BBC Radio 6 Music Festival with Depeche Mode at Barrowlands, 26/3/17

Depeche Mode – a stadium show, in what Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite a day earlier had called the best live venue on the planet.

The Barras is starting to look increasingly small as the crowds rush in, some still bartering on the door to get in.


Depeche Mode is the star attraction and headliner for the BBC 6 Music Festival in Glasgow this year and in all fairness what an ace the fest played in managing this feat, considering they had already had Thundercat, Granddaddy, Father John Misty, Future Islands and many more.

Lauren Laverne introduces the group with the interesting fact that they last played the Barras in 1984 and as expected the crowd are already hyped up for the band that need no introduction.

The five-piece rattle through an opening triptych of songs that are a blur to the still disbelieving crowd.

The classic frontman moves from Dave Gahan (in particular his twirls) on such a small stage are all that is required to pick up the crowd.

Being able to see his expressions and the jokes between members on stage are clear signs of a band enjoying themselves.

It is Martin Gore’s lead on ‘Home’, and the sing-along that follows, where the set really starts to accelerate; the band ‘feels the love’ as the crowd reach seemingly beyond Gahan’s expectations for new single ‘Where’s the Revolution?’ with the crowd hollering back.

The final trio of songs are quite insane, with two from Violator and one from Songs of Faith and Devotion, ‘Walking In My Shoes’, ‘Personal Jesus’ and ‘Enjoy the Silence’.

These classic songs hit home (like it was required!) how unstoppable Depeche Mode are for crafting songs that exist as both incredibly dark and insanely emotive.

In her introduction Lauren Laverne said they were pioneers; from the 1980s they bridged the gulf, merging cold electronics with human feeling that is at the heart of all great pop music.

Words: Paul Choi
Photos: BBC/Sarah Jeynes


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