Parklife DC Presents: Urgh! A Music War @ Black Cat, 10/1/18

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (often abbreviated to OMD) are a synthpop group whose founding members are originally from the Wirral Peninsula, England.

Paul Humphreys and Andy McCluskey of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark pose in San Francisco for NME in 1981. (Photo by Chester Simpson)

Urgh! A Music war, a cult-classic concert film, straddles divides across new wave, punk, and post-punk acts performing in 1980. Parklife DC screens the film at Black Cat on Monday, Oct. 1. Admission is free!

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Snapshots: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) @ 9:30 Club — 3/6/18

OMD 930 08 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.

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Music Park: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) @ 9:30 Club — 3/6/18

OMD @ 9:30 Club, Washington DC, 03/06/2018 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.

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Ticket Giveaway: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) @ 9:30 Club, 3/6/18

Orchestral-Manoeuvres-In-The-Dark 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.

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Interview: Andy McCluskey of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (@ 9:30 Club, 3/6/18)

OMD
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.)

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Snapshots: Parklife DC More Best Pictures of 2016

Savages @ 930 Club 26 Savages at 9:30 Club on March 27, 2016 (See the full blog)

As we wrap up 2016 here at Parklife DC, we looked back on our best concert photos of the year, where reviewed our 10 (actually 11) favorite photos on our blog.

But while Paivi and Kristie considerably brightened up our blog with their pictures, Theresa C. Sanchez and myself also have been out there photographing some concerts. So now we are rounding up the best of the rest to present some cool photos that Theresa and I captured over the year as well.

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Music Park: Parklife DC Top 10 Concerts of 2016 by Mickey

CHVRCHES 008 Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches sings at Echostage on Oct. 17, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

I’ll confess that I’m a man whose taste in music is readily apparent. If you have new wave tunes to play, particularly from 1976-86, I’m going to show up and listen to them. That said, a number of incredible legacy new wave bands happened to travel through the DC metro area over the past year, and I took the opportunity to review them for our humble blog.

That said, a number of younger bands definitely broke through and seized my attention, most notably Canada’s Operators, who were the most exciting new band I’ve seen in some time. As with Operators, many of the best performances I witnessed in 2016 came from bands whose leaders are among the Masters of Synthpop, and so I have dedicated a postscript of really great synthpop shows that may have “missed” the top 10 but otherwise deserve a lot of applause.

Check out my top 10 list of concerts I saw for Parklife DC. (Click on the concert slugline to revisit the full review.)

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