Orbital have announced their 2023 UK and Ireland tour dates ahead of the release of the their tenth studio record Optical Delusion on February 17th.
The tour arrives in Dublin at National Stadium 17th March, St. Patrick’s Day, which will be the band’s first indoor show since 2009. Tickets are €44.50 plus fees from Selective Memory and on sale this Friday at 10am.
UK dates in Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester and Bristol follow before London’s Brixton Academy and more in April. More shows may follow.
Last week, Orbital released their second single from the album, ‘Ringa Ringa (The Old Pandemic Folk Song)’, featuring vocals from The Mediaeval Babes, which takes its lyrics from the children’s nursery rhyme ‘Ring O’Roses’, a reference to The Black Death pandemic that raged in Europe in the mid-14th century. Listen below.
17 – Dublin, National Stadium
28 – Glasgow, SWG3
29 – Newcastle, NX
30 – Manchester, Albert Hall
1 – London, O2 Academy Brixton
5 – Leeds, O2 Academy
6 – Cambridge, Corn Exchange
7 – Nottingham, Rock City
8 – Brighton, Brighton Centre
Taking its name from Greater London’s orbital motorway, the M25, central to the early rave scene and party network of the South East during the early days of acid house, Orbital is legendary DJ brother duo Phil and Paul Hartnoll.
Orbital broke through in 1994, winning an NME award for Vibes Best Dance Act, but it was their headline appearance at the Glastonbury Festival on 25 June that year that brought them most attention. Q magazine classed it as one of the top 50 gigs of all time, and in 2002 included Orbital in their list of “50 Bands to See Before You Die”.
Orbital gave an improvisational element to live electronic music as the brothers mixed and sequenced their tracks on the fly, wearing their trademark head-mounted torches behind banks of equipment. Orbital were one of the few electronic acts invited to play at Woodstock ’94.
In Sides has since come to be one of their most critically well-regarded works. As with the previous album, there was a vague theme of ecological disaster and dissatisfaction with society.
The following year, the duo contributed to film soundtracks (The Saint, Event Horizon, Spawn) and enjoyed the biggest singles of their career, with a live version of “Satan” and their reworking of the aforementioned The Saint theme both reaching number three in the UK.
Orbital would go on to aid the Mortal Kombat film soundtrack in reaching Platinum selling status during 1995, with a remix of “Halcyon”, which can be heard during the final scene of the film.
The Hartnolls have rebuilt one of electronic music’s best-loved partnerships after Orbital’s surprisingly bitter break-up in 2012. Driven apart by music’s strange and infamous brother-vs-brother dynamic, Paul and Phil didn’t speak for five years. Now the brothers have a pact. Whatever happens, Orbital does not stop.