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OMD to ‘dazzle’ at Museum of Liverpool

20 October 2014 by Lucy

On 1 & 2 November, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark are set to play two sell-out gigs at the Museum of Liverpool.

Here, Andy McCluskey of OMD tells us of the band’s links and love for Dazzle Ships:


 

Andy McCluskey and boat

Andy McCluskey with the Dazzle Ship

What began as a humble request for us to be allowed to put a musique concrete installation into the ‘dazzled’ Edmund Gardner has somehow, and rather wonderfully, escalated  into two concerts, a display case full of our history and memorabilia, and a mini film festival.

Our interest in Dazzle Ships began in 1983 when artist and sleeve designer Peter Saville showed us a Vorticist painting by Edward Wadsworth entitled ‘Dazzle Ship in dry dock at Liverpool’ and asked if we could write some appropriate music as he wished to create an album sleeve inspired by the fractured imagery. We duly obliged with a record that not only contained a title track Dazzle Ships, but also reflected the dark and fearfully disjointed mentality of early eighties geo-politics.

The subsequent tour featured a Dazzle-themed constructivist-style stage set and weirdly wonderful presentations of some of the songs that involved semaphore flag mimes by the band and the moving set ‘playing’ the title track without the band onstage. Unsurprisingly, the whole spectacle confounded and enraptured both audience and critics in equal measure.

The intervening 30 years has seen the knowledge of Dazzle camouflage expand across the globe and filter into a variety of art forms as diverse as dance, fashion, architecture and film. The latest manifestation has been the ‘dazzling’ of two ships. The Edmund Gardner in Liverpool and HMS President in London as part of the 14-18 NOW commemorations.

We have created new Dazzle sounds to be played inside the engine room of the Edmund Gardner; the first Dazzle Ship in a Liverpool dry dock for one hundred years. Also, we have curated a mini film festival in the Museum of Liverpool’s theatre that includes documentary, product branding, contemporary art and animated films reflecting the broad cultural infusion and influence of Dazzle Camouflage.

The Museum of Liverpool is displaying many items from Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark’s early career, such as our first synthesizer, the drum machine that played the intro to international hit Enola Gay, and the tape machine called Winston that was effectively the reason why two teenagers from the ‘other side of the river Mersey’ were able to countenance the crazy idea of being a band of only two musicians. This whole series of events culminates in OMD playing two concerts in the Museum of Liverpool on 1 & 2 November where many tracks from the Dazzle Ships album will be performed, including two that have never been presented live before.


 

Liverpool’s Dazzle Ship is a co-commission by 1418 NOW WW1 Centenary Art Commission, Liverpool Biennial and Tate Liverpool, in partnership with the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Renowned artist Carlos Cruz-Diez worked with the idea of dazzle using the historic Edmund Gardner pilot ship owned and conserved by the Merseyside Maritime Museum. The work has been realised by painters from Cammell Laird.

The title of the work is ‘Induction Chromatique à Double Fréquence pour l’Edmund Gardner Ship / Liverpool. Paris, 2014′.

 

 

My Baby Got The Yips – Merseyside and The British Open

17 July 2014 by Dickie

Image of fairway and golf green with stands in background

Hoylake prepares to stage The Open.

Less than a week since America’s Mo Martin stormed through the field to win the Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale, the world’s oldest golf tournament, The Open Championship, tees off at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake.

Paul Gallagher, Acting Senior Curator of Urban History at the Museum of Liverpool, explores our rich links with this major tournament. Read more…

Elroy Josephz: “The most charismatic and wonderful teacher”

12 February 2014 by Dickie

Image of man in dance pose with museum cases showing off items such as a hat

Display about dance great Elroy Josephz at the International Slavery Museum (on show until 23 March 2014)

The late, great, Elroy Josephz would have been 75 next week (20 February). He came to Britain from Jamaica in the 1950s and went on to change the way dancers and choreographers thought about movement. Elroy was a dancer, actor, producer, and teacher. Here, one of Elroy’s former students remembers him fondly as mentor and friend. Read more…

Wondrous Place remembers Eric’s

23 December 2013 by Lucy

Plaque being installed

The plaque is installed in the Wondrous Place gallery

We recently installed a very special object in the Wondrous Place gallery at the Museum of Liverpool, to commemorate a Liverpool basement venue which had a legendary impact on the Merseyside music scene.

Opposite the site of the original Cavern Club, the music club Eric’s was also situated in Mathew Street. Opened in 1976 by Roger Eagle and Ken Testi – later joined by Pete Fulwell – Eric’s was only in existence for four years but the influence of the club and Roger Eagle, was massive.

