OMD Celebrate 40th Anniversary with Book, Orchestra… and STANLOW!

OMD last played with the RLPO in 2009

We interrupt the loooooong OMD thread for some significant OMD news. Like another of my favorite bands [Simple Minds] this year is the group’s 40th anniversary. Simple Minds are doing a brief tour [now finished] with their new album played, followed by a Q+A session with the audience, and then a second set of catalog material. The new Simple Minds album is outstanding [more later], so I applaud playing it in its entirety, but the Q+A seems like a buzzkill bifurcating a live concert. No such tomfoolery for OMD! This morning they announced a two pronged attack on their 40 year legacy that sounds very intriguing indeed.

The Tome: Pretending To See The Future

It’s hard to believe, but to date I can tell of only a single book on the subject of OMD: 1987’s “Messages: An Official Biography” by Johnny [“The Phil Collins Story”] Waller and Mike [Paul’s brother] Humphreys. I’ve never seen the volume, and it’s apparently so thin on the ground that the former OMD forum had a pool whereby a single copy made the rounds to all who wanted to read it. One at a time. I never bit. I thought I’d wait for it to pop up in front of me one day and then buy it. Now I can give up that notion because OMD are making a new, up-to-date book that is being published later this year by Red Planet Publishing, who have an extensive line in music oriented books. Taking a look at their roster reveals – gasp!- rock-oriented books that are priced for all to buy and read instead of being £1459 bespoke hardcover editions of 25 with DNA samples of your favorite artists smeared on a special tipped in individually numbered swatch of glow-in-the-dark synthetic paper.

Another of my [many] beefs are the publishers [see: Genesis Publications] who craft alluring tomes that cost more than my paycheck for an audience of monied elites. I have no problem with every band I love getting their own coffee table book [preferably hardcover] and selling it for $50-100. I’m fine with that. Hopefully, this mooted OMD volume will be the sort of visually stunning tome that they can get Peter Saville to design the cover of. It’s provisionally entitled “Pretending To See The Future,” a good title, if you ask me. It will cover the band’s formation right through their current tour of 2018. Of course Andy + Paul are contributing to is as well as many of the people who have all worked on the OMD project over that time.

Where You Come Into It…

But this book is not being written in a vacuum. They are interested in everyone who likes the band contributing their own stories to it. How they discovered the band, details of any concert you may have attended, photos and ticket stubs. They will gladly review any submissions for possible inclusion. [and one hopes: a gratis copy of the book]. If you have anything to add to the pool, submit any materials to:

and we’ll see what we end up with by the end of the year.

40th Anniversary Philharmonic Orchestral Manœuvres In The Dark

OMD 40th Anniversary Concert | Saturday 6 October 2018 7:30pm | Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

OMD 40th Anniversary Concert | Saturday 6 October 2018 7:30pmLiverpool Philharmonic Hall

Then there’s the OMD concert being held in Liverpool in October of this year to celebrate their 40 years on this planet. The group previously played with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 2009 where they played the only available recording of OMD’s Energy Suite installation soundtrack along with electro/orchestral versions of OMD canon on the second disc of the 2xDVD set that was issued in 2011. I have yet to view my copy since it takes me years to watch these music videos I buy. This year, they are playing two nights in October of this year to play special sets with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. All very delightful, but what makes these concerts extra spectacular is the assurance that will include such “ambient tone poems” as “Stanlow,” Sealand,” and “Ghost Star,” from “The Punishment Of Luxury.”

<SFX: Cue needle rip>

Hold everything right there…!!! You heard that correctly. In October of this year in Liverpool, OMD will play two concerts where the band’s first set with the Royal Liverpool Phiharmonic Orchestra will definitely include the epic “Stanlow!”

My [and probably your] favorite OMD song ever and one not likely played since 1980, if that. As if that weren’t enough, songs [and B-sides] never previously performed live such as “The Avenue” and “The New Dark Age” are on offer, along with a new instrumental entitled “And Then She Saw The Minotaur.” The second half will be the usual assortment of OMD hits and delights; often played, seldom returned. But mamacita – that first half sounds like OMD nirvana for yours truly. To bad the $550 of airline credit I have to use this year is with Southwest, who don’t fly internationally. The airfare alone for this starts at $1380 with Delta. Factor in food, lodging, shopping, travel from Manchester to Liverpool [not to mention the tickets] and I’m sure we’re looking at a serious two week vacation budget [i.e. $3K+] used up in just three nights. Still… “Stanlow!!!”

And how much are those tickets, anyway? They go on sale in person at the RLPO box office tomorrow morning, the 20th of February at 9:30 by phone and 10:00 a.m. online and in person for priority booking. For anyone else, the general sale is Thuesday, Feb 22 by phone at 9:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. online and in person. Tickets are at four agreeable price points:

  • £45
  • £55
  • £65
  • £115 [V.I.P. pkg. inc. laminate/lanyard/Signed program, front row seats]

If you’ve got the funding, all of the sales info can be found here. How I’d love to actually hear “Stanlow” in my lifetime, but I just don’t see it happening unless something shocking happens.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
This entry was posted in Core Collection, Designed By Peter Saville, Organ Auction Live Event, Tourdates. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to OMD Celebrate 40th Anniversary with Book, Orchestra… and STANLOW!

