EIGHTIES synth pop superstars OMD, who once wrote a song about Stanlow oil refinery, will play the first gig at the reopening of a legendary club.
Singer Andy McCluskey and keyboardist Paul Humphreys will break off a world tour to return to the venue where it all started – Eric’s in Matthew Street, Liverpool.
The famed club has been closed since its late 1970s heydey, when The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, Blondie and Joy Division were among the seminal bands to play on its stage, as well as Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark themselves.
Long before the Wirral band found fame and fortune, McCluskey’s dad worked at Stanlow, and in April this year, 50 OMD fans from across Europe travelled to the refinery to pay homage to the place that inspired their heroes.
The original recording even used ambient sounds recorded in the refinery in 1980.
OMD, whose other hits include Joan of Arc, Electricity, Messages, Souvenir, Sailing on the Seven Seas and Enola Gay. will be the first band to play at the relaunched Eric’s club on Saturday, September 10.
Andy McCluskey said: “If Eric’s had not existed then neither would OMD. Even though you cannot recreate what Eric’s meant to our generation over 30 years ago, it will be fun to play on the same stage again remembering the past whilst hopefully celebrating a new and different future.
Ethan Allen, music director of Eric’s, said: “It’s quite fitting that OMD, who played their first ever gig at Eric’s over 30 years should come back to re-open the new Eric’s. We’re over the moon to welcome such an iconic band back to the venue but we’re also looking forward to showcasing the next wave of new talent over the forthcoming months at club.”
Eric’s influence on the music scene was legendary. With early gigs from Blondie, Buzzcocks, The Clash, Elvis Costello, The Jam, Joy Division, U2, The Police, The Sex Pistols and The Stranglers.Š
In 1978, it was a small discreet venue that was a favoured haunt for the people who would later form bands such as The Teardrop Explodes, Echo & The Bunnymen and Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
So it was quite apt that Eric’s was the venue of choice for the debut performance of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark in October that year.
From the beginning, OMD’s Paul Humphreys and Andy McCluskey launched their own unique style of electronic melodies and thoughtful lyrics to carve out a reputation for intelligent pop.
The venue was shut after police pressure in 1980.
An official launch is planned in October to mark 35 years anniversary since the venue first opened.
Eric’s is based in Stuart Road in Liverpool and can be contacted on 0151 920 8737.