1985-07-30 Torwar Hall, Warsaw, Poland

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Notes

Andy Fletcher said on the Saturday Picture Show in 1985:

"[This concert was] a total culture shock. [...] Oh, [we were definitely glad that we went there]. You're not allowed to take any money out, so it actually cost us money going there, but it was well worth it, the experience."

Andy said in 2016:

"Of course [I remember this gig]. I have to admit, it was a strange experience, beautiful, but surreal. During the soundcheck there were about two thousand soldiers and policemen in the venue. Usually we do not allow anyone to be at the soundcheck, the venue must be empty then, but it is difficult to say to the army and police, "Hey, you there, get out!" [laughs]. So we remember that concert very well. The audience was wonderful and we were excited, because only a few British bands had played behind the Iron Curtain. Back then, we had spent a lot of time in East Berlin, so we knew how many fans we had in Eastern Europe. I also remember that we did not get dollars in Poland, but only local currency, which was useless for us. So we played for free."

Alan Wilder said in 2010:

"We did not know what to expect [when we visited Poland for the first time], although a few stereotypes turned out to be true. Warsaw was quite grim, and queues were standing in front of the shops. I remember our cheesy hotel ['Sofitel Victoria'] with a terrible but fun cabaret band, and bars only offering illegal whiskey. I do not remember the details of the concert today so well, but I am sure that the audience reacted very positively and spontaneously. This was the case in all Eastern bloc countries [that we performed in at the time]."

The band said at SXSW in 2013:

Martin: "It was actually weird that we decided to play there [in Poland], when we did, I can't remember whose idea it was to play there. It was a great idea to go, but it was unusual to go to Poland. We played Warsaw in 1985, and I remember that we had a little bit of money left over each from the gig, and we didn't really know what to do with it, and I think I bought an army beret. And I had to smuggle that back into England."

Andy: "I bought a painting, actually, a futuristic painting [at art gallery DESA]."

Dave: "I remember someone trying to sell us a painting to do a gig, or something like that. Yeah, we could get a painting."

Andrzej Marzec, promoter at Andrzej Marzec Concerts, said in 2016:

"For a band from the Western World, a performance behind the so-called Iron Curtain was an interesting matter, but their most important issue would be finding an organiser who could handle the financial and organisational challenges of such an enterprise. Almost every big band wanted to perform in Moscow and preferrably on the Red Square, but the local state promoter there did not want to bear with financial risks and organisational trouble. I wanted to, and PAA Pagart's managment supported me.

Sound system, lighting, and backline equipment were the band's responsibility. I hired genius electrician Henryk Kleyna to supervise and cooperate with the local electricians who supplied electricity straight from Warsaw's network. Władysław Włoszczowski was in charge of technical aspects. He had to perform translations and solve possible conflicts with the band's technical crew. There was also catering, which was handled by Krzysztof Marzec. The main task in those years was to provide ice for cold beverages (and the day in question was terribly hot), which involved traveling to and from the hotel, carrying ice buckets. Back then, there were no refrigerators or stuff like that for rent. They stayed at the Victoria hotel, just like all my "guests". They did not have special requirements, but the hotel service would meet all their expectations anyway. They travelled to Torwar on an Orbisian bus, not a limousine, because they did not even want want one, even though I had one ready. They greeted any limitations with complete understanding. But Torwar probably made a depressing impression (before its renovation). And Martin Gore's skirt definitely made an impression on our countrymen. He was the most popular among the fans.

At the time, having oversold ticket sales was the norm, because ticket scalpers were selling tickets for more than their original price, there was no protection against them selling tickets for very high prices. The event was organized by a state institution."

Roman Rogowiecki, security, said in 2016:

"There were fans in front of the hotel, who were waiting but not acting crazy. When the band and I walked outside the hotel, there was no other bodyguard by their side. People knew the band was in Poland because of the fans gathering outside, but they were so surprised to actually see the band walking in the street that they often did not know what to do, and therefore they stood there without doing anything. The band asked me what these long-baked sandwiches were, they found out that they were zapiekankas and they wanted to try them."

Blah Brothers were the support act. You can watch a poor recording of their performance on their MySpace site, as well as listen to some songs of their performance.

Setlist

  1. Intro (Master And Servant Voxless)
  2. Something To Do
  3. Two Minute Warning
  4. Puppets
  5. If You Want
  6. People Are People
  7. Leave In Silence
  8. New Life
  9. Shame
  10. Somebody (*)
  11. Shake The Disease
  12. Lie To Me
  13. Blasphemous Rumours
  14. Told You So
  15. Master And Servant
  16. Photographic
  17. Everything Counts
  18. See You
  19. Shout
  20. Just Can't Get Enough

Sources

  • Source 1 is a good audience recording, sourced from the DVD found at Source 2.
  • Source 2 is a good audience-shot DVD sourced from a 4th or 5th generation VHS.
  • Source 3 is a mediocre audience recording sourced from an unknown generation cassette.
  • Source 4 is a decent audience recording sourced from unknown generation cassette. Incomplete, first 10 tracks only.