CONCERT REVIEW : Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – o2 Academy Glasgow 1st Nov 2021

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – o2 Academy Glasgow 1st November 2021

OMD return to Glasgow for the opening night of their Architecture and Morality tour, the atmosphere was electric to welcome Andy McCluskey, Paul Humphreys along with Stuart Kershaw and Martin Cooper to Glasgow’s O2 Academy. The Glasgow audience excited to hear this album live, eagerly awaited for the band to take their positions on the stage, for some, this may well be the first-time hearing some of the songs live.

As the lights dimmed, the bands intro track surrounded the venue with a wall of sound as the stage slowly lit up displaying a wall of light before the silhouette of the band members took to the stage. As the intro music finished, moments pause before the band opened their set with the extended version of the excellent “Sealand”. Andy McCluskey, appeared well up for the gig,  informing the crowd ‘we are going to be playing the album in full, it may be in a different order’, as the intro to The New Stone Age started he began taking in the full stage with his dance moves,  the crowd without introduction began to sing along. Andy explained the next song should have been the first single off the album but it never happened, and introduced She’s Leaving to the Glasgow audience, this set the tone for the following hit singles from the album. For some in the crowd, this may have been their initial introduction to the band’s live performance as the excellent “Souvenir”, “Joan of Arc” and “Maid of Orleans” got the party started.

The band were on a roll, the feeling of emotion was evident in playing to a live audience again after what has been a very quiet 18 months on the music scene, the receptiveness of the crowd was fantastic to this back catalogue of songs. As the tracks from the album filled the venue you, the delight on the faces around you was evident, the crowd were enthusiastically enjoying hearing the likes of “The Beginning and the End” and “Atomic Ranch”, the fantastic stage set up really enhanced the music to a different level.

The venue really got in to full swing with a party atmosphere, with hits like “Messages”, “Tesla Girls” before the epic “(Forever) live and die” had the crowd singing along.  Looking at the audience from left to right and front to back all you could see was bobbing heads dancing along to the classic hits, reflecting through the band, you could see the emotion on their faces with the feedback from the Glasgow audience.

The audience was ecstatic as the hits flowed, this was a great opening night to the tour for the band as Andy McCluskey covered every inch of the stage, chatting to the audience and generally enjoying the Glasgow O2 crowd. The band edged the set to a close with an almighty bang with “Locomotion”, “Pandoras Box”, “Sailing on the seven Seas” before closing the set with the awesome “Enola Gay”, before leaving the stage for a short reprieve, they returned to play an encore to the delighted Glasgow audience.

The bands epic finale was “If you Leave” before raising the roof with a brilliant version of “Electricity” before their last song of the evening “The romance of the Telescope”, finishing off what could only be described as an amazing setlist clearly appreciative of the Glasgow crowd. The bands thanks could be heard around the venue.

This was a brilliant opening night of the tour, a set list that really showed the bands back catalogue with so many hits, if you manage to get a ticket to go see OMD you won’t be disappointed as the band are on a different level.

Review & Photographs by James Edmond