23rd April - Maida Vale Studios - London - England
2001 - UK Tour Diary
5th May - Sheffield - England
6th May - Wolverhampton - England
7th May - Liverpool - England
8th May - Derby - England
10th May - Edinburgh - Scotland
11th May - Glasgow - Scotland
12th May - Manchester - England
14th May - Bristol - England
15th May - Newcastle - England
17th May - Cambridge - England
18th May - Brixton - London - England
26th May - Homelands - England
1st June - Koln Rock Am Ring Festival - Germany
30th June - MTV Dance Launch party - The Ocean - London
29th July - Fuji Rock Festival - Japan
4th August - Dance Valley - Holland
5th August - Benicassim - Spain
24th August - Pukkelpop - Belgium
25th August - Creamfields UK - Liverpool - England
7th September - Festivalna Hall - Sofia - Bulgaria
8th September - 4th J & B Dance and Techno Festival - Maslak - Istanbul - Turkey
18th September - Lycabettus Ampitheatre - Athens - Greece
21st September - Sala Razzamatazz - Barcelona - Spain
22nd September - Plaza De Toros - San Sebastian - Spain
23rd September - Sala Riviera - Madrid - Spain
2001 - USA Tour Diary
2nd October - Trees in Dallas - USA
3rd October - La Zona Rosa in Austin - USA
5th October - Earthlink Live in Atlanta - USA
6th October - House of Blues in Orlando - USA
7th October - Billboard Live in Miami - USA
10th October - 9.30 Club in Washington - USA
11th October - Palladium in Worcester - USA
12th October - Trocadero in Philadelphia - USA
13th October - Roseland in New York - USA
15th October - The Opera House in Toronto - Canada
16th October - St Andrews in Detroit - USA
17th October - Metro in Chicago - USA
18th October - Quest in Minneapolis - USA
19th October - The Rave in Milwaukee - USA
20th October - Madrid Theater in Kansas City - USA
22nd October - Gothic in Denver - USA
24th October - Warfield in San Francisco - USA
25th October - Palladium in Los Angeles - USA
10th November - Portsmouth Guildhall - Portsmouth
11th November - Birmingham Academy - Birmingham
12th November - Exeter University - Exeter
13th November - Brighton Centre - Brighton
15th November - Brixton