2017 was a busy year for sure for Speak and Spell. We started the year off with a sell out show in January at St Paul’s Arts Centre in Worthing. Our first time in this town and we got to play a fabulous venue for an equally fabulous promoter. We debuted two new songs this night, “Pleasure Little Treasure” and “Route 66“.
March brought us tot he World Famous Half Moon in Putney, a venue which has for decades hosted some of the music industry’s biggest names. Again we sold this venue out and even planned a matinee performance for the next day. This Sunday gig on the 26th March was even more Rock and Roll because Keith and Tony had both been successful in obtaining 4 rare tickets to see Depeche Mode in Glasgow for the BBC 6 Music Festival at the infamous Barrowlands. So had to leave the stage promptly, jump in a cab to Heathrow and board a plane to Glasgow where we met friends and went up together. A stunning weekend to play such a venue twice and then see an 80,000 capacity band play to 1,500 people at close quarters.
It was at Putney we debuted our new drum triggers, having retired (at least temporarily) our Black Celebration ‘Spook-a-phones’. Although they worked perfectly, three years of being thrashed ‘nuebauten’ style had taken their toll and they need some tlc, plus we had plans for new ”Masses” pads.
We then moved on the Bedford Esquires for our 10th appearance and delivered another cracking show to a very appreciative audience. Support was from Erasure support act ‘Shelter’ who utterly impressed us with their show, professionalism and company. It was at Bedford we wowed the crowd with “Strangelove”
Saturday 17th June and we hit the Flowerpot in Derby. What can we say. One of the most enthusiastic audiences ever and the band agreed it is very unusual to have a crowd singing back to you for two hours.
Then the big one. Glastonbury 2017. We had been selected to play and had to keep this under wraps until only a few weeks before. The setlist was a shrunk down performance (obviously) and we managed to sound check, perform and get off entirely within schedule, then of course enjoyed the festival.
Glastonbury Set List
1.) Strangelove : 4:57
2.) Everything Counts : 4:52
3.) Stripped : 6:15
4.) Walking : 6:25
5.) Personal Jesus : 5:49
6.) Just Can’t Get Enough : 4:56
7.) Enjoy the Silence : 6:24
Total 39:38… (22 seconds inside our 40 minute set limit)
Then it was operation time as one of us went under the knife for a prosthetic joint “installation”. The band used this as a period for planning for the special show we had been working on all year to celebrate the 30th anniversary of “Music for the Masses”.
Both Keith and Tony then independently won an opportunity to “takeover” Depeche Mode’s Facebook page for a day. Keith did his from a beach on Poland talking about production, B Sides, imagery and more and Tony going extra mile with 5 x very entertaining videos including one about his ownership of Alan Wilder’s classic Jupiter 8. Every DM fan knows this synthesizer.
Saturday 9th September and the Band hit Sound Control in Manchester for the first of 2 ‘Music for the Masses’ boutique shows. Again the Manchester crowd never fail to deliver and the band we as entertained by the audience as the audience were by the band.
23rd September and the band hit the O2 Academy in Islington, London and wowed the crowd with the Masses show, slightly extended with three singles. Again, this evening was another first with what seemed, sounded and looked like the entire audience singing back code at the end of Enjoy the Silence.
So thats it for 2017 but the band, only 2 days later, announced the first 4 new dates for 2018 to be arranged so far.
27th January 2018 : St Pauls Arts Centre, Worthing
7th April 2018 : Esquires, Bedford
30th June 2018 : The Flowerpot, Derby
6th October 2018 : The Fleece, Bristol
Here’s some videos from 2017