Andy McCluskey fronts Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) at 9:30 Club on March 6, 2018. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Few bands command the power and precision of new wave pioneers Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), who stopped by 9:30 Club for a sold-out performance on March 6. Parklife DC previously published a review of that show, but we have a second set of pictures to share, and there’s no such thing as too much OMD in our opinion.
Andy McCluskey fronts Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark with some signature dance moves at 9:30 Club on March 6, 2018. (Photo by Paivi)
Andy McCluskey moved like a man possessed. As frontman for Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Andy danced up a storm during a sold-out show at 9:30 Club on Tuesday. And with that distinctive dancing, Andy threw wide his arms, hugged himself, and generally windmilled around the stage frenetically.
Paul Humphreys and Andy McCluskey (right) of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (Photo courtesy Ticketfly)
The brilliant Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) released The Punishment of Luxury, their 13th studio album, on Sept. 1 via 100% Records subsidiary White Noise. The album fared very well commercially, hitting #4 on the UK Albums chart as well as #7 on the US Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart.
I had the genuine pleasure of again chatting with Andy McCluskey, vocalist, bassist, keyboardist, and songwriter for OMD, as the band will launch a North American Tour with a performance at 9:30 Club on March 6, 2018. (It’s not officially announced by 9:30 Club yet, but buy your tickets online here.)
In our chat, Andy provides insights into songs on The Punishment of Luxury, shares his feelings on recent work by Gary Numan and New Order, and reveals artists (with some surprises) with whom OMD would like to collaborate (particularly as they approach their 40th anniversary as a band).
I babbled a bit more than usual because he’s a personal hero, and as such my interview covered a lot of ground. I’ve edited the order of the questions to improve their logical flow and trimmed them where necessary for brevity. (Also, perhaps read our previous Parklife DC interview with Andy McCluskey from May 2016.)
Andy McCluskey (left) and Paul Humphreys of OMD (Photo courtesy Big Hassle)
As a champion of new wave music in general and synthesizers specifically, one of my biggest musical heroes is Andy McCluskey, frontman for the groundbreaking British synthpop band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD). A decade ago, Andy reunited with collaborator Paul Humphreys and relaunched the classic OMD lineup, which has been publishing new albums in recent years. And here in the United States, OMD remains celebrated for ‘80s singles such as “Enola Gay,” “So in Love,” and of course “If You Leave” (the band’s contribution to the soundtrack of the John Hughes film Pretty in Pink).
I had the singular honor of chatting with Andy recently about OMD’s upcoming tour of America, recent projects (including a new OMD album in the making), and matters of state in the European Union! [We also discussed more politics, but I cut some of that in favor of length and focus.]
Mickey McCarter: Hello, Andy!
Andy McCluskey: Mickey, hello again, how are you?
MM: Great! How are you?
AM: Great! I just got home from a very successful concert in Stockholm over the weekend, and the sun is shining in England, so all is good. [OMD played in Stockholm recently on May 21.]
MM: Fantastic! Since you mention that concert, you’ve been doing quite a bit of live album shows and releases, and that all seems to be going very well.