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Author Topic: 1981: Speak and Spell  (Read 51419 times)

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #30 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:30:58 »
1981-06-xx - Vinyl (Netherlands) - Depeche Mode in Telegramstijl

http://vinyltijdschrift.blogspot.com/2010/02/jaargang-1-nummer-6.html





[I typed out the text:]

Depeche Mode in Telegramstijl

In januari van dit jaar verscheen een verzamel LP die luistert naar de naam 'Some Bizarre Album'. Een compilatiealbum waarop kleine opkomende futuristische bands zijn vertegenwoordigd en waarvan sommigen reeds via singles van zich hadden laten horen. De meest saillante verschijning op deze plaat is Depêche Mode, met het nummer 'Photographic', een zwaarmoedige melodische uiting in up tempo.
Depêche Mode werd elf maanden geleden geformeerd als driemanschap, twee gitaren en een synthesizer, en kreeg z'n uiteindelijke voltooing na de komst van vocalist David Gahan.
Hun eerste single 'Dreaming of Me' zag voor het eerst het licht bij het Britse electrolabel Mute Records, waar ook een groep als Fad Gadget bij zit. Daniel Miller, de drijvende kracht achter dit project, besloot na de bemoedigende verkoopresultaten van 'Dreaming Of Me', ook hun follow-up 'New Life' te produceren, een resultaat  dat de eerste single in kwaliteit verreweg overtreft. Miller met z'n Mute Records heeft de groep z'n vertrouwen gegeven, iets wat de opportunist een oprichter van Some Bizarre Records-waar Depêche Mode debuteerde- Stevo niet heeft kunnen waarmaken. Afgezien hiervan hadden ze toch eigenlijk ook niet de intentie om met Some Bizarre verder in zee te gaan, omdat ze zich absoluut niet beschouwen als futuristische muzikanten maar als 'a dancy pop band'.
Depêche Mode staat voor mode in telegramstijl, snelle kleding, dus iets dat zich snel kan aanpassen aan de hectische ontwikkelingen in de popbizz. Zoveel betekenis schuilt er echter niet achter de naam, ze kwamen het woord voor het eerst tegen in een tijdschrift en er was geen enkele reden waarom ze het kozen, men wist niet eens wat het betekende, het klonk goed en dat was alles! De enige vergelijking die met de muziek van Depêche Mode kan worden getrokken is het oudere repertoire van Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. Zelf denken ze daar heel anders over, OMITD brengt te weinig variatie in hun repertoire, zij daarentegen houden van veelzijdigheid. Als het merendeel van hun songs gestoeld zijn op een stevige beat en er een aantrekkingskracht vanuit gaat waar mensen op willen dansen, is Depêche Mode dik tevreden.
DEPECHE MODE zijn: David Gahan: Vocals/Electronic perc. Vincent Clark: Synth./Backing voc. Martin Gore: Synth./backing voc. Andrew Fletcher: Bass Synth.
Sander Jonkergouw

Translation by me:

Depeche Mode Telegram Style

In January this year a compilation LP came out which answers to the name 'Some Bizarre Album'. A compilation album on which small emerging futuristic bands are represented and some of which had arleady exposed themselves via singles. The most salient appearance on this album is Depeche Mode, with the track "Photographic," a melancholy expression in melodic up-tempo.
Depeche Mode was formed eleven months ago triumphantly, two guitars and a synthesizer, and received its final completion after the arrival of vocalist David Gahan.
Their first single "Dreaming of Me" first saw the light at the British electro label Mute Records, where a group like Fad Gadget also resides. Daniel Miller, the driving force behind this project, decided after the encouraging sales performance of 'Dreaming Of Me', to produce their follow-up 'New Life' with a result that it far surpasses the first single in terms of quality. Miller gave with his Mute Records the group its confidence, something that, the founder of Some Bizarre Records- where Depêche Mode debuted- Stevo has not come succeeded to do. Apart from this, they really do not intend to continue to go into business with Some Bizarre, because they are definitely not futuristic musicians but "a dancy pop band".
Depêche Mode stands for fashion in telegram style, fast clothing, so anything that can quickly adapt to the fast-paced developments in the popbizz. Much significance lies, however, not in the name, they first came across the name in a magazine and there was no reason why they chose it, they did not even know what it meant, it sounded good and that was all! The only comparison the music of Depeche Mode can be drawn with is the older repertoire of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. They think very differently about it however, OMITD brings too little variety in their repertoire, whereas they love versatility. If the majority of their songs are based on a solid beat and an appeal from going where people want to dance, Dépêche Mode are very satisfied.
DEPECHE MODE are: David Gahan: Vocals / Electronic perc. Vincent Clark: Synth. / Backing voc. Martin Gore: Synth. / Backing voc. Andrew Fletcher: Bass Synth.
Sander Jonkergouw
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #31 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:31:32 »
1981-06-xx - The Face (UK) - DEPECHE MODE HURRIED FASHION

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



DEPECHE MODE: HURRIED FASHION
[The Face, June 1981. Words: Ian Cranna. Pictures: Sheila Rock.]
"I'll give you and example, right? Words to use in a good electronic song - 'fade', 'switch', 'light' - anything like that. 'Fade' - that's an excellent word. It's a word for '81 - it's got to be!"
Summary: Brief-ish interview of the entire band in the studio during the recording of New Life. The 'meat' of the article concentrates on Vince, his musical tastes and how he writes, but a lot of banter between band members - and the writers' picking up on their obvious youth and newness to the music world - keeps the tone of the article reasonably light. [1320 words]


    Unlike the popular image of unsmiling synthesiser bands, Depeche Mode like to laugh a lot. Tonight, in a small recording studio in South London, a good deal of laughing is being done - mostly at the expense of non-vocalist member Andrew Fletcher who is struggling to find and hold his note in the four-part harmony which the band are laying down for their latest single 'New Life'.
    "This could mean a mike for you, Fletch," teases vocalist Dave Gahan.
    "From the heart, Andy," calls producer Daniel Miller helpfully over the studio intercom.
    "I'm trying to do it from the lung," replies the beleaguered Fletcher.
    Eventually a satisfactory take is achieved and the band takes a break to cope with another interview. Here a serious note enters the proceedings: it's after 11 o'clock and we have to watch the time so that the group - who are dependent on public transport - can catch the last train home.
    Home in this case is Basildon in Essex where Depeche Mode, a three synthesisers plus vocals outfit (average age 19), have been on the go for just over a year now. Specialising in a particularly attractive brand of undemanding electro-pop, Depeche Mode manage to combine the boppiness of classic Glitter and the precision of disco with the non-traditional appeal of synthesisers and an extra dimension of surprising depth and strength for such a non-macho vocalist as Gahan.
    Away from their instruments and microphones, the band's personalities - untrammelled by such things as political views - are as pleasant and uncomplicated as their music. It's also obvious from the way they pepper their tentative explanations with hesitant "y'know"s and "sort of"s that thinking and talking about what they do doesn't come easy.
    The main songwriter in the group is Vince Clarke who was once a guitarist in, don't laugh, a gospel folk duo before joining forces with Andrew Fletcher, then playing bass. A schoolfriend of Fletcher's, one Martin Gore, was invited to bring his synthesiser and songs into the group, but something was still missing.
    "We needed a front man, a singer," recalls Fletcher, nodding at vocalist Gahan, "And we got a front man.
    "What happened was," he continues gleefully amid more laughter, "we got him just on the strength of him singing 'Heroes' in a jamming session. We weren't even sure if it was him singing it, there was so many people singing!"
    "I'm still sure we got the wrong one," quips Gore. It's now Gahan's turn to look thoroughly uncomfortable. "You didn't know this, did you?" inquires Fletcher, clearly enjoying every moment of his revenge. Children please!
    Seduced by the noises produced by Gore's synthesiser and impressed by the ease with which he could carry it on public transport, Depeche Mode switched at this point to an all synthesiser line up.
    When the band supported Fad Gadget at the Bridge House pub in East London they attracted the attention of Daniel Miller of Mute Records, somewhat unfairly regarded as the country's premier electronic label. The band signed up and the first fruit of the collaboration was the excellent 'Dreaming Of Me' which succeeded in penetrating the lower regions of the national chart back in April.
    That wasn't their vinyl debut, however, as the band had already contributed a track called 'Photographic' to the 'Some Bizzare' compilation of futurist bands. But despite their synthesisers, Depeche Mode deny any association with something they see as an artificial creation.
    "Just because we use synthesisers," Gahan sighs, "I suppose we're classed as a futurist band but our music's not futurist. Vince just writes pop songs."
    "I think the word 'pop' is really good," Clarke offers, "because it's light and happy. I think it's a nice word." As for the band's lyrics, though Clarke is quite happy that people can find something in them, there are no overt messages. In fact, tunesmith Clarke is just about the ultimate in constructionists.
    "I like words," he says. "I like the sound of words, and the way words fit together and rhyme - things like that. Or they way they sound coming from my mouth. The sound of words rather than the meaning of words. For instance, when I write a phrase or something, I think about how easy it is to sing, to fit in with the melody." (The band's name in fact - translating as 'hurried fashion' - was taken from a French magazine because they liked the sound of it.)
    Clarke's unabashed pop tastes run as far as an affection for Simon and Garfunkel. He thinks all of their stuff is really good, that their lyrics are interesting and that the sound of an acoustic guitar is really expressive. He likes emotional stuff.
    Isn't that something of a contrast between that and what he's doing now?
    "When I write songs," Clarke almost apologises, "I can't write like Simon and Garfunkel. I wish I could in some ways, but I can't, so when I write lyrics I just use words as words. I don't really write about anything."
    This borrowing of standard imagery is a method still cheerfully used by Clarke in writing for Depeche Mode. "I think in the sort of stuff we're doing, it's good to use certain words. I think words are very fashionable. I'll give you an example, right? Words to use in a good electronic song - 'fade', 'switch', 'light' - anything like that. 'Room', 'door' - words like that. It's quite nice. 'Fade' - that's an excellent word. It's a word for '81 - it's got to be!"
    There was a time when Clarke felt his phrases and senses meant something, if not directly, and that was quite important to him. But not now.
    "I think the word 'pop'," Clarke struggles to bring his music back into perspective, "it's not just the words, right? It's the whole feel of the song. And it's just light, y'know?"
    Similarly, not too much should be read into Depeche Mode's makeup and flamboyant clothes at gigs. They don't consider themselves New Romantics, only getting to know of it through Gahan's club-going prior to the band.
    "I haven't been to the clubs for a long while," Gahan shrugs. "A little bit, about two years ago, because you got the right people - the real, genuine people. Whereas now it's just jumped on the futurist thing."
    Clarke thinks the scene is quite interesting but considers the 'New Romantic' name to be really corny. "But then I suppose in a couple of years it'll be good though, because corn always matures. Like when I first heard The Sweet and obvious stuff like that, I used to hate it. But now it's so good - you just see something different in it, y'know?"
    Clarke also ventures that the idea of sophisticated club-going really appeals to him.
    "It's more tasteful than, say, punk or something like that. And it's more intelligent and more intellectual I mean, it probably isn't if you talk to the people there, it just seems that way, y'know?"
    When he talks about punk, does he mean what it's come to mean now, like the UK Subs etc?
    "No, like it was. I think certain punk bands were just tasteless. Talentless and tasteless. Just the sort of pure aggression in it was pointless. But then again, a band like the Sex Pistols just played good pop music."
    The interrogation over, Depeche Mode revert to type and the joking begins again, this time centering on the nearby figure of Daniel Miller.
    Gahan: "An interesting man."
    Fletcher: "Underestimated. Very underestimated."
    Clarke: "And a real strop."
    Miller protests mildly: "Only sometimes."
    Gahan (conspiratorially): "Really, he's one of The Feelies. He's a Feelie!"
    Clarke: "And he's Nash The Slash! You've heard he's The Normal - well, he's Nash The Slash as well, minus bandages."
    Gahan: "Apart from all that, he's a great man."
    Clarke: "And can we have a lift home please?"
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #32 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:31:56 »
1981-07-09 - Smash Hits (UK) - GOING U.P.!

[Taken from the now-defunct website www.sacreddm.net.]
http://likepunkneverhappened.blogspot.com




GOING U.P.!
[Smash Hits, 9th-22nd July 1981. Words: Steve Taylor. Pictures: Jill Furmanovsky / Paul Slattery.]
" Dave Gahan, swaggering and laughing more than usual after a pint and a half of lunchtime lager, gets the slogan wrong: “We’re P&U”, he proclaims. Everyone looks baffled. “You know,” says Gahan, “pop and up.” Vince puts him right. “The phrase is U.P. and it stands for Ultrapop!” "
Summary: Often-quoted article on the band shortly after the release of New Life. The band are all in good spirits, coming across as new but not, as was soon to be the case, painfully naive. Plenty of interesting historical details on their very early history, although nothing you won't know if you've read Stripped. Lyrics to New Life are also included. [1236 words]


                 
    ULTRAPOP THAT IS. DEPECHE MODE INVITE STEVE TAYLOR TO BASILDON FOR A SHORT COURSE IN ONE U.P.MANSHIP* [1]
    “When Simon Bates introduces us on Top Of The Pops”, Depeche Mode’s singer Dave Gahan is saying on the afternoon before their television debut, “he makes a special point about us coming from Basildon – why?” “Because nothing good ever comes out of here?” [2] suggests one of Gahan’s three synthesiser playing colleagues, Martin Gore. We all ponder for a minute or two, perched up here in a tacky plastic-lined pub above the concrete shopping mall. Silence. Next question.
    Basildon deserves special mention as one of those sprawling new-ish towns built to house London’s “overspill” population in the post-war period. Like Basingstoke, it stands in some people’s eyes as a cliché for soul-less suburban development around a boring – the word is “alienating” – centre where the entertainment is hard to find. The very stuff of Plays For Today. The very stuff, you might be forgiven for thinking, of classic Urban Synthesiser Gloom.
    Well, here’s the surprise; not that Depeche Mode come from somewhere like Basildon, but the fact that they play frothy adolescent pop – with a tinge of moodiness, sure, but nothing that would qualify them for the Throbbing Gristle award for making the listener feel more suicidal than ever before.
    Depeche Mode have a little joke about it. Vince Clark [sic] calls the other camp of synthesiser bands “B&I”, standing for “bleak and industrial”. Dave Gahan, swaggering and laughing more than usual after a pint and a half of lunchtime lager, gets the slogan wrong: “We’re P&U”, he proclaims. Everyone looks baffled. “You know,” says Gahan, “pop and up.” Vince puts him right. “The phrase is U.P. and it stands for Ultrapop!”.
    They have every reason to be cheerful right now, having achieved the enviable exposure of a Top Of The Pops slot – with an independent label single, mind – and having become one of the subjects of a forthcoming “Twentieth Century Box” on London Weekend Television within only a year of first playing together.
    Within the last few months they’ve all given up whatever stopped them being Depeche Mode full-time. Gahan was politely asked to leave college, where he was studying window dressing; Clark’s fellow synthesiser players Martin Gore and Andrew Fletcher gave up their jobs as bank clerk and insurance clerk. Vince – “I’m a Vince Clark” – with least to lose, signed off the dole. [3] With a cheap and portable stage set-up they now live solely on income from gigs – a fact which they’re justly proud of. [4]
    “We’ve got no transport costs really,” explains Gahan, “all our gear goes in the car. We don’t employ any roadies. So if we get paid £250 for a gig and £50 goes on hiring the PA, we can come out of it with a reasonable amount each. Everything about us is independent, even the promotion for the new record we hired ourselves.
    “Dreaming Of Me”, Depeche Mode’s last single on the Mute label, reached number fifty-seven in the singles charts and number one in the independent singles. “We’re going to be The Beatles of the indies,” crows Fletcher in a fit of bravado.
    This is all a long way from the scene less than a year ago when Gahan remembers he stood outside the venue for their first performance as a four-piece, Nicholas School where Fletcher and Gore had been pupils. “You spent half an hour outside trying to calm down,” says Fletcher. “You had about ten cans of lager.” All Gahan can remember is repeatedly saying to himself, “I don’t want to do it, I don’t want to do it.”
    The three instrumentalists were old hands at this, having played all of two gigs as a trio of bass and two synths – once at Scamps in Southend and another at “Deb Danahay’s party”. Vince isn’t going to let anyone ask a fool question like “What were they like?” “They weren’t even minor successes,” he says. Andrew puts Vince’s reassessment in context: “The crowd didn’t react so Vince lost his temper with them – plugs were kicked out.” “There were a lot of fourteen-year-olds,” adds Martin, “who’d never seen a synth before, so they were fiddling with the knobs going ‘What does this do?’.”
    Not that the three of them had been introduced to the synthesiser that long before. Vince and Andrew had their musical baptism in a gospel folk duo which played the local churches and clubs; Martin, who still goes to Methodist church once a month, was the guitarist in a middle-of-the-road West Coast orientated band which played “nice songs”.
    So, though they were too young to be early 1970s glitter kids and readily admit to not having been diehard punks, they were all musically involved enough to be touched by crucial innovations. As Clark says, “You appreciate things much more when they’re past.” Gahan describes the band’s tastes as running “from folk to P.I.L.”.
    “Punk,” says Clark, “wasn’t all good, but the enthusiasm…”
    Fletcher takes up the thread: “We’ve always liked groups like Roxy and people like Bowie who kept their respectability.”
    “Electronic music,” says Vince, “connected the two, Roxy and punk. We liked groups that used synthesisers – OMD, Human League, Gary Numan – that was what we were listening to at the time we got together. And,” he concludes with a grin, “synthesisers are very easy to get a good sound on.”
    With the arrival of Gahan, who they heard crooning Bowie’s “Heroes” at a jam session with another band, their distinctive style began to shape up and audiences reacted accordingly. Gahan recalls their four-piece debut at the Top Alex, a Southend pub that’s normally an R&B stronghold: “We went down really well – they were banging their heads to our pop.”
    Circulating an early demo tape got them a valuable few gigs, mostly at the Bridge House in London’s Canning Town – “Terry, the promoter there, was the only bloke who believed in us then” – and at Crocs in nearby Rayleigh. “We must have played at Crocs fifteen times,” says Fletcher, “and that gave us a lot of encouragement; we weren’t really nervous any more.” “Speak for yourself,” bounces back Gahan.
    Crocs was also the place where their audience first started dressing up in frills and makeup, though now Gahan says that’s toned down: “Everyone’s not trying so hard to be different from one another, it’s smarter.” The band have swopped their cute Romanticism for macho leathers at the moment, though Gahan says it’s not a policy decision, they just go for “anything that looks good.”
    The Bridge House, meanwhile, set them on the path for Top Of The Pops. They met Daniel Miller, the unassuming proprietor of Mute Records and an aficionado of electronic pop, there and were eventually invited to do a one-off single. After doing the dispiriting rounds of the major labels, Miller was “the first one we could trust; he said that if either party didn’t like the other, we’d call it a day.”
    The imminent success of “New Life” and the fact that the formerly indifferent majors have suddenly started “finding” Depeche Mode’s demo tape and ’phone number is a great confidence booster for both the band and Miller. “All the majors told him he wasn’t going to make it and he’s proved them wrong,” says Gahan. “And as for us, so far things have just happened – and at this rate we’re happy just to let them keep happening.”
[1] - The magazine's footnote at this point reads: "Hello, me again. Well, I took the pills like he said but I'm no better. I'm sure they only do it to get rid of you. Next time I shall demand to see the specialist. A person in my condition shouldn't be forced to sit here all day thinking up headlines..."
[2] - Martin might have said he was never Christian, but this is his church upbringing showing through as he's paraphrased, no doubt intentionally, John 1:46: " "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked." (NIV).
[3] - Vince Clarke's real surname is in fact Martin. The Clarke pseudonym was to avoid getting fingered for illegally claiming unemployment benefit in Depeche Mode's very early days. [continue]
[4] - It would take trepidation by any standards, but in 1981 unemployment was rocketing. Had Depeche Mode not worked out, their chances of getting a half decent job again within a reasonable time was pretty much nil, which makes leaving their jobs a huge leap of faith in themselves.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #33 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:32:43 »
1981-07-11 - NME (UK) - Portrait Of The Artist As A Consumer

