1999 Tour Diary
31st Dec - Cream Liverpool, England
16th Oct - Brazil
15th Oct - Brazil
25th Sep - Homelands Ireland
28th Aug - Pukkelpop
27th Aug - Lowlands
22nd Aug - V99
Chelmsford, England
21st Aug - V99
13th Aug - Flux Festival Edinburgh, Scotland
10th Aug - Total Eclipse
Festival - Plymouth, England
24th Jul - Long Beach Con
Center - California , USA
23rd Jul - Bill Graham Civic Aud - San Francisco , USA
22nd Jul - House of Blues, Las Vegas, USA
21st Jul - Del Mar Fairgrounds - Del Mar , San Diego, USA
20th Jul - Club Rio, Tempe, Phoenix , USA
18th Jul - Brady Theatre, Tulsa, USA
17th Jul - Bronco Bowl, Dallas, USA
16th Jul - Austin Music Hall, Austin , USA
15th Jul - State Palace Theatre , New Orleans , USA
14th Jul - Tabernacle Atlanta , USA
13th Jul - Fairgrounds Jacksonville , USA
11th Jul - Electric Factory, Philadelphia , USA
10th Jul - Palladium Worcester , USA
09th Jul - Hammerstein Ballroom, New York , USA
08th Jul - Crane, Pittsburgh , USA
07th Jul - Nautica Stage Cleveland , USA
06th Jul - State Theatre, Detroit , USA
04th Jul - Congress Theatre , Chicago , USA
02th Jul - Roskilde Denmark
26th Jun - Glastonbury, England
19th Jun - Madrid Stadium, Spain
17th Jun - Sonar 99, Barcelona, Spain
11th Jun - Prague Castle, Prague
29th May - Drum Rhythm Festival , Amsterdam
24th Apr - Peel Session - Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
15th Apr - Amsterdam
14th Apr - Paris , France
03rd Apr - Espárrago, Spain
31st Mar - Dublin, Ireland
30th Mar - Dublin, Ireland
28th Mar - Brixton Academy , London, UK
27th Mar - Brixton Academy, London, UK
26th Mar - Brighton , UK
24th Mar - Southampton, UK
23rd Mar - Cambridge , UK
22nd Mar - Wolverhampton , UK
21st Mar - Glasgow , UK
20th Mar - Manchester , UK
18th Mar - Sheffield , UK
17th Mar - Newcastle , UK
16th Mar - Leeds , UK
15th Mar - Bristol , UK
14th Mar - Exeter , UK
8th Mar - Mass , London (Cancelled)
TOURS - 27th March - Brixton Academy - London - England - UK

Photo Contribution #1 - Ian Judge
Set List - Loopz
Review Contribution #1 - Marcel Foster
Review Contribution #2 - Mark Stevens
Review Contribution #3 - Joanna Buck
Review Contribution #4 - Martin Dixon
Review Contribution #5 - Richard Wakefield
Review Contribution #6 - Sean Brazier
Review Contribution #7 - Charlotte "Bug" Milton
Review Contribution #8 - Paddy Eason
Review Contribution #9 - Dave Crook
Ticket Contribution - Sid

#1 Click on Image to view FULL size

Set List - (intro - Clockwork Orange), Way Out, Spare Parts Express, Impact (The Earth is Burning), Know Where to Run, An Fhomhair, Halcyon (with Belinda Carlisle and Bon Jovi samples) ,I Dont Know You People, The Box, Nothing Left (Parts 1 and 2), Style, Bigpipe Style, Satan, Open Mind (F.A.Mix) (with the new intro - vocoder fallout samples) , Doctor Who and Chime.

Review #1
- Marcel Foster
Today is Monday and i've just about got over the brilliance of saturday nights gig (27th March) at the academy. I kinda got there early so not only did i have a front row position, i also managed to catch the entirety of the Plaid's set (support act). The crowd were really appreciative of the sound and after a few 'laid back' numbers they really got into their element and the crowd responded appropriately. But to more important matters, namely the main act.

