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Author Topic: 1981: Speak and Spell  (Read 52499 times)

Offline Angelinda

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1981: Speak and Spell
« on: 26 June 2012 - 04:04:37 »
This thread contains all news items having to do with the Speak and Spell era.

Let me know if you have any news items that should be in here but aren't.

For interesting info and pics from this era I recommend two Facebook pages:

the facebook page from Vince's girlfriend at the time, Deb Mann: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Depeche-Mode-Information-Service-1981/342571782527621

and "Basildon: New Town New Life", http://www.facebook.com/basildon.newtown.newlife , which is in conjuction with http://basproductions.co.uk.

And some info on a rarely known gig in 1981: http://forums.depechemode.com/forum/showthread.php?t=35017

Some ads for early DM concerts from the NME can be found here: http://www.cdandlp.com/seller/2/39568/crazydiamond.html

Last but not least, there is one amazing Facebook group called 'Depeche Mode Classic Photos and Videos' which is dedicated to archiving everything DM has ever done. Unfortunately it's a closed group now due to leechers but it has some very prominent fans (some of them also being contributors to the DMTVA) and DM-camp people in it so I suggest you join it: http://www.facebook.com/groups/depechemodeclassicfansphotosandvideos
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #1 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:05:18 »
1980-12-01 - Basildon Evening Echo (UK) - WILKO STAYS SOLID ON THE GIG TRAIL

[Taken from the now-defunct website www.sacreddm.net.]



WILKO STAYS SOLID ON THE GIG TRAIL
[Basildon Evening Echo, 1st December 1980. Words: Mick Walsh.]
" And the gig is more than just a chance to pay off the HP instalments on their battery of synthesizers. "
Summary: A mention of Depeche Mode in their local paper, ahead of a show at the Bridgehouse, which I believe is their first ever appearance in print. So early, it's free even of the enthusing about their youth and innocence that characterises early 1981 material. And you've got to laugh at the phonetic spelling of "Gahan"! [118 words]
Apologies for the poor scan quality: this is due to the article being taken from a public library microfilm.

Electro-pop band Depeche Mode, from Basildon, headline at The Bridgehouse, Canning Town, tonight.
    And the gig is more than just a chance to pay off the HP instalments on their battery of synthesizers.
    The young foursome will be watched by a cluster of record companies after catching the eye when they supported the highly-acclaimed Fad Gadget there last week.
    The line-up is Vincent Martin, Andrew Fletcher, Martin Gore and David Garn – all from Basildon.
    Said Vincent: “Some people travelled from Southend to see us with Fad Gadget and we’re hoping some fans will make the journey tonight. It’s probably our most important yet.”
    The band are a regular attraction at the Saturday electronic rock nights at Croc’s, Rayleigh.

Afterword - (a) no, you aren't seeing things. Vince Clarke's real surname is Martin, and he changed it when Depeche Mode started to become well-known because he was claiming unemployment benefit at the time and didn't want to get into trouble with the law. (b) Some people at times have queried how Dave's surname is pronounced, and I've seen a couple of people on the official DM message board insist it's pronounced Ga-harn. Maybe Dave out of politeness has kept quiet while someone mis-pronounces it in his company, but I reckon the typo in this article about settles it, even if it wasn't before. (c) The only other 1980 news item I know of is the "Posh Clobber Could Clinch It For Mode" snippet quoted in the sleeve notes of Singles 81-85 which is almost certainly later than this article. Hence, you are now looking at Depeche Mode's first ever appearance in print.

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #2 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:06:16 »
1980-12-xx - Basildon Evening Echo (UK) - Posh Clobber could clinch it for mode

[Thanks to Milik for offering to send in this scan!]



 POSH CLOBBER COULD CLINCH IT FOR MODE -

Some of these perfumed, ponced up futuristic pop bands don't hold a candle to these four Basildon lads. They are Depeche Mode who would go a long way if someone pointed them in the direction of a decent tailor.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #3 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:07:41 »
1981-01-30 - Stevo Pearce - Some Bizarre press release

[Scanned by me, from the German book Monument. The concert dates are not shown in the photo. If you have a proper photo/scan of the next page, please let us know.]



Press release

On the 30th of January, Some Bizarre Records release a complilation of twelve "futurist" bans compiled by the D.J. Stevo.

