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Low Culture Podcast: An Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark Special!

In this month's subscriber podcast, Luke Turner and John Doran go deep on two albums from the magnificent OMD

In this month’s Low Culture podcast, we head back 40 years to discuss Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark’s Dazzle Ships, the record named after the bizarrely camouflaged naval ships of historical note, and its predecessor Architecture & Morality. Released to lukewarm critical reception, these are now two of John and Luke’s favourite albums. But what makes them so special? We talk about how they were under the pull of not only Liverpool, but also Manchester and Dusseldorf and were one of the few bands who lived up to the productivity and pop longevity of The Beatles, as well as sharing some of the same lyrical panache as Paul McCartney.

The River Mersey haunts the records, and we discuss how OMD never fitted in with the rest of the post-punk scene based at the legendary Eric’s club, but that these are albums that have a strange atmosphere of military technology, the post-Second World War, and Cold War worlds. We go on to consider the odd Catholicism and fervour of OMD’s work, the joy of honesty over authenticity in music, their relationship with the music press and John talks about Pretty In Pink and makes the case that OMD’s later, more commercial records are just as good as these two classics.

We also debrief from John’s Wembley Stadium DJ gig and have a chat about Luke’s garden and love of telly espionage drama A Spy Among Friends… oh, and John tries to claim that once upon a time, a badger reared up at him one dark night down a country lane. While you’re here, the next edition of the Low Culture podcast is our fifteenth birthday edition and ideally we want YOU to help us choose what to discuss. So if there’s a record, film, whatever you fancy you want us to discuss, do let us know on social media or email

Thanks as ever to our producer Alannah Chance and to all those who keep our show on the road with your generous subscriptions. To listen to the podcast you’ll need to be a Low Culture or Sound & Vision subscriber, signing up gives you access to this monthly broadcast plus a load more exclusive editorial, playlists, newsletters and, for the top tier, especially commissioned music. Sign up to be a tQ subscriber via the Steady checkout below or by visiting our page on the platform here.

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