Orbital come on after an agonisingly long wait, sporting those ever fashionable maglite glasses, to the kind of applause and adulation usually reserved for an FA Cup Final. There was no question that the crowd tonight were waiting for lift off. Looking amongst the crowd I noticed that it was an older, more discerning audience (no disrespect to the younger Orbital fans out there :) First to kick off the proceedings was a track of the new album which I think was "Way Out" which went down very well. You could see lots of people really going for it, yet at the same they were really listening and analyzing the sound for as you know, Orbital tunes can be complex, multi-layered beasts with subtlety and feint melodies. Next up was the simply amazing and very aptly named "Spare Parts Express", 10 minutes of incredible melodies, constant changes in pitch, disjointed yet strangely so together. For me this was one of the best tracks of the show. Following that come various tracks most of them entirely new to an 'up for it' audience. Honourable mentions go to 'Nothing Left Parts 1 & 2', a really bass heavy Am Fhomhair, an evil sounding "I dont know you people" always brilliant classic "impact", always a crowd favourite and another show highlight "The Box 1 & 2" which was an entirely new live version comprises over a steadily decreasing/increasing pitch change within to track, a somewhat more dancy version of this classic track. The crowds response to this orchestrated brilliance was reciprocated by the manic dancing of the brothers Hartnoll (especially Phil who seemed to be having a whale of a time). One thing i neglected to mention was the briallance of the visuals which were displayed on specially constructed rotating screens which displayed catastrophic/world problem/philosophical imagery of a critical nature, a message to all of the destructive nature of mankind in general. The main part of the gig was then closed by the use of "Style" , firstly using its familiar stylophone incarnation then cleverly morphing into the ever popular radio version "Bigpipe Style" which really the those bodies moving!

And with a a wave and a bow, the Hartnoll exited stage right to an incredible crowd response, for the was no doubt that confirmed their status as incredible live performers with superb material. But they were not going to be left of the hook that easily. So for the next 5 or so minutes, the crowd screamed pleaded and begged for an encore (which we knew had to come) and sure enough the brothers returned. (By the way I loved the way they sent a sound guy out to dismantle some of the equipment, giving the impression that things were to end. He was in fact fine tuning i think). The return was marked by an ear splitting rendition of "Satan" in all its demonic glory, i swear that my ears were about to bleed! This was followed by a version of Open Mind, an old gem from almost ten years ago rejigged for maximum effect. They then played a track which slowly morphed into the old Doctor Who Theme much to the hilarity of all and this in turn blended into that classic tune "Chime", indeed the track that started it all. Upon its conclusion the brothers took a bow for this was indeed the end. Everyone looked shell shocked yet elated, i definately rate it as the best gig i have been to in the last few years (equal with the Hello Nasty Tours by the Beastie Boys) and i will definately see them at every opportunity. After the gig i chatted to a few people about the gig and the general concensus was that this was a live experience not to be missed for until you see this you have lived.

And to finish up this review, i would like to say that i have absolutely no complaints whatsoever for this was sheer brilliance from start to finish. And to make the evening even better, i managed to pull a Greek girl who was a very knowlegable fan and who actually plans to travel between Greece and England just to see this band (HI ADRIANA!). What more recommendation do you need?

Review #2 - Mark Stevens
Plaid wandered on stage just after 20:30, when the venue was only half full. I'd already been there over an hour and I'd already sussed that this wasn't really an IDM crowd, so about 70% of the audience just carried on chatting and guzzling beer throughout their forty minute set. The remaining 30% seemed to be "in the know" and cheered at all the recognisable tunes.

Well, perhaps "tune" singular. The only track I recognised was a heavily modified 'Scoobs'. They didn't play one single cut from 'Not For Threes', 'Android', 'Undoneson' or 'Peel Session'. I haven't heard much of 'Mbuki', so I don't know if they played anything from there.

Despite that most of the tracks were probably new, the style was very much like their Bytes-era Black Dog stuff -- in fact I swear I heard a few snippets of old Black Dog tracks in there. Lots of analogue mayhem, pulsing basslines and punchy rhythms. I think the engineers at the venue were giving the bass a bit too much bias, because I could just about hear a few melodies straining to be heard in the mix above the head-spinning bass.

Overall, a solid performance, but nothing outstanding. The highlight was definitely the final track of their set, a really energetic acid-techno work out with squawking basses, 808/909 percussion and lots of raw analogue drones and meldoies.

The Hartnoll brothers arrived on stage just after 21:30, to deafening cheers. Gone were the trademark 'torch goggles'... in their place were fucking huge (and powerful) car headlamp goggles! Phil Hartnoll's beams were piercing right through the smoke and hitting the back walls of the Academy.

To sum up their set in two words -- fucking awesome. They were on stage for two hours (yep, two!) and played all of the new 'Middle of Nowhere' album, spinning in various classics (Chime, Satan, Halycon, Impact and The Box) along the way.

If the crowd were a bit nonchalant during Plaid's set, then they underwent a complete change once Orbital arrived. Now, at most gigs of this sort, you tend to get the dancing types right down the front, whilst the beard-stroking sit-down types sit at the back. Not so with this crowd. Every single person in the building was jumping around like crazy. I've never seen anything like it. I had an excellent vantage point -- a clear view of the stage (including the excellent projected visuals) and the mass of people. *NO-ONE* was standing still.

