Monday, 27 September 2021


As we find ourselves in the midst of HGV driver shortages and panic buying at petrol stations in the UK, there has been renewed speculation that the Stanlow oil refinery in Ellesmere Port is "on the brink of collapse".

Like many, I became aware of Stanlow due to the eponymous song on Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark's second album Organisation, released in 1980. The album opens with sole single - and #8 hit in the UK - Enola Gay and closes with the beautiful, sparse Stanlow. My older brother had O.M.D.'s self-titled debut and Organisation on cassette and I was really affected by the music.

Fast forward to 8th November 2019 and I got to see O.M.D. live in concert for a second time. They played at the Bath Pavilion, which was a relatively intimate venue, and Stanlow was the opening song. It was spectacular start to a memorable evening.
Co-written by Andy McCluskey & Paul Humphreys, Stanlow remains one of O.M.D.'s finest moments.
This field remains
No heart or head or mind
No season could erase
We set you down
To care for us
A vision fading fast
A million hearts to one
So restrained
She turns away
I've seen her face in every day
The same routine along the way
Tonight in the rain
And then again it's been so long
Since one single promise kept
All to say to
We wanted a heart
To say what we want to
A morning comes just as it left
A warmer feeling seldom owned
And tonight
All I see
And as she turned we always knew
That her heart was never there


  1. I really enjoyed the Bath Pavilion gig. I think they also enjoyed playing a smaller venue AKA the scout hut... Stanlow is a great song!

    1. Yeah, at the time it felt like going to a wedding reception... with a really, really excellent band! The previous occasion was 1986 at the Colston Hall for the Pacific Age tour. That was good, but this was much, much better. A great night.