It may have been over 30 years since Depeche Mode last visited, but that lengthy absence has not diminished the enthusiasm of their Barrowlands audience. “It’s a classic gig,” said Antony King, the band’s front of house sound engineer. “Back in the day, if you were doing a tour of the UK, Glasgow Barrowlands was usually the best show of the tour.
“Although the European stadium tour doesn’t start until May, we are in Europe for a few weeks promoting the new album, Spirit, doing a mix of TV shows and promo underplay concerts like this one for the BBC,” says King. “We are carrying control and monitors provided by Britannia Row. Brit Row have been with Depeche Mode for nearly 30 years and do a great job. It makes a huge difference hitting the road knowing that Bryan and co’ have your back.
“With a band of this calibre and a mixture of analogue, Madi and Dante spread over 100+ channels, you need a company that has the vision and expertise to pull it off. Brit Row has more than delivered.”
For the Barrowlands show, Brit Row also provided a full concert system. “We flew an L-Acoustic K2 system,” said King. “The low ceiling means that it sounded more like a ground stack, but that’s part of the charm of this gig. The low ceiling harnesses all the audience noise, sweat and energy and really gets the band fired up. It’s always amazing in there.”
Since the Delta Machine tour, King has replaced his Midas XL8 with an SSL Live console. “I loved the XL8, but the SSL L500 is a natural move forward and has the tried and tested SSL pre-amps from its studio heritage. You can’t go wrong. The console does more than double what the XL8 could do. Do I need 300 input channels? Probably not, but there is plenty more I can and do use. It’s a great desk.”
Sarne Thorogood, the band’s long-time monitor engineer, has also changed desks relatively recently, moving to a Midas Pro X. Like King, he has a certain affection for Barrowlands. “When you do promos and one offs like this, it’s a definite benefit knowing your control package comes from a company that knows you well. Brit Row has always been rock solid in that respect.
Dave Compton, who manages the Depeche Mode account for Brit Row, also arranged for Terrence Hulkes to accompany King and Thorogood around Europe. “He was my system tech on the last Depeche Mode ‘Delta Machine’ tour three years ago and others tours since”, said King. “Terence is an integral part of our team and a technical genius, which gives me the peace of mind to focus on the show. With everything running off computers these days, you need that level of knowledge and expertise. He could rebuild the console in his sleep.”