We found out last week that our Vice President, in charge of Client Services, Doug Smith is a HUGE Depeche Mode fan. When hearing that he was attending two gigs in a row last week, we started to ask a few more questions and found out that he has, in fact, been to 38 Depeche Mode concerts over 24 years. We had to ask some more questions and find out where the love of this band had come from…
Where and when was the first gig you attended?
Wembley Arena on 11th January 1988.
Where were you when you heard your first Depeche Mode song? What did/do you like about the band so much?
I probably heard ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ or ‘New Life’ on Top of the Pops in 1981. I was fairly indifferent to them at that point. But I remember hearing Blasphemous Rumours in 1984 and suddenly waking up to the band. I bought the album, Some Great Reward and was hooked. I was a moody teenager and something just struck a chord with me. By the end of the year I had bought their entire back catalogue.
Can you pick one favourite song or album?
Hard to pick a favourite album – probably Violator or Songs of Faith and Devotion. Favourite song is an album track – ‘Halo’. The band included the Goldfrapp remix of the song in their encore at The O2 in May and I might have been a little excited at that point….
You’ve seen them live 38 times now, what is it about seeing them live that makes you not want to miss a gig?
Dave Gahan’s energy and showmanship is really infectious, I’ve not seen anyone else work a crowd like he does. Although the set list is very similar on each night of a tour, they will add different songs from their back catalogue to mix it up.
Has there been a favourite concert?
The Teenage Cancer Trust gig at the Royal Albert Hall on the last tour was amazing. It’s a special venue and the crowd was made up of real hardcore fans. They played a couple of songs that I haven’t seen them do live before, and former member Alan Wilder joined them for the encore. We bumped into Roger Daltry that night and he commented, ‘you’re enjoying yourself aren’t you!’.
Dave Gahan is famous for his dance moves, how are your moves in comparison?!
My dance moves are very pedestrian in comparison.
Why do you think Depeche Mode are still selling out arenas and stadiums the world over 33 years after they first formed?
They’ve consistently released decent new material in advance of each tour. The fans want to see the classic songs of course, but we also enjoy seeing the new material live. The band clearly enjoy the live performance and that transfers to the audience. I defy anyone to not enjoy a Depeche show.
Are you going to hang up your Depeche Mode dancing shoes now, or are you planning on seeing them again?
Not quite yet. There are some more UK dates in the autumn that it would be wrong to miss!