Wirral’s OMD will celebrate 40th anniversary with British Music Experience exhibition
Wirral’s OMD will celebrate 40th anniversary with British Music Experience exhibition

A special exhibition celebrating the 40th anniversary of Wirral synth-pop pioneers Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark will open at Liverpool’s British Music Experience next month.

The group – now made up of duo Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys – have sold an impressive 25 million singles and 15 million albums over their four decades in the music business.

Entitled Souvenir: 40 Years of OMD will showcase the band’s instruments, stage outfits, prints, posters as well as McCluskey’s personal binders full of ideas, photos and press cuttings.

OMD in their early days
(Image: Eric Watson)

On display will also be the Vox Jaguar Organ on which Humphreys played Electricity, Messages and Enola Gay, and the 1974 Fender Jazz Bass played by McCluskey on Enola Gay, Messages, Souvenir, Joan of Arc and Tesla Girls.

And there will be a short film featuring live footage of the band on the main stage screen at regular intervals throughout the day, as well as interactive displays that will let visitors hear how the iconic instruments on display sounded in the original recordings.

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McCluskey, said: “A one-off concert at Eric’s Club in Mathew Street in October 1978 just to satisfy our need to be able to say ‘at least we played our crazy songs live’, turned into a remarkable 40-year odyssey.

“We are honoured to have an exhibition at BME in Liverpool celebrating the journey from a two-piece experimental band with a borrowed tape recorder, through all the hits and world tours.


“It is incredible to look back at the primitive instruments on display and remember that it was with this miscellaneous collection of decaying junk that we set out to change the world.”

The exhibition is the latest instalment in the band’s 40th anniversary celebrations which have included the reissue of their first four classic albums on 180g vinyl, followed by a world tour which starts in Portugal in October and finishes in Paris in 2021.

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A special, sold out Q&A session with OMD co-founders Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys will take place the evening before it opens to the public.

Visitors can see Souvenir: 40 Years of OMD, when they purchase a general admission ticket for BME which can be bought at the venue, or online: www.britishmusicexperience.com.

Entitled Souvenir: 40 Years of OMD runs from October 11 to January 5, 2020.