Speak and Spell – Depeche Mode’s Döppelgangers

❉ Europe’s premier Depeche Mode tribute band, reliving the musical journey of the world’s most successful electronic act.

Speak and Spell are Europe’s premier Depeche Mode tribute band. Over the past few years they’ve secured their position, and upped their game to the extent that they were invited to play the ultimate festival of festivals in the UK this year; Glastonbury, on the William’s Green stage conveniently located in between the world famous Pyramid stage and the acoustic stage.

We were honoured to be asked last year but very aware we were unable to tell anyone until the end of May this year. We were extremely happy with the reception we received,” they said.

Speak and Spell play throughout the whole of Europe and are continually evolving their shows, often playing classic era tracks that the real Depeche Mode will never repeat live. This seems to be their unique appeal to their ever-growing and loyal fan base.  Their shows span from the earliest days through the eighties, nineties and noughties to far more recent times, reliving and reminding the audiences of the journey of the world’s most successful electronic act.

Photography: © Kevin May. Reproduced with kind permission.

The current line up of the band was formed in 2015 and its members are Paul Wood, Keith Trigwell, Paul Boddy and Tony Clare.  It is often reported how like “Dave” the lead singer Paul Wood is, and the synths used faithfully reproduce that unmistakable Depeche Mode ‘sound’ which makes the band sound authentic.

Photography: © Kevin May. Reproduced with kind permission.

Initially formed in 2007 in Brighton by Stuart Avis and Andrew Sturmey, the initial plan was to perform Depeche Mode’s Violator album in full. Having recruited Dave Gahan-alike Paul Wood to handle vocal duties, Joe Beaumont on keys and backing vocals and Steve Cobley on guitar, the initial incarnation of the band was complete. The task of the full album performance was successful and earned the band more gigs and the beginnings of a very loyal following of friends.

Since that first gig the band have a yearly residency at Esquires club in Bedford, headlined the Brighton Electrofestival, performed at the re-built Bridgehouse venue where Depeche Mode themselves were spotted and signed to Mute Records, and have played at many other venues spread around the UK.

Photography: © Kevin May. Reproduced with kind permission.

In late 2009 the departure of Andrew Sturmey and Steve Cobley saw the addition of professional studio engineer, technical musician and programmer Keith Trigwell; a keyboard player who had spent more than 25 years playing Depeche Mode music.

Keith was also a member of the band Indigenous (electronic duo produced by Julian Beeston from Nitzer Ebb), and in 1993 worked in a technical capacity with ‘Throb’ Young from the Primal Scream on an act called Revolver and engineered one of Depeche Mode’s 1984 tour opening acts Portion Control, amongst others, whilst working as a daytime engineer at Basement Studios.

With their new line-up and fresh new ideas, Speak and Spell took giant leap forward in 2011 playing to critical acclaim to packed-out crowds across Europe and the UK, and again headlined the Party For The Masses Festival.

Photography: © Kevin May. Reproduced with kind permission.

Following their recent Glasto success, Speak & Spell have several other dates this year including two Music for the Masses anniversary shows at Sound Control in Manchester on 9 September and the O2 Islington on 23 September.

❉ For further information visit their Facebook page, or contact their management: Claire Whatley at claire@depechemodetribute.co.uk

❉ Website: www.depechemodetribute.co.uk

Photography: © Kevin May. Reproduced with kind permission. 

Ange Chan is a poet and novelist.  Her fourth poetry collection “Fame; What’s Your Name?” and her second novel “Baby, Can You Hear Me?” were both published in paperback and Kindle in 2016.  Her third novel will be published in 2017. 

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