  1. Eugene Unger says:

    Are you going to see them when the tour here in march/april?


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Eugene Unger – Oh, I had my Atlanta tickets for at least six months! I’m good there. We probably won’t get “Stanlow” on the set list but I’m anticipating a good show anyway. There’s no way I could justify such costs.


  2. Gavin says:

    I have the book pictured above,it is excellent.I didn’t realise it was so scarce.If I find a copy I will get it for you PPM.
    For a very small price,Julia Kneale’s autobiography is available as a kindle or paperback,it is a great read concerning the early years of the band.
    I don’t think I will be attending the Liverpool show…hmmm…I may possibly change my mind.You must think I’m mad,but there you go.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Gavin – You are mad! One of my best friends is now digging through layovers in Istanbul and Liverpudlian hostelry in an attempt to scare up an OMD international trip of my high school clique that would be quarters on the dollar from what I was expecting. He’s got me half convinced but I can’t even imagine spending $2K on the eleven day trip he’s positing. Though it is an an achievement in an of itself.


      • Gavin says:

        I know,I know,I shouldn’t have said anything!I just don’t fancy it on this occasion.
        I saw them a few years ago with John Foxx,was a pretty good gig.
        My life will be complete later in April,when I finally get to see my favourite artist,Harold Budd,live in London,supported by my good friend Robin Rimbaud aka Scanner.Thats my ultimate gig.


        • postpunkmonk says:

          Gavin – May I point out that you do not get to pick the occasion where “Stanlow” gets played! That’s a very limited offer. Well, I certainly can’t fault you for going to London for Budd! He saw him once – in town! We had tickets to see him again for the Big Ears Festival three years ago but he fell and broke a rib two days prior and while we were waiting for him to set up for a midnight performance in the Knoxville Art Museum, we only found out then that he was not playing. I guess it was folly to think we could see him twice.


  3. Echorich says:

    Yup Stanlow is among the songs I would want to hear OMD in it’s current form and fashion – in a perfect world. Also among those played live in my perfect world would be – Sealand, The Beginning And The End – blended into Enola Gay, Statues and The More I See You and Annex.
    As tempting as OMD with the LPO, it’s right after my already paid for 2wks in Spain. There wouldn’t be a desk to come back to at work if I took that much time off in 2 months.


  4. Mark Crouch says:

    Loving your OMD stories, so well written :-)

    Stanlow was played in 2008 on the UK dates billed as the 30th anniversary shows. 10 years ago already?!? That’s crazy. I was lucky enough to catch a few shows on that tour and I clearly remember (and feel!) the boom of the Stanlow pumps. So, so good live.

    Fingers crossed for a nice surprise in the set list but I don’t think it will happen.

    I will be at the Saturday night LPO. I was fortunate to be at the previous show in 2009 and I really enjoyed that, and I think with the tracks already mentioned that this show will be even better.

    Keep up the good work PPM :-)


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Mark Crouch – Welcome to the comments! So they played “Stanlow” in 2008? Hmm. It’s not on the DVD they put out, so I did not know that. So you have tickets already for October then, eh? Have a great time and feel free to report back with your findings. I see OMD in six weeks with good friends, and I’m just grateful for my second OMD headlining show ever.


      • Mark Crouch says:

        Sorry, should have been clearer, it was the standard 4-piece shows rather than the LPO show (that was 2009). You need to watch that show!


        • postpunkmonk says:

          Mark Crouch – I realized that even if the syntax was ambiguous. Yeah, I do need to get around to watching that. It sometimes makes me sick how long I have a music video title that I paid good money for go in watched for decades. Yes, decades.


  5. SimonH says:

    Hah! I’m guilty of the same thing…time is always in short supply….


    • postpunkmonk says:

      SimonH – It comes down to the wife loving films. Our scant entertainment time in a week is generally meted out to films. If it were strictly up to me, I’d watch music programs and the occasional film.


  6. negative1ne says:

    hi monk,

    i figure this is a good thread
    to make this comment in.

    im not really a fan of OMD,
    but they did have a few
    singles that i liked.

    they are currently reissuing
    half speed masters of their
    first four albums, along with
    the die cut version:

    for those that want to refresh
    their albums, or get new ones,
    there is something to look forward to.
    they are, however, single disc 33 1/3
    and not double 45 rpm though.



    • postpunkmonk says:

      negative1ne: Yeah, I got the email from the OMD list. Everybody’s milking this vinyl trend. I have original pressings of albums one and four. I stupidly got rid of albums two and three when initially buying CDs of those titles. I actually got my copy of the debut [mint blue/orange -1st pressing] for about $30 in the early 90s. Around the same time that I found a UK pressing of “Dazzle Ships” in a store cheaply. But since I just want them for the collector’s sickness, I would prefer [cheaper] original pressings of “Organisation” and “Architecture + Morality” that I’ll never actually worry about playing.


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