Depeche Mode have announced their European and UK dates – the Basildon beatmeisters’ first for five years – at a press conference this week sin Cologne, Germany.
The tour coincides with the release of a compilation album, ‘Singles 86-98’, the companion to ‘Singles 81-85’. It will include new single ‘Only When I Lose Myself’, which has just been completed with Tim Simenon, who produced the band’s ‘Ultra’ album. It will be one of three new tracks recorded for the new singles package.
Apart from a low-key set at a party at Battersea’s Adrenaline Village last year, Depeche Mode have not played in the UK since the ‘Devotional’ tour in 1993. The band didn’t tour to promote last year’s ‘Ultra’ album due to the departure of long-time member Alan Wilder and Dave Gahan’s well-publicised drug addiction.
“There were lots of times that we considered quitting,” Andy Fletcher said in Cologne, “but now I think there’s a pretty good vibe in the band and we feel fresh.”
“It’s taken us a long time to mature in more ways than one,” added Gahan. “Alan left a big hole, he was very much the musician in the band, so it was a case of finding new people to work with.” He then joked: “Lots of things have happened since our last tour. We’ve been closely following the Spice Girls’ career. Just wait until you see our new dance choreography!”
“The stuff that we’re doing now has a really heavy R&B feel,” said Fletcher. “A lot of that comes from Tim (Simenon), who’s really into Marvin Gaye and slow, sultry grooves. In our old age that appeals to us… the Zimmer frame stuff that doesn’t go over 100bpm.”
Later this year, a Depeche Mode tribute album called ‘For The Masses’ will be released featuring Smashing Pumpkins (‘Never Let Me Down Again’), The Cure (‘World In My Eyes’), The Deftones (‘To Have To Hold’), Foo Fighters (‘Master And Servant’), Gus Gus (‘Monument’) and Smash Mouth (‘People Are People’). Other acts include Apollo 440, Mekon, Hooverphonic, Monster Magnet, God Lives Underwater and Dishwalla.
Depeche Mode’s European concert dates in full are: Helsinki Hartwall Arena (September 9), Copenhagen Multi Hall (11), Gothenburg Scandinavium (12), Stockholm Globe (13), Prague Sports Hall (15), Vienna Stadthalle (16), Munich Olympiahalle (18), Berlin Waldbuhne (19), Erfurt Messehalle (20), Brussels Forest National (22), Stuttgart Schleyerhalle (23), Zurich Hallenstadion (25), Bologna Palasport (26), Milan Forum (27), London Wembley Arena (29), Manchester Nynex (October 2), Birmingham NEC (3), Cologne Arena (5), Paris Bercy (7), Hannover Messehalle (9), Leipzig Messehalle (10), Frankfurt Festhalle (11), Marseilles Dome (13), Zaragoza Sports Hall (15), Barcelona Palau St Jordi (16), Spain (TBA).
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