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Wednesday 27 March 2024

Review: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark @ Brighton Dome Concert Hall

Forty-five years on from their debut single, Electricity - writes Beat the Clock proprietor, Stuart Avis - OMD's trail of ups and downs to their Bauhaus Staircase, as featured last night at Brighton Dome, has been a journey where the peaks render the troughs almost negligible and forgotten. 
Credit: Andy Sturmey

This was Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's seventh visit to The Dome, arguably the city's most historic venue. 

It can boast the premier live performance by Pink Floyd of their work that would eventually become Dark Side of the Moon, an album that went on to do alright for itself, while next month sees the 50th anniversary of ABBA winning the Eurovision Song Contest, a band that also went on to do alright for themselves. 

It's our Cavern Club, or perhaps, more appropriately in this case, our Eric's, but hoovered more often. 

The band's two central members, Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphries, along with Martin Cooper, who would be grossly underestimated as a mere sideman, have now clocked up more time working together, since their triumphant return in 2007, than their original flight which dropped an endless stream of hook-laden pop masterclasses throughout the 1980s.

However, this was no mere trip down memory lane. Highlights from their latest offering, Bauhaus Staircase, hold their own alongside those singles that play a nostalgic trump card. 

The immediate impression as they launch into their opener, Anthropocene, is the band are here for a good time as much as the audience. Thirty-nine dates into the tour and there are zero signs of fatigue. Nothing is (ahem) telegraphed in! 

McCluskey's crazed geography teacher dancing is still present and correct. On paper it should be ridiculous but, on stage, it's borderline hypnotic. 

One can't help wonder if he does it in the kitchen when a song he loves comes on the wireless! 

The energy never falters. Even the evening's slower offerings such as the 1981 hits, Souvenir and Maid of Orleans, create a palpable wave of rapture flowing through the sold out venue. This is pure unadulterated joy. 

Unsurprisingly the biggest reaction is received by 1980's mega-hit, Enola Gay. A song tackling the subject of the bomb dropping on Hiroshima shouldn't be so catchy and so damn danceable, it doesn't even have a chorus, but then OMD have always been the antithesis of pop stars, which is probably why they are amongst the most interesting. 

Forty-five years on and, naturally, that debut single, Electricity, closes the show bringing us full circle whilst wearing out the soles of our shoes. 

Are OMD welcome back for an eighth visit to The Dome? Oh. My. Deity. Yes!

by: Stuart Avis


Credit Andy Sturmey

In the late 80s Manchester briefly became Madchester, writes Beat The Clock record shop owner, Stuart Avis. Spearheading the movement were the Happy Mondays, who headlined Brighton Dome Concert Hall, on Sunday, bringing with them friendly rivals Inspiral Carpets and London's boat-missers, Stereo MCs.

Following a record number of visitors last year, Foodies Festival returns to Preston Park, Brighton, from 4th – 6th May 2024, with new features and a star-studded line-up of celebrity chefs and chart-topping acts, including: Scouting For Girls, Sister Sledge and the Symphonic Ibiza Orchestra with live vocals and DJ.

In Brighton crime writer Kim Donovan and forensic psychologist Dr Gemma Graham will share expert insights on the mystery of true crime stories and how to write them.
Credit: Steve Ullathorne

Comedian Ashley Blaker has six children, three of whom have a Special Education Needs (SEN) diagnosis. 

At Komedia Brighton, this May, John Robb will be discussing everything from  recently released book The Art Of Darkness - The History of Goth to his experience being the first person to interview Nirvana, his coining of the term 'Britpop' and his adventures on the post-punk frontline.

Iceland's biggest stand up comedian (and first-ever Netflix star) Ari Eldjárn comes to Komedia Brighton, this April, as part of his debut UK tour Return of the Icelandic.
Credit: David,Pickens

Touring across England this summer, Without Walls, who continue their commitment to making work in public spaces accessible for audiences, will visit the city as part of this May's Brighton Festival.

University of Brighton student, Lewis Heap, is one of an elite few picked from 22 countries to attend the advanced cyber security training programme in Belgium.
Walk Safe Founder Emma Kay

A partnership between personal safety app WalkSafe and Admiral has proved vital in safeguarding women in Brighton and now women in the area are being urged to download the free app and use the Safe Spaces initiative. 
Credit: Brighton Book Festival

The Brighton Book Festival, which runs for a five-days in June, will be held at Brighton University for the second year running.
Credit: Strat Mastoris

Five modern schoolgirls struggle to solve a mystery from 1900 - of the disappearance of four girls and their teacher on a school trip in the Australian outback. 
Credit: Darina

At this moment in time for Brighton-bound Another Sky, there are maybe three certainties in this life: death, taxes, and rage. White-hot rage that takes you inwards, deeper into yourself, your fears, all the hidden truths you desperately tried to keep quiet while finding yourself. 

In Her Hands, the community interest company dedicated to empowering women and marginalised gender identities through carpentry, woodwork, DIY, and building skills, has announced the launch of its corporate and team-building workshops.

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