It was 1980 in Basildon, UK, when four guys with a passion for electronic music got together to form one of the coolest synth-pop bands of all time. At that time, so-called music experts predicted that the guys would be just another one-hit-wonder with their synthetic sounds. Despite all the critics, the small-town boys wrote music history and became the greatest electronic band ever. With their songs, they have inspired fans around the world and – to this day – also many musicians. Of course, we are talking about Depeche Mode, whose hits were shaped by the voice of the exceptional talent who presented his personal favorite playlist in form of his new album “Imposter” on stage yesterday at the exclusive Telekom Street Gig in Berlin: Dave Gahan.
DEPECHE MODE & DAVE GAHAN
I must admit, I’ve been a Depeche Mode fan since 1984. And that means something because I grew up in the GDR. There and then, it was not that easy to listen to international music. However, Depeche Mode quickly became a cult. In the GDR, the guys were honored, even idolized, like no other band from the west.
Rightly so! Because with their music, they created new worlds of sound. Besides, they built imaginary bridges with their stylish looks. There is no doubt that Depeche Mode tore down existing walls that way.
Of course, Depeche Mode would never have been so successful without Martin Gore’s texts and compositions. Depeche Mode would also be nothing without the ingenious arrangements by the ultra-talented Alan Wilder, who, unfortunately, left the band a long time ago.
However, Depeche Mode could not look back on 40 years of success without the incomparable appearance and distinctive voice of Dave Gahan.
Now the artist presents himself solo. As with an actor who has only been assigned one role over many years, the frontman of a popular band also runs the risk of not being able to establish himself in a new role or as a solo artist. Many superstars have already failed to try to get started on their own.
DAVE GAHAN ON THE TELEKOM STREET GIGS
The Telekom Street Gigs regularly surprises due to spectacular music events apart from the usual concert experiences.
The spectrum ranges from pop and rock to hip-hop and jazz. Well-known names such as Billy Talent, The Blacked Eyed Peas, Ed Sheeran, Linkin Park, and Robbie Williams have already been guests here.
Depeche Mode has also already presented a mega show, which – like all other Telekom Street gigs – was broadcast live by MagentaMusik 360 and MagentaTV.
Yesterday, in the legendary Admiralspalast in Berlin, the Telekom Street Gigs presented Dave Gahan solo. Although, this is not correct that way. Because the Soulsavers, the band with whom he recorded his new album “Imposters,” accompanied him.
For me, as a Depeche Mode fan from the very beginning, it was questionable before the concert started whether Dave Gahan would manage to convince me as a solo artist as he has inspired me as the frontman of Depeche Mode for decades. First of all: The answer is a clear one: Yes!
THE IMPOSTER CONCERT
The corona rules were strict. They required that all guests were vaccinated, tested, and logged into the Corona warning app. In addition, all fans had to wear masks during the entire concert. And yet, no matter in which row the fans were, right down to the last seat on the balcony, no one could escape the strong presence of Dave Gahan.
Dave Gahan was born for the stage and shows that despite his almost 60 years (he celebrates his anniversary in May of the New Year), he has lost none of his tremendous power and dynamism.
THE IMPOSTER ALBUM
It sounds like Gahan just returned from a Nashville-Memphis vacation. Soul, blues, gospel, and rock’n’roll elements resonate – sometimes accompanied by a steel guitar – in the cover anthems.
Yes, Imposer is a cover album. However, one does not hear this immediately. Because Ian Glover and Rich Machin, the heads of the Soulsavers, have not only reinterpreted well-known hits but have also ventured into unknown pearls of the music genre.
“Imposter” contains a spectrum of songs from Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and PJ Harvey to Charlie Chaplin and Mark Lanegan. With his unmistakable voice and interpretations, Dave Gahan gives the classics of these musical legends a completely new shine. Besides, he shows his many facets.
BERLIN LOVES DAVE GAHAN
Dave Gahan and Berlin, that’s a story all of its own. Because with his friends from Depeche Mode, the singer lived in West Berlin for some time in the crazy 80s. As for many artists, including the guys from Basildon, Berlin was a source of inspiration and creativity during this time. It was here that Depeche Mode’s career took off.
So, Dave Gahan insisted on giving his Berlin fans a little pre-Christmas present. Even if all the songs on the cover album “Imposter” were cheered, the old Admiralspalast literally began to shake when the first notes of the Depeche Mode hit “Personal Jesus” sounded.
There was no stopping the fans and, regardless of whether they were 2 meters tall or petite, everyone had some tears of happiness, joy, and the feeling of being able to forget Corona and everything else for a few moments in their eyes.
Another highlight of the evening was the closing song Always On My Mind. The song became a mega-hit, especially thanks to Elvis Presley. Dave Gahan’s interpretation was a statement that he always has his fans and love for music in mind. And the fans replied wholeheartedly.
So, it remains to say thanks to Telekom Steet Gigs for this special, exclusive evening in one of the most difficult times ever. The Telekom Street Gig was not only a great pleasure for the fans who were lucky enough to experience the concert in the Admiralspalast.
Thanks to the ingenious concept of MagentaTV and Magenta Music 360, fans around the world were able to enjoy a special concert for a little over 90 minutes. It is also now available at:
Reach out and enjoy.
Text: Marco Kokkot
Images: © Danny Jungslund, Deutsche Telekom 2021