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
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.”
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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:
- £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.
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