Thursday, 7 November 2013


At last my adventure begins. After months of having the tickets and making my plans my Depeche Mode 2013 European tour 2nd leg begins. Today I am in Belfast to see them at the Odyssey Arena following which I go back to Glasgow tomorrow then fly to Dublin on Saturday with my faithful Mode companions John Harrower and Andrew Gilmour for the show at the O2 before ending up back in Glasgow for Monday night's gig. I'm going to keep this blog updated throughout for your entertainment (I hope).

Day 1 - Glasgow to Belfast
In  my usual paranoid way I checked 2000 times or so  that I had my tickets. I did. I packed my bag last night so the last minute ticket paranoia was pointless. Anyway, as you can see, I was ready

When I got to the airport I bumped straight into John Brown of Analog Angel and his wife Lorraine. John was resplendent in his bespoke Kilts on the Rammy Fleece. You'll have seen members of the Kilts at a Depeche gig this year - they can't be missed. It was good to catch up with John and apologies to Lorraine if the DM chat with a bit much. I'm now in Belfast waiting to check in, get changed and head to the pre show meet up with Chris, Aidan, Jen and many more. After that it's showtime and the aftershow party with the daunting prospect of an 11am flight and a return to work ahead of me tomorrow. Before I worry about that though the only focus is on Depeche Mode. What will the set be? Will there be changes? Will Martin sing But Not Tonight? Will the band accept my Twitter challenge in which I said I'd buy them any flavour of crisps they want if they play Alone or Broken? Who knows. Crisps or not it's going to be a huge night. A full report will follow sometime tomorrow. BRING ON THE MODE

Day 1 Part 2 - I'd Tell You About The Things They Put Me Through or How I Don't Owe Depeche Mode Any Crisps (contains setlist spoilers)

So I've woken up feeling a little fragile still wearing my wristband, covered in glitter and sporting glittery mascara and with a voice that sounds like a husky Barry White. Just another quiet night then.The show was of course great and thankfully contained a couple of setlist variations but the night was m ore about making new friends, seeing old ones and just having a great time at a concert by the world's greatest live band. The whole thing kicked off at the Alley Cat pub which I made my way to around 3.30. I was wearing my rather nifty People Are People  tshirt which marked me out as a DM fan/geek and that meant that Emma Parkinson felt she could approach me in the street and ask if I was going to the meet up. I'm delighted she did as we quickly bonded and became drinking pals for the night. I now know that if I need either security or fireworks I have a top contact. We were soon joined in the pub by Chris, Dave (not Gahan), the Kilts (Andy and Brian Pollard. Frazer, John and Lorraine), Jen, Aidan and Debbie and may more. After what feels like several drinks and the application of make up off we went to the arena.

The Odyssey Arena is quite an intimate place as arenas go. I reckon there were maybe around 8000 there and the crowd were on top form. We got nice and near the front as my pictures show.

Depeche Mode - Walking In My Shoes live Belfast Odyssey Arena 7 November 2013

The show was great but not completely surprising. There were two nice surprises however. First up Martin's solo set included Shake The Disease which is one of my top 5 Depeche tunes and therefore one of the top 5 tunes ever written. Secondly they played Behind The Wheel which was immense. It has only been played sparingly on this tour and I hadn't seen it at any of the previous gigs I've been to so that was very cool. Other than those two the set was as you'd expect albeit with less Delta Machine material than on the European stadium leg which is a shame. The Delta Machine songs worked really well live so to see the likes of Goodbye or Soothe My Soul dropped is a pity. I'm not too hung up about it though as after all it's  Depeche Mode show - that's always going to be a good thing. Crucially the band failed my Twitter challenge - no Broken or Alone which meant I didn't have to buy them any crisps. Lads - the challenge still stands for Dublin and Glasgow.

Depeche Mode - Heaven live Belfast Odyssey Arena 7 November 2013
After the gig ended and we all somehow managed to meet up it was a quick taxi ride for me, Emma and 4 German chaps (it was one of those nights) to the Stiff Kitten club where we met up with everyone from before plus Andy McLaughlin who I last saw in Dublin on the Sounds of The Universe tour in 2009. Unusually for me I danced to a few Depeche songs and then finally made it out despite Frazer trying to keep us hostage in the club. I got to bed around 2 am and now have to head for the bus to the airport to get back to Glasgow for a meeting at work. Not sure how the glittery mascara and Depeche tshirt will go down but so what. I'm 2 days into this adventure so I don't imagine this will be the end of my looking like a very tired, glittery DM fanboy.

Next stop Belfast Airport then Glasgow, work and an early night. I'll update next when I get to Dublin. After Belfast it has a lot to live up to. I'm sure Dublin will try its' best......

Day 3 - Dublin Delta Machine

Up and ready to head to Dublin for my second show. Andrew Gilmour, John Harrower and I are ready to have some fun and of course go Depeche Mode mental. Given the time I had in Belfast I don't think it's going to be a quiet day or night. The only concern I have at the moment is tomorrow's 10 am flight home. Gulp. What will Depeche do tonight? My money's on  a similar set to Thursday albeit with a couple of Martin changes and perhaps a Dave one. Crisps wise, the Broken or Alone challenge is still on.

Full report to follow tomorrow. I DEFINITELY have the tickets in my bag so I'll only need to check another 5 or so times before I head off. Tshirt choice has been made too so let's have a Black Celebration (tshirt).

Day 3 Part 2 - ....but I'm not complaining - Dublin, Guinness, no glitter and no crisps for Depeche Mode
What a day, what a gig, what a night. The Depeche Mode party season is definitely in full swing and yesterday was another great day. Andrew, John and I set off to Dublin at 11 and straightaway bumped into Scott MacFarlane at Glasgow Airport. I really didn't know that I knew so many people but that has been a happy consequence of going to all these shows. When we landed I managed to have quick chat to Pete and Peter Too from the Home site which was cool - it's always nice to see them. I did also of course speak to Andrew and John - would have been rude not to. We spent the afternoon having refreshments around Temple Bar before heading to the Harbourmaster for the pre show meet up where we met up with a load of people including Chris, Jen, Scott and of course the ever present Kilts who have probably attended more Depeche Mode shows that Depeche Mode have. A quick tram trip later and we got to the O2 where Depeche played one of the best shows I have seen them play

Depeche Mode Should Be Higher live Dublin O2 9 November 2013

For a change we were positioned at Fletch's side rather than Martin's where I always gravitate to. It's funny; there was definitely less Dave action on our side but I guess that's because he interacts with Martin more. Random thought for you there. Anyway, the show was great and definitely livelier all round than Belfast on Thursday. The set was roughly the same as Belfast bar two Martin changes. Shake The Disease replaced Home as the encore track and in Shake The Disease's place mid set we got




Arggggghhhhhhhh!!!!! Incredible. Incredibly incredible. I had hoped that I'd hear this at some point and to finally hear was just mindblowing I really can't properly describe how chuffed I was. I think I told most of the people around me how pleased I was, went out after it to phone my wife to tell her how pleased I was and then put this rather drunk but genuine post on Facebook around 1am:

Tonight friends I heard Martin L Gore sing 1986 bside But Not Tonight live in Dublin. I can't quote describe what that means to me. Yes I'm a Depeche fanboy etc but that was beyond special. My friends Andrew and John were there with me which made it even better. Sometimes all the gig going and music obsessing makes sense - tonight, hearing that, made all the gigs, trips and so on worthwhile. Tear inducing perfection. *sigh*

I mean it too. 

Martin Gore sings But Not Tonight Dublin O2 9 November 2013

Other highlights were a brilliant Behind The Wheel, Personal Jesus and an epic Never Let Me Down Again that seemed to shake the venue. John who has seen as many Depeche shows as I have said it was the best he's seen from them and it's hard to disagree. No Alone or Broken however so Depeche continue to miss out on the crisps. There's a lot of debate amongst Depeche fans about the setlist and many are unhappy that it's fairly similar to the summer gigs but I'm not on their side. DM are a great great live band and we should just be happy to have them.

As the song says, I'm not complaining. 

Day 4 - Dublin to Glasgow. Feels like Home

Our plane this morning was only half full with most of the passengers seeming to be heading to Glasgow for tomorrow's Depeche show. Along with us were Andy and Brian Pollard, John and Lorraine Brown and a few more Depeche fans I don't know (there are some it appears...). Brian and Andy are already out and about in Glasgow continuing the party. I on the other hand am at home and am not going out until tomorrow. Need to conserve my energy for Depeche in Glasgow. 