What was also amazing that people were mostly getting off on the new material. Again, at your average gig it's the new material that stops everyone in their tracks, but the new tracks went down a storm. And with good reason too -- they were amazing. I sincerely hope they're a good representation of the album's feel, because it means we'll get the pace and energy of 'Brown', the sophistication of 'Snivilisation', the production trickery of 'In Sides' and the huge fun factor of 'Green'. Don't worry if you were a bit disappointed with 'Style' -- the other tracks will knock you for six.

It's hard to pick out individual highlights. As far as the old stuff's concerned -- the new version of 'Impact (The Earth is Burning)' was amazing; snippets of Belinda Carlisle and Bon Jovi were effortlessly woven into 'Halcyon'; their reworking of the Doctor Who theme was fall-down funny (and much better than KLF's). As for the new stuff, well it was all excellent.

Review #3 - Joanna Buck
WOW!!! went to see my favourite twosome on saturday night! Arrived early to position myself right at the front! (call it sad, but it I have suffered over 48 hours of Tinutis to pay for it!!).That however, did not taint and absolutely awesome night! Having seen them before at a huge venue like Glastonbury and at possibly one of the smallest venues,Cornwall Colliseum, this was perfect all round. Really enjoyed the new stuff, and, of course became lost in hysteria at thier old stuff (esp Hacylon!!!). Just like to say Orbital you are the best!!! Keep up the good work Steve! ( If you were there somwhere, which I'm sure you were, I was the mad Bint jumping around at the front!!!). (one of many :) - Loopz)

Review #4 - Martin Dixon
Saw Orbital Saturday night - the BEST gig I've been to. A combination of the venue, the crowd and the music made it an awesome occasion.

Review #5 - Richard Wakefield
The crowd was so impatient to see the legendary duo that when Plaid err... played, their excellent introduction just hyped us up even more. 'Clockwork Orange' came on and thos instantly recognisable bug lights floated across the stage. Orbital took to their craft-like set and a repeated sequence of chords was initiated. 'Way Out' had every person listening intently and when the bass line came on, the floors began shaking. Infact the rest of the night had everyone swimming in a sea of bass. (It is now Tuesday and I have only just got my hearing back!) A few tracks later and 'Impact' came on with applause all round and admiration for the real-time visuals. I thought a lot of the visuals were pretty pessimistic witht the crash-test dummies, pulse rates and of course Satan's gunshots and explosions. 'Nothing Left' (parts 1 and 2) flowed so well and proved that the new album is certainly more dancey than the previous. Tracks that really got the audience moving included 'The Box', 'Style', and 'Halcyon and On and On' with 'those' cheesy but incredibly slick samples. (To Orbital -PLEASE release this track as a B-side or something!!!). The wait for the encore seemed so long and some people used this as an advantage to roll up fresh joints. Orbital didn't let us down, because in their encore, we were treated to the violently loud 'Satan' and 'Chime.' The surprise was a huge success, and that was in the form of a 'Doctor Who' remix. Only pure geniuses could make a cult theme tune sound like the dog's danglies, and these people are Orbital.

Review #6 - Sean Brazier
Just a quick note to say thanks for loopz, it's absolutely excellent. And also to say armed with all the previous gig reviews, I saw them in Brixton on saturday, and it was not only better than the 2 times I've seen them before, it was pretty much the best live gig I've ever seen. Looking forward to the new album like a 5 year old on Christmas Eve.

Review #7 - Charlotte "Bug" Milton
Saw Orbital at Brixton last night and they were absolutely fantastic. The new tunes sounded brilliant, there was a variety of sounds which sounded great. No matter what they do it always sounds great...musical genius' me thinks. Memorable bit of the nite was the Doctor Who/Chime finally piece....a great way to end the set.

Can't wait to get the album

Review #8 - Paddy Eason
I went to the Sat Brixton gig, and am still glowing! I've been to a few Orbital gigs (OK - credentials - I bought the 7inch of Chime when it first came out, I saw Orbital supporting The Shamen and also at the Serious Road Trip benefit at Linford Film Studios, Glastonbury, as well as many many other gigs) and this one was really one of the best I can remember. The set was wonderfully paced, no flat patches anywhere, very very fierce at times (Satan was pulverising), great sound quality (loud!), the visuals were better than ever, mesmerising (congratulations to the vision people) - everything! Any complaints? I'd like to hear "Forever" again, but you can't have everything...

Review #9 - Dave Crook

I cant give you a set list but they were absolutely brilliant and looked like they were enjoyinging themselves, and tasty projections too (a little Barney bubbles/hawkwind influenced??)

Plaid on the other hand lacked that BIG tune to kick in with, Ok but only just
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