Propped up by Corenza C and Red Bull, I made it out to Grand West last night for the first OMD concert in SA since 1994.
This isn’t likely to be the most impartial review you’ve ever read. It was never going to be, because I could listen to 80’s synthpop forever and a day and still enjoy every single second of it. And when it comes to 80’s synthpop, OMD were.. are… it.
No pretence from Andy McClusky that his dancing style is bizarre at best, nor that he’s getting on a bit.
On the the crowd’s reluctance to get involved:
Don’t be scared. I’m 53 and I’m still dancing like an idiot.
And then after a particularly energetic effort to Maid of Orleans:
It wasn’t dignified 25 years ago and it’s not got any better.
But at least I can still do it!
And he could. An admittedly generally sycophantic crowd were transported back to earlier times as they knocked out hit after hit, Paul Humphreys repeating those electronic riffs which kept us entertained on cassette all those years ago.
Considering this was “soulless” electronic music, there was passion and, strangely, almost a spiritual element to the performance.
Oh – and the new stuff isn’t bad either. This was a very pleasant surprise.
OMD wrote Electricity when they were 16 – a fact that a quick glance at the lyrics will confirm. But as we’ve mentioned before with these 80s bands, those lyrics worked back then. And, as Kraftwerk showed, the singing was rather incidental to the electronic beats and the keyboard themes.
Thankfully, OMD have moved on lyrically since then. But their recent stuff still holds true to their musical roots – and for me, that’s just great.