperbolic club-speak, was it Faithless who used to say “God is a DJ”…? 🙂