We catch up with Barry and Sarah from the new OMD Tribute Band “Manoeuvres “
What’s is your musical background?
Well Barry has been playing bass since he was 13 years old and joined his first professional band at the tender age of 14 having received the blessings of his parents and his mentor, friend & music teacher. He has played in various bands over the years and also dabbled in songwriting in the early 80's. Following a 5 year dalliance as a nightclub and radio DJ he returned to bass playing and singing in the early 1990's and has remained doing so since, playing in a number of relatively successful local bands. Sarah has been massively into music all of her life having been encouraged in her very early years by her dad who regularly sat her down in front of the stereo with a pile of records and a set of headphones! Through those formative days she developed a keen sense of rhythm as well as teaching herself how to sing harmonies and in recent years has finally been able to achieve her ambition to perform on stage. A few years ago, Sarah met Barry through their mutual love of music. Soon after, they were playing together on stage at events around the UK & Sweden (some notable venues being the Manchester Opera House and The Half Moon Putney). Discovering that they both had a love of the early 80's Synth Pop scene they created their own Synth Pop band called Electronix. Finding out that they also shared a passion for OMD, their songs were given priority and featured at the very top of their play list.
So in recent times you spotted a gap, as there is no OMD tribute acts. What made you feel that you could fill this slot?
Having been performing synth pop classics from the 1980's for the last couple of years in ELECTRONIX and included in our sets have been a number of OMD songs such as 'Electricity', 'Messages', 'Enola Gay' & 'Sailing On The Seven Seas'. These songs always go down exceptionally well and we are constantly asked to play them as well as being requested to play other OMD songs. Creating a tribute act to OMD has always been in the back of our minds because of our love for their music but it was only after we had met them at the concert in Southend in November last year that our minds were finally made up. We had a trawl around on the web to see what was out there and we were very surprised and shocked to see that there were no tribute acts to them in the UK. Further investigation revealed that in fact, there is only one other notable tribute act to OMD in the world and they are based in America! So that was it... We got to work and, building upon the songs we already had in our arsenal, we now have a considerable bank of songs ready with more in the pipeline.
I see your list of OMD songs that you cover include some of the oldies like Red Frame White Light, do you have a formula for choosing which songs you cover?
Well we would like to say that we have this magical formula that helps us to decide which songs to play and why, but in actual fact we don't!! We just love all of their songs, even the more stranger compositions, so I guess ultimately we will end up learning pretty much all of them! I suppose our only criteria for choosing the initial list of songs was to play all of the hits (obviously) and to also play some of the more well known tracks so that we appeal to as wide a market as we can. We also want our performance to be animated and full of the life and energy that is associated with an OMD concert so some of the tracks were chosen with this in mind too.
Are you both OMD fans? I spotted that you have been to a recent OMD gig.. How long have you been fans?
Sarah's dad introduced her to his vinyl collection when she was around 7 years old and she came across an OMD album. She remembers that the music captured her imagination and she fell in love with them from that moment on. She's remained a great fan of theirs throughout the years and has seen them live on a number of occasions. The last time was in Southend last year where she spent days prior to the concert puzzling over what to take for the band to sign. The decision was made to take her beloved and original early '80s Syndrum electronic drum! When presented with it to sign, the band were fascinated to see it and also very nervous of defacing it but Sarah assured them that she was more than happy for them to sign it. In fact she now treasures it a heck of a lot more than she did before!
Barry (being very slightly older) first heard 'Electricity' back in the late '70s and immediately had to find out more about this intriguing band. Being a bouncy, energetic bass player himself and seeing Andy as a similar style bass player fronting the band, this was a welcome change from the 'norm' and straight away OMD captured Barry's full attention. After a number of months of trying to find out more about them (not easy in those internet-devoid days) OMD eventually released their first album so he trundled down to his local record store full of anticipation and with a couple of pounds in his pocket, bought their first album and has been an big fan ever since.
Best OMD Album and why?
Sarah : Their first album, but she also has a great love of 'Dazzle Ships' because of just how different and experimental it was.
Barry : He's decidedly undecided on this one as there are so many that are equally as good for different reasons. If he really had to choose then probably 'Punishment of Luxury' as it is a culmination of the last 40 years of songwriting and sees elements of different stages of their songwriting poured into one album.
Best OMD single?
Barry : 'Electricity' as this was the starting point for his love of them.
Sarah : 'Souvenir'
White or red wine?
Sadly neither.... But a good G&T with a slice of lime is always welcome!
Tea or coffee?
Ermmm.... Both actually, depending on what we fancy at the time. We have our own coffee machine and although it's a little messy and time consuming it makes a beautiful latte! When it comes to tea then you can't beat a nice cup of Organic Clipper tea in unbleached bags!
White or black socks Barry?
Now this is a very BIG question requiring a very detailed and in depth response but I will endeavour to answer as briefly as possible. In my day to day life I am a very colourful person and my sock drawer is no exception. In fact, when you open the drawer you almost have to do it wearing sunglasses as the array of colours is quite dazzling!!! My other particular quirk is that I NEVER pair them, so every day I wear odd socks! Now going back to your original question... Black or White?? On stage probably one of each!! I will more than likely be wearing ankle boots so no-one will see them anyway!
Join our FREE mailing list and get news and updates for Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark fans.