Although Eric’s was known nationally as a ‘punk club’, Roger promoted and supported all kinds of music, as well as performance art and poetry. Ken Testi rightly described Eric’s as ‘a platform for popular culture’ in the 2009 book ‘Liverpool Eric’s – all the best clubs are downstairs, everybody knows that…’.  Read more…

Remaking the World: writing a new poem for ‘Telling Tales’

29 August 2013 by Angela

Monkey figure from telling tales exhibition

Here’s a blog from Liverpool-based poet, Eleanor Rees who has been collecting stories and tales from visitors to our ‘Telling Tales’ exhibition.

Read more…

Happy Birthday Billy

17 April 2013 by Kay

acoustic guitar

Today, 17 April, is Billy Fury’s birthday. Many of his fans, some from across the world, will be in the city to celebrate and remember him. This year is especially poignant as it is the 30th anniversary of his death.

During the 1950s Billy was one of the biggest hit makers in the country. Billy Fury was born Ron Wycherley in 1940. He left school at 15 and, inspired by country music, began writing songs. Billy was the first musician from Liverpool to release a whole album of original material; The Sound of Fury. He is Liverpool’s first rock and roll star and is considered Britain’s greatest.

Visitors can see items on display in the Wondrous Place gallery including his first guitar (pictured). Read more…

Chinese New Year!

8 February 2013 by Lucy

Most of us have already celebrated the New Year, and enough time has passed that we have made – and broken – New Year’s resolutions a plenty!

If like me you’ve taken a while to get started with your plans to start a new fitness regime or take up a new hobby, why not have another crack at starting a fresh this Sunday, with the dawning of the Chinese New Year.

2013 is the Year of the Snake, and World Museum can certainly boast a lot of snakes in its collections. You can visit the Clore Natural History Centre to see some of the snake specimens and skeletons on display, or have a look at our online collection if you really want to have a good nose at what’s in our stores. Read more…

Book sale bargains

3 January 2013 by Karen

A brightly coloured teaset

A divine Clarice Cliff ‘tea for two’ set from Age of Jazz.

As January is synonymous with sales and spring cleaning we thought we’d kill two birds with one stone and have a bit of a clear out in our book warehouse. So if you fancy bagging yourself a bargain then check out the offers on our online shop.

It’s an eclectic selection and there are some great books, my personal favourites being ‘When Time Began to Rant and Rage…’ which is a fab book of Irish figurative work and totally worth a fiver, Age of Jazz: British Arts Deco Ceramics as I’m a sucker for a deco teaset, and British Watercolours and Drawings from the Lady Lever’s collection.

If you’ve still not got a John Moores catalogue then now is the time to buy one as they’re reduced to £7.50. And if you buy it from the Walker shop you get the John Moores China version for free. Read more…

Titanic Playathon – can you play?

17 April 2012 by Lucy

Boy playing a violin

We are appealing for string quartets of all ages to play this Saturday and Sunday

Do you play an instrument? No matter how old or young, or how long you’ve been playing, we’d love you to get involved in our Titanic Playathon this weekend at the Museum of Liverpool.

This Saturday and Sunday, we’re hosting a poignant tribute to the brave Titanic Orchestra, who courageously played as the Titanic sank on 15 April 1912.

Local string quartets are invited to take part in the Titanic Playathon which is aimed at sustaining constant live music throughout opening hours at the Museum. Read more…

The reptiles that rocked REM

12 April 2012 by Lucy

As World Museum’sAge of the Dinosaur exhibition draws to a close on 15 April music fan Dickie Felton looks at one rock group’s prehistoric obsession.


Photograph of Dickie Felton and Michael Stipe

Dickie Felton pictured with REM’s Michael Stipe in Dublin September 2001

REM, one of the world’s first big alternative rock bands, had a craze for plastic dinosaurs. The figures began to appear mysteriously in the 1980s; invading amplifiers and stages around the globe.

When REM first formed honorary band members included a tiny T-Rex and a Triceratops. They even sat in on recording sessions for three decades until 2011 when the band decided to call it a day.
Plastic dinos would go on world tours and pop up on speakers and instruments. In the 1996 song “Wake-Up Bomb” singer Michael Stipe sang about practising his “T-Rex moves and make the scene.”  It wasn’t that Stipe was a secret palaeontologist. It was more to do with creature comforts than a deep rooted fascination. Read more…

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