Yesterday, I was poking around simpleminds.com to [finally] purchase the 4xCD version of “Live In The City of Angels” when I saw good news on the home page. Simple Minds were once again teaming up with OMD for a tour with the synth quartet accorded “Special Guest” status. This is not the first time that these two great tastes have tasted great together. In 2008, before the triumphant “Graffiti Soul” album was released, Simple Minds mounted a UK tour with OMD as special guests. At the time OMD were just beginning to triangulate into writing and recording new music. Now they have three strong new albums under their belts and had recently matched Simple Minds recent Top 5 ranking in the UK album charts with their own “Punishment of Luxury” album in a amazing replay of the early 80s [minus all of the money].
Given that these two bands have had turbulent histories that have seen them existing over 40 years after their initial formations [true, OMD did table things for a decade] and have certainly had their ups and downs, it is perhaps fitting that they link up again when both acts have had strong modern albums and a return to the commercial spotlight. We’ve managed to see them separately last year as noted here and here. But this time we’ll be even more thousands of miles from the action as the two are touring Australasia [New Zealand and Australia, at least – sorry New Guinea] during the Southern Hemisphere summer in December 2020. The dates go on sale on the 18th of November, 2019 and here’s where they are playing.
SIMPLE MINDS + OMD | OZ + NZ Tour | 2020
Nov 26 | Perth, Australia | Kings Park & Botanic Garden [w/Eurogliders]
Nov 28 | Yarra Valley, Australia | Rochford Wines [w/Eurogliders]
Dec 1 | Melbourne, Australia | Margaret Court Arena
Dec 3 | Sydney, Australia | First State Super Theatre
Dec 5 | Hunter Valley, Australia | Bimbadgen [w/Eurogliders]
Dec 6 | Brisbane, Australia | Sirromet Wines [w/Eurogliders]
Dec 9 | Christchurch, New Zealand | Horncastle Arena
Dec 11 | Wellington, New Zealand | TSB Bank Arena
Dec 12 | Auckland, New Zealand | Villa Maria [w/Eurogliders]
That’s a very warm way for the band to spend leading into Christmas 2020. And a third of the dates are for New Zealand. Impressive! Also impressive was the local act that will be playing on the bill on about half of the dates. Eurogliders were a band that I had enjoyed and even taped during the Oz Aid prelude to Live Aid [that was more interesting] that MTV showed in the wee small hours before Live Aid happened. I have a copy of their first US release, a massively re-jigged “This Island” and can say that this is a lineup I’d be happy to experience. Both OMD and Simple Minds are doing valedictory laps right now what with their concurrent [more or less] 40th anniversaries having already happened, so I’m imagining that this will be about massive hit power with less emphasis on their last albums. That’s a pity as they each had such strong work.
Any Antipodean reading these words on a regular basis should probably think about attending. As we now have to buy any tickets a full year in advance, act smartly. Tickets available here and members of A Day On The Green can get general admission for these huge outdoor spectacles at the tony wineries hosting the tour for as little as AU$109, with the top end going for AU$249. Seems about right for bands of that caliber but your mileage may vary. I know that I paid about as much just to get seats for the last Simple Minds tour but hope to never go through that again.
– 30 –
I saw OMD last Monday night at the Liverpool Empire. It was a brilliant show.
They were supported by a Liverpool band called MIG15. Andy’s son James plays bass for them. They were quite rocky and full of energy. The only synth sounds were generated by a laptop. The singer was quite cocky and reminded me in attitude of a young Ian McCulloch.
OMD played for an hour and forty five minutes. We got twenty one tracks in total spanning all periods of the band’s career. The emphasis was on singles but we did get to hear Stanlow, Almost and Promise. No tracks were played off Dazzle Ships, Liberator, Universal or English Electric.
As the band entered the stage and a little later on during the set a brief collage of tracks were played consisting of their more experimental stuff from Dazzle Ships, English Electric and The Punishment Of Luxury.
Andy soon had everyone up and dancing. It was a great atmosphere. The fans were loving it and the band obviously were too. The show was recorded and I was able to pick up a copy straight after. I think it’s being sold on the band’s website if anyone is interested. The London show is also being recorded.
AndyB – So McCluskey’s son is opening up for dad, eh? How embarrassing! If I were in a similar situation and my world famous dancing father offered, there would be no way I would accept any opening slot offers from him. In fact, I would make certain to have a completely different career from him! Nice to be able to have the show on “instant bootleg.” I still have not had but a single concert I saw available on CD [Man…or ASTROman “Live Transmissions From Uranus” recorded at my first MOAM gig at The Covered Dish, since you asked] though that was “back in the day” when there weren’t instant CDs or downloads competing for our attention.
Still, it’s a shame that “English Electric” is not getting the love for some reason.” The last two tours I saw had not a single song played from that great album. And the 2016 gig merch was all EE graphics! They must have problems with it. Or maybe Andy leaned too heavily on the Auto-tune and is embarrassed to try his luck live. On the other hand… “STANLOW!!!!”
Monk – Yes Andy is certainly giving his son a leg up but his son is obviously happy to receive his help. Good luck to him and his band.
I have to say that the quality of the live recording on the CD is excellent. It’s incredible that such a high quality recording can be available within fifteen minutes of the gig ending.
Stanlow sounded glorious. I would have liked to hear a track or two from Dazzle Ships and English Electric. I did see OMD on the English Electric tour and the songs from that album sounded excellent live.
As for OMD supporting Simple Minds. Should be a good show for those who like both bands. Simple Minds have done well to get Ultravox and OMD to support them in recent times. Personally I think both bands are better than Simple Minds. They lost me as the eighties went on. I’ve heard the odd single since but they haven’t grabbed my attention enough to explore further.
AndyB – I agree that Ultravox opening for Simple Minds was a shocking reversal of fortune. If it were 1983 it would have been an affront, but in 2013, it was appropriate. Simple Minds had over a decade of strong music under their belts by then. I couldn’t say that for Ultravox, though they were the more critical and revolutionary band; having existed as an inspiration for Simple Minds. I enjoy OMD and Simple Minds equally well. That first seven album arc of Simple Minds runs deep with me though. I think it is the best run of albums by any of my favorites. OMD lasted for at least a five album run of excellence, but they capitulated ahead of SImple Minds to the market forces.That said, I think that OMD’s worst output is of a higher caliber to that of Simple Minds. But I feel that both acts have had a robust third act in their careers. When Simple Minds are firing on all cylinders, few bands can touch them live. And OMD can also deliver the goods though that comes down to Andy carrying the show.
Fair enough Monk. I can’t disagree about Simple Minds, having heard none of their recent albums. It’s great that the likes of OMD and Simple Minds are still releasing music and touring after all these years. It’s a shame Ultravox have fallen by the wayside again. I saw Midge Ure live a few weeks ago doing his Visage and Vienna show. Good as it was it just made me yearn to see Chris, Billy and Warren on stage with him again.
Andy B – Don’t hold your breath. Billy Currie has had the last word on the subject. At least Midge is taking responsibility for the Ultravox legacy under his watch in an appropriate way after coasting on low-budget acoustic shows for too long.
I live in Perth and am thinking about snapping up a couple of tickets. Last saw OMD supporting Gary Numan on the Pleasure Principal tour. Scandalous that tickets go on sale 378 days before the gig.
Phil – Welcome to the comments. Don’t think for a minute that they powers that sell the tickets a full year in advance are not counting the interest that they will make on your solid two to three figure initial buy-in. I’m guessing that the ticket agents pocket all of this and not the acts. Just a hunch. It’s interesting how OMD and Numan forged bonds that are holding to this day.
Slightly off topic, but I just purchased a copy of the latest issue of Record Collector to hit these shores for the Kinks cover story & there’s also an article about OMD where the two principal members go through the albums. Could be at least a read over your favorite beverage at your local Barnes & Noble.
diskojoe – Barnes & Noble….? Are they still here (looks) oh yeah. We still have one. It’s their subsidiary Books-A-Million that folded.