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OMD 40th celebrated in souvenir show at BME

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark is being celebrated in a new exhibition at the British Music Experience.

Synth pop pioneers Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys met as Wirral schoolboys and went on to form OMD which played its first gig at the legendary Eric’s in October 1978.

Souvenir: 40 Years of OMD opens on October 11 and will include instruments, stage outfits, prints and posters as well as Andy McCluskey’s personal binders full of ideas, photos and press cuttings.

Visitors to the waterfront music attraction will be able to see the Vox Jaguar Organ on which Paul Humphreys played Electricity, Messages and Enola Gay, and the 1974 Fender Jazz Bass played by McCluskey on Enola Gay, Messages, Souvenir, Joan of Arc and Tesla Girls.

There will also be a short film featuring live footage of the band on the main stage screen at regular intervals throughout the day, and interactives that let you hear how the instruments on display sounded in the original recordings.

The band kicked off its 40th anniversary celebrations last autumn with two sold-out concerts in collaboration with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

OMD’s first four classic albums have been re-released on vinyl, and a new world tour starts in Portugal in October and finishes in Paris in 2021.

Andy McCluskey said: “A one-off concert at Eric's Club in Mathew Street just to satisfy our need to be able to say "at least played our crazy songs live" turned into a remarkable 40-year odyssey.

“We’re honoured to have an exhibition at BME in Liverpool celebrating the journey from a two-piece experimental band with a borrowed tape recorder, through all the hits and world tours.

“It’s incredible to look back at the primitive instruments on display and remember that it was with this miscellaneous collection of decaying junk that we set out to change the world!"

Harvey Goldsmith, chairman of trustees for the British Music Experience, added: “We are thrilled to celebrate OMD’s 40 years with this exhibition. This much-loved band formed in Wirral will shine a light on the extremely popular electronic synth music of the ‘80s.”

You can see Souvenir: 40 Years of OMD at the British Music Experience from October 11 to January 5 as part of general entrance to the Cunard Building-based attraction.

Photo by Alex Lake.

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