Andy McCluskey is pushed to pick his highlights from the 40 years of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (OMD): there have been so many.
There’s the time he first held their debut single, Electricity, on Factory Records.
There was the first of their staggering 29 Top Of The Pops appearances, when the Wirral electronic giants-to-be were initially so surprised to find themselves on the telly alongside Elton John and Bonnie Langford he mouthed “What are we doing here?!” at synth-playing OMD partner Paul Humphreys.
Then there was signing his ever autograph at Liverpool Eric’s; being paid by the venue for the first time (with half a crate of beer), or standing on stage at the Rewind festival in 2018 with “35,000 people going wild”.
In today’s OMD, Stuart Kershaw (who has worked with the band in various capacities since 1991) replaces long-time drummer Malcolm Holmes, alongside keyboardist/saxophonist Martin Cooper, but throughout their 40 years of OMD, founders Andy and Paul have retained and rekindled the friendship that blossomed as teenagers, and the inspiration that strikes when they’re together.
“Electronic music is our language,” Andy says. “It’s how we talk.”
“We’re at our best when we’re in a room together, working,” Paul adds. “That’s when the sparks and ideas happen. It’s the same now as it ever was.” Here’s to another 40 years.