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DEVO returned to the United Kingdom in May 2009 for two shows. It was their first time back since the handful of shows they performed there during their tour in 2007.

The first gig this time around was May 6th at London's Forum - a historic show for which DEVO performed their debut album, "Q: Are We Not Men?, A: We Are Devo!", in its entirety from start to finish (...and I recommend that you listen to that particular album while reading this report).

The second show was on May 8th at the ATP Festival, a performance of DEVO's greatest hits show featuring select songs from their 70's and 80's albums.

More details below - read the text in this large middle column first, then go to the first thumbnail image at the top left of this page, and click through the pages for a chronological journey through the photos.

-Michael Pilmer for DEVO, Inc.

5.6.09: London, UK - The Forum/Kentish Town

This was a first for DEVO, performing their debut album, "Q: Are We Not Men?, A: We Are Devo!", in full from beginning to end.

DEVOted spuds from all over the planet either made their way to the show, or wished that they could have.

Upon arriving in London, I met up with my good friend, She-vo, who had been living in the UK for the past few months. Great to see her, as always! She presented me with a special gift she handcrafted herself - a beautiful sterling silver bracelet with DEVO lyrics embossed on it (lyrics to DEVO's new/unreleased song, "Fresh")! Thank you again, She-vo!

We met up with Marc Friedman, DEVO fan extraordinaire who made the trip from San Francisco, and had a fantastic time exploring the city on the day before the day of the DEVO show at The Forum. I had a terrible case of jet lag and returned to my hotel by 8pm for 10 hours of much needed sleep.

On the day of show, we all made our way down to The Forum quite early - around 11am. I had to meet the crew there to start setting things up, and Marc & She-vo wanted to be sure they were the first in line for their front & center positions in the audience.

We were able to explore the neighborhood a bit, and found Annie's Bar right down the street, which is where the DEVO after party would be held later that evening. We saw many spuds in town wearing DEVO tees - some vintage, some home-made - and it was great to hear shouts of "Are We Not Men?!!" from the streets as we walked around.

After going back 'n forth between the venue and Annie's Bar during the day, I returned to the The Forum in time to set up my archival footage video camera, and set up a few stage props.

When the doors opened at 7pm, the line of fans which was wrapped around the building began to slowly trickle in. Some ran immediately for the front row, while others gave the merchandise booth a look first. Limited run T-Shirts were available, printed especially for The Forum's "Are We Not Men?" show. It was nice to see familiar faces amongst the spuds!

The opening band was Robots In Disguise...girls & robots onstage, and the crowd seemed to really like them. Good going! With all the running around setting things up for DEVO, I wasn't able to see RiD's entire set, but hope I get the chance soon.

Then came the moment we'd all been waiting for. I'd always wanted to hear songs like "Shrivel Up", "Space Junk", and "Praying Hands" performed live, and it was going to happen!!

DEVO hired a crew of 6 or 7 professional video cameras to document the show, so I'm hoping there will be a DVD release in the near future.

You could absolutely feel the excitement in the air when the lights went down as DEVO's opening videos started. As the film ended, the band took the stage and got things going with a blistering version of "Uncontrollable Urge". The audience reacted immediately, and a slew of arms, hands and fists went into the air. What a great song to start the set!

The stage itself was stripped down to the bare essentials, similar to DEVO's 1978 set, including sheets of black plastic covering the stage, and no-nonsense retro lighting.

The most memorable moment to me was seeing Mark Mothersbaugh interact with the audience during Praying Hands....one of my favorite live DEVO songs.

After performing the entire LP, DEVO added a couple extra songs as an encore. It was a fantastic show, and I'm so very glad I was there to witness it.

Immediately after the show, DEVO met fans with After Show passes upstairs at The Forum for drinks & autographs. After an hour or so, most of us made our way over to the After Party at Annie's Bar, where DEVO-UK (a DEVO tribute band) was performing. Their set was fantastic! My favorite bit was their live version of Patterns. Great to hear rare songs like that in a live setting. Some notable folks like Soo Catwoman and Lene Lovich were there, too. Thanks to Alan Wainwright of DEVO-UK for putting together such a great party! Well done, Spuds.

5.8.09: Minehead, UK - ATP Festival

After a 5 hour bus ride from London to Minehead, the band & crew were ready to explore Butlins - a family vacation resort which is WAY outside of civilization. Past all the farms & cows...there's Butlins. We were amazed at how bizarre it was - like a huge children's playground, swarming with strollers and loud kids. Completely not what I expected. Over the next 24 hours, the family crowd would gradually switch over to the rock festival crowd...and that was interesting to see.

Mark Mothersbaugh found a novelty toy shop somewhere in the area, and purchased a set of half-face rubber masks, a bloodied finger and a pair of comic mustache/nose glasses. The latter would eventually be worn by Booji Boy during DEVO's concert the next night. Gerald Casale tried on some of the rubber face masks, too...and Josh enjoyed the bloodied finger. (See photos below).

DEVO performed their greatest hits set for ATP's "The Fans Strike Back" festival, with songs from their first, second, third, fourth and fifth albums...dating from 1978 to 1983.

The crowd comprised mostly young, hip music fans. Not as many hardcore DEVOtees as in London a couple nights prior, but still a few who attended the Minehead show wearing home-made gear, and vintage tees. I even spotted a couple D.I.Y. Energy Domes in the crowd.

After the show, the band returned to their rooms, and I went out to see a couple more bands, including Fuck Buttons, who I really enjoyed. The ATP Festival kept me and a few other spuds busy until at least 3am. Thanks to Barry at ATP for everything!


I'm looking forward to my next visit to the UK, and I really hope I don't have to wait another 2 years to do it. Cheers to all my pals over there for the good times & conversation!

Thanks to everyone who supplied info & photos (especially Lee Wilkinson, Jay Spencer, Kev Lincoln & Tony Stafford, and Paul & Nicola Tricker)!

Special thanks to Michael Browne for his assistance with gathering links, proof reading, etc.


Michael Pilmer for Devo, Inc.



The Times | Drowned In Sound Boards | Blog: Is There Anything Else... | Volkszone VW Forum | Clash Music (for May 6) | Allgigs by Paul Pledger | Music OMH | The Independent | Crònicas | JustOneStar forum | Buzz | No Need For A Typewriter | Virtual Festivals | Pete Regan | Strummerjones | NME | Quart (in Hungarian) | The-Fly.co.uk | Mapsadaisical | eFestivals | Dazed | Clash Music (for May 8) Pt. 1, Pt. 2 | Harriet Fleuriot |