OMD Albums

OMD, Dazzle Ships Live at the Museum of Liverpool

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Dazzle Ships- Live at the Museum of Liverpool (Limited Edition Box Set) (Released 25th September 2015)



CD Tracklist:

1. Dazzle Ships 
2. ABC Auto Industry 
3. Sealand 
4. Messages 
5. Radio Waves 
6. Genetic Engineering
7. History Of Modern (Part I) 
8. Julia's Song
9. She's Leaving 
10. Souvenir 
11. Maid Of Orleans 
12. 4 Neu 
13. International 
14. Metroland 
15. Sister Marie Says 
16. Sailing On The Seven Seas 
17. Enola Gay 
18. Electricity 
19. The Romance Of The Telescope 

DVD Running Order:

1. Dazzle Ships 
2. ABC Auto Industry 
3. Sealand 
4. Messages 
5. Radio Waves 
6. Genetic Engineering 
7. History Of Modern (Part I) 
8. Julia's Song 
9. She's Leaving 
10. Souvenir 
11. Maid Of Orleans 
12. 4 Neu 
13. International 
14. Metroland 
15. Sister Marie Says 
16. Sailing On The Seven Seas 
17. Enola Gay 
18. Electricity 
19. The Romance Of The Telescope 
20. Documentary 
21. Q & A 

In 2014, OMD announced that they would be playing two very special gigs at the Museum of Liverpool on the 1st and 2nd of November of the same year, signifying the culmination of various Dazzle Ships-related projects- mainly overseen by the band themselves- including a mini-film festival, a new OMD exhibit in the museum, and the unveiling of an actual 'Dazzle Ship' (the name given to WWI ships decorated with bright, complex patterns in order to confuse the enemy) in one of the dry docks in Liverpool itself. 

Due to the unique nature of the gigs, the 1100 tickets were obviously in high demand. This demand was increased, however, when it was announced that, not only would the band be playing the full 'Dazzle Ships' track (complete with missing parts) at the gig, but it would also mark the first time the infamous reel-to-reel tape recorder 'Winston' (used by the band in their very early days) had graced any stage for thirty years.. The event was also the museum's debut as hosts of a music act of OMD's proportions, with Janet Dugdale, the museum's director saying how 'thrilled' she was that they were able to host the concert. 

'The Museum of Liverpool tells the story of the city's rich and fantastic heritage' she went on to say. 'To bring that story to life with a concert by OMD should be very special indeed'.

Watching the gig back on this DVD, it's exactly what you'd expect from an experienced group like OMD- professional and slick, but also hugely entertaining. It is the little added extras, however, that make the gig, as well as this CD/DVD package, extra special. 

For example, a few surprising songs are thrown into the band's set list for the gigs (most notably 'She's Leaving' and 'Sailing On the Seven Seas' the latter of which in particular prompting an outburst of windmill-like dancing from McCluskey), but also newer tracks from the band's 2010 and 2013 albums 'History of Modern' and 'English Electric' respectively. 

Despite the seamlessness with which these later songs are able to fit into a set of synth pop classics (and although some of the songs they play are yet to earn that title, they are all certainly deserving of it), it is obvious that it is the early tracks that are most lovingly received by fans. 'Julia's Song' (from the group's 1980 eponymous debut LP) begins and ends with rapturous audience applause, whilst worldwide hit 'Enola Gay' gets everybody dancing- much to McCluskey, Humphreys and Cooper's obvious delight. 

The twenty minute documentary and half hour Q&A is also a lovely addition to the DVD, as helps the viewer to understand a bit more about, not only the show they've just watched, but also the reasons behind it. There are also lots of interesting details included about the making of the 'Dazzle Ships' album itself, which despite on its initial release being a 'commercial disaster' for the band, is known today by many as a 'forgotten masterpiece'.

Souvenir Documentary

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Souvenir Documentary- November 2007
(Dir. Rob Finighan)

Like many of their songs, the story of the formation and subsequent rise to fame of OMD is not a conventional one by any stretch of the imagination. They were the living, breathing, Liverpudlian oxymoron- an anti-image pop group who were 'writing songs for [themselves]...that other people just happened to like as well'. They set out to make music similar to that of their heroes- German Krautrock Gods Kraftwerk- 'never really took [themselves] seriously' and were sure they would never write any new material ever again after they released the album that made them more famous than they had ever been before.

How, then, did they end up being one of the most influential synth-pop bands in history? That is exactly the question that this documentary sets out to answer- although not directly, of course. A typical, un-amusing revision of things fans have heard hundreds of times that lead to nothing much in particular would be completely 'un-OMD'. 'Souvenir', therefore, begins as it means to go on- with a great deal of freshness that cannot only be attributed to the new information and never-before-told anecdotes it reveals, but also to the fact that we join key members Andy and Paul on the cusp of an experience that is completely new for them too- their comeback tour, after over ten years of absence from writing and performing as OMD. Whilst both had kept relatively involved with music world during those years (in the 1990s, McCluskey had formed and written hits such as 'Whole Again' for girl group Atomic Kitten, whilst Paul had toured and written with ex-Propaganda member Claudia Brücken), the last album OMD released as an outfit was 1996's 'Universal', and even then only McCluskey was still an official member, with Humphreys featured only on writing credits.

Anyway, after this initial, necessary setting of the scene, viewers are taken on a journey through the band's history, making various stops to discuss the inspiration behind some of their most well-known songs, the making of their albums, and, perhaps most interestingly, to get to know a little more about Paul and Andy themselves, and how surprisingly different they are to each other. It is in this last point that we find the answer to our question- the differences in the personality and writing styles of McCluskey and Humphreys is where the secret of their success lies.

They have, in the past, been compared to Lennon and McCartney, with McCluskey taking the part of the louder, mouthier, brash lyrics man Lennon, and Humphreys filling the role of the considerably sweeter and more melodic McCartney. And, like the two Beatles legends, whilst separately they write good music, together Andy and Paul make incredible music.

Together, they are OMD.

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