LIVE REVIEW: Depeche Mode Birmingham 24.1.24

LIVE REVIEW: Depeche Mode Birmingham 24.1.24

Belesduna Depeche Mode boys, Dave Gahan and Martin L Gore, are embarking on their latest extensive world tour on the back of 15th album Memento Mori. Celebrated in many quarters as their best long player in many years, this jaw dropping 110 date expedition across the world’s continents, avenues and highways looks set to be one of the biggest tours of 2023/24.

The bands yesteryears are well told; the once clean looking electro quartet, Gahan, Gore, Vince Clarke (Yazoo/Erasure) and recently sadly departed Andy Fletcher started out wearing trousers held up with braces, no shirt and bow ties, gyrating their hips on the stages of Top Of The Pops and Swap Shop, Clarke then leaves on the back of probably the bands most well-known track Just Can’t Get Enough, incomes keyboard wizard Alan Wilder to take over the ivory reins which then sees domination of the USA and the world over with stadium belters Blasphemous Rumours and Master & Servant.

Further effusive successes arrived with indestructible tracks Enjoy The Silence, Barrell Of A Gun and Personal Jesus, the band and especially lead singer Gahan took rock ‘n’ roll excesses to the point of almost extinction, thankfully he survived, and the band have continued morphing into divergent musical ventures, currently illustrating a unique rock / electro crossover that sees the duo joined on stage by crackerjack drummer Christian Eigner and silhouetted Peter Gordeno contributing additional keyboards and occasional bass guitar, the results are uniquely thrilling.

Tonight they roll up to Birmingham’s cavernous Utilita Arena playing tracks from the aforementioned new album also throwing in some of the bands very best established compositions. New tracks delve into avenues of lavish musical depths; sophisticated and as dramatically heart stopping as their finest material, the likes of My Cosmos Is Mine, Ghosts Again and Wagging Tongue are greeted with acknowledgment from their long adoring crowd that what the band have originated has hit the Mode standard.

The stage is awash with dramatic eye-catching lighting with a high-rise video screen adding to the nights striking spectacle. Gahan as you would expect gets the loudest reception as he swoons across the stage looking more than capable of gracing the stages of the West End/Broadway, his part in the nights proceedings is to whip up the crowd into a frenzy which he duly does with this own brand of showmanship, clapping to the crowd, kicking and flicking his heels like a cocksure Cockrel, nodding to this band mates whilst vocally he’s still got it.

Delving back into the material revealed tonight, those heady 101 days are displayed euphorically with Everything Counts; Walking In My Shoes, I Feel You, Policy Of Truth and World In My Eyes (dedicated to Fletcher) remind the throngs the reason many fell in love with the band in the 90’s; whilst one of the bands very best modern compositions Precious is executed with absolute perfection. There’s something individual and sacred about the relationship Gore has with his audience which is solemnly portrayed with his acoustic performances of Strangelove and Heaven, a real highlight of the night. The crowning event for many going on the reaction of the crowd appears to be Enjoy The Silence, the aforementioned 80’s chart smash Just Can’t Get Enough and the final blues hurrah of Personal Jesus.

Critics often mention dark metaphors from the bands content and demeanor; however, tonight’s collective exuberant performance is proof that the band have a torrent of multi coloured sanguine facets to their game, which don’t appear to be diminishing anytime soon.


Set list:

Speak to Me (intro)

My Cosmos Is Mine

Wagging Tongue

Walking in My Shoes

It’s No Good

Policy of Truth

In Your Room (Zephyr Mix)

Everything Counts

Happy Birthday to You  (for a fan named Charlie)


Speak to Me

Strangelove (Acoustic; sung by Martin)

Heaven (acoustic, sung by Martin)

Ghosts Again

I Feel You

A Pain That I’m Used To (Jacques Lu Cont Remix)

World in My Eyes (Dedicated to Andrew Fletcher)

Black Celebration


John the Revelator

Enjoy the Silence


Waiting for the Night (Peter & Christian on keyboards)

Just Can’t Get Enough

Never Let Me Down Again

Personal Jesus


Photos in the article by Aaron Law

Depeche Mode can be found via the following link