LIVE REVIEW: Orbital @ NX Newcastle (29.03.23) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Image by Lee Fisher

I must have seen Orbital upwards of a dozen times ‘back in the day’ but I’m pretty sure I never saw them at an actual gig. You know, an ‘onstage-by-9pm-encores-and-done-by-10.45pm’ kind of affair. It was always all-nighters and raves and fields under moonlight. And I’m not sure how well a Wednesday night in the fairly charmless cavern of NX works, to be honest. And the audience were odd. Lots of rave grandads with thousand-yard stares in too-tight tracky tops made jittery by some pub dust and keen to relive their glory days as long as their knees held out. 

But Orbital? They were pretty great. Their shows were always visually stunning but technology means tonight’s lights and visuals were next level, even though it was slightly alarming when they were joined by a 15ft film of Jason Williamson for a run through Dirty Rat, part of a double-whammy with the timeless, Butthole Surfers-sampling Satan that has been messing with my synapses for thirty years. And even in NX, the sound was impressive, some satisfying chest-thumping bass especially. One of the first dance acts to fully realise the potential of playing live, the Hartnolls have this down to a tee, even if some of the newer material was ‘fine’ rather than fantastic. But we got Chime and Belfast and the rest, and even my depleted serotonin tingled a bit. May the batteries on their head torches never fade.

Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout