OMD performance at the 02 Academy Glasgow on the 1st of November 2021
OMD has always had an affinity with Glasgow; maybe it’s due to the historical similarities between the city and their home city of Liverpool or maybe it’s purely down to the amazing crowd that always gathers for their visits here. Regardless of the reason the vibe in the venue is that tonight is going to be another special OMD night.
The support band for tonight is Stealing Sheep and as they take to the stage the venue is filling nicely. The three piece band are dressed in white jump suits and wearing some sort of face covering that resemble a 1970’s kitsch decoration. Under the facial decoration, there are violent purple flashing LED lights stuck to their face; already the crowd are intrigued and could tell this was going to be… different.
As it turned out they were different but they were also very good. They, at times, reminded me of very early OMD; they didn’t sound like them but there was definitely an experimental, self indulged feel to some of their material. Visually they had put a lot of thought into their appearance and it would take too much of an OMD review to explain the support band! Suffice to say that Stealing Sheep left the stage to much acclaim.
As the stage crew prepared the stage for OMD it became immediately apparent that an elaborate light show would play a part; it also became apparent that the musicians would be placed towards the back of the stage to allow Andy McCluskey plenty of space to show of his dancing skills. His dancing is a sight to behold, even in his advancing years!
PHOTO CREDIT: JOHN BROWN
The tour is called ‘Architecture and more’ in recognition of the 41st birthday of the ‘Architecture & Morality’ album. The album is recognised as being hugely influential in the progress and popularity of electronic in the 80’s and continues to cited by artists today.
Ads the band enter the stage in the midst of the magnificent and atmospheric instrumental opening the elaborate light show is already displaying it’s worth. The stage is in almost complete darkness as the light boards display the stark images of architecture.
The band can’t actually be seen beyond silhouette and already the crowd are on it. You don’t need Spiderman like senses to know this is going to be good. There are lights, smoke, a packed venue after almost two years without music and there is OMD…the atmosphere is electric.
The lights eventually come on properly and the sight of OMD almost brings the house down; Andy McCluskey is visibly lifted by the sight and sound and almost immediately tells the crowd that they picked Glasgow as the first date of the tour for the very reason he now sees and hears.
The band, considering it’s the first night, are almost flawless as they play through the whole ‘Architecture & Morality’ album as well as the hits that brought them so much success over 40 or so years. The obvious tracks like ‘Joan of Arc’ and ‘Maid of Orleans’ can just about be heard above the crowd participation; in the world of synth-pop / electronic music these two tracks along with ‘Souvenir’, ‘Messages’ and ‘Electricity’ are considered anthems.
The hits played during the night are too many to list in full but they were all there and more. By the end of the show McCluskey had worked the crowd into a frenzy and it showed on his sweat-drenched face as they returned to the stage for a three song encore. Once again the roof was raised by the crowd and once again Mr McCluskey thanked them and the city for the enduring support.
OMD – you are welcome back in Glasgow any time… Haste Ye Back