1980-05-30 Paddocks Community Center, Laindon, Essex, England, UK
A private party was held here for Deb Mann (née Danahay), who was Vince Clarke's girlfriend at the time. Composition Of Sound, at the time comprised of Vince Clarke, Martin Gore, and Andy Fletcher, supported French Look, which featured Martin Gore, Robert Marlow, and Paul Redmond. Robert Marlow was also on Composition Of Sound's stage, which Vince Clarke described to Jonathan Miller as "Rob was on-stage, but he wasn't actually leaping about. He was just sitting there tapping in the right numbers or whatever." Dave Gahan, who had already been asked by Vince Clarke to join CoS, was doing the lighting for both bands on this night.
Deb Mann told Jonathan Miller: "Vince, I knew, because a big crowd of us used to hang around together at a pub called The Highway, as it was then, at the top of the escalators in Basildon town centre. They wanted somewhere to play, and I was having this party. I was going away to work at Butlins, so it was a going away party. It was a great party with loads of people."
Immense thanks to Deb Danahay Mann and Depeche Mode Classic Photos and Videos for the below photos and information.
Deb's friend Nikki Avery organised the party. She told Simon Spence in 2011: "[The party] was a bit of a surprise do. I think Rob [Marlow] rang me up, because Rob was going to be playing, and said: can Vince and his band [CoS] play as well? I said yeah, why not. Let's go for it. [...] [It] was a full house - I got in trouble because there were too many people there."
Local Basildon fanzine 'Strange Stories' reviewed both acts:
"Two synthesizers and a bass are the structure of Composition Of Sound, as well as the inevitable drum machine. Their songs bounce along with a nice feel, but the comparison to The Cure I cannot see. Some of their numbers seemed good, but with new groups - in fact every group - they need improvement as I'm sure they know. I didn't like the version of [Phil] Spector's 'Then He Kissed Me' though. French Look opened with a tape of distorted voices straight into the force of three synthesizers. They played an hour-long set which included an old Ultravox number - twice played - and Sparks' 'Amateur Hour'. They could be better and vary their set, but I'm sure with a few gigs, their numbers will become familiar."