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thedevout DSC 5841 57The Cluny, Newcastle, UK
18th January 2020
The Devout - Full two hour Depeche Mode set

SPEAK AND SPELL and FORM founding member Keith Trigwell is at the epicentre of THE DEVOUT’s sound joined by Glen Wisbey, founding member of BLUE OCTOBER and MODOVAR. Also on board is Reza Udhin of INERTIA (also past member of KILLING JOKE) who has the task of bringing his brilliant skillset to imitate Martin Gore. Finally, newcomer Barclay Quarton takes on walking in the shoes of the great Dave Gahan. https://www.facebook.com/TheDevoutDepecheModeTribute

Music & Performance
This was my first visit to this venue, upon arrival I was a little surprised, the front of the premises is a trendy bar. There is a large hall sized room on two levels to the rear, with a purpose mixing desk / lighting control area to the rear and a deep stage, with artist entrance to the side. The lighting rig is modern, and the lights are very, very good for a small venue. Very impressive venue. The doors opened at 7.30pm, there was no support and THE DEVOUT didn’t arrive on stage until 8.30pm. Perhaps a local band may have provided a support slot? I presume there was a logistical reason, but it would have been a welcome diversion for an hour. However, the crowd kept themselves amused for the hour and soon the lower part of the hall was full - the upper part filled too as the night progressed. The atmosphere was “high spirited”, before the gig, and it continued and progressed throughout the set.

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The guys upon entering the stage commenced with a powerful introduction, ‘Christmas Island’. The sound system is particularly good, and none of the impact of the original was lost at all. Visually it works too, to the right is “Wilder”, a similar looking keyboard player, to the left is “Gore” on keys, who later sings and plays guitar throughout the gig. A third keys player is to the rear in the middle, it’s a deep stage, with good lights - this looks to be a good overall interpretation of a well love band. The crowd seem to agree, as the songs progress they are singing, joining in and generally having a great time. The sound is very DEPECHE MODE, and the vocals are very “Dave Gahan”, this band is a step above the usual tribute band - they have studied and projected their illusion exceptionally well. As they blast through well-loved DEPECHE MODE songs I frequently over hear comments about the lead singer’s interpretation of Dave Gahan and his movements - deliberately provocative and generally aimed towards the ladies in the crowd.

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He starts with a leather biker’s jacket, which is removed to reveal the renowned Gahan vest, and changed after the traditional “Gore” singing section, he returns with a black top. The “Gore” section worked very well with some fantastic guitar playing too. I can see the band are having a fantastic time, and the set is going well - of course gig gremlins will appear to try and ruin that. The band has two sets of industrial sounding pipes, at one point the one behind “Gore” stops working and needs quickly taking apart, obviously by the tech-head looking “Wilder” who quickly solves this problem. However, with true professionalism this issue is solved with no fluster, only light heartedness. I frequently looked around to observe how well the crowd were responding - this was a party.

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Newcastle people (known in the UK as “Geordies”) have a reputation as fun loving, and as I looked around everybody was singing, dancing, laughing and generally having a good time. From the lower part of the hall, to the upper part (almost a balcony with a rail to view over) it was a wave of excitement - fantastic to witness, and I’m sure the band felt the same. One of those rare gigs where everybody just seemed to be in the party spirit. The band played nearly all that I would expect them to play, spanning a wide range of DEPECHE MODES career - and a few tracks that I thought were great additions. I’m not a huge fan of tribute bands, but when you witness one that has such exceptional performers, who have studied their topic so well, it’s totally impossible not to fall under their (speak and) spell.

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A brilliantly prepped band, attention to detail, talented and thoroughly enjoyable - very highly recommended.

Setlist
01. Christmas Island
02. Behind The Wheel
03. Ice Machine
04. Question Of Time
05. Leave In Silence
06. New Life
07. Get The Balance Right
08. World In My Eyes
09. Halo
10. Shake The Disease
11. It Doesn’t Matter Two
12. Home
13. Personal Jesus
14. People Are People
15. Master And Servant
16. Policy Of Truth
17. Stripped
18. Just Can’t Get Enough
19. Everything Counts
20. Enjoy The Silence
21. Photographic
22. Never Let Me Down Again

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 8
Light: 7.5
Sound: 8.5
Total: 8.5 / 10

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All Pictures by Kevin Stevens (Coast to Coast Image Works)
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