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OMD's cutting edge gear becomes museum piece

Drum machine, synth and four-track recorder go on show ahead of sell-out gigs

Published on September 26th 2014.

OMD's cutting edge gear becomes museum piece


'WINSTON', a four track tape recorder, and an early Roland drum machine are among gadgets and gizmos belonging to Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark which are going on display at the Museum of Liverpool ahead of their two sell-out gigs there in November.

From their formation in 1978, OMD embraced new technologies, departing from the traditional guitar driven approach to pop music at the time. Winston played a key role in the band's signature synthy-winthy sound, while their Roland CR-78 drum machine, from 1979, provided the distinctive rhythm-pattern heard throughout the 1980 single Enola Gay, written by Andy McCluskey.

The first synthesizer owned by OMD will also be displayed. The band bought the Korg M500 Micro Preset Synthesizer in 1979, through Andy’s mother’s mail-order catalogue for £7.76 a week, paid over 36 weeks. It paid for itself, featuring on OMD’s first three albums and was the main instrument on early singles Electricity, Red Frame, White Light and Messages.

Omd-Andrew-MccluskeyAndy McCluskey and Winston

“The two exclusive intimate gigs in the Museum of Liverpool’s Atrium will be the first concerts by a major music act to take place in the stunning waterfront venue.” it says here.

The set will include greatest hits, tracks from the band’s1983 Dazzle Ships album and one song which has never been performed live. Fans will also have the opportunity to access Liverpool’s very own Dazzle Ship to hear the missing parts I, IV, V and VI of OMD’s Dazzle Ships musique concrète composition from 1983. 

Displayed in the Atrium where the concerts will also take place, original posters will also be on show from the Wirral duo's early days.

OMD on the nights (November 1 and 2) will consist of Andy McCluskey, Paul Humphreys and Martin Cooper. As an added bonus, ‘Winston’ will grace the stage again for the first time in three decades. 

Omd_14All our yesterdays: The gear as seen on Top of the Pops

The original poster for the release of Electricity on Factory Records in 1979 will be displayed, created by Andy McCluskey in his art student days. The poster was never used however, as OMD preferred the designs of graphic artist Peter Saville, who was notable for his work with Factory Records.

Andy McCluskey said: “The Museum is a fantastic space and very intimate, so it will be a great show. The museums and galleries in this city have had a major influence on me and as a current Trustee of National Museums Liverpool, it’s nice to come back and do these unique concerts at the Museum of Liverpool.”

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