Review: OMD, Ipswich Regent, November 2

OMD impressed Ipswich Regent. Picture: MARK MCNULTY

OMD impressed Ipswich Regent. Picture: MARK MCNULTY - Credit: Archant

I bought my first OMD single Electricity when I was still at school in 1979.

It was my introduction into the world of electronic music and led me to other bands like the Human League and Depeche Mode.

Now, 38 years later I’ve seen them live for the first time, and it took me straight back to school and listening to this new, strange music with my mates.

In front of a sold out crowd, the band took the stage to opener Art Eats Art.

Andy McCluskeys’ vocal clear and bright, piercing the air, and with the light show in full effect.

It took only two songs to get the crowd on their feet (and that’s where they stayed), with the pulsating Isotype, another from their new album The Punishment Of Luxury (which is their 13th studio album).

For the third song we were into the back catalogue for Messages; the stage bathed in ever changing lights, McClusky on his bass guitar with his famous quirky dance even though he is currently suffering from cartilage damage.

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OMD have a lot of great songs to choose from and we were treated to a good chunk of them.

Tesla Girls saw the use of a strobe that made the band look like robots, If You Leave (voted for by the audience earlier in the night) had us all singing along, and Forever Live And Die saw Paul Humphreys taking the lead vocals.

The hits kept coming, Maid Of Orleans with the double hand clap, Joan Of Arc with the staccato drumming, and Locomotion ushering in “non-stop mindless dancing” that culminated in Enola Gay.

All good things come to an end and I was pleased that the encore finished the evening back where the journey had started for me, with Electricity. OMD are now a four piece that includes Martin Cooper on keyboards, and Stuart Kershaw animated on drums that really pack a kick.

But it is McCluskey that leads the dancing and has the audience eating out of his hands. He puts everything into his performance, makes it a joyous occasion, and the 100 minutes pass very quickly.

The band got one of the best reactions I’ve ever seen in Ipswich because they give the crowd exactly what they want.

Read more: Ipswich Regent needs bigger backstage sofas laughs OMD’s Andy McCluskey ahead of return visit