• Imogen Bebb

OMD at Birmingham Symphony Hall- 21/11/17

It’s very easy to fall ‘so in love’ with OMD...

Just as it was difficult to resist seeing OMD more than once on this tour (tonight was actually the fourth time for me), it was difficult to resist writing another review about them. Partly because every show they do is different (in terms of performance as well as the setlist itself), but also because they always put on the most stunning live performances. They truly have to be seen to be believed.

As with the other gigs on the UK leg of ‘The Punishment Of Luxury’ tour, we were promised ‘old songs, new songs, and lots of dancing!’ by strikingly hyperactive lead singer Andy McCluskey. And there was indeed all of those things- particularly the dancing...

There was also a lot of great music, of course. What never fails to amaze me about OMD is just how well their new songs fit in with any number of classics from their back catalogue. 2017’s ‘One More Time’ sits wonderfully alongside ‘History of Modern’ (released in 2010 and definitely a fan favourite), and opening the show with new track ‘Ghost Star’ is a stroke of genius. It captures the audience’s imaginations before the show has even properly begun, and you can tell that by the second song (another new track, ‘Isotype’) the band have the crowd eating out of the palm of their hand.

Chatting to various people both before and after the gig was really fun too; I am forever grateful that I fell in love with a band with members as humble and as down to earth as the members of OMD are. There’s no egos, no competition- just normal, everyday (albeit incredibly talented) blokes wanting to play their music to people. 

One of the most interesting things I discovered on my backstage travels was in fact that, although ‘Radio Waves’ won the fan vote this evening, Andy felt like it caused the audience to fall a little flat, perhaps because it is a more obscure track and, aside from the hardened fans, people aren’t necessarily aware of it. Personally though, I was delighted that they played it, as I voted for it at multiple gigs but this is the first time it actually won the vote.

I would also like to give here a special mention to OMD’s support band for the UK leg of this tour- Irish synth trio Tiny Magnetic Pets. They have a really unique sound which seems to have particularly appealed to OMD fans, and with any luck they will have their own headlining tour soon. Until then, I highly recommend buying their music, particularly their new album ‘Deluxe Debris’, which features brilliant tracks like ‘Here Comes The Noise’, ‘Never Alone’ and the electronic epic ‘Semaphore’. 

Tiny Magnetic Pets

And whilst I am sad that I am saying goodbye to OMD for the next few months as they head off to Europe to the continue their tour, I wish them every success with the rest of their gigs, and am eternally grateful to them for all the fun I’ve had at their gigs over the last few months. This tour has been something of a whirlwind, but despite the tiredness, aching feet and complicated travel arrangements, any difficulties I encountered along the way have done nothing to put a dampener on just how truly delightful this tour has been. 

Here’s to the next one- and many more after that!

#OMD #OrchestralManoeuvresInTheDark #ThePunishmentofLuxuryTour #BirminghamSymphonyHall #2017


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