[Thanks to Barclay for scanning this for this forum! Transcribed using OCR.]



DAVID GAHAN of Depeche Mode
Pic: Peter Anderson

RECORDS
Panic In Detroit ... David Bowie
Follow The Leaders (dub version) ... Killing Joke
Dancer ... Visage
A Forest ... The Cure
In The Midnight Hour ... Roxy Music
Wheel Me Out ... Was (Not Was)
Papa's Got A Brand ... New Pigbag Pigbag
Trans Europe Express ... Kraftwerk
Spellbound ... Siouxsie And The Banshees

FILMS
Midnight Express
The Deer Hunter
Exorcist 1 and 2
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
The Postman Always Rings Twice
Ordinary People
Scanners
Caligula
My Bloody Valentine
Friday The 13th

TV
The Sweeney
Get Lost
Mork And Mindy
Benny Hill Show
Russ Abbott's Mad House
Monday Film Matinee
Top Of The Pops
Kenny Everett
Cartoons
Misfits

VARIOUS
Clothes: Black leather trousers
Food: Roast Lamb
Drink: Lager
TV programme: Tiswas
Magazine: Smash Hits
Hero: Rusty Egan
Proudest achievement: Hearing 'Dreaming Of Me' on the radio for the first time
Pastime: Taking taxi rides
Pet hate: Walking and waiting
Worst experience: Having my black Edwardian coat pinched



1981-07-13 - The Daily Star (UK) - LOOKING GOOD

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



LOOKING GOOD
[The Daily Star, 13th July 1981. Words: Rick Sky. Picture: Joe Bangay.]
" Vince Clarke, 21, says, “Ugly bands really don’t get anywhere in this business. "
Summary: This apparently harmless tabloid introduction to Depeche Mode set the ball rolling towards Vince's eventual departure. Regarding the author to have twisted his words quite nastily, Vince spent a large part of 1981 in media purdah. When he left the band not long after, the reasons involved disaffection with the trappings and lifestyle of a successful chart act, and that included the attendant PR circus. For this reason alone, one of the most important articles on Sacred DM. [246 words]
Apologies for the poor picture quality - this is due to the page being taken from public library microfilms.

                   
    Depeche Mode are one of the best-looking bands around. And they reckon that gives them an edge over the competition.
    Vince Clarke, 21, says, “Ugly bands really don’t get anywhere in this business.
    “But let’s face it, being good looking gives you a real advantage in life. It opens a lot of doors.” [1]
    The boys – Vince, Dave Gahan, 19, Martin Gore, 19, and Andrew Fletcher, 20 – are looking good in the charts, too.
    They are riding high this week with their second disc, New Life.
    Depeche Mode also believe in travelling light.
    Their equipment consists of three small synthesisers and a tape recorder.
    Singer Dave says: “Because we’re an electronic band we don’t need mounds of speakers and huge drum kits.

Huge
    “Our equipment is very easy to carry.
    “We don’t need huge vans to ferry us around and make our journeys difficult.
    “We don’t even employ roadies because there is nothing for them to carry.”
    Depeche Mode are part of the growing number of futurist electronic dance bands whose fans are colourfully-dressed and outrageous New Romantics. Vince says: “Too many bands take themselves too seriously – we don’t. We don’t let heavy political meaning get in the way of our songs.
    “We just like having fun and we want our fans to have fun, too.”
    The boys are the first successful band to come out of Basildon – a sprawling new town on the outskirts of London.
    Dave says: “We hope to put Basildon on the map.”

[1] - This is the offending exchange. The actual conversation has been recounted by Vince and the bands over the years as running something like this: Sky had seemed to be fishing for something juicy for some time, and began asking questions about looks, such as whether being good-looking and in a band was an advantage (which is of course not the same as asking if being good-looking is an advantage to being in a band). Vince replied that being good-looking would certainly seem to be an advantage in life generally. Sky's next question was "So, you think you are pretty, do you?" From there, by all accounts, the tone went right downhill.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #34 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:32:58 »
1981-07-16 - BBC (UK) - Top of the Pops

New Life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Js2HXn7yVGw

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #35 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:33:25 »
1981-07-25 - Record Mirror (UK) - PROFILE ANDY FLETCHER

[Taken from the now-defunct website www.sacreddm.net.]
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Depeche-Mode-Andy-Fletcher-profile-cut-1981-and-never-let-me-down-again-lyric-/171886484712



PROFILE - ANDY FLETCHER
[Record Mirror, 25th July 1981. Picture: Uncredited.]
 