Tomorrow is going to be some day.....

Day 5 - Glasgow. Last chance for Depeche Mode to win some crisps....

So here we are. The last day of my trip which ends where it all began - in Glasgow. Tonight will be my first trip to the new Hydro Arena so it's fitting that my first gig is Depeche. As well as Andrew and John I'll be accompanied by my wife Pam, Graeme, Paul and another of my long term Mode followers John C. Seeing Depeche in Belfast and Dublin and meeting up with so many cool people has been great but a home town gig with my friends will be even better. It's Graeme's first time seeing the band too - that makes me quite jealous in a way. I'm going to take a trip to the Hydro shortly on the off chance I get to see the band before the soundcheck. Whilst that may sound like the behaviour of a teenage One Direction fan I've never met the band before and given that I'm somewhat older than a teenager I might not get the chance again. Nothing ventured nothing gained eh? If I get a picture I will of course stick it up here later. The full gig report and final entry in this tour blog will follow tomorrow. Let's go Glasgow...

Day 5 Part 2 - I'm taking a ride with my best friends
I didn't meet the band unfortunately. I took a walk around the Hydro at lunchtime and saw that the trucks etc were there but beyond several members of the Black Swarm already queuing there was no Depeche life so I headed home to get ready for the gig (Crystal Palace 1993 tshirt, Violator sweatshirt). I picked up Pam at Queen Street then headed to the pub to meet up with John, Paul, Graeme and John C before heading to the Hydro meeting Andrew and going inside. It's an impressive building alright but what really let the venue down was the sound. It was quite bassy but suffered from a lot of bounce back meaning that if you were standing at any sort of angle you got some really weird sounds. Let's hope they get that sorted.

Anyway more importantly the gig was great. The crowd maybe weren't as lively as Dublin but that was no doubt more to do with it being a Monday night rather than a Saturday. The band however were on fine form and really seemed to be into the show. Dave especially was on great age defying form.

Depeche Mode Never Let Me Down Again live The Hydro Glasgow 11 November 2013

The set was the same as Dublin which was actually ok for me as I really enjoyed the Dublin set and it flowed better than Belfast. The highlight again was Martin singing But Not Tonight which was of course spine tinglingly marvelous. Behind The Wheel sounded huge last night too. Other highlights were a beautiful Halo, Personal Jesus for the crowd's reaction alone and A Question Of Time which last night seemed to be bigger and better than the versions I'd heard at my previous gigs

Depeche Mode I Feel You live The Hydro Glasgow 11 November 2013

A really enjoyable gig then and thankfully my friends agreed. Depeche really are on great form at the moment so if you get a chance go and see them. I'd go again straightaway if real life wasn't getting in the way!

Day 6 - This (was) an insight into my life 
Hmmmm. I'm up and getting ready for work. Shirt is ironed, suit looked out and I'll soon be catching the train to work. No planes, no meet ups, no parties and crucially no gigs. That feels a bit odd and whilst for the good of my health it's a positive thing, it's a bit sad. I've had an amazing few days and met so many lovely people whilst seeing the greatest band in the world play three great shows. Depeche fans really are a nice bunch. As well as the new ones it has of course been great to go to shows with my lifelong or indeed real life friends so thanks Pam, Andrew, John, John C, Graeme and Paul and I'm glad you all had fun. Thanks too to everyone I met up with in this kind of order (apologies for any inevitable omissions) - John, Lorraine, Emma, Chris, Dave, Aidan, Debbie,  Andy, Brian, Frazer, Jen, Andy McL, the 4 German taxi chaps, Scott, Pete, Peter Too, Scot and everyone else. Thanks also for reading this blog whoever you may be - I genuinely appreciate that you take the time to do so

It's been great so let's do it again sometime.

As the great Mr Gahan would say, we'll see you next time


  1. Good time had by all it seems!See u tomorrow with that lovely standing ticket.As it is my only gig, I hope it will be mindblowingly mindblowing! #depechefuckingmode

  2. Great seeing you again mate brilliant show and great Craic before the gig..Chris

  3. It's been emotional mate and a fantastic weekend! Hope to see see you again chum! I Scott

  4. Cheers Scott. I'm definitely coming back to Belfast - we can drink Chris under the table again!

  5. Thanks for tweeting this, really great read!