It took some time for the main O2 theatre to begin filling up, the balconies, it appeared to be, reserve needs only. So, support act solo deckster, Nathan Fake, had a job on his hands. He beeped and looped, pressed myriad buttons and tweaked the ‘pots’ but somehow got wrapped up in an introspective labyrinth of trance regurgitation. He did show his softer side with occasional charming melodic colourings.

Nathan Fake

Clearly, when Douglas Adams, in describing Eccentrica Gallumbits’,* the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon Six claims that Zaphod Beeblebrox was the ‘best bang since The Big One’ sadly couldn’t have anticipated an Orbital gig. (Though ‘Disaster Area’s’ space-pod ‘Sun-Dive’ finale was pretty close.)


Having written the film-score for the October released gear/gals n’guns moody crime thriller ‘Pusher’ (dir. Luis Prieto) and releasing a live video of their latest single ‘Where Is It Going?’ tonight marked the half way point through the punishing thirteen December gigs tour climaxing on Dec 15th at the curfew threatening Brixton O2 Academy. And, this Summer, sibling laser-spex dance duo, Phil & Paul Hartnoll, must have made their mom especially proud by participating in the opening of the Paralympics with frontman Prof. Stephen Hawkins on Hadron Collider. Now that’s Techno-Cool! Orbitally-challenged fans have had a lean time seeking new material since 2004s ‘Blue Album’. But, now they can blitz-out to ‘psychedelic loops, beeps and breaks’ from the latest studio album ‘Wonky’ which featured significantly tonight.


It’s not so much as you just go to an Orbital gig as being assimilated in to a total alternative perspective matrix of pan-dimensional sensual physicality – that is – sound and light turned up to 11. The Hartnoll bros’ head-lamps bob and weave in the stage blackouts like disembodied lost aliens or those utility submersibles in James Cameron’s ‘The Abyss’.


The ceremonies began with ‘Time Becomes’ to speed-loop vocals; street-lamp strobe carnage and bass-bin Armageddon.

Immediate crowd embracer ‘Beelzedub’ with its Tribal-girder-grinding insistency had a seething menace set against the multi-lozenge video projections of global conflicts, manic City traders, gratuitous smug politicians and the repetitive ‘violent/E666’ decal. But, it did close with a spinning ‘Smiley’. Draw what symbolism you will from that one.


‘Wonky’ eponymous title of the latest album distinguished itself with the vocal track from album guest Lady Leshurr. Check-out the video of a guy’s apartment possessed by psychotic cats. Things got decidedly Close Encounters with sample loops from The Carpenters meet ET’s Interplanetary Craft and ‘Belfast’ just embraced us with retro-beat romantic dance-enchantments. (Patrick Moore – looking down – gave an approving nod.)

Main set ended with the across-the-Universe trans-generational timeless theme tune from Doctor Who with a bewildering light show and frenzied collage of ever-changing clock/watch faces. The boys were genuinely touched by the raucous encore demands and complied with ‘Where Is It Going?’ and ‘Chime’. And, they were just a warm-up for the second encore.

Gig Review by John Kennedy
Gig Photos by John Bentley

*’Some people say her erogenous zones start some four miles from her actual body. It is possible that the Big Bang was actually one of her orgasms.’ Adams, D.


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