Summary: This short profile probably tells us more about Andy’s sense of humour than any of his likes and dislikes. Needless to say, most of it is complete fiction. But not all. [110 words]


Full Name: Andrew John Fletcher.
Date Of Birth: 8/7/61
Educated: Nicholas Comprehensive, Basildon.
First Love: Never been in love.
First Disappointment: Life in general.
First Performance: Martin La Gore’s bedroom.
Musical Influences: Bobby ‘Boris’ Picket and the Crypt Kickers.
Heroes: Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing.
Vices: Chinese food and coffins.
Hobbies: Model aircraft making and devil worshipping. [1]
Most Frightening Experience: Being run down by a moped. [2]
Worst Experience: Being a musician.
Funniest Experience: Being booed off stage at the Roxy.
Ideal Holiday: Swanage.
Ideal Home: Basildon.
Favourite Food: Ham omelette.
Favourite Clothes: Vampire outfit.
Favourite Drink: Lager.
Most Hated Chore: Cooking.
Ambition: Not to lose touch with our following.
 
[1] – Andy was a Boys Brigade member and born-again Christian in his teens: I’m not sure what age exactly he converted away.
[2] – What really happened – it’s referred to in more detail here – is that Andy walked into the moped and knocked it over. Which took some doing, as it was parked at the time.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #36 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:34:30 »
1981-07-30 - BBC (UK) - Top of the Pops

New Life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gfGKDReZBI
Alternative link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vr_74FxnEac

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #37 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:38:04 »
1981-07-xx - Rock and Folk (France) - Review Some Bizarre

http://www.frenchviolation.com/forum/



[I typed out the text:]

SOME BIZARRE ALBUM
BZ LP 1 (imp. Phonogram)
Toute la fine fleur de la nouvelle " muzak " anglaise est condensée ici sous la forme d'un témoignage vinylique, manifeste pour cerner l'évolution désincarnée des petits punks de King's Road depuid 76. De tous les groupes représentés ici, seuls Soft Cell et Dépêche Mode furent plébisictés par la presse et les médias (Soft Cell, avec " Girl With The Patent Leather Face ", s'affirme comme l'un des plus attirants du lot).
Maintenant, ce n'est pas une raison pour un sens à ce " Some Bizarre Album " : on aurait pu tout au plus en trier un EP... Neu Electrikk (" Lust of Berlin ") est aussi quelque chose de très plaisant ; Dee Sebastian est de la même école que le chanteur de Echo and The Bunnymen, et l'ensemble sonne comme les Flying Lizards ; " Tidal Flow ", par illustration, est dans la coloration où se distingue déjà Visage, romantisme glitter et sucre glace ; quant à Jell (" I Dare Say It Will Hurt A Little "), on croirait une pâle resucée des anciennes expériences de David Cunningham...
Mais ces groupes trouveront une réponse à leur question, du moins pour certains, puisqu'ils ont déjà leurs héros : Adam and the Ants, Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran ; rien ne peut arrêter cette furie du retour aux vêtements baroques, rien ne peut plus arrêter le jeu des modes. Alors voici un sommaire aperçu, un petit tour de l'horizon 81 du côté du BLITZ. - F.W.

[Translation:]

SOME BIZARRE ALBUM
BZ LP 1 (imp. Phonogram)
All the cream of the new English "muzak" is condensed here as a vinyl testimony, manifest to identify small changes disembodied by punks of King's Road since '76. Of all groups represented here, only Soft Cell and Depeche Mode were recommended by the press and the media (Soft Cell, with "Girl With The Patent Leather Face", is emerging as one of the most attractive of the lot).
Now, this is not the only reason to check out the "Some Bizarre Album": we could find some other interesting things on this EP... Neu Electrikk ("Lust of Berlin") is also something very pleasant; Dee Sebastian is from the same school as the lead singer of Echo and The Bunnymen, and sounds like the Flying Lizards; "Tidal Flow", for example, has the same colour which has already distinguished Visage, romantic glitter and glacing; with Jell ("I Dare Say It Will Hurt A Little"), you'd think of a pale remix of old experiences of David Cunningham...
But these groups have an answer to their question, at least for some, they have found their heroes: Adam and the Ants, Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, nothing can stop this desire to go back to baroque clothing, nothing can stop the game of fashion. Then here is a summary overview, a short tour of the horizon of '81 in the next BLITZ. - F.W.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #38 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:38:22 »
1981-07-xx - Joepie (Belgium) - De Mooie Jongens van Depeche Mode

[Thanks to a fan called Tinygirl for scanning this for us!]



De mooie jongens van Depeche Mode
Bij het rijtje nieuw romantiekers dat in Engeland de kop opsteekt, kunnen we nu Depeche Mode voegen. Deze vier Londense jongens brengen heel dansbare elektronische muziek en staan op de scene vooral mooi te zijn.
"Mooie jongens doen het toch steeds", zegt zanger Vince Clark. "Geef toe dat aartslelijke kerels moeilijker een voet tussen de deur krijgen. Onze snuitjes bezorgen ons een platenkontrakt en daar zijn wij fier op."
De Engelse schoolgaande jeugd heeft Depeche Mode ook ingehaald als de nieuwe helden en dat werpt zijn vruchten af in de hitlijsten. Met hun tweede single "New Life" staan deze jongens in de top 10. Depeche Mode plant nu een uitgebreide toernee door het thuisland om zich ook live eens te laten bewonderen.

[Translation by me:]
The pretty boys of Depeche Mode
Among the legion of new romantics that are rising in England, we can now add Depeche Mode. These four London boys bring very dancable electronic music and are on stage mostly looking beautiful.
"Pretty boys have still got it", says singer Vince Clark. "Admit it, hideous guys have a more difficult time getting things to work for them. Our faces have brought us a record deal and we are proud of that."
The English, highschool-going youth have elevated Depeche Mode as new heroes and that is showing in the chart lists. With their new single "New Life", these boys are in the top 10. Depeche Mode is now planning an elaborate tour in their homeland in order to be admired live as well.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #39 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:38:43 »
1981-08-01 - Record Mirror (UK) - ANGELS WITH SHINING FACES

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



ANGELS WITH SHINING FACES
[Record Mirror, 1st August 1981. Words: Mike Nicholls . Pictures: Uncredited.]
" But the best is yet to come. Depeche Mode is not the only combo Messrs Fletcher and Clarke have ever had in common. Nor their respective Christian church choirs. No, for five years they both played in the Boys’ Brigade! "
Summary: A fairly ordinary piece looking at Depeche Mode's beginnings, upbringing and hopes for the future, with some chatty involvement from the band members. It's marred somewhat by being framed by the usual cloying view of the band members as immaculate little cherubs, but for all that it's easy enough to read and there's nothing wrong with it. [846 words]
Apologies for the poor picture quality - this is due to it being taken from a photocopy.

   
    There’s something very unusual about these lads. Not just the funny threads and lop-sided haircuts. It’s those faces: Stern, well-scrubbed, shiny, angelic, even. More like cherubs than boys in a band. Or choirboys.
    “Andy and Vince both used to sing in church,” Martin reveals mischievously, “but then the devil got them. Very evil, the devil, you know,” he continues, much to his colleagues’ embarrassment.
    But the best is yet to come. Depeche Mode is not the only combo Messrs Fletcher and Clarke have ever had in common. Nor their respective Christian church choirs. No, for five years they both played in the Boys’ Brigade!
    Now in case you’re thinking you’ve never seen members of this worthy organisation marching up your high street doodling about on synthesisers, it ought to be pointed out that they haven’t always relied on these fascinating machines.
    For the first half of their 14 month existence it was boring old guitar, bass and keys until one day Martin brought along a VC23 or something. “It didn’t take long for the others to follow suit. They’re a lot easier to lean to play from scratch than most other instruments,” the third twiddler admits.
    “And portable too,” Dave (silicon) chips in. “We can fit all our gear into a few suitcases and drop ‘em into the boot of the car. No need for amplifiers, back-lines or anything.”
    Dave Gahan was the last member to join the group. This comes as no surprise whatsoever since he’s most certainly the odd man out. Whereas the others tend to be guarded and reserved, the singer displays the kind of confidence you’d expect from someone who virtually talked his way into the band.
    “Dave started jamming with us in rehearsals one day, so we asked him to join,” Martin recalls. “It wasn’t as if he was a total stranger. In fact we’ve all known each other since schooldays. It’s much better that way. You can’t possibly get on as well with newcomers who’ve been fixed up from adverts in the music press,” he declared baldly.
    Must be more of a crack appearing on TOTP when you’re old pals. What do your mums think? Are they proud of their little boys?
    “I try not to tell mine much,” the shy chap replies, “otherwise my mum just goes round bragging it to the butcher, the greengrocer… everybody!”
    Parental fringe benefit, squire. Any more TV lined up?
    “Yeah, we’re on ‘20th Century Box’, too. They’re doing a programme about the music scene round Basildon which is where we’re from.”
    Now Basildon might not be renowned as a rock’n’roll epicentre but there’s a club where the quartet started attracting a lot of attention. Crocs is its name and Depeche Mode soon became the focal point of its burgeoning futurist knees-ups.
    “We were the first band to play there,” claims Dave. “The resident DJ, Rusty Egan, liked us and so we then got a spot on one of the Thursday nights he was running at the Venue. Rusty’s my hero,” he confides.
    Although still holding the affable innovator in high esteem, it is with a rather more low profile entrepreneur that Depeche Mode have decided to entrust their affairs. Daniel Miller, who charmed half a hemisphere (not to mention Grace Jones) with ‘Warm Leatherette’ owns their present record label, Mute, and the boys seem to want to keep it that way.
    Mute might only be an indie – and one that can’t pay for its own photo-sessions – but Miller’s use of independent record pluggers makes it a match for the international companies, notwithstanding their heavy sales forces and so on.
    Proof of the pudding is present hit ‘New Life’ charting the week it was released before amassing sales currently approaching 200,000. Although not furnished with the title, Miller is to all intents and purposes the band’s manager and is currently producing their debut album which, with expert timing, should be in the (right) shops by the end of next month.
    “It’ll mainly consist of the songs we’ve been playing since we started plus a few new ones. No, I’m not going to give away the title or what the next single will be… Actually, we don’t know ourselves yet.”
    A likely story. How about some dates? Any megatours in mind? I hear you’ve just got a deal with the same agents who book gigs for David Bowie and Adam & The Ants.
    “We’re not like those rock’n’roll bands that play night after night. Y’know, I mean it’s just not us, really.”
    This is true but what about the little robots all over the country who have put you where you are today. Don’t they deserve a live shot of the DPs?
    “We’ll be playing some dates,” he concedes, “including some major European capitals,” adds Miller, sounding for all the world like the President of a multinational conglomerate.
    A far cry from the choir, eh Martin?
    “Oh, you get some good singing in church,” he replies, “why do you think I go?”
    Hmmm, sounds like another A&R matter for Mute. On yer bike, Daniel.



