Band’s origins date to 1977, when schoolmates Vince Clarke and Andy Fletcher formed a Cure-influenced band called No Romance In China, with Clarke on vocals and guitar and Fletcher on bass guitar.

Dave Gahan joined the band in 1980 after Clarke heard him perform at a local Scout hut jam session, singing a rendition of David Bowie’s “Heroes”, and Depeche Mode was born.

Plaque at James Hornsby School / Image source

Gore recalled that the first time the band played as Depeche Mode was a school gig in May 1980. There is a plaque commemorating the gig at the James Hornsby School in Basildon, where Gore and Fletcher were pupils.

The band made their recording debut in 1980 on the Some Bizzare Album with the song “Photographic”, later re-recorded for their debut album Speak & Spell.

Nicholas School, the name ‘James Hornsby’ comes from the name of the last headmaster who taught at the nearby St Nicholas’s Church in the 19th century / Image source

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