1981-02-16 Cabaret Futura, London, England, UK

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The Event Group, spoken-word artist Anne Clark with musical support from the band A Cruel Memory, and Richard Jobson were the support acts for this gig. Richard Jobson performed "India Song"[1] immediately preceding Depeche Mode's performance.

Cabaret Futura owner Richard Strange has said:[2]

"I occasionally listen to the 24-track tapes we recorded [at Cabaret Futura]. One of my favourites is of Depeche Mode, all cherubic-faced and full of nervy swagger as they tried out their first songs, wonderful three-minute anthems such as New Life, Factory [Ice Machine] or Dreaming of Me. The first time I played the tapes back I was puzzled by what seemed to be a splashing sound on one of the tracks. Then I remembered it was the night that The Event Group did something unspeakable with hoses and fake urine on the balcony while the band played underneath."

As Richard Strange noted in his bio on Vimeo, he paid the band £15 for a half hour set. He also quotes Depeche Mode as having said:

"What's really looking forward is what's happening at Richard Strange's Cabaret Futura, not us."

In June 2018, Richard said that the band's performance "was always one of the highlights of Cabaret Futura's history."[3]

DJ Rusty Egan told Trevor Baker:[4]

"I met Depeche Mode at that gig, and thought they were new and original and brilliant and went mad and tried to sign them, make them stars. So I started this bit about, 'I love you, I want you to play for me, I want you to do this, I want you to do that.'

According to Baker, Egan then invited DM to play at his club Flicks in Dartford on March 30, 1981.

Set list (partially unconfirmed)

Track sheet contributed by Richard Strange.

This is the set list that Richard Strange was able to confirm based on his track sheet corresponding with his tape, seen right. According to the track sheet, the tape appears to physically run out during Tora! Tora! Tora! due to Richard Jobson's performance preceding Depeche Mode's taking up the first 11 minutes of the reel. It is likely that Depeche Mode performed two more songs to yield an approximate 30-minute set, which corresponds with Richard Strange's recollection of having paid the band £15 for a 30-minute set, cited above. Our best guess of those songs performed are "Just Can't Get Enough" and "Photographic" in that order. It is difficult to imagine that the instrumental Big Muff was chosen to be performed over those tracks mentioned, if it would've been a shorter 6-song set as indicated on the track sheet. Unfortunately, Richard is unable to recall whether more songs were performed and which those may have been.

According to Richard Strange, Depeche Mode actually performed a longer set than most other acts that performed at the Cabaret Futura. There were sometimes up to six acts performing at any given night at the Cabaret Futura, so each act had to perform a fairly short set to allow enough time for each act to perform.[5]

  1. Television Set
  2. Ice Machine
  3. New Life
  4. Dreaming Of Me
  5. Big Muff
  6. Tora! Tora! Tora!
  7. Just Can't Get Enough (unconfirmed, best guess)
  8. Photographic (unconfirmed, best guess)


  1. This YouTube link is Jobson's performance of "India Song" from this very night.
  2. This quote was partially used in Q magazine, published 14th January 2005, for a Depeche Mode special written by Dave Thompson. The whole interview with Mr. Strange from which this quote was taken appears now here, but this is not the original source. The original source is unknown.
  3. E-mail conversation between Richard Strange and DMLiveWiki, June 2018.
  4. Trevor Baker, Dave Gahan - Depeche Mode & The Second Coming, page PT21
  5. E-mail conversation between Richard Strange and DMLiveWiki, September 2016.