The bands featured on the album are:
ILLUSTRATION
DEPECHE MODE
THE THE
B. MOVIE
JELL
BLAH BLAH BLAH
BLANCMANGE
SOFT CELL
NEU ELECTRIKK
NAKED LUNCH
PAST SET
THE LOVED ONE

Coinciding with the album, twenty bizarre evening have been arranged in nite clubs around the country. Bands appearing on the album will be performing on the following dates.

[-dates-]
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #4 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:08:09 »
1981-01-31 - Sounds (UK) - Q ARE WE NOT MEN A WE ARE STEVO

[Taken from the now-defunct website www.sacreddm.net.]



Q: ARE WE NOT MEN? A: WE ARE STEVO
[Sounds, 31st January 1981. Words: Betty Page.]
" What we find here is electronic dance music / electronic experimental music as opposed to the more disco-oriented, sophisticated Visages and Ultravoxes. "
Summary: A thorough review of the "Some Bizzare Album", which was Depeche Mode's first ever appearance on vinyl. The author - an early DM champion - strives to give a fair idea of the style of every track, and consequently covers Depeche Mode only briefly, but she clearly considered them a highlight.
Thanks to Marblehead Johnson for a photo of this article.]

VARIOUS ARTISTS
‘Some Bizzare Album’
(Some Bizzare Records SBLP1)
* * * *
    FUTURISM:  This is your loife. The vinyl proof: has Futurism got a future? Will the masses take to the electronic beat? Has Stevo got a winner on his hands? Ahh, Stevo, now there’s a name to conjure with…
    In the dim and distant early months of 1980, a lone figure entered the Sounds scenario. Self-styled electro-entrepreneur Stevo, complete with his half a lank fringe, offered up a chart the like of which had never before been witnessed. Full of bands who didn’t fit the alternative label, weren’t smart enough to be on Rough Trade, who mostly favoured the use of synthesised music.
    After much furrowing of brows in the editorial office, a voice came from the blue, proclaiming, “Let’s  call it a Futurist Chart!” And so, a new cult was born. At first the embryonic electro scene was taken with a pinch of salt, but, week by week it gained in credibility and other so-called music papers took to discussing it as if it were their own. Young Stevo decided the thing to do was to bring these bands together on one album, a task which took him six months to complete, with the aid of Dead Good Records and finally a distribution deal with Phonogram, who obviously consider it’s futurism for keeps.
    Facetiously dubbed “Modernism For Muthas” by the staff with, it’s actually better thought out than the legendary ‘Metal’ and more important than the ‘Hicks From The Sticks’ job because it sums up the state-of-the-art. It’s also the first time a bunch of brand new, like-minded bands have found themselves on record together.
    What we find here is electronic dance music / electronic experimental music as opposed to the more disco-oriented, sophisticated Visages and Ultravoxes. First: a glimpse at the real 20 carat golden goodies…
    Manchester’s own Illustration proffer an auspicious opener with ‘Tidal Flow’, a relentless, sad rhythm, concentrating on languid, echoing bass lines and distant, dreamy synths topped with a plaintive vocal. Magazine with a splash of U2. It’s haunting / daunting.
    Depeche Mode go quite the opposite way with ‘Photographic’ and are the only featured band to really make their synths go with beauty, bouncy energy and harmony. Despite their remonstrations (see fab feature) [1] this definitely is like OMITD with its “Bright light / Dark room” chorus a la “Red frame / White light”. A good old singalong, though, as is B-Movie’s ‘Moles’, which is much more rock’n’roll than the rest – a living, breathing drummer rollocks along with a frantic virtuoso performance on the keyboards by Rick Holliday. Love the ‘Moles in holes / Underground / They can’t be found” tongue-in-cheek hookerama.
