OMD – Sage Gateshead Review

Happy 40th Birthday to Orchestral Manoeuvres In the Dark. For my 40th birthday year, I had a baby, whereas OMD has put together a world tour featuring 20 UK dates. 

This is the first time myself and my plus one Lisa, have seen OMD live. In fact between us, we don’t own an album, yet their songs from the ’90s punctuate our uni years and those from the ’70s and ‘80s were part of our childhood.

They have been on my ‘go to see one day’ a while now and 30 October was the day I could tick this band off my list, but would I want to see them again?

The air was filled with enthusiasm and excitement at this sold-out leg of the tour at Sage 1 Gateshead. There was quite a varied age group amongst the audience but there was a high inference of baby boomers and generation x in place, I love being a X.

I’ve seen many an OMD performance on TOTP (Top of The Pops) and I always thought Andy McCluskey’s movements were exaggerated for the benefit of TV but by what we saw on stage at Sage is David Bent’s dancing style originates. 

McCluskey windmills around the stage like nobody’s business, owning his definitive style. He commands the audience with aplomb. The slightest gesture of a ‘come hither’ finger got us to our feet declaring we’d witness some “old ones, new ones and weird ones. The rest of the night pretty much everyone was on their feet.

I was blown away at just how good the vocals and music was. The tone of both Andy’s and then Paul Humphreys (when he got out from behind his keyboard) was so distinct. Martin Cooper with the best chin dimple made me smile and Stuart Kershaw was great on drums, even during a one-armed rendition where all four guys were stood in a row.

Pandora’s Box, Locomotion, Sailing on the Seven Seas got me and my plus one singing and dancing along with the rest of the crowd and “we’re going to end where we began,” was how he introduced the ultimate song ‘Electricity’. This was their debut single back in 2079 (I was four). Whilst I rarely mention peoples ages, McCluskey mentioned it first and for a 60-year-old he is awesome as are the rest of the gang.

The band genuinely seemed humbled by the reaction of their audience and tonight I fell a little bit in love.

Now would I go and see them again? ABSOLUTELY. The night rates a strong 9/10. The only reason it has dropped a mark wasn’t because of the band but the lady in front of me who constantly watched the night through her phone which she held above her head obscuring my view at times. I really do wish people lived in the moment.


Stanlow, Isotype, Messages, Tesla Girls, History of Modern (part 1), (Forever) Live and Die, Souvenir, Joan of Arc, Maid of Orleans, Statues, Almost, Don’t Go, So in Love, Pandora’s Box, The Punishment of Luxury, Locomotion, Sailing On The Seven Seas, Enola Gay, Red Frame/White Light, Secret, Electricity

Thanks for reading,


This was a post by Suzanne Whelan on behalf of

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