Depeche Mode – Live at BKK Festival, Bilbao – 2013 – RNE Radio 3
Depeche Mode in concert tonight – recorded at the 2013 BKK Festival in Bilbao Spain and broadcast live by Radio Nacional España.
In late 1981, the band placed an anonymous ad in Melody Maker looking for another musician: “Name band, synthesise, must be under twenty-one.” Alan Wilder, a classically trained keyboardist from West London, responded and, after two auditions and despite being 22 years old, was hired in early 1982, initially on a trial basis as a touring member. Wilder would later be called the “Musical Director” of the band, responsible for the band’s sound until his departure in 1995.As producer Flood would say, “[Alan] is sort of the craftsman, Martin’s the idea man and [Dave] is the attitude.”
In January 1982, the band released “See You”, their first single without Clarke, which managed to beat all three Clarke-penned singles in the UK charts, reaching number six. The following tour saw the band playing their first shows in North America. Two more singles, “The Meaning of Love” and “Leave in Silence”, were released ahead of the band’s second studio album, on which they began work in July 1982. Daniel Miller informed Wilder that he was not needed for the recording of the album, as the core trio wanted to prove they could succeed without Vince Clarke. A Broken Frame was released that September, and the following month the band began their 1982 tour. A non-album single, “Get the Balance Right!”, was released in January 1983, the first Depeche Mode track to be recorded with Wilder.
For its third album, Construction Time Again, Depeche Mode worked with producer Gareth Jones, at John Foxx’s Garden Studios and at Hansa Studios in West Berlin (where much of David Bowie’s trilogy of seminal electronic albums featuring Brian Eno had been produced). The album saw a dramatic shift in the group’s sound, due in part to Wilder’s introduction of the Synclavier and E-mu Emulator samplers. By sampling the noises of everyday objects, the band created an eclectic, industrial-influenced sound, with similarities to groups such as the Art of Noise and Einstürzende Neubauten (the latter becoming Mute labelmates in 1983).
“Everything Counts” rose to number six in the UK, also reaching the top 30 in Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland, Sweden and West Germany. Wilder contributed two songs to the album, “The Landscape Is Changing” and “Two Minute Warning”. In September 1983, to promote Construction Time Again, the band launched a European concert tour.
In at a little under 2 hours, they give ample evidence to the Q Magazine claim that Depeche Mode are one of the 50 Bands that changed the world, and certainly one that has had an indelible impact on the world of Electronica.
One of those bands having gone from strength to strength over the past 30+ years, they show no sign of quitting now. And listening to this concert, you understand why they have been a continuously influential force in contemporary music.
But don’t take my word for it – sit down and turn this one up and forget about Monday.