MusicDish e-Journal - October 13, 2015
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PRS for Music Honour Electronic Music Duo Orbital
Iconic group unveil music plaque at site of first live gig in North London
By Eric de Fontenay (Founder & Publisher)
(more articles from this author)
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Orbital, one of the UK's most influential electronic music acts was honoured with a PRS for Music heritage award. The plaque was unveiled at The Garage (formerly Town & Country II) in Highbury where the duo played their first live show on 18 March 1990.

Brothers Phil and Paul Hartnoll, from Kent formed Orbital in 1989 and quickly became central to the seminal 1990's UK dance music scene. Most famous for their classic anthems, Chime, Belfast, The Box and Satan, Orbital achieved eight studio albums, two original score albums, three live session albums and four compilation albums including a Peel session.

Orbital performed at the London 2012 Paralympics Games opening ceremony and their 1994 Glastonbury performance is often hailed as one of the best live shows at the festival. Their most popular album, Snivilisation spent four weeks at #4 in the UK charts, selling 80,000 copies and was listed by Q magazine as one of The 25 Best Dance Albums Ever.

Paul Hartnoll of Orbital said: "It's hard to believe our first proper Orbital gig was 23 years ago, I feel touched that PRS for Music want to mark this occasion which was for me one of the defining moments as a young man. I felt like 'I'd arrived' at some place, finally putting my foot on a road that I had been looking for as long as I can remember... I recall taking the stage assuming everything was new and fresh to this sophisticated London crowd (we'd come up from Sevenoaks in my Mini Metro) so was gobsmacked when we played ‘Chime' at the end of our 20-25 minute set and a ripple of recognition went up and smiles spread throughout the place. I truly realised at that point that something may have started."

The Garage venue has been a rite of passage for up and coming bands for over 20 years. Its notoriety for staging impressive live music shows has lead to performances by Suede, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mumford and Sons, Danzig, The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, The Undertones, Fall Out Boy, Paramore and The XX.

General Manager, Gemma Shamah of the Garage said: "As champions of music, new and old, we're thrilled and honoured to receive the PRS for Music heritage plaque alongside Orbital."

Mark Lawrence, Director of Membership, PRS for Music continued: "Orbital are true pioneers of British electronic music. They influenced a generation and helped to create an environment within which British dance acts could regularly achieve chart success. Orbital have created a long list of amazing songs. My personal favourites, ‘Chime' and ‘Belfast' were pivotal moments in my musical taste and I still listen to them today. To have Orbital returning to The Garage to accept their PRS for Music Heritage Award clearly demonstrates the crucial role live music venues have in helping to develop talented individuals who have the ability to shape a scene."

Ben Turner, founder of the Association of Electronic Music concluded: "Orbital are godfathers of a global electronic scene which has exploded beyond all expectations and, in some cases, all recognition. Orbital pioneered taking the electronic sounds to the live stage, progressing the scene away from DJ-ing and clubs, and led the way with the large-scale visual productions which are now commonplace on main stage festivals all over the world. Electronic music is now heard on commercial radio stations, in Hollywood movies, TV commercials and live events of every size. At the heart of this is the sound Orbital pioneered – heartfelt, innovative, futuristic music. In fact, everything good about electronic music – period."

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