Archive for the ‘Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’ Category

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark live 1979 to 1983

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark live 1979 to 1983
omdtixI first saw Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark on 21st September 1979 when they supported Gary Numan on tour at Newcastle City Hall. This was the original two piece band featuring Andy McCluskey on vocals and bass and side-kick Paul Humphreys on vocals and keyboards. Oh, and not to forget “Winston”, their friendly four track tape-recorder, on backing tracks. My memories are of crazy (or cool; all depending upon your point of view) dancing by Andy and that great first single “Electricity”. omdprogThis was before the release of their eponymous first album in early 1980. OMD hit the chart big-time later in 1980 with the very catchy “Enola Gay”; an anti-war song entitled after the plane which dropped the bomb on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, during the final stages of World War II. By the time they played Newcastle Polytechnic on 18th November 1980, OMD were massively popular and tickets sold out immediately. By now Andy and Paul had augmented the OMD line-up with the addition of Martin Cooper (saxophone) and Malcolm Holmes (drums). This tour was to promote Organisation which was their second album, and support came from Fatal Charm. The students union ballroom was packed to the walls that night; and the band got a great reception, with “Enola Gay” and “Electricity” being stand-outs. Exactly one year later to the very day, on 18th November 1981, OMD were headlining at Newcastle City Hall on the Architecture & Morality tour, to promote their their third album. Support came from Random Hold. photo(160)I saw the band once more, on 23rd April 1983, when they returned to the City Hall as part of their the Dazzle Ships tour (to promote their fourth album). Support came this time from the Cocteau Twins, featuring the beautiful voice of Elisabeth Fraser. The Cocteau Twins were on the cusp of success at the time (this was just before the release of “Pearly Dew Drops Drop”). The classic four-piece OMD line-up split in the late ’80s, and they reunited in 2005.
A setlist from the 1981 tour: Architecture & Morality; The Romance Of The Telescope; Sealand; Pretending To See The Future; Messages; Almost; Mystereality; Joan of Arc; Motion And Heart; Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans); Statues; Souvenir; New Stone Age; Enola Gay: Bunker Soldiers; Electricity. Encore: She’s Leaving; Julia’s Song; Stanlow.

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