    Soft Cell grow to be quite charming. ‘The Girl With The Patent Leather Face’ was recorded a while ago on just two tracks and thus is initially rather piercing but the Phil Oakey style of crooning vocals from Marc Almond (also credited for energetics!) soar away close to the edge singing a stunningly visual fetishistic lyric which’d look great on video: “The girl with the patent leather face / Is a psychopathic mental case / A target for the freaks and creeps / A reject from the human race / The girl with the patent leather face / Hangs around the mutant bars / She tampers with machinery / So other beauties crash their cars.” Pervy!
    Of the not-so-quite-so-startling tracks, Neu Electrikk come up funky with ‘Lust Of Berlin’, heavy on the rhythm section and sketchy, jazzy guitar but lose out a little due to the obviously Ziggy-inspired vocal from Dee Sebastian. Naked Lunch needn’t have apologised so profusely for ‘La Femme’, even if it is very ‘Being Boiled’ in places. An uptempo, fun song, overlong but with a certain jiggy charm.
    Blancmange take on Eno and / or Vinni Reilly at their own game in ‘Sad Day’ and end up with an instrumental that would make an ideal TV theme or cinema interlude musak. A melancholy little guitar track winds its way over a simple but effective synth / drum tape backing. Hank Marvin after a bereavement.
    Jell features the legendary Eric Random thumping his bass and drums on ‘I Dare Say It Will Hurt A Little’ and Lynn Seed on distant, virginal choirgirl vocals. Bit of a rambling, acid-trip job on guitars and clarinet / melodica however. The Fast Set appear briefly doing the old T-Rex number ‘King Of The Rumbling Spires’ for the 80s and The Loved One are amusingly quasi-melodramatic on ‘Observations’, the seemingly po-faced ‘voice’ Dryden Hawkins also being pretentiously credited with “Audio induction units / Sonics / Period indication.” You’d have a pretty good time dancing to it in leg irons.
    And so to the ‘whimsical confection’ dept. The The might appear moody and gloomy on first hearing the creeping bass line but the word plays are the highlight: “All this and more / All this and the Moors Murders… I scream in the sun / Ice cream in the Sunday Papers’. I give Blah Blah Blah the honour of taking up the rear. Their basic philosophy of blahism (hyperbolic and frothy talk or writing) can be observed in action during the nonsensical, quirky, Residents-oriented ‘Central Park’, a narrative relating the tale of a man walking in said park who sees a gentleman riding a horse with an aura about him. No one else sees this. Bizarre bass and tootling synth rattle on till Blah Ian decides: “Perhaps I had a migraine or something.” Sheer silliness.
    The key to it all, perhaps, is that nobody takes themselves too seriously. As Tony from Naked Lunch says: “There are times when I think people have forgotten how to smile, laugh and just have a good time without violence.” I doubt if any of these bands would want anything more than to entertain, even if some of them indicate pretentions towards more subliminal ‘enjoyment’. No-one gets far without a sense of humour.
    Very soon you too could follow the Some Bizzarers’ example: the £40 synthesiser is on its way! Meanwhile, be content with this album, which looks to have got the balance between fun, dance and thoughtfulness. One small step for Stevo, a giant foot forward for Futurism (!).
[1] - That's here, and it's also their first ever feature in the national music press.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #5 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:09:04 »
1981-01-31 - Sounds (UK) - THIS YEAR'S MODE(L)

[Taken from the now-defunct website www.sacreddm.net.]



THIS YEAR'S MODE(L)
[Sounds, 31st January 1981. Words: Betty Page. Picture: Paul Slattery.]
" ...their brand of sweet, simple, precise rhythm and lightweight synthetic pop, which, with the luck of the gods, will launch a full-frontal campaign on the complacent legions of Orchestral Manoeuvres kiddies... "
Summary:  The band come across understandably shy in their first ever interview in the nationwide music press. Consequently much of the talking is the author describing their style - plenty of comparisons to other bands and attempts to gauge their future placing in the music world, and a very encouraging "leg up" for this new band. [1295 words]
Apologies for the poor scan quality: this is due to the article being taken from a library microfilm.


