1980-10-30 Bridge House, London, England, UK/Source 1

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Notes

This is the earliest genuine recording of Depeche Mode currently circulating. Quality is decent; some distortion is present. The core of this recording is a mono recording which misses the last two tracks. The Price Of Love and Dreaming Of Me are sourced from the bootleg vinyl Bridgehouse in order to provide a complete recording. However, Tora! Tora! Tora! is present on the mono version, which is missing on all vinyl copies. The vinyl also has the track order incorrect, has some unnecessary fades between tracks, and misses a few seconds of the beginning of New Life. This rework creates the most complete and consistent sounding version available. As for the performance, the music is radically different from later live versions, no doubt due to the extensive use of drum machines. You will often hear the band doing quick equipment checks as they switch between tracks.

The band plays the Bridge House no less than 11 times between 1980 and 1982, with 7 of them being in 1980. Terry Murphy, the owner of the Bridge House, gave Depeche Mode the opportunity to play often at the Bridge House. This concert was:

  • the 16th concert of Depeche Mode / Composition Of Sound
  • the 13th concert with Dave Gahan in the band
  • the 5th concert under the name "Depeche Mode"
  • the 4th concert at the Bridge House

Included in the setlist are two tracks which were only performed during Depeche Mode's 1980 tour: Tomorrow's Dance and Reason Man. It is assumed Vince wrote these tracks, but that has not been confirmed. I asked Deb Danahay Mann, Vince Clarke's former girlfriend, if she knew any details regarding these songs, but she is unfamiliar with them. You can find lyrics for Tomorrow's Dance and Reason Man if you click on their song titles.

The track Television Set, written by Jason Knott (a friend of Vince's), was also part of the setlist as it often was between 1980 through the end of the 1982 See You Tour. Lyrics and a short snippet of Vince's original demo are available here. Deb Danahay Mann confirmed that the track does not appear on "Speak & Spell" or a single release because it was not penned by Vince or Martin. I think it is a great song and wish it made an appearance as a B-side, at the very least. The Price Of Love also appeared throughout the 1980 and 1981 tours. The track was written by The Everly Brothers. Click on the song title to learn more information.

Dave introduces the final song of the setlist, Dreaming Of Me, as "Dreams Of Me", as early setlist photos also called it. This song went on to become Depeche Mode's first single, released on February 20, 1981.

The only other recording circulating from the 1980 Tour is from 1980-11-14 Technical College, Southend-On-Sea, Essex, England, UK, and it is another average quality audience recording. That night's performance includes another rare early live-only track, Addiction, and this recording is currently the only source of the song. If you compare this Bridge House recording to the Essex recording, you can hear how radically the live sound changes in a short period. Compare Television Set, Tora! Tora! Tora!, and Big Muff between the recordings - the difference is significant. You can find more details and download the entire recording here

Depeche Mode's final performance at the Bridge House will be a secret gig under the alias of "Modepeche" during their See You Tour tour on February 27, 1982. More details along with a stream & download of a good audience recording from that night can be found here.

Many thanks to Ronny for the providing the core of this recording, darkdevoted for his transfer of the Bridgehouse vinyl bootleg, Fage for his excellent remastering work as always, and Vince DOME for his final reworking and and Stumm101 for providing additional information about the early shows of the band.

Listen

You can listen to this entire recording below.

Track list

  1. [3:35] Play New Life
  2. [3:47] Play Television Set
  3. [3:11] Play Tomorrow's Dance
  4. [3:06] Play Reason Man
  5. [3:57] Play Photographic
  6. [3:23] Play Tora! Tora! Tora!
  7. [4:12] Play Big Muff
  8. [4:38] Play Ice Machine
  9. [4:19] Play The Price Of Love
  10. [3:52] Play Dreaming Of Me
  • Total time: 37:59

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