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OMDSage, Gateshead, UK
3rd November 2021
OMD - “Architecture and More” UK Tour - Support: Stealing Sheep

The first UK tour from OMD since the Covid lockdowns results in an album themed tour – ‘Architecture and Morality’, the third studio album from the band. The tour covers large arenas and smaller concert halls throughout the UK.


Stealing Sheep

STEALING SHEEP is a band like OMD from Liverpool - a city famed for many talented musicians and bands such as The BEATLES and ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN. They are a threesome, all girls and they formed in 2010. They have three studio albums behind them and many gig performances. https://www.stealingsheep.net

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Music & Performance
This gig was truly an outstanding experience that took me by surprise. STEALING SHEEP have not appeared on my band radar up until this evening. Their mix of extreme visuals, use of atmosphere, a smidge of humour, amazing vocal talents and some seriously catchy melodic electronic tunes made them instantly likeable. Their approach to constructing a song is unlike anything I have heard before - then they top that with some amazing vocal harmonisations. The visualisations are at times humorous, their expanding suits at the end of the set producing some high laughter within the crowd. Perhaps it’s not intentional, perhaps it’s some kind of art message - but either way it was highly entertaining. Equally strange was the initial songs performed in hats which resembled 1970’s tassel lamp shades.

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They played throughout with high contrast lighting, very dark but with light blasting into their faces and suits at various times. The darkness meant they probably found their LED lights installed around their eyes very useful - if not particularly useful, they did look amazing. All in all, a powerfully impressive support tonight, I am already looking for dates when this band will be playing again.

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 9
Light: 9
Sound: 9
Total: 9 / 10

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OMD

I remember as a teenager when ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK became more commonly known as OMD. There was a popular music magazine at the time that reviewed one of their singles, from memory ‘Joan of Arc’, they didn’t rate it highly at all. This resulted in what they thought was a clever word play by referring to the OMD moniker (missing the I and the T from “in” and “the”) resulting in them claiming that OMD have lost IT. How wrong they were - four decades later and OMD have nothing to prove and are still filling large arena venues. https://www.omd.uk.com

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Music & Performance
The band arrive and start off with one of the atmospheric slower tracks from ‘Architecture and Morality’ - ‘Sealand’. The venue is a seated concert hall, and the crowd remain in their seats. It’s a favourite song for me, and the dim lighting provided a suitable atmosphere. The more upbeat second track had the crowd instantly on their feet, where they remained for the duration of the gig. As always OMD and their fans have a deep bond - Andy has a unique way of dancing, I’m sure as he looks into the crowd, he thinks the same of us too. The next hour or so is now filled with mainly a nostalgia trip of hits, including tracks from the era when Paul was parted from the band. Andy has the bulk of the energy throughout, and also the majority of the lead singing - Paul coming to the front to sing for two tracks. It’s all completely mesmerising, I watched and listened, but I mainly joined the crowd and danced.

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This band has just got better and better as a live prospect over the years, few bands from this era can generate this party feeling. The sense of occasion never lessens, and the guy’s humour and easy-going nature exudes. The moment that Andy forgot the words to ‘Enola Guy’ was hysterical as he threatened anybody posting the video on YouTube - “I’ll come round to your house and forget the words and sing out of tune!”. This was of course followed by cries from the crowd that they had posted it on YouTube already, let’s face it, that wasn’t a particularly unpleasant threat! Even Andy furthered his comment by adding that he normally sings out of tune anyway, so there would be nothing different there!

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The encore followed, the night had passed quickly, three tracks ending with a rarity ‘The Romance of the Telescope’ - worth waiting for indeed. As always, one of the finest performances you will ever see within the electro scene - truly outstanding.

Setlist
01. Sealand
02. The New Stone Age
03. Georgia
04. She’s Leaving
05. Souvenir
06. Joan of Arc
07. Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans)
08. The Beginning and the End
09. Atomic Ranch (excerpt)
10. Messages
11. Tesla Girls
12. History of Modern (Part 1)
13. (Forever) Live and Die
14. So in Love
15. Don’t Go
16. Locomotion
17. Pandora’s Box
18. Sailing on the Seven Seas
19. Enola Gay
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20. If You Leave
21. Electricity
22. The Romance of the Telescope

Rating
Music: 9.5
Performance: 9.5
Light: 9.5
Sound: 9.5
Total: 9.5 / 10

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All pictures by Kevin Stevens (Coast to Coast Image Works)

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