 
    Dispel from your minds the untenable notion that Futurists are either bored Mummy’s boys tinkering with expensive gadgets or desperately earnest avant-garde merchants trying to preach the gospel according to Kafka: the current resurgence, or (in fact) emergence of electronic-based bands is at a truly grass-roots level – an increasing number of fresh-faced young men (and women) are taking to synthesisers and drum machines for their amusement rather than cheap guitars to create cut-price, instant tunes.
    As the great Gal Numan himself said: “You can use just one finger and still produce the most amazing sounds!” Such a sage. After all, the capital outlay of one or maybe two synths plus a rhythm box compares rather favourably with paying four or five dodgy musicians when you can get away with less with reliable hardware. You know it makes sense for a good start in music life!
    Some new futurist boys favour walls of noise, some boys favour experimentalism. Some boys like electronic pop and others electro-disco.
    The very young, tender and fresh-as-a-mountain-stream Depeche Mode favour our third category.
    Natives of Basildon, Vince Clarke (synth), Martin Gore (another synth), Andy Fletcher (yet another (bass) synth) and David Gahan (vocals and electronic percussion) used to play guitars but gradually shed them in favour of more modern toys.
    Six months ago they ventured into Croc’s Glamour Club Rayleigh to find themselves resident on the Electronic Saturday Night, followed by brief showings at the mightiest of oi-some venues, the Bridgehouse.
    Twas in that dark, unromantic setting that their fairytale rise commences; synth-svengali Daniel (The Normal) Miller spotted les Modes, took an instant and profound liking to their brand of melodic electro-pop and decided to whisk them away to do a single on Mute Records, the result of which is “Dreaming Of Me / Ice Machine”, which will be out on February 20.
    Just the right time, methinks, to attack our touch-sensitive ears with their brand of sweet, simple, precise rhythm and lightweight synthetic pop, which, with the luck of the gods, will launch a full-frontal campaign on the complacent legions of Orchestral Manoeuvres kiddies who know a good hookline when they hear one.
    But before this solo effort comes their contribution to the long-awaited Stevo-inspired compilation of ‘futurist’ bands, ‘Some Bizzare Album’, out at the end of this month, plus appearances on the accompanying tour of ‘Bizzare Evenings’. Busy, buzzing boys.
    Depeche Mode are so fragile and new that this was their first press-ganging, which resulted in a bit of an impasse. Those words which were imparted were precious few, just innocent observations on their still embryonic state. Without wishing to sound condescending – out of the mouths of babes comes forth truth. But it’s great: four young men making simple, commercial music about which they have absolutely no pretentions. Refreshing as a glass of Andrews.
    Perched nervously round a creperie table, they responded blushingly and politely to my thrusting questions. I ventured, foolishly, that a fair description of their music would involve comparing them to Orch Man, but with lashings more melody.
    David, the trendiest, best coiffed Mode, denied any such connection: “We wouldn’t like to be categorised with them or associated with them at all.”
    This may have something to do with the fact that OMD started life as a nauseously trendy Liverpool band along with such luminaries as the Bunnymen and only reached their hit potential later on.
    DP reckon to be fairly confident of their instant commercial viability and would be extremely happy to see themselves in the charts and on TOTP tomorrow.
    “Yes, please!” they chirped in chorus.
    Because of this shameless advocation of hit singles, they also refuted any association with the Sounds-spawned Futurist scene.
    David: “I don’t like that scene at all. All the bands involved with it are in one bunch together and they’ll never escape from it. Soft Cell are about the only ones with a good chance. I don’t like to bitch, but Naked Lunch have been going for years… We write pop music, electric pop, so we couldn’t get tagged by appearing on that album. Once people hear the single, they’ll change their minds!”
    And that, punters, is hopefully what you’ll think too. It’s the right place, right time for new blood in the charts, a prospect which seemed unlikely mere months ago, but pioneers like the Spands have made it easier for on-coming bands. Popular electronic music so far hasn’t used synthesisers too intelligently (thanks to Numan) or lightheartedly; DP don’t depress, they uplift – something you up there, North of Watford will be able to sample at the start of next month.
    Watch out for their four gigs at the most style-conscious clubs in Leeds, Preston, Liverpool and Manchester. But don’t think that just because you don’t sport a fine quiff and startling technicolour threads that you’ll feel like a cat amongst pigeons at a DP show; they attract Blitz-like characters but don’t wish to be cliqueish and welcome all peace-loving gig-goers.
    The Modes generally concur that they have just as good an opportunity to achieve their aims on Mute Records as they do signing to any large conglomerate record label you care to mention.
    Vince: “We’ve got a better chance on Mute. Daniel’s been good to us and we like the way he operates. We listened to a few other companies seeing what they had to offer but we decided to stick with him. He had a big success with the Silicon Teens, and we’ve got that same sort of lightweight feeling to us. Daniel’s got a good nose for things like that. He’s an underestimated man.”
    “Filming and screening / I picture the scene / Filming and dreaming / Dreaming of me” (‘Dreaming Of Me’). A flirtation with romanticism, of seeing yourself up there on the screen. It may happen for DP sooner than they think; the time for diversification is ripe after the Numan plateau and with the likes of Visage and Ultravox surging into the Top 30. It’s early days for Depeche now, but they may come across criticism for using drum machines instead of a real live drummer.
    David disagreed: “I don’t think it’ll happen now. The tapes we’ve got now sound like real drums anyway. I know Orchestral Manoeuvres were put down for using a drum machine on stage but the worst thing they ever did was to get a drummer. It was really bad after that. We don’t need one anyway – it’s just another person to pay!” [1]
    Seems like eminent business sense to me. The live version of Depeche Mode should prove interesting, due to the total reverse of normal stage practices: one vocalist, plus three others all playing keyboard synthesisers.
    The band may remain static, but they believe in entertainment and encouragement of dancing. The gyrating stops at pop, though, as DP are certainly not thinking of branching into funk (the next big thing!). Vince claims they simply don’t understand it!
    Apart from the great Stevo tour, Depeche Mode are forging their way into more fashion-conscious realms when they take to the stage of the Rainbow on February 14th for Steve Strange and Rusty Egan’s People’s Palace St Valentine’s Ball (phew!), along with their favourite new burlesque dance troupe Shock and the hitherto untrendy Metro.
    For a future that’s bound to be exciting, stylish, fun and constantly changing, Depeche Mode have their place in the scheme of things; the charts may well prove to be their oyster. Ain’t it a shame, for a band who are no strangers to the charms of the tape recorder, to clam up when facing one in a different scenario… Maybe once they see the world outside Basildon they’ll give away their trade secrets.
    Until then Depeche Mode are content to remain something of an enigma…
[1] - The band's trusty reel-to-reel tape machine was a standard feature - and a source of amusement to some commentators - in early Depeche Mode shows for several years. Part of the reason it was kept clearly visible on the stage was because the band didn't want to seem to pretend to be doing something they weren't doing.

