A Tribute To Depeche Mode’s Andrew Fletcher

The revered English musician has died...

It was often hard to tell what role Andrew ‘Fletch’ Fletcher played in Depeche Mode. Quietly omnipresent, he didn’t write songs, his contribution to live performances was difficult to determine and his presence never quite attracted the same attention as frontman Dave Gahan or principal songwriter Martin Gore. Nevertheless, his contribution to one of the world’s biggest-selling groups was far from negligible.

– – –

– – –

Fletch was there from the very beginning, before 1981’s epoch-defining ‘Speak & Spell’, right up until his untimely passing. His role was atypical but his presence was significant. He was arguably the glue that held Depeche Mode together. He was part-cheerleader, part-diplomat, part-manager, part-spokesman, and part-comedian; confidante, negotiator and friend. Business-like yet relentlessly lighthearted, Fletch relished making the group decisions that Martin Gore and Dave Gahan either couldn’t – or didn’t want to – make.

Photos of Fletch inevitably caught him looking sullen and stoic, per the image of the band he was a member of; you could well imagine that he was anyways moments away from cracking up, his infectious laugh prompting hysterics among the rest of the band. Onstage, the tall form of Fletch was a crowd-pleaser. From behind his keyboard he would clap, point, whoop and yell, possessing a vital energy that was so necessary within the Depeche Mode dynamic.

– – –

– – –

For me, he was the one that got away. I spoke to Gore and Gahan several times for Clash and Fletch was perpetually on the list of people to talk to, eventually, at some point. It felt like he would always be there, because he’d always been there. His absence is more painful to me than I expected it to be, not because I never got to meet him but because his quiet, hard-working, often understated role in Depeche Mode was entirely relatable, to me.

He leaves a huge hole in the centre of Depeche Mode, and in the lives of their fans. Rest in peace Fletch.

Andrew ‘Fletch’ Fletcher, 1961 – 2022

– – –

– – –

Words: Mat Smith

– – –

-
Join the Clash mailing list for up to the minute music, fashion and film news.