Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark performing their Souvenir Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Saturday 26th October 2019

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark have a gift given to only a few bands, their old music has not aged and their latest offerings are as catchy as ever.  And it was a packed Royal Concert Hall that turned out last night to pay homage to a band that has most certainly stood the test of time.

Releasing their debut single Electricity on independent record label Factory Records in 1979, they went on to sell twenty five million singles and fifteen million albums and last night they delivered a set which included old songs, new songs, weird songs and even songs that had the crowd dancing.

With front man Andy McCluskey telling the crowd that they were celebrating their 40th birthday with a tour, despite splitting for a decade in 1996, everyone was in a party mood.  Opening with the moody Stanlow, an electronic song about an oil refinery in Liverpool, and following up with Isotype from their 2017 album, The Punishment Of Luxury, the crowd were on their feet to dance and sing along.

There was the darkly melancholic Messages before Telsa Girls saw McCluskey flailing guilelessly around the stage showing off his dance moves that have become more exaggerated and outrageous as the years have passed.  With his enthusiasm and boundless energy he had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand, and when the hits started piling up, the crowd re-acted.  So In Love, Pandora’s Box, Locomotion, and Sailing On The Seven Seas had them clapping and singing along.

Combined with some fantastic keyboards from other founder member Paul Humphreys and Martin Cooper and sterling drumming from Stuart Kershaw, the whole evening was filled with the iconic OMD sound.

For the eloquent and subdued Souvenir, Humphreys stepped out from behind his keyboards as he did again for the anthemic Secret which saw his vocal talents dazzle the crowd.  Joan Of Arc and Maid Of Orleans teleported them back to the days when OMD made not one but two stellar pop singles about the French saint who was burned at the stake.

Finishing the main set with a song that McCluskey asked the cheering crowd to “dance their socks off too” they duly obliged for his anti war song, Enola Gay.  For the encore they returned to where it had all started, with Electricity.

With an exceptional back catalogue, OMD have had more hits than you can remember.  And with the continual resurgence of Electronica, that serves to keep the memories alive, OMD are certain to be partying again anytime soon.