In 2013, Betty Page wrote about this event: http://beverleyglick.com/mystories/the-day-i-met-four-terrified-teenagers-called-depeche-mode/
Quote
Depeche Mode had named themselves after a French fashion magazine. It was an unlikely handle for a bunch of Essex boys, but they had made the wise decision to sign to the independent label Mute, run by electronic music wizard and producer Daniel Miller.
When I first met the band, in an overflowing stock room at Rough Trade records, they were bundles of nerves. They looked like choirboys – and indeed one of them confessed he had been. Natives of Basildon, Vince Clarke (synth), Martin Gore (another synth), Andy Fletcher (bass synth) and David Gahan (vocals and electronic percussion) had once played guitars – but then discovered the joys of modern toys.
Six months earlier they had secured a Saturday night residency at Croc’s Glamour Club in Rayleigh, Essex, before venturing down to the rough-and-ready Bridgehouse Tavern, which was more accustomed to the sound of football hooligans. It was in that dark, unromantic setting that their fairytale rise commenced.
Synthesiser Svengali Daniel Miller took an instant liking to Depeche Mode’s brand of melodic electro-pop and put them straight into the studio – the result of which was their first single, the featherlight Dreaming of Me.
Sitting between piles of vinyl, the quartet looked like rabbits caught in the headlights. They had never done an interview before and all I could extract from them were a few polite observations accompanied by furious blushing.
This is roughly how it went.

Do you feel confident of your commercial appeal?
Silence.
Would you be pleased if you were asked to appear on Top of the Pops tomorrow?
“Yes please!”
Are you Futurists?
“I don’t like that scene at all,” said David. “We write pop music – electro-pop.”
Would you say your music is a little like Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, but with more melody?
“We wouldn’t like to be categorised with them or associated with them at all,” said David. “Orchestral Manoeuvres were put down for using a drum machine on stage but the worst thing they ever did was to get a drummer. It was really bad after that. We don’t need one anyway – it’s just another person to pay!”
Drummers would become dinosaurs of rock for this new breed of electro-popper, who were changing the face of music from their bedrooms. With just one finger and a reasonably priced synthesiser, they could produce the most amazing sounds.
For Depeche Mode, it was the only way. Theirs was a quiet revolution, but a revolution all the same.

I interviewed the band again a few months later, after their first two singles had become hits. What a transformation. I watched them at work in the studio larking about with producer Daniel Miller; Vince sitting confidently behind the mixing desk and Martin Gore in shorts, singing the harmonies for I Just Can’t Get Enough.
They told me they held “gigs” in the studio when things got too much for them and played me a tape of one of these impromptu sessions. It started off as raw electro-punk with vocals by Andy, segued into cover versions of Simple Simon Says and You’re Gonna Lose That Girl and finished with a sensitive rendition of a popular hymn, thus confirming the suspicion that they were still in touch with their inner choirboys.
Dep Mod, as I liked to call them, were so pristine in those days: Daniel Miller’s pop vision made flesh. In the beginning, their shiny electronic pop was bright and blemish-free – but then the ghastly cocktail known as Instant Fame took hold and the rock-god demons began to drag singer David Gahan into a drugs hell from which he would barely escape with his life…
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #6 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:09:57 »
1981-02-07 - NME (UK) - Some Bizarre LP Review (excerpt)

[This excerpt was written in a BONG magazine issue many years later.]

(...)

[Photographic] features some very assured, neatly structured and entwined synth melodies, which are partially marred by the 30’s futuristic lyrics, but saved by the persistent quiver of a rhythm line.

(...)

Chris Bohn*

[*He also referred to the song as “one of the LP’s mainstream highlights” (the other being Blancmange’s ‘Sad Day’)]
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #7 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:10:50 »
1981-02-18 - Trax (UK) - In The Mode

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=223514467802606



IN THE MODE

Following the success of their track "Photographic" on the 'Some Bizarre' album, non-futuristic electronic pop band Depeche Mode release their debut single on Mute Records.
Titled 'Dreaming Of Me' it's released this week, with 'Ice Machine' on the B side.
The Basildon based Depeche Mode, who have been resident band at Croc's Glamour Club in Rayleigh, will be catching the 7:30pm train to Fenchurch Street to support the Passions at the Lyceum on February 28.
Also on that bill will be Ilya Volkswagens, plus another act which has yet to be announced.
The Passions, incidentally, will begin recording for an album and future singles during March.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #8 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:11:40 »
1981-02-20 - Mute - A Concise History

http://www.depeche-mode.com/2012/07/18/hilarious-early-dm-press-release/



[This info sheet came with the release of Dreaming Of Me. Daniel Miller told BRAT a few years ago that Martin Gore has written this sheet. I typed out the text:]

MUTE RECORDS

Depeche Mode - a concise history in three volumes:

Featuring: Martin Gore - synth and backing vocals (evil, "that's my girlfriend" look)
                 Andrew Fletcher - Synth and comb
                 Vince Clarke - synth, backing vocals & general genius
                 Dave Gahan - vocals, "I'm a pretty boy": looks and hairspray

Formed in March 1980, Basildon based DEPECHE MODE first performed live at the Woodlands School under 12's disco - but were hurled off by abusive youngsters with more classical tastes. They then played at the infamous 'Top Alex' Leather Clad "I'm a drug addic" Bikers club - horrendous reception! Unperturbed, they moved onto a more prestigious residency at the 'Glamour Club' in Rayleigh (larger, sticky keys and smudged eye liner).

DEPECHE MODE first met Daniel Miller of Mute Records while they supporting Fad Gadget at the Bridgehouse in Canning Town, where the recording of DEPECHE MODE's first single 'Dreaming Of Me' c/w 'Ice Machine' was discussed (single released on Mute February 20th).

The band have since performed at the Rainbow and other very famous places!

Vince writes most of the songs, Martin submits a couple.
Musical influences - Simon & Garfunkel and The Buggles.
Favourite bands: Dave - Bowie
                            Fletch - Graham Parker
                            Martin - Sparks
                            Vince - Simon & Garfunkel
Favourite food - anything that moves
Favourite colour - don't be silly
Future plans - to do a major tour of the provinces (or province) of Tibet with a party of Lamas as support.
Aims of the band - to make money and make their mums proud.



