Very few bands are capable of putting out quality content years into their careers. For many artists, a new release can leave the fan base longing for past glories. "We were acutely aware of that," says Paul Humphreys of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), the '80s new wave band which he co-founded with Andy McCluskey. "We didn't make a big announcement that we were going back into the studio. We thought we'd test the waters and see how it went." From 1978 to 1989 the duo of Paul and Andy, with longtime support players Malcolm Holmes and Martin Cooper, had hits across Europe and around the world. They struggled to get notice in America, finally cracking the top ten in 1986 with "If You Leave," and three years later Paul and Andy parted ways. McCluskey soldiered on for three more albums as OMD, while Humphreys, Cooper, and Holmes formed the Listening Pool. In 2005 Paul and Andy accepted a request from German TV to perform on program there. They had such a good time they recruited Cooper and Holmes and reformed the group. At first they toured their hits, but last year they released the very fine History of Modern. "Because we had such a long lay-off from OMD, we came with new energy and a whole huge amount of ideas," says Humphreys. "By default, after playing for 33 years, we've all become really good musicians," explains Humphreys. "The band is in good form, we're playing well." (Read more of our OMD interview at gimmenoiseblog.com.) With Washington. 18+.
Mon., Sept. 26, 7 p.m., 2011