Do you remember the pioneering band, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, or OMD?
Famous mainly during the 1980s, they produced memorable & original hits such as ‘Enola Gay’, ‘Maid of Orleans’ & ‘Souvenir’. Recently, after a long break out of the limelight they thankfully decided to reform & go back out on tour – & despite being 25 years older, they’d lost none of their sparkle & dynamic stage presence. Indeed, the tour was launched to coincide with the (scary) 25th anniversary of the release of their most famous album ‘Architecture & Morality’, which they performed in its’ entirety during this latest tour along with a plethora of other extremely lively hits. And so it was just like the ‘old days’ – although with technology having improved immeasurably, the result was an even more sophisticated show; but still offering every enticement to have an excellent time! I for one literally danced my socks off, & enjoyed every memorable concert that I was lucky enough to attend.
Meanwhile, to keep our appetites whetted before the exciting prospect of the release of some new material in the hopefully not-too-distant future (every OMD fan’s dream!), Aspect TV’s producer Rob Finighan, followed the band from just after their decision to reform in order to create a documentary which not only details the band’s early history, recapturing OMD’s finest moments up until the release of ‘Architecture & Morality’; but also providing a fascinating insight into the band’s reunion & ultimate resumption of their wonderful live performances.
Rob’s work has captured the essence of these two really lovely chaps, demonstrating their ceasessly hardworking enthusiasm & gentle humour – truly, the most unassuming ‘pop stars’ you could ever meet. And guys whose music has not only spanned & inspired generations, but is as vibrant & relevant today, as it was when it was originally performed.
So the long-awaited & anxiously anticipated DVD finally plopped into the postbox, today (& despite being ‘Recorded Delivery’ was actually signed for by the postman I might add – I do wish he’d deliver parcel post to the door!) – & it proved worth every second of the wait.
I scurried back down the drive, & broke all records in carrying out the evening chores & the milking (the Milkforce were amazed!); then closed the door against the inclement weather & the darkening night, & sat glued to the computer for my own Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. And it was worth every captivating minute!
It’s a thoughtful, reflective & artistic piece of pop history, carefully crafted & which in its’ own right deserves serious professional recognition – so congratulations, Rob – & thank you for this wonderful Souvenir of a marvellous & memorable year: a fitting tribute indeed.
And as for OMD, themselves? Well; whilst I’ve always admired & respected the band as dedicated artists & also for the charming gentlemen they are, I hold them in even higher esteem now, having seen their struggle with below-par instruments & very little money – but possessing bags of ingenuity & enthusiasm, which have kept us all so entertained for so many years.
For the uninitiated, I’d strongly recommend listening to their music – & if you enjoy a really entertaining evening, go along to one of their concerts when they’re next on tour (if only to see Andy McCluskey’s wild ‘windmill’ dancing….not a static synthesiser band by any feat of the imagination!). Even ‘Grumpy Old Man’ Tony conceded he really enjoyed the Cardiff gig; & coming from him, that’s high praise indeed (I’ve even caught him playing their music to the goats in the milking parlour, since then!).
So my sincere thanks, OMD: you’ve made me feel young again – & with my (gulp) fortieth birthday looming on 16th December, that’s no mean feat, ooerr!!