1981-02-21 - Sounds (UK) - Dreaming of Me Review

http://www.depeche.biz/DEPECHE%20DOT%20BIZ/press_cuttings/mode_in_the_press_frames_page.htm



Boys keep swinging. Depeche are among the best of the new breed of techno poppers and this wistful, melodic, soft ditty, verging on (eek!) electro-folk is destined (cross fingers) for Silicon Teens – style success. Romantic and dreamy right down to the reflective ‘ooh la la las’ bringing up the rear. Refreshing for its total lack of anything deep, meaningful, heavy or arty. Very much an instant, Now sound.

(one of the ‘Singles Of The Week’)

Betty Page
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #9 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:12:13 »
1981-02-26 - Trax magazine (UK) - Concert Review

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=228888870598499



Facebook page TRAX: "Issue Number 3.... DEPECHE MODE review of one the two gigs they played at ' The Moonlight Club ' in London in February 1981... either the 1st or the 12th..."

[I typed out the text:]

Depeche Mode
Moonlight

Can't put me doigt on the old Dictionaire Francaise right maintenant, but dodgy braincells inform me the name means something along the lines of "On yer bike, mod prats". Or somesuch.
An intense, boyishly gangling crew, clad in the current manner and coiffeured so too, there are four of them. The singer is the most boyishly gangling of all, very much the young Beardsley-type. His is the most movement as, at the end of each number, he angles his way Stage Left to adjust the backing tape for the next number, whence percussibe machinery and the like.
His three cohorts meanwhile are stock-still new age choirboys: minimum mobility, fondant quiffs, chic noir suitings owt else. On a visual front therefore, the Depeche Mode entertainment quotient is as low the contemporary swagger is its opposite.
And yet, although - I hasten to confess - I am unfashionably at variance with things so fashionably ici etc., Depeche Mode hold my attention for the length of a set that is neither too short nor too long. I not pleasurable swayings, bubbly jelly belly and other symptoms of delight et. al.
They have songs, these lads, songs. And an instrumental that works. And the approval and support of Daniel Miller (the legendary etcetera). Which is, of course, neither here nor there, but noway a minus for all that.
Poseurs they may well be, but this night their audience is the usual you-me-and-the-boy/girl-next-door ragamuffin gallimaufry. No boos or cat-calls heard, much banging of palms and nobody threw peanuts or other edibles in either direction.
For one encore they broke open Don and Phil Everly's coffin and out came The Price Of Love, still a great song and well Lazarus'ed. My companion was a 'proper' drummer; he thus had every right to dissent, his ilk not being represented here: he thought they were "All right, really".
Depeche Mode are six months old and come from Basildon. David Gahan sings, the immobile synthers are Vincent Clarke, Martin Gore et Andrew Fletcher. Their current Mute release is Dreaming Of Me and that delicious instrumental will be played enough if you cry ardently the following phrase: "Big Muff".
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #10 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:13:02 »
1981-02-28 - NME (UK) - review of Dreaming of Me

[This excerpt was written in a BONG magazine issue many years later.]

Despite the narcissistic title, ‘Dreaming Of Me’ is as sweetly unassuming a slice of electronic whimsy as anything by early OMD. Deadpan vocals, programmed rhythm rejoinders and a candyfloss melody make for a pleasant three minutes. Live, they look great, make comfortable background noises, but don’t really sustain attention for much longer than that.
Chris Bohn
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #11 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:13:27 »
1981-02-xx - Record Mirror (UK) - Dreaming of Me review

http://tiptopwebsite.com/websites/index2.php?username=depechemodefile&page=3

Floppy fringe music, as predictable and well crafted as any Ultravox song.

