Depeche Mode recorded four oftheir albums in Santa Barbara.
Anton Corbijn photo
Depeche Mode will always be associated with their hometown — the very small hometown — of Basildon, England, but Santa Barbara can lay claim to the band, on and off, since 2001. That’s the first time the band recorded some of its album “Exciter” — with its aloe plant on the cover, very SoCal — in our town. Since then, they’ve recorded three more albums here, most notably 2005’s “Playing the Angel” — entirely created at Sound Design studios downtown — and this year’s “Delta Machine.” Songwriter Martin Gore lives here, and is often seen walking about, and has DJ’d occasionally at clubs.
So their choice to play the Bowl this Tuesday, while in the middle of a massive world tour, is a little thank you to a city they’ve adopted.
Dave Gahan has been through a lot of illnesses since 2009 — there was a long bout with gastroenteritis, the removal of a malignant tumor in his bladder, and problems with his voice. You wouldn’t know it from the album and the tour, where he sounds like the Gahan of old. The band is clean and happy. The new tour is doing well.