Depeche Mode Live (Sort Of)

The new album, Ultra, will be out later this month.

Will they or won't they? That's the question on every Depeche Mode fans' pouty

lips these days. The answer is yes...and no. The group, whose lead singer, Dave

Gahan, fought a very public battle with drugs last year, had killed all tour

plans to promote their new record, Ultra (April 15) for fear the road to

temptation was too well paved for Gahan to handle. But ATN got exclusive word

yesterday that DM will in fact be playing a select trio of shows in the UK and

U.S.

The first show will be an invitation-only private launch party on

April 10 in London whose guest list will be padded with friends, some fans and

radio contest winners. Two similar shows will take place in the U.S. in mid-May

in New York and Los Angeles, their first shows on Yankee mainland soil in

over four years (their last U.S. appearance was in Hawaii in March 1994).

The three core members of the band (Gahan, Andy Fletcher and Martin

Gore) will likely play five or six songs at each event, including several from

the new album, with a session drummer filling in for departed member Alan

Wilder. A few members of Ultra producer Tim Simenon's production team

may also lend some keyboard support for the events. The source swore that these

would be the only live performances in support of this album.

It has

not yet been determined if the shows will be simulcast or web cast. For those

hard-core Mode-o-philes out there, our mole also said to be on the lookout for

a hidden instrumental sequel to the "Barrel of a Gun" single b-side

"Painkiller," called "Jr. Painkiller," buried somewhere on the new CD.