Philip Hall
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #12 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:14:09 »
1981-03-05 - Smash Hits (UK) - Single Review

http://likepunkneverhappened.blogspot.com



http://www.tuug.utu.fi/~jaakko/dm/smash1.txt

  AMONG THE other contenders at the Cabaret Futura recently have been a young Basildon (Essex) band called Depeche Mode. Looking scarcely a day over 14 but claiming to be 18 plus, the band consist of vocalist Dave Gahan (insert) and three synthesiser players: Vince Clarke and Martin Gore (pictured below, left and right) plus Andrew Fletcher.  On the fringes of the Blitz Kids scene by virtue of their electronic music and evident taste for make up and flash clothes, Depeche Mode in fact far outshine many a better known name by virtue of their ability to write GREAT TUNES and treat them right--like a cross between the bright synthetic pop of The Silicon Teens and the more weighty personal song/stories of Foxx, Numan etc.  Two of these gems have now been committed to vinyl and the simply wonderful "Dreaming Of Me"/"Ice Machine" (Mute) is unreservedly recommended to absolutely everybody. Tasteful and tuneful, danceable and intelligent, it deserves to be utterly huge.  Buy it! (Contact:SAE to 16 Decoy Avenue, London NW11.)
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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #13 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:14:47 »
1981-03-07 - Melody Maker (UK) - Dreaming of Me review

http://tiptopwebsite.com/websites/index2.php?username=depechemodefile&page=3

Bright propulsion, a pert tune and understanding synths just about redeem this one; it suffers from affected vocals that nearly become overbearing. The spoken words at the end are particularly effective, surrounded by tinkling sounds that evoke the dreamy atmosphere of the subject.
Carol Clerk
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #14 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:15:53 »
1981-03-14 - Sounds (UK) - WOMEN ARE NOT JUST MINDLESS BODIES SHOCK

[Taken from the now-defunct website www.sacreddm.net.]



"WOMEN ARE NOT JUST MINDLESS BODIES" SHOCK
[Sounds, 14th March 1981. Words: Karen Swayne.]
 
Summary: This review of several bands only spares a few unflattering words for Depeche Mode, but given their inexperience at the time is probably reasonable enough. [519 words]

Passions / Depeche Mode / Modern Man
Lyceum 
    For a band who appear on the ‘Some Bizzare’ album, Depeche Mode are about as bizarre as a cheese sandwich. Not only is their music incredibly dreary – electronic pomp-rock at its least original – but they spent the whole set hunched over their synthesizers twiddling knobs, and generally trying not to let their image slip.
    Modern Man are a slightly less stereotyped “futurist” band who opened with the ironic ‘Things Could Be Better If Only You’d Give Me A Chance’. Well, you’ve had your chance mate, and things can only get better. They at least managed to fit in guitars and drums, but their sub-Skids songs and long drawn out vocals began to irritate after a while, as did the Ferry-like posturings of the lead singer. (Memo to guitarist – are you sure futurism is the right music for you? Wide lapels and flares just aren’t this year’s thing.)
    Are The Passions the next futurist band? A section of the audience seemed to think so, but had to suffer the indignity of rubbing caped shoulders with the anoraks of those who had heard ‘Film Star’ on Radio One, and who’d gone along to take a look at this “new” band. Happily the Passions faced this motley collection with new confidence, handling their sudden popularity well and giving a smooth but powerful performance.
    Barbara Gogan’s pure voice, rising beyond the echoing guitars, sounds not unlike a more wistful Chrissie Hynde. The Passions have been accused of being cold and distant in the past, but now their emotion is evident.
    ‘I’m In Love With A German Film Star’, the song many people came to hear, was introduced in a mumbled, almost embarrassed fashion. During this number they also used the time-honoured Heavy Metal special effect of dry ice, a device which often seems contrived but on this occasion managed to enhance the mood, rather than detracting from the music.
    At times, Barbara came forward in a blunt confrontation with the audience. The Passions are not an obviously feminist / political band, but their song ‘Why Me?’ was introduced as “a rather bitter little number”, and she spat out the lyrics at the males ogling her at the front: “You call us the weaker sex / When it’s you that made us weak / You fool us with sexual delight / Then you threaten us with physical might,” hopefully putting the ‘stronger sex’ who use women solely as sexual diversions firmly in their place. Women are not just mindless bodies, and if a few more bands wrote songs which reflected this then maybe it would eventually get through to the millions of morons who are still under this impression.
    To get back to the main issue, the Passions are a band who are in total control of their material, and perform with the ease of those who feel that their time has finally come. With the Sheena Eastons and Joe Dolces of this world at the top of the charts, I can only hope so. This group deserves to be more than a one hit wonder.
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