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OMD at Sinners Day, Hasselt, 20 November 2016

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OMD at Sinners Day, Hasselt, 20 November 2016

“I never thought I’d see PIL and Sisters of Mercy fans dancing to cheesy 80s pop songs....”  smiled a bemused Andy McCluskey  reacting to the amazing reception afforded OMD at the Sinners Day Festival, Hasselt.
It had been a wildcard of a festival for them, uncharted waters for a synthpop band,  but long before  Enola Gay had opened up the 55 minute set, the mosh pit had shut down as the crowd closed ranks, pushed forward and fell silent in respectful anticipation.
As a two piece band, the stage potentially looked in danger of swallowing them up, but this fear was never going to become reality with Andy’s dancing covering the  entire surface area of the stage with every twist and turn.

We were treated to a selection of greatest hits and also an updated version of Radio Waves which name checked Putin and Trump and was particularly appreciated by the contingent of travelling OMD fans on the front row. 

Andy urged us not to be afraid of old men with synthesizers, as he spun into post 2010 songs such as Metroland and History of Modern.   Joan of Arc passed without incident, no fluffing lines there, the usual offending song, but so as not to disappoint us, a small hiccup occurred in Locomotion , cue expletive, then the order,  “You sing it!”

Onstage, the overall  sound was a little too bass heavy with a fair bit of vibration, a constant thudding on subsequent video playback.  I actually saw Paul’s keyboard shaking at one point.

It was a change to hear So in Love, something denied UK audiences, but I have to confess we missed Martin and his saxophone at this point and of course we wanted real drums  on Maid of Orleans ; a drum machine can never re- produce the real surround sound and dramatic effect.  Despite this, Maid of Orleans and Andy’s dancing secured over two minutes of rapturous applause, from punks, Goths, new wavers and various other unidentifiable entities in the arena audience.

A hugely successful and well received set finished with Electricity.   Cue huge applause. “This is why we love Belguim” beamed Andy.  

Sinner Day

OMD 1997 interview NOT SEEN interview with Andy McCluskey

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1997 and an Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Fan convention is taking place. We ask the fans on the Saturday Afternoon to gather in the car park as we would like to take everyone for a walk.
No one knew what we had in store, on route some are complaining about being taken for a walk, and then we arrive at the back door to an unassuming building, and listen as fans ask “where the hell are we”
This was the door to The Motor Museum, which was now a recording studio for Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, and what happened next was just priceless and to gasps Andy McCluskey makes an appearance.
This is followed by a fan question and answer session.

 

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Fan web site Motion and Heart

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark talking about the age of the Synth

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OMD Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark on the Sky Arts Show Trailblazers first shown on the 1st July 2016 This is called Electronic Music, and has interviews with OMD, Numan, and a couple of comments from myself.

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Fan web site Motion and Heart

Andy McCluskey interview 1992 - The Pink Museum

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Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Fan web site Motion and Heart

Welcome to Motion and Heart

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OMD - Wychwood Festival

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OMD will be playing the Wychwood Festival 2nd - 4th June 2017

Tickets and more details from http://wychwoodfestival.com/

Nuclear Protest

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First show in Sky Arts 3rd June 2016 This is just a edit showing the OMD bits along with the words I said in the show.
A very strange time during the cold war and the Protect and Survive propaganda being out by the government at the time.

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Fan web site Motion and Heart

OMD on Planet Synth talking about the early years

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Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Fan web site Motion and Heart

'Seventh Wave' Electronic Music Conference

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Thank you to Imogen Bebb‎ for sending in this review.

Andy McCluskey Speaks at 'Seventh Wave' Electronic Music Conference- Birmingham and Midland Institute, Birmingham, 12/11/16

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Yesterday (12th November 2016), Andy McCluskey came to the Birmingham and Midland Institute to talk about his thoughts on electronic music- particularly about how the genre developed, what he felt were its most important aspects, and how he foresees it moving forward in the future. 

As always when he is speaking, McCluskey was friendly, open and relaxed, meaning that even though he talked about some rather complicated topics (a fact which he admitted himself!) his audience seemed genuinely interested the whole way through.

One of his primary focuses was on 'concept', and particularly how the concept of mechanical efficiency and human emotions (or 'architecture and morality', as he put it) had not only fascinates him, but has also- obviously- inspired much of music. He also spoke about the 'concept' of electronic music itself- what defines it, and what will define it in the future? Who decides whether music is electronic or not? And, considering these are a first world questions ('there are people in the world struggling to feed their children!' McCluskey reminded us), does it really matter?

He also touched on things that had changed since he first began making music. 'Thirty years ago, a ticket [to a gig] would cost about the same as an album...about £3.99. [Nowadays] an album costs barely double the price, and a ticket will cost more than ten times that much! Well, ten times that much to see OMD...for any other band it would be a hundred times that. We're value for money, folks!' He joked.

For fans still interested in OMD's current music, McCluskey also confirmed rumours that the group's new album is called 'The Punishment of Luxury', and includes a song titled 'La Mitrailleuse' (meaning 'The Machine Gun'), inspired by a World War One painting by CRW Nevinson.

McCluskey's hour-long talk was also followed by a half-hour question and answer session.



Also speaking at the festival were Dr Gerard Ryan (Le Cliché), Wolfgang Flür (ex-Kraftwerk), Rusty Egan (former DJ at the famous 'Blitz Club') and Richard Barbieri (ex-Japan).

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The Motion and Heart web site has been set up by Neil Taylor. But I have also had much help from (in no order of preference)

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