OMD Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Thu · April 12, 2018
$30.00 - $35.00
Tickets at the Door
This event is 18 and over
All patrons must have a valid form of identification present, regardless of age, at the time of entry for all 18+ and 21+ shows and events.
No backpacks, large bags or large purses allowed. Maximum Size 4.5′ x 6.5"
No professional audio/visual or any digital recording equipment will be allowed into the venue, without prior permission and arrangements. You must be on the artist photo pass list in order to enter with cameras with detachable lenses.https://www.thebeacham.com/event/1558892/
“We appropriated the title for something else,” explains Andy. “In a nutshell: most people in the western world are now materially better off than their predecessors ever were and yet we are unhappier because we have replaced the imagined order of religion and royal decree with the imagined order of marketing and commercial propaganda. So everybody thinks they need more stuffand nowwe have loads of things that we don’t need because we’ve been persuaded we do. Everybody is miserably unhappy and that is the punishment of luxury.”The band were thrown off-balance in July 2013 when long-time drummer Malcolm Holmes suffered aseriousheart attack onstage at a sweltering concert in Toronto on the ‘English Electric’ tour. “We struggled initially to start writing ‘The Punishment of Luxury’ album because we were in shock after Malcolm nearly died,” says Andy. “We didn’t want to play live as we wanted to give him 12 months,just to see how he was, and also we felt shocked and up in the air. It took us a year to get our engine started.”Malcolm, who joined OMD in 1980, is in good spirits today but can no longer drum under doctor’s orders. His replacement is Stuart Kershawwho has now been playing live with the band for the last year, and has previously co-written several OMD tracks, most notably Sailing on the Seven Seas.Two special shows at the Museum of Liverpool in November 2014 pulled‘Punishment...’–and the band –into focus. At the event, Paul, Andy and keyboardist Martin Cooper performed songs fromtheir experimental high-water mark‘Dazzle Ships’ and lesser-knowntracks from theOMDcatalogue, using drum programsin place of Malcolm. Listening to the ‘Dazzle Ships’ material, the band found themselves reconnecting with it, reappraising what they’d set out to achieve in 1983. “Hearing what we’d done on ‘Dazzle Ships’ made us more determined to do weird and glitchy things –it got us enthused,” says Andy. “We shackled ourselves after that record, thinking we’d gone too far.”Perhapsthey hadn’t gone far enough. It was in this spirit of adventureand discoverythat ‘Punishment...’ was forged. Having delivered a vintage OMD album with ‘English Electric’, their best since, well, ‘Dazzle Ships’, Andy and Paul found they could take more risks in the studio and see where the software and endless banks of synthetic sounds would take them. As they see it, their comeback album, ‘History of Modern’ (2010), for all its flaws, wiped the slate clean and allowed them to effectively rebootOMD as a credible proposition. Andy describes ‘History of Modern’ as their John the Baptist record, onethat spoke of the next coming: “It was a collection of ideas and had a rock palette butwe specifically wanted to be more electronic.”P.T.O
OMD have always been techno-futurists but rarely have they sounded so brutally electronic as they do on ‘Punishment...’, as they pairgnarly electro rhythms with characteristically serene melodies on the opening title track, and slideAndy’s blue-eyed soul ballads ‘One More Time’ and ‘The View From Here’ into sleek new digital frames.Next to the imperial Kraftwerkian rush of ‘Isotype’, one detects traces of Arpanetor Dopplereffektin the pristine glide of ‘Kiss Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Bang’, whilethe striking‘As We Open, So We Close’ weldsglitch-scoured beats to a McCluskey croon. In common with‘English Electric’, this album explores several themesbut the prevailing mood is one ofwistful nostalgia and idealised romance, of what might have been in both societyat largeandin moreintimaterelationships. Paul’s tender ‘What Have We Done’ examines the final stages of a long relationship. Andy muses on 20thcentury modernism on ‘Kiss Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Bang’ –“Mao Tse-tung and Uncle Sam, sold the world, bought the car, this time you’ve gone too far”,he sneers –and sings of the international picture language on ‘Isotype’, a now-archaic system devised in the 1930s that, he argues, has resonance today. “I like the idea of reducing information down to typographic images. But when we use emojis, we’re going backwardsin our ability to communicate with each other.”For ‘La Mitrailleuse’, another track named after a painting, this time one from 1915 of First World War machine-gunners by the British Futurist Christopher Nevinson that Andy came across in the Imperial War Museum, they patch together a military rhythm from cannon fire and rifle shots while Andy whispers: “Bend your body to the will of the machine.”This is accompanied by ahaunting clip in which Nevinson’s soldiers are animated by regular collaborator HenningM Lederer. A secondcollage, ‘Precision & Decay’, tells a story in fragments of Detroit’s decline from industrial powerhouse to modern-day ghost town –“from luxury to landfill” –as Andy and Paul salute the city that’sgiventhem so much pleasure inMotown and techno. “We did feel like we were doing something that was changing the world,” saysAndy of those early days when OMD would shock TV audiences with their weird new-waveon Top of the Pops. Their vision of utopia never quite materialised, of course, but with ‘The Punishment of Luxury’, OMD continue to enrich our lives.
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