1981-08-01 - Som80 (Portugal) - Depeche Mode

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Som80-Portugal-newspaper-Billy-Joel-Depeche-Mode-The-Police-Caetano-Veloso-/162293026353


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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #40 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:39:30 »
1981-08-01 - NME (UK) - Systems Muzak

http://depechemodefile.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/systems-muzak-nme/



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

Systems Muzak
 
The Venue, London - July 23, 1981
1981 Tour
"Those arbiters of modern taste - and as you will see from this issue, they lurk even in the most prestigious camps - who would wish on you the indecencies of things like Spandau Ballet, are generally the same people who can be seen laying into that very great group The Ramones. But behind the real scenes are less fad-conscious figures who will always know better. Daniel Miller, the producer of Depeche Mode, is one of them. He knows that the distance seperating those four middle-class vagrants of Forest Hills from these four working class cherubs of Basildon is not so very great.
In fact, The Ramones are to Depeche Mode what, at her absolute nadir, Patti Smith is/was to Duran Duran. Where those Brummie phonies were reared on, and now exist in a purely nostalgic relation to, glam rock, Depeche, so much sweeter, so much neater, are young enough to be both new and non-industrial.
Depeche Mode make music for the milk bars of a 1990's Late Call. New life, new towns - they've yet to lose their own milk teeth. The Dole Age needn't be one of hysteria and blind narcissism.
At the Venue, the group came across very professionally as a kind of English working-pop Kraftwerk, and were received with nothing short of rapture. A companion made the observation that one doesn't so much dance to Depeche Mode as respond/flinch to the direct stimulus of their machines. The capacity audience bore this out - each member seemed another computed digit, constituted by the purest input/output system, each one a metronome of regular tempo, swinging back and forth with minimal regard for the four figures on stage.
The point is that they hadn't come to see a show, just to be placed facing some kind of system. It's the very immobility of the Depeches which permits such robotic gyration. It's the disco of the bathroom, a privacy of disguise, the sweat merely condensation on the interchangeable tiles of faces.
Dave, Andrew, Martin, and Vince (perfect names) are four little birds in four little cages; every note they utter is so immaculately saturated in a texture they don't personally weave that it's almost as though the sound were being channelled through them, bypassing their hearts, minds, and bodies.
Depeche Mode are too young for the melancholy of Kraftwerk, and their underpants are too clean for the despair of D.A.F. At an extreme - when the three synths splutter, jam, and freeze on 'I Take Pictures' - they are only children staging pile-ups with toy cars. Their machines navigate such unfurrowed paths. Safe, quick, hygenic; fashion in a hurry.
Depeche Mode won't come up with anything as damagingly beautiful as 'As If It Were The Last Time' in a million years - just as, if they were a "guitar" band, they couldn't conceive of a song like 'Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World'. Nevertheless like D.A.F., they are part of the vital resistance to the vulgar hype of Duran Duran.
And it is hardly irrelevant that behind their "innocence" and unpretentiousness lurks the displaced mind of an American intellectual."
Barney Hoskyns



1981-08-01 - Sounds (UK) - Depressed Mode

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DEPECHE-MODE-The-Venue-London-1981-concert-review-UK-ARTICLE-clipping-/371599466370

[Transcribed using OCR.]



Depressed Mode
Depeche Mode
Venue
Dave McCullough

AS ALWAYS, children, it is horrendously simple. It's the sheer simplicity of the pop/rock demystifying task (for it is a task) that really gets me. But it remains, constantly, necessary.
A pint of Youngers (yeech) Tartan beer at the Venue is ninety pence. It is this sort of overwhelming reality that clouds over the nonsense that is going on while profits are being nicely made — it's so obvious!
Futurism in its current on-going state consists of one band and one band only — Duran (swoon) Duran. They have made a remarkable dance album and I see that they are being illogically slammed, it would seem, purely for the way they dress up. I know they look like nanas but this kind of mistaken slamming is silly. It clouds over. It could cost you ninety pence.
While the mysterious Spams remain inscrutable, refusing to play their cards (why? why? why?) we have, in lesser corners, the likes of Depeche Mode. If you liked Bill And Ben The Flower Pot Men and, especially, Little Weed then you'll simply adore these boys. Little Weed's the one at the front, at various stages slipping into resembling younger (sic) versions of either Dennis Norden or (the horror!) Bernard Rhodes. He's not much of a singer either but then Dep Mod aren't much of a pop-group.
Depeche Mode are terribly self-conscious. Individually because they look like nanas and musically because the synths and the attempted pop-swing don't ever gell. 'New Life' comes closest. They grate and draw attention to each other's defects. It's a very cold partnership for a very frosted proposition.
Self-conscious pop is not pop at all. A rarity like Orange (swoon swoon) Juice show up the lie, the failure of satire, the drab second-handedness of encoring with assorted Olde Classics, again all bad choices! Pop is an instinct, it's never a plan. Depeche Mode, from Daniel Miller The Man on lively pa board to the ironic utter lack of visual presence on stage are planned to death. The possible survival factor is their energy. They do enjoy it, Perhaps if they played up the high camp factor more - singer David Gahan toyed with the idea once or thrice...
Certainly the astonishing thing about these Futurist groups is their utter lack of humour while flying in the face of out-and-out hilarity. Dep Mod ought to laugh more on stage. They look sweet when they do, or so my girlfriend, who's a good judge, says.
But then they've already, or rather Miller has, chosen for them this tatty ninety-pence world. And they must accept that the gardener always eventually comes back from his lunch and that everything, Little Weed, The Bens and all, must be crushed, sooner or later. Probably in Dep Mode's case, sooner.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #41 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:39:58 »
1981-08-04 - Intercord (Germany) - New Life press release

http://issuu.com/marcusthie/docs/leseprobe



Stuttgart, den 04.08.81

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, es gibt Gutes von der englischen Supergruppe Depeche Mode und ihrem Titel "New Life" zu berichten:
Die offizielen englischen Music Week-Chartpositionen in den letzten sechs Wochen sprechen für sich. Von Platz 43 - 41 -27 - 15 - 12
und nun diese Woche auf Platz 11 !!!!!
Ganz nebenbei ist Depeche Mode mit der Single seit 3 Wochen Nummer 1 in den als Trendsetter bekannten Independent Charts!
Für diesen absoluter Hitparadestürmer erhält der Händel folgende massive Unterstützung:
- Anzeige in den größten deutschen Stadtzeitung (Ausgabe August 1981, Auflage 210.000)!
- Anzeige in Musikmarkt, Ausgabe 15.08.1981!
- Videowerbung in den 170 größsten Discotheken (Video Disco-Service)!
- Der Einzelhandel erhält Anstecknadeln und Poster, Auflage 10.000!


