OMD Display to Accompany Gigs at Museum of Liverpool

OMD in front of the Dazzle Ship, image by Paul Heaps

OMD in front of the Dazzle Ship, image by Paul Heaps

The Museum of Liverpool is to display several unique objects ahead of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’s two sell-out gigs on 1 and 2 November 2014.

To accompany the gigs, visitors will be able to see a number of objects that have played a part in the band’s career, including ‘Winston’ the four-track tape recorder which played a key role in the development of OMD, 35 years ago.

The two exclusive intimate gigs in the Museum of Liverpool’s Atrium will be the first concerts by a major music act to take place in the stunning waterfront venue.

The set will include greatest hits, tracks from the band’s 1983 Dazzle Ships album and one song which has never been performed live. Fans will also have the opportunity to access Liverpool’s very own Dazzle Ship to hear the missing parts I, IV, V and VI of OMD’s Dazzle Ships musique concrète composition from 1983.

Displayed in the Atrium where the concerts will also take place, original posters will be displayed alongside the equipment used by the band in their early days.

From their formation in 1978, OMD embraced new technologies and rejected the traditional guitar-based approach to pop music. Their Roland CR-78 drum machine from 1979 is an example of one of the earliest programmable drum machines. It provided the distinctive rhythm-pattern heard throughout the 1980 single Enola Gay, written by Andy McCluskey.

The first synthesizer owned by OMD will also be displayed. The band purchased the Korg M500 Micro Preset Synthesizer in 1979 through Andy’s mother’s mail-order catalogue for £7.76 a week, paid over 36 weeks. It featured on OMD’s first three albums and was the main instrument on early singles Electricity, Red Frame, White Light and Messages.

The original poster for the release of Electricity on Factory Records in 1979 will be displayed, created by Andy McCluskey in his art student days. The poster was never used however, as OMD preferred the designs of graphic artist Peter Saville, who was notable for his work with Factory Records.

Saville went on to become the band’s visual arts consultant for many of their stage sets, singles and album releases in the 1980s. He also introduced Andy to Edward Wadsworth’s 1919 painting Dazzle Ships in dry dock at Liverpool, inspiring OMD’s iconic and influential fourth album Dazzle Ships. The album has retrospectively been hailed by critics as a ‘masterpiece’ and ‘lost classic’, and is the basis for the upcoming gigs.

Liverpool Biennial's Dazzle Ship is currently on display in a dry dock in front of the Museum of Liverpool as part of the 14-18 NOW commemorations, so it is appropriate that the band recognise the Dazzle Ship with the shows, with all proceeds going back into supporting National Museums Liverpool.

On both nights – which are sold out – OMD will consist of Andy McCluskey, Paul Humphreys and Martin Cooper. As an added bonus, ‘Winston’ will grace the stage again for the first time in three decades.

The Museum of Liverpool will also be hosting a programme of Dazzle Ship-themed films in its Theatre to accompany the gigs over the course of the weekend 1 – 2 November 2014.