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OMD back in 80s form -- and beyond


Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2011

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After 17 years apart, it was “exciting enough” for the “classic” lineup of the British synth-pop band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark to start playing again in 2007, said frontman Andy McCluskey.

But eventually, the group wanted to play new music, hence the arrival of 2010’s “History of Modern.”

“It was kind of like, ‘Can we really justify our existence by doing the dangerous and stupid thing?’ which was making a new record,” McCluskey, 51, says with a laugh. “Some of our friends have done that, and quite frankly they shouldn’t be allowed near a studio because they have no ideas and it’s pretty embarrassing. So we were nervous. We had to be sure we had something to say that was good.

“And it’s been incredibly well received. People are generally giving us the feedback we hoped we would get, which is (that) we have reconnected with the sound we invented, our own musical voice we created 30 years ago, but updated things so it’s not just a nostalgia, retro album. That’s exactly what we wanted to do.”

And, McClusky says, OMD — best known for its ’80s hits “If You Leave,” “Forever Live and Die” and “Dreaming” — isn’t done. He and co-writer Paul Humphreys already have “some ideas for a new album” and hope that next time out they’ll be doing more than just updating the sound they’re known for.

“We both feel like, ‘OK, we made a great album ... but can we make a new album that’s the future, that moves forward and doesn’t just address our own sound? Can we actually invent something, like we did 30 years ago?’ ” McCluskey explains. “This is the challenge. This is going to make the next album really hard.

“But we feel like we’re up to it, so off we go.”

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark perform Friday, March 11, at The Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. Call 248-858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

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