Translation:

Stuttgart, 04.08.81

Ladies and gentlemen, there is good news to report about the English super group Depeche Mode and their track "New Life":
The official English Music Week chart positions in the last six weeks speak for themselves. Going from position 43 - 41 - 27 - 15 - 12
and now this week at number 11 !!!!!
Furthermore, Depeche Mode has been on number 1 with the single for 3 weeks in the reputedly trendsetting independent charts!
This absolute chart topper receives massive support from the following media:
- Advertisement in the largest German city newspaper (edition August 1981, circulation 210.000)!
- Advertisement in Musicmarkt, edition 15.08.1981!
- Video advertisement in the 170 biggest discotheques (Video disco service)!
- Retail received pins and posters, circulation 10.000!
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #42 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:40:20 »
1981-08-22 - NME (UK) - THREE MODES IN A BOAT

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




THREE MODES IN A BOAT
[NME, 22nd August 1981. Words: Paul Morley. Pictures: Anton Corbijn.]
" They find it difficult to frame their new fame. Ingredients, colours, ideas, references, styles were generously, haphazardly scattered: the accidental pattern that’s formed is brilliant, attractive and the bright basis for a special design. Depeche are a supreme example of the electronic vitalisation of the basic pop format, and it’s the beginning. "
Summary: In probably the first critical piece written about Depeche Mode, Paul Morley spends a lazy afternoon interviewing the band (no Vince) and catching their first dazed reactions to sudden fame. Morley is refreshed by their simplicity and lack of self-consciousness, although at times perhaps reads more into their music than is there. Heavy going in places, but rewarding... and look who the photographer is! [3309 words]


