The New European: Basildon to Berlin… they still can’t get enough

They are perhaps Britain’s most European band of all, far bigger on the continent than in their homeland. Here, Dr Sophia L Deboick traces Depeche Mode’s creative awakening, back to its roots, behind the Iron Curtain

Far beyond its influence on the band’s name – taken from a French fashion magazine when its members were adolescent art students – Europe made Depeche Mode. Their darkly seductive image and innovative electronic sound were woven from the threads of European – and in particular, central and eastern European – culture, taking them from working class roots in Basildon, Essex, where factory jobs awaited them, to three decades of musical success. The band has a strong enough following in their homeland, but it is nothing compared to their huge fanbase across the Channel. Little wonder, then, that the prospect of looser ties between the UK and the places that made their careers and fortunes should have caused so much despondency in the band. ‘We’re all really depressed by the outcome of the referendum,’ said Martin Gore, the group’s principal songwriter, at last month’s launch of the 2017 Global Spirit Tour…

The New European, 11 November 2016, pp. 30-31.

Visit The New European