OMD dance up a storm at the Cambridge Corn Exchange
The age-defying quartet stopped off in Cambridge on their current UK tour, and in doing so put on one of the most awesome shows of the year.
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), led by chief songwriters and founding members Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys, released their 13th studio album, the critically acclaimed The Punishment of Luxury, in September.
Constantly moving forward but deservedly proud of their back catalogue which spans 39 years, the pair made it clear in the programme notes that we would hear new songs mixed with a healthy dose of the classics.
It was two tunes from The Punishment of Luxury that kicked things off: Ghost Star and Isotype.
Both were pretty good, but what really brought them to life was McCluskey’s fantastic interpretive dance moves – something he’s always been known for.
“I hope you’ve brought your dancing shoes with you,” he exclaimed, suggesting that he was expecting us to join him. I, along with many others, was only too happy to oblige.
McCluskey also noted that it had been a while since they’d last appeared in Cambridge.
One More Time was also off the new album and was a particular favourite of mine among the newer tracks, which blended in seamlessly with the hits.
Paul Humphreys came out from behind his keyboard to sing the gorgeously melodic (Forever) Live and Die and Souvenir.
When not playing bass, McCluskey’s dancing continued to delight, leading one to wonder where a man who’s nearly 60 gets so much energy.
“The fact I can still do this at 58 gives us all hope,” he joked. “Just don’t do it in front of your kids!”
The lighting was also impressive and the title track off the new record emphatically proved that this band are still as interesting, forward-thinking and relevant as they’ve always been.
Two of the group’s best-known songs, Sailing on the Seven Seas and, inevitably, Enola Gay were saved until last. Needless to say, both were an absolute treat.
Andy, Paul, keyboard player/saxophonist Martin Cooper and drummer Stuart Kershaw came back out for the encore to a raptuous reception, playing Walking on the Milky Way, the eagerly anticipated (by me and I’m sure by many others) Secret and their “oldest and fastest” song, Electricity.
This gig had it sall: great lighting, great dancing, infectious energy and, of course, wonderful and passionately performed music.
“You make a great gig,” said the ever-modest McClusky to the crowd. “We just provide the soundtrack.” And what a soundtrack it was.