Synth-pop icons Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark are celebrating their 40th anniversary this autumn and will begin a year of major events with a very special pair of concerts at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

The band will be joined by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra for the shows on Saturday 6 October and Sunday 7 October.

Tickets go on general sale this Thursday 22 February.

OMD and the Orchestra previously performed together at the Hall in June 2009, a collaboration singer Andy McCluskey described as a “voyage of discovery”.

Richard Balcombe will conduct the concerts, which coincide with the anniversary of OMD’s first gig which took place at legendary Liverpool club Eric’s in October 1978.

Fans can expect to hear the electro-pioneers’ biggest hits including their first single ‘Electricity’, which was championed by the late John Peel, and top 10 songs like ‘Enola Gay’ and ‘Souvenir’, as well as music from their more recent albums, not least The Punishment of Luxury which was released last autumn.

There will be specially-created orchestral arrangements, by Ian Stephens and Gary Carpenter, of some of OMD’s big ambient tone poem pieces like ‘Stanlow’, ‘Sealand’ and ‘Ghost Star’.

And the programme will also include tracks which have never been performed live before, along with rare B-sides.

OMD was formed in 1978 by teenage friends Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys, who had previously played together in short-lived Wirral band The Id.

OMD co-founder, singer and bass guitarist Andy McCluskey said: “The band actually formed to play that gig at Eric’s in October 1978, and it was supposed to be a one-off. So it’s been a remarkable, surprising 40-year career.

“We and the Orchestra will take people on a 40-year journey from the very first song Paul and I ever wrote together, ‘Electricity’, when we were 16, right up to the last single we released, ‘What Have We Done?’, and beyond as we will premiere an as yet unreleased film soundtrack piece entitled ‘And then she saw the Minotaur’.

“We enjoyed the scope and scale of the big majestic Energy Suite songs that we did with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 2009. This time the first half will be taking songs that lend themselves well to really big orchestral arrangements.

“And with the big screen again, I think the combination of actually seeing the Stanlow oil refinery lit up behind the 75-piece Orchestra will be stunning. It will be utterly beautiful.”

 

Richard Haswell, Liverpool Philharmonic’s Head of Programme (Hall and Events), said: “We’re really excited to be working with OMD again, and especially in their 40th anniversary year.

“Liverpool Philharmonic has built a reputation for cross-genre musical collaboration. And the symphonic scope of, and creativity in, OMD’s brilliant catalogue, coupled with the sheer richness of sound a symphony orchestra brings, should make for a really memorable evening.”

 

Ticket details

Tickets for the Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 40th Anniversary concerts go on sale on Thursday 22 February, and cost £45, £55, £65 (VIP packages £115).

VIP packages include front row stalls or box seats, a signed programme, commemorate lanyard and premium drinks service.

Tickets are on sale on 22 February from 9.30am on the booking line 0151 709 3789, from 10am online at liverpoolphil.com, or in person at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall box office.