Wednesday, October 08, 2008

No new stuff!


I went to see OMD last night, with my usual gig-going pal TT. They were playing The Roundhouse in Camden,which is not only utterly convenient for work but now also a really great venue.

I'd been looking forward to this for ages, as I've always been a fan of - as once we called them - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. From Messages and Electricty, through Locomotion, etc., right up until they hit their stride in America with If You Leave (nice nostalgic Pretty In Pink backdrop) and (Forever) Live and Die (I had no idea that this one, along with Souvenir, were sung by The Other One until last night), which I didn't like then but like now, even more so after seeing them both done in the flesh. I say seeing - I'd forgotten my glasses which meant they were a bit blurry round the edges, but I coped. I had to.

This was a cut above your average Eighties revival show, which I'm not a fan of per se. But I couldn't let this one go by without catching it. Okay, they were supported by a rather weedy China Crisis, who I also liked way back when. They did their hits too, though some of them took rather a long time to recognise, except Wishful Thinking, which reminds me of having glandular fever, and Christian. It was good to hear the Pigbag funk of African and White again. I'd forgotten about that one.

So about 45 minutes later on came OMD. Still just this side of pretentious, with their slide show and industrial leanings reflected in the lighting. But they were great. Andy McClusky was full of energy, doing his mad dancing with and without the guitar. They did all the hits and I mean ALL THE HITS. And they sounded just like they did on the record, which as regular readers may know, is just how I like a gig to be. A particularly stonking Maid Of Orleans, which was preceded by Joan Of Arc (only right they should be paired up), was a particular highlight. You couldn't fault Enola Gay, Mesagges, Talking Loud and Clear with its summery feel (always reminds me of just having finished my A levels with the summer stretching ahead), Souvenir, and Sailing On The Seven Seas is a joy I've not even thought about since 1991.

So a marvellous evening, marred as usual by an irritating audience, pushing, shoving, dancing far too vigourously in far too small an area and of course the endless chatting and mobile phones held aloft. At times I felt I was watching the gig through them. There was a lot of clapping along encouraged too, and while TT is all too ready throw himself into the spirit of things, me being a natural churl means I never, ever, clap along to anything. Neither do I dance, although I may mouth the words, depending on how self-concious I'm feeling at the time.

I've noticed there are so many familes at gigs these days. They've clearly become the modern day equivalent to a day out at Windsor Safari Park. At gigs, at least baboons won't shit on your windscreen. though this being Camden Town anything's possible. When I was 17 I'd rather have died than be seen out in public with my parents by people my own age, but I suppose things are different now. However there were children of about seven, and pensioners well over 70. Gigs really have changed.

Most wanted: Japan, Elvis Costello and The Cure.

14 comments:

Valentine Suicide said...

Five-Centres! You're back!

Could this be the fastest comeback in history? I believe Gary Numan retired at about five past two one day in 1981, only to comeback with a new album at half past, which just about beats you?

I saw OMD in 1980, and they weren't too good. I think his singing used to be a bit hit or miss. Messages is a top track though. Were people texting each other whilst they played it? Oh, the irony..

office pest said...

Did they have their big reel to reel Revox tape player on stage? They called it Winston.
Would love to see Japan again myself and maybe even the Teardrop Explodes, though I doubt Cope could pull it off now. I did see John Foxx last year though and he still managed to push the depress buttons quite well. Took me right back.

Five-Centres said...

We're all of a certain age, aren't we?

Yes, VS, back. Couldn't stay away. Instantly regretted it, so here I am.

I'm glad you both found me.

Chris Hughes said...

Sailing On The Seven Seas always reminds me of just having finished my A levels with the summer stretching ahead, oddly enough.

Maid Of Orleans always reminds me of being in a snowy churchyard in February 1982, helping my sister rub gravestones for a school history project she was doing.

Cocktails said...

I'm going to have 'If you Leave' in my head for the rest of the morning now. No bad thing though.

Ishouldbeworking said...

"Messages' will always remind me of Mick Leek. Which means I will always have a soft spot for OMD.

Ishouldbeworking said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Five-Centres said...

Mick Leek? Do expand, ISBW

Valentine Suicide said...

I saw David Sylvian and his brother perform in Bristol in 2003. I get the impression that he doesn't have much time for his Japan days, though he did perform an acoustic version of 'The Other Side of Life' from Quiet Life, which was rather thrilling. I saw them on their 'Gentlemen Take Polaroids' tour in '80 or '81. At their peak, I thought, as I didn't much rate 'Tin Drum'

I saw Elvis Costello in 2006, and he performed 'Alison' in a an empty seat about four seats away from me, and then shook my hand on his way back to the stage, which has rather endeared him to me.

Five-Centres said...

I loved Tin Drum - still do. It was after that that I got into exploring their back catalogue. I was a huge, huge fan. Never go to see them, as the nearest they ever played to where I lived was Portsmouth Guildhall and my parents said it was too far to go. So that was that.

I love David Sylvian's voice, though ironically was never that keen on his solo stuff.

They're a bit ignored these days. Hopefully their time will come again.

office pest said...

Gentlemen, the serious student of Japan/derivatives and other eighties styles would of course have a copy of Dali's Car 'The Waking Hour' always to hand...

Valentine Suicide said...

I was quite the Bauhaus fan, but thought the Karn/Murphy combination was a bit uneasy. Murphy being a bit of a theartrical old queen, whereas Japan, despite, their New Romantic clothes were more serious musicians.

I did like Rain Tree Crow though...

office pest said...

Yes VS, let's face it, Dali's Car is pretty rubbish really. Rain Tree Crow was Japan by another name though wasn't it, and only named as such because of Dave's insistence that they shouldn't trade on past Japan glories. Silly chap. Artistic temprament I suppose.

Ishouldbeworking said...

Dali's Car made a hilarious video. The pair of them were standing on top of a cliff, each holding a CD, and shining the light from it into the other one's face. Even by the standards of the day, it was preposterous.

I still play my Rain Tree Crow LP. I wonder if Mick Leek does too....

Labels