    So I’m surrounded by three of the sweet Depeche boys, impressed by the variety of their haircuts, surprised by their simplicity, and I do what any responsible writer would do. I go boating with them.
    Basildon is close to Southend, Essex, a half hour journey on old stock from a little-known London station. Depeche Mode – “hurried fashion” – are in between a British tour that ended in Edinburgh last Saturday and the recording of their debut LP, and are meeting the NME at Basildon station. The NME is twenty minutes late! “Sorry, it’s his fault,” I glibly blurt, pointing at the lanky lensboy. Depeche look annoyed, don’t say much, and hang around the station entrance until their instant photographs have been processed.
    We walk through the new town: unlike a close, dirty and snaggy city, Basildon is flat, open light grey and fresh brick red. The sky looks close. I bet the tap water is moderately drinkable. We stroll past the square shopping centre, probably a local attraction for the postcards, cross a busy dual carriageway, an odd sign of speed, towards the indoor swimming pool.
    “A lot of people,” Andrew Fletcher – a redhead, with new, dangerously close-cropped hair – tells me, “think that Basildon is a little country village.” Thatched roofs and jukebox-less pubs. “In fact it has a population of 180,000,” Martin Gore – derelict blond curls, a couple of days’ tender fluff on the chin – affectionately mocks him. “Oh, Andy knows everything, even the population.”
    “Believe me,” continues Andrew earnestly, “It’s got an electoral roll of 107,000 and that’s not including kids. That’s the biggest in the country, and next time it has got to be split up into Basildon East and West.”
    Have you lived in Basildon long? I ask singer Dave Gahan – black hair with a strange lie and an abbreviated fringe pointing down the centre of the forehead. “Since I was four,” he says. Depeche Mode are the formalist tingling sound of young Basildon, the alert geometric sound of the new town, the soundtrack for all cosmetic optimism, an evocative representation of the functional artificiality of some environment. Sunshine suits Basildon, all interviews with Depeche Mode should take place in the open air.
    The Swimming Pool is set in a small tidy park: next to the swimming pool is a boating pool, near the boating pool is a putting green. Teenyboppers on school-holiday burn their legs in the sun and look numbly happy in the peace and slowness. Depeche and the NME sit on strictly mown grass under a toy tree; missing is songwriter Vince Clarke, who from past interviews appears to be the most prepared to attempt to rationalise the anti-romantic anti-intellectual Mode pop.
    “There was a guy who interviewed us for the Daily Star, Ricky Sky, and he was desperately looking for a headline, an angle, and he was saying to us – haven’t you done anything really exciting, what’s been happening? We said well nothing really, although when we played at Ronnie Scott’s once all the lights went out! He was excited by this, then he started to talk about looks and he said do you think it’s an advantage to be good looking and in a band? Vince said Yeah, obviously, it’s an advantage in life to be good looking. Rick Sky made it out that Vince had said UGLY BANDS NEVER MAKE IT, IF YOU’RE GOOD LOOKING THEN YOU’RE NUMBER ONE. Since then Vince has never ventured out of his flat! He is so upset. It really hit him hard. He hasn’t been out for six weeks and he had a real bad depression.”
    At the station I felt that Depeche Mode were going to be surly and silent: pop technicians simplifying their calculated art so that it fits into “the interview”. Actually, they like talking: what they like talking about most is nothing in particular. There is a residue of scurrilous schoolboy values, an innocently mutinous streak. They’re in no hurry: they’ve a cheerily vague idea about where they’ve been, and aren’t too concerned about where they’re going. Yet! Tomorrow is just another day: yesterday was a bit of a laugh. Today: flick the switch, talk to the man, fiddle with pieces of grass. Depeche Pop: for all the time in the world and no time at all.
    Dave: “It’s just the pop sound of the ’80s, that’s what I would describe Depeche Mode as.”
    Andrew: “Yeah, I don’t think tours play a major part in what we do. I think most of the people who bought our record have never been to a gig in their life and will never go to one. They’d rather see a picture in a magazine … A lot of housewives bought the record, I reckon, old ones as well as young.”
    Dave: “My mum always tells me if a song we’ve made is bad, if it’s too choppy she doesn’t like it. It’s got to have a good beat and run melodically.”
    Andrew: “A lot of people still don’t realise that the whole of our set is pop. Virtually all our songs are pop songs. I think people think it might not be like that.”
    What do you think people think?
    Martin: “They think we’re jokes!”
    Andrew: “Naah… a lot of people have still got this thing – synthesiser, he must be moody. You get a lot of Numanoids coming to our gigs.”
    Dave: There was this bloke come to see us the other day and he said to me after the show – I think it’s really bad the way you have all your friends in the audience talking to you and that, and then we’re all over here and you don’t react to us. I said well what do you mean? He said: I think it’s really bad that you have like all your friends in the changing room. I said well what do you want me to say c’mon all the audience into the changing room. He said – well have you got lots of friends? I said well I’ve got a few. He said – well I haven’t got any. Well pity you mate! Isn’t that a friend, a guy who was with him. He said – yeah he’s a friend, but not a friend like that.
    “It was really weird! I couldn’t be bothered talking to him. He thought that we should be like Gary Numan and have the distant lonely look and image. Because we play synthesisers and we’re supposed to look strange at people, and not smile. The bloke didn’t like the way I smiled at people!!”
    Depeche Mode electerrific pop is a mazed glitter reflection of fast life and new values, the subjective sense of populist culture, the sound of flashing lights, a minimalist activating caricature of repentance and reason, a clinging ringing radiance. Soothing and exciting, pop’s equivalent to the TV commercial. Their songs are successive transformation of images, precise parodies of the sense of interplay between technology and man. They’re simplifications, curt cuts, ironic pop sculptures, lively chairs, a spiked soft drink.
    Talking to them – especially without Vince Clarke, the missing trinket – you can’t directly appreciate the subtle merit of Depeche pop, where the intention seems to be to disclaim reality as messy and stale, to condemn daily life as heartlessly indifferent to the needs of imaginative life. Depeche Mode is a figurative pop that is the result of a collision between SENSITIVITY and INSENSITIVITY, RESPECT and INDIFFERENCE.
    There is more going on than it seems: there will be more going on. Mode’s literate, significantly glossy pop has a superficiality that is contradicted by an inner consistency that hints at emotion, tragedy, spirit, or perhaps an anticipation of impatience with the present format. Depeche Mode are moving between the over candid and value-less simplification of Numan, and the convincing confrontation of new possibilities of Cabaret Voltaire. Listening to the focused pop of Depeche Mode – “to sound like a fairy tale full of silent machines, robots, consumer imperatives and mute children in love with the sky” – can put this listener in the best possible mood to take in the day. Today …
    Minus Clarke, Depeche Mode talk like teenyboppers: no complications! Depeche unpretentiously admit that they’ve ended up this way today through a series of lucky breaks. Unlike distant rubbing cousins like Cabaret Voltaire or even The Human League there’s been precious little sense of purpose. They find it difficult to frame their new fame. Ingredients, colours, ideas, references, styles were generously, haphazardly scattered: the accidental pattern that’s formed is brilliant, attractive and the bright basis for a special design. Depeche are a supreme example of the electronic vitalisation of the basic pop format, and it’s the beginning.
    Depeche Mode haven’t appreciated this yet. They’re still adjusting, playing truant. That they’re an obvious part of the evolution from Kraftwerk, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Cabaret Voltaire, The Human League and DAF – musically and conceptually – whose observation and explanation of SURROUNDING is dislocated and oddly associated indicates that DeMode have the potential to be a shade more provocative than their fakerist contemporaries. Tomorrow…
    There is no impudent statement about Mode’s employment of electronics; though they relish the opportunities. To them it was natural, a rewarding route to constructing intelligent pop songs. There is no rigorous or possessive art background. They’re all under 20. [1] Vince Clarke may well have a folkish background – try singing “New Life” with a finger in the ear, acapella like Steeleye Span singing “Gaudete”. Andrew was a rock snob – pre-punk into The Who and Deep Purple, out of that when punk churned along, and then fond of the Pistols and Parker. Martin, whose previous group performed the theme from Skippy, likes Sparks, The Velvet Underground and Cabaret Voltaire. Dave’s background associates the group with the swift shifts of Egan clubland, has placed them near to the air the cults with names breathe.
[1] - Whoops! Dave was under 20, Andy and Martin were a few weeks either side of it depending on when the interview was, but Vince was 21 at the time.
[NME, 22nd August 1981. Words: Paul Morley. Pictures: Anton Corbijn - page 2 of 2]
    “Yeah, I was a soulboy, I’ve done it all, I’ve been everything. I used to like soul and jazz-funk like The Crusaders. I used to go to soul weekends and hang around with the crew from Global Village and I went to, like, The Lyceum on a Friday night.” He got interested in punk, and when that burnt out went back to the clubs for the exotic new electronic fun, the floating fading fantasy of The Blitz and Studio 21.
    Depeche Mode were originally Vince, Martin and Andrew, bass guitar and a drum machine. Dave joined up, Depeche Mode became two synthesisers, a drum machine a vivacious front boy. Yesterday…
    “We were just a band and we played in front of friends and that… we didn’t start off being a pop group, that’s just the way it went, it was just the music we liked making. We never said let’s form a band, let’s get in the charts, let’s be enormous. We didn’t intend it to be a career, we were still at work until recently. We just never planned anything. We would have signed any deal, we just wanted to put a record out.”
    They didn’t anticipate the recent shifts from IRRELEVANT BIGNESS towards mobility, colour, commotion: the newest pop urge to participate more in the bombardment of the senses? Pop in discos: pop as part of the rushing crushing soundtrack for the day. “I think we’re lucky to fit into all that. We have had a lot of lucky breaks.”
    Meeting Daniel Miller was the sort of lucky break that can be turned into legend. Miller is Normal, Miller is Mute, Miller is ghost, Miller is catalyst. “If we hadn’t signed with Dan’s Mute label we would have signed with a major label and got immersed in all that stupid expense, the big rigs and the 20 roadies…”
    DeMode certainly appreciate their fortunate independence: the flexibility. “We didn’t think about it before, but now we run our own thing, plan what we want to do, how and when we want to do it. It could’ve been the other way easily. We emerged just as all the big labels were searching for their “futurist” group.” Depeche Mode appeared on Stevo’s Some Bizzare compilation and were therefore momentarily branded as “futurist”. “We came very close to signing with a major. But we can do anything with Daniel. We could if we wanted to a record that’s just a continual noise for three minutes and he’d release it as a single.”
    If it wasn’t for Miller Depeche Mode would have been lost. They would have stood still. Miller has propelled them forward, is helping them see things clearly. His commercially practical yet unconventional vision has given DeMode a properly encouraging context to exploit and perfect their belligerently simple Pop Art. The story goes that at first he didn’t want to help them: when he first heard them they were scrappy and he was in a bad mood. Fate needed to make it happy ever after. “We really were lucky to meet someone like him. We’re surrounded by people we can totally trust. The people he’s got on his label, like Boyd Rice, really are out of order. He puts out a single even though he knows it’ll only sell 1,000. He just does it because he likes it… I still don’t understand Daniel Miller. I don’t see how he’s made any money until us. He’ll make a bit out of this single! But you know we just never really thought anything really. We just wanted to put a single out. Then we did “Dreaming Of Me” as a one off for Mute and that went into the lower charts and we were surprised. Then, in a couple of months, everything’s happened.”
    I saw you just before the release of “Dreaming Of Me” at Cabaret Futura and you didn’t move – you were frozen!
    Andrew: “That was really terrible… a really funny gig. We hadn’t learnt how to move. It’s very hard moving when you play synthesisers.”
    The next time I saw you, on Top Of The Pops playing “New Life”, you were hipping and hopping like puppets with broken strings.
    Andrew: “It used to be the main criticism of us, that we didn’t move enough on stage. But it’s really hard, we’ve relaxed a bit now and we dance but we used to be shy and we used to be really young.”
    Martin: “We used to be really young! It was only 6 months ago. We used to have this idea of having rails on the stage and we would be on platforms on stage so that we could be moved back and forwards on stage although we didn’t have to actually move! We really want to make our show good but we just haven’t had a chance to sit down and think about it.”
    I’ve seen people vainly try to imitate Dave’s daft dance but they can never do it.
    Dave: “Did you see Razmatazz yesterday? We were on it and all these little girls in the background were trying to imitate me – copying me weren’t they? I didn’t know when we were doing it but they were there doing exactly the same dance – like you go through loads of times before the real performance and the girls must have perfected it towards the end.”
    Do you like appearing on television?
    Andrew: “It’s alright. At first I felt a bit like a prune. Like pressing a keyboard and pretending you’re really doing it and singing into a mike with a lead going nowhere – half way through you think God what am I doing here, looking like a prat in front of millions of people. We’ve got used to it now.”
    Second nature.
    Andrew: “Yeah, it’s just funny now.”
    The interview in the sun fades away after about 40 minutes. Depeche are obviously bored, and so they should be. We go boating. DeMode are recognised by almost everybody sunning by the pool. Now that they’re FACES are they into glamour? Shrug, stare into space, laughter.
    “There’s no glamour. We drive around in Dan’s Renault… we don’t now because it’s broken, so we get trains. Don’t know about glamour. Nothing’s really changed. We might have a few more pennies in our pockets, and when I say pennies I do mean pennies, but same friends, same places to go to. You always think wouldn’t it be great to have a hit single, but when it actually happens nothing really changes.”
    They seem remarkably unaffected and unimpressed by their success: likeably irreverent. “Oh, it’s great fun…” Glad to hear it. The three muscle men who hire out the boats recognise the local goodies Mode. One of them chats to the boys as he helps them into a boat. “What number are you this week then?” “Fifteen” “That’s the way – go get ’em!” He points out the group to what looks like his dad. “Hey this is Depeche Mode, they come from around this way.”
    “Never heard of them.”
    “It’s really odd, at first you think God, imagine being on TOTP, imagine being in the top ten, but it all changes when it begins to happen. When we got into the lower charts we thought it was good for a while, but then we thought well it’s no good unless we get into the top 40. Then we thought well it’s no good unless we get into the top 20…”
    Depeche finish their boat ride. “All the way to number one!” shouts a boat man. Depeche are confused about what they want, why and what for, and are just beginning to work out guidelines. They intuitively realise that there is MORE than Radio One recognition: the charts the glossy magazines will unusually form the background to a hard artistic growth. Depeche Mode are casual but not silly. Would they mind the mythical mishap of ending up as one hit wonders? “I don’t think it would put us off in any way – although some people in the papers would love it. We’ve done a lot already, we’ve learnt a lot, but I hope we’re not one hit wonders!”
    I walk around the pool as Anton focuses. Two little girls ask me if I’m in Depeche Mode. It’s nice to be asked, but I point at the threesome. Two early teen lads come up to me and ask me what paper the articles going to be in. Are Depeche Mode local heroes: “Oh yeah really well known!” The two lads argue about whether Stiff Little Fingers are the other Basildon pop stars.
    Dave walks the NME back to the station: the deal was all over inside 90 minutes, as it should be. Do they get recognised a lot in Basildon?
    “Quite a lot… it’s funny. The people round here sort of think that if you’ve got a single in the charts you’re going to be driving round in a Rolls Royce, but we still use buses. They see you in the chip shop or the Wimpy and they think it’s really odd.”
    Is his mum excited? “Oh yes. Mum says to my aunts – make sure you see them on Razmatazz! She’s been really good about it  - she’s kind of let me have my own way. She could have been harder.”
    She had a banking career in mind? “No, no… I went to college doing Design and shop display, but I left. The College were pretty good about it. [1] They sent me a note the other day, saying congratulations on the success.”
    Detached Dave quietly says goodbye to the NME, and straight away seems to have forgotten about them. What did I do today? He might wonder later that night. Tomorrow is just another day… but the day after? Depeche Mode can make intimate and challenging pop art out of routine and insecurity! Dave walks off towards sunsets and sunrises and certain surprises. Depeche Mode will grow and grow. Tomorrow… all the time in the world.
[1] - This sounds like a standard Gahan slip of the tongue for "College politely asked me to leave because I couldn't hold down a college course and performing with Depeche at the same time." - You can take the boy out of Basildon, but you can't take the Basildon out of the boy.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #43 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:40:44 »
1981-08-22 - Record Mirror (UK) - Concert Review (by Morrissey)

http://www.passionsjustlikemine.com/magazines-presmiths.htm



http://typepad.viceland.com/vice_france/2009/07/manchester-morrissey-avant-les-smiths.html

Depeche Mode / Ludus
Rafters, Manchester
By Steven Morrissey
Depeche Mode may not be the most remarkably boring group ever to walk the face of the earth, but they're certainly in the running. Their sophisticated nonsense succeeds only in emphasising just how hilariously unimaginative they really are. At once we recognise four coiffured Barry White's (a nauseating version); "can't get enough of your love" they profess too dull to be even boring. They resurrect every murderously monotonous cliche known to modern man, and "New Life" looms as nothing more than a bland jelly-baby. Still the man from 'Jackie' was impressed, knowing that, at least, these boys have nice hair... and the conveyor belt moves along.
Ludus, plainly wishing they were elsewhere, hammered out a passionate set to an audience possibly hand-picked for their tone deafness. But Ludus like to wallow in other people's depravities and therefore their music offers everything to everyone. Linder was born singing and has more imagination than Depeche Mode could ever hope for. Still Depeche Mode get the Jackie spread. No justice!
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1981: Speak and Spell
« Reply #44 on: 26 June 2012 - 04:41:12 »
1981-08-23 - ITV (UK) - 20th Century Box (recorded 27-07-81)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ks6P0cVpxjg



[I typed a transcript:]

Danny Baker: ...But one group of people who can't afford to be snubbish about the influx of ex-funk fans, are the successful local band, Depeche-ay Mode. Their music is a blend of the two styles, electronic futurism and disco.
[Vince and Dave sing 'Let's Get Together']
Danny Baker: Both camps, the real futurists and the ex-funksters buy their records. And it's this combined following that got their first two records into the charts.
[Vince and Dave sing 'Let's Get Together' further.]
Woman: Hey listen, you're on Top Of The Pops! Alright? Congratulations!
Vince Clarke: When we originally started, we had a bass guitar, rhythm guitar and synthesiser, and we just gradually discarded guitars for synthesisers. It was just a natural progression. We just liked the sounds, it was good.
[DM play 'Let's Get Together' further.]
Vince Clarke: Well, the name Depeche-ay Mode comes from a French magazine called  "Depeché". "Mode" is just the word for "fashion" in French. "Depeché Mode. We just decided that we liked the sound of that name, and we took off the accent and just kept the pronounciation.
[DM play 'Let's Get Together' further.]
Danny Baker: Depeche-ay Mode showed just how much futurism has changed now it's hit essex. They don't fit into the London Futurist pattern. Until the middle of this year when they became musicians full-time, they lived ordinary lives in Basildon. Andrew Fletcher worked for an insurance company. Martin Gore had a job in a London bank. Vince Clarke did a series of casual jobs. And Dave Gahan, the group singer, was at technical college in Southend.
They think that their music and their style sprung just as naturally from the area as r'n'b and heavy rock did.
Vince Clarke: For people our age, in Basildon, there's not a lot to do, really. Not enough. It's basically just discoteques, and there's a pool room, but you've got to be a member. Apart from the disco, there's nothing much at all. Even though I still think it's a good town, it's a good town to live in. There's not much difference from living in a town, to what, let's say, living in London, in a way it's better, I think. You're away from the hustle of London, and you're still not too far away to know what's going on in London.
Danny Baker: Dave Gahan got into futurism in the same way that the hardcore fans like Gary Turner did, by commuting to trendy, London clubs from mum's in Basildon.
Dave Gahan: Yeah, I did go into a few clubs, Blitz, Studio 21... We used to hang around with a bunch from Southend. We're all clubgoers. we went out Saturday nights, Friday nights, and then we started up the club; the Cliff, a pub in Southend with Gary Turner.
Danny Baker: Although the group took both their name and original musical style from electrodisco, gradually they've put more and more of the jazz-funkbeat into their music.
Vince Clarke: Oh yeah, well, lately I've been writing a lot more, well not funk, it's more sort of disco, you know? Blatant disco kind of songs. The kind of style with nice melodies and that. I mean, we still gotta maintain a nice melody, to be sort of interesting to listen to, but using sort of funky guitar-rhythms.
Danny Baker: This blend of futurism with disco has been so successful, that where other local bands are struggling to find venues to play, Depeche-ay Mode can take the pick of the clubs, pubs and discos in the area.
Martin Gore: There was no one interested in the music when we first started, and we really had to struggle to sort of find gigs. But now there's a lot more places, everyone wants electronic bands to play there, it's more popular.
Vince Clarke: And there are people that dress up. It's okay if people will come in clubbing with people, it's alright. I mean, I don't really agree with people being "original", the original punk, the original New Romantics, or anything, you know? If they wanna enjoy themselves and look nice, it's okay, I think.
Andy Fletcher: They're all packed- I mean, clubs have always been packed.
Dave Gahan: Yeah, it's just that you know that it's the change in people: before that, bands like Spandau Ballet were on the telly, groups like that, which were dressed up. It would just be a select sort of crowd, that have been around a long while before, doing it before. It's just that it's been broadened to the public, and they like it, and think alright" and dress up, and it happened, and with punk, it's the same thing.
[DM perform 'Shout!]
Danny Baker: Since the beginning of the year, Saturday night has been glamourclub night, and Depeche-ay Mode have appeared here regularly, and so has Elba: he's the crocodile.
Clubgoer #1: The thing is, there's is as much fashion in this area as there is in London, even more so. If you walk around Southend, you see more people dressed up in Southend, than in London.
Clubgoer #2: ?? [can't understand this accent]
Clubgoer #3: I'm an insurance underwriter.
Interviewer: Can you dress like that to work?
Clubgoer #3: Well, I wouldn't, because it's like saying, "Would you wear a dresssuit to go to your job?", because, I mean, you wear what you need to wear for the occasion.
Clubgoer #4: I'm unemployed.
Interviewer: Yeah. How easy is that for you, to carry on with look if you ain't got the money?
Clubgoer #4: Not really. I usually go round second-hand shops and pick up what I can.
[DM perform 'New Life' in Crocs.]
Danny Baker: A concert a Crocs is a far cry from the exlusive London gigs, played by bands like Spandau Ballet, where the fans simply stood around and admired one another. The audience here have injected some of the fun of funk into the arty world of futurism.
[DM perform 'New Life' further.]
Danny Baker: But although discofuturism may be thriving now, in a year or so, the Southeast may have moved on from this style of music too, in the same way it moved on from r'n'b and heavy metal. For already, the hardcore fans who are put off by the disco-bandwagon-jumpers, are looking for something new.
Clubgoer #5: I'll probably go into more classic-style clothes, you know, things that have always been in, always look smart. Because, most of the things, sort of, like, pirate things, or whatever, they're all things that have lasted six months at the most, and they've gone out, they've not stayed. You can't go in your wardrobe a year later and wear them, because they look so dated. This's such a miserable time, innit, for most people. They're worried about things, this just makes a nice escape for people, just to go out and have a good time, on a Saturdaynight. 
[DM perform 'New Life' further.]
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