A story which was bouncing around a month or two ago was that Depeche Mode had turned down an Outstanding Contribution award at the BRIT Awards 2013, saying variously “f*** them” or “b****ocks” depending on whom you believe.
It’s difficult to know what the truth of this story is. Certainly there wasn’t an Outstanding Contribution award this year, but could it really be true that the ceremony organisers wanted Depeche Mode to have it so much that they decided if they wouldn’t have it then neither would anyone else?
As far as I can make out, the story comes from an interview with UK tabloid The Sun, which quotes Dave Gahan as saying:
“Let me tell you a story. I will probably get someone in trouble, but we were told we were getting a new award this year. Most Influential Band In The Last 20 Years or something? Basically the old bastard, Lifetime Achievement Award — and we said, ‘Yes that’s cool.’
“Then we heard through the grapevine ITV wouldn’t broadcast our segment. So we said, ‘If they won’t play us on air, then we’re not going to be their most influential band.’
“How many other bands have had as many hits as us worldwide and been around for as long? F*** them then and b****cks to it.”
Unfortunately it’s a bit of a non-story, as that’s the total extent of the information we get. It was then relayed by NME (here) and various other outlets, but I couldn’t find any other information anywhere. You have to wonder slightly whether Dave Gahan was just letting off a bit of steam.
So did Depeche Mode really ruin this year’s BRIT Awards? No, of course they didn’t. But did they really turn down the Outstanding Contribution award? You decide. To make up for it, let’s watch Simon Mayo present them with the Best British Single award by proxy back in 1991: