Matthew Murphy fronts The Wombats at 9:30 Club on Jan. 8, 2018. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Matthew Murphy, vocalist of The Wombats, dedicated “Turn,” his band’s latest single, to his newlywed wife during his show on Monday before launching into the sunny song and its salute to love.
The sold-out audience at 9:30 Club was eager for the new single, and delighted squeals greeted the announcement of the song, which came toward the end of a set where the upbeat UK post-punk trio reminded us that they are a really damn good live act.
OMD (Photo courtesy Tell All Your Friends)
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, aka OMD, are one of the best modern English bands to emerge from the UK new wave scene, and I would go so far as to say one of the best bands ever anywhere period. OMD play at 9:30 Club on Tuesday, March 6, and you can win tickets to go with Parklife DC by joining us at Dodge City on Thursday, Jan. 11.
The Wombats (Photo by Tom Oxley)
UK indie rockers The Wombats will release Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life, their fourth studio album, on Feb. 9, 2018, via Kobalt Records. On the way to their record release, the band will tour with a stop at 9:30 Club on Monday, Jan. 8! You can win tickets to see them with Parklife DC.
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.)
Dan Croll (Photo courtesy Press Here)
Dan Croll released Emerging Adulthood, his second studio album, via Kobalt Music Group and Communion Records in July. In conjunction with the record, he’s launched a headlining tour that arrives at Rock and Roll Hotel on Friday, Sept. 8.
Dan Croll performs at the 9:30 Club on Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Liverpudlian Dan Croll recalled the first time he performed in DC — more than three years ago in the basement of Sixth & I Historic Synagogue.
Ian McCulloch sings at the 9:30 Club on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016.
“Yes!” exclaimed DJ Rick Taylor with his characteristic exuberance. “Echo & The Bunnymen are playing ‘Angels and Devils’ — this is a B-side that I’ve never before seen live!”
And so it was that Ian McCulloch and his band took up the rarely played song, originally the B-side to “Silver” from Ocean Rain, as Rick explained to me, recorded as an homage to the Velvet Underground by Echo & The Bunnymen during their Ocean Rain sessions. (And it was actually included on the 2008 remastered edition of the album.)
Ocean Rain, the fourth studio album by Echo & The Bunnymen in 1984, figured prominently into the set Friday night at the 9:30 Club as an overly crowded house clamored for every little bit of cool they could suck out of Ian, much as he sucked down cigarettes from in front of the drum kit right on stage. (Who, after all, was going to stop him from smoking during the show? He’s Ian Fuckin’ McCulloch.) Ian and his studious compatriot Will Sergeant, who focused intently on his guitar the entire show, obliged the overly sold-out house by generating the coolest damn sound, which wafted into the heads and hearts of their patrons.
Ian McCulloch (Photo courtesy Echo & The Bunnymen)
Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant are bringing Echo & The Bunnymen back to DC in a sold-out show at the 9:30 Club on Friday, Sept. 9! To celebrate, Parklife DC is throwing a little new wave party that we are calling Careless Memories: A Salute to Psych, where we will play a lot of the neo-psychedelic jams that gave classic new wave a hazy electronic edge.
I invite you to join our party, which will be held at Dodge City on Thursday, Sept. 8 (right around the corner from the 9:30 Club on the night before The Bunnymen perform)! You can RSVP on Facebook or show up — admission is free.
But wait! To take the celebration to the next level, we are giving away a pair of tickets to the sold-out Bunnymen concert! Now, that’s smart thinking! Ian would be proud.
Echo & The Bunnymen (Photo courtesy the band)
The legendary Echo & The Bunnymen have been no strangers to DC in recent years, performing shows at venues like the Fillmore Silver Spring and the Black Cat.
However, arguably, a local Echo & The Bunnymen show belongs at the 9:30 Club, the perfect venue to capture the timelessness of the band’s hazy neo-psychedelia. Thankfully, justice and opportunity are about to meet as The Bunnymen are hitting the 9:30 Club on a perfect date: Friday, Sept. 9.
Led by founders in vocalist Ian McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant, the Liverpool iconoclasts have been doing some great work lately, publishing their most recent album Meteorites in 2014 via 429 Records with some signature production assistance from Youth and Andrea Wright. The result was 10 terrific songs of super-psych pop that recaptures the glory days of The Bunnymen.
Watch the official music video for “Lovers on the Run” from the latest album by Echo & The Bunnymen via YouTube:
Said Ian of the album, “At long last, we’ve made the worthy successor to Crocodiles, Heaven Up Here, Porcupine, and Ocean Rain. Meteorites is what Echo and the Bunnymen mean and are meant to be up there in heaven — untouchable, celestial, beautiful, and real. It has changed my life.”
If that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will. Go see this show!
Tickets are available online.
Echo & The Bunnymen
Friday, Sept. 9
Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys of OMD perform at Wolf Trap on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
“We’re going to play that famous song from that famous movie,” said Andy McCluskey, frontman for Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) at Wolf Trap Wednesday.
“No, not that one,” he added, rejecting the notion the band were about to play their biggest US hit — “If You Leave” from the movie Pretty in Pink. “The other one!”
Andy and his three bandmates launched into “Tesla Girls,” which in fact appeared on the soundtrack of another John Hughes movie, Weird Science. And so it was that OMD electrified roughly 7,000 people in a smash-up set as openers for Barenaked Ladies.