Friday 9 December 2016

Depeche Mode: UK stadium gig 'a risk'

Published 12/10/2016 | 01:51

Depeche Mode pose for photographers at a press conference in Milan, Italy (AP)
Depeche Mode pose for photographers at a press conference in Milan, Italy (AP)

Depeche Mode have said their first UK stadium gig in more than 20 years feels like "a risk".

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After revealing plans for a 14th studio album on Tuesday, the electronic music pioneers also unveiled a 32-date European tour for next year, including a June open-air performance at the 80,000-capacity London Stadium in Stratford.

The tour also includes slots at Nos Alive festival in Portugal and BBK in Bilbao, Spain, but the trio ruled out making their first appearance at Glastonbury.

Speaking in Milan, Italy, Martin Gore - who formed Depeche Mode in Basildon in 1980 with Dave Gahan and Andy Fletcher - said the band's first British stadium gig since 1993 would be a challenge but that it was "about time for us to take a risk".

Their popularity in Europe and North America has seen them perform several sell-out arena tours throughout their 36-year history but the group admitted they tend to opt for slightly smaller venues when touring the UK.

"It's a Saturday night so it should be interesting. Everyone thinks we can do it. We're really excited. It's a challenge. We normally play a few nights at the O2 so to go outdoors is a good challenge for us." said Fletcher.

Asked if he could see room for Glastonbury on the tour, Gahan told the Press Association that headlining at some stage would be "fitting" but that it would have to be after 2017.

The group had previously turned down a slot at the festival because the tour they were on "had fizzled out", said Gahan.

"There's talk about that (Glastonbury). I'm not ruling it out. If it was going to be any time it would be the following year.

"We've never headlined there and we're a British band that has had probably more top 10 or top 20 hits. It is kind of fitting that we should do something like that."

The album, Spirit, will be released in early spring and is being produced by Simian Mobile Disco founder James Ford, whose recent collaborations include the Arctic Monkeys and Florence and the Machine.

Gore said Spirit would encourage people to "think politically" before revealing he thinks the world is "heading closer to war" after Brexit.

He said: "Without going off about it at this stage… the main purpose (of the album) is to think about things a bit more…politically and globally and think about the world."

Gore added: "For me the European Union was like the world becoming one - one stage of the world becoming one. And then you would hope to take it further than that eventually. For the world to actually become one place.

"Now it's just becoming more and more fractured and we're just taking steps backwards.

"I think the closer we are to one world, the closer we are to like peace and I think we're heading closer towards war."

Gore, who lives in Santa Barbara, California, said the popularity of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is the "American version of Brexit", adding it is down to "a lot of anger and frustration and people don't know where to aim it".

The Global Spirit Tour will open in Stockholm on May 5 with the London Stadium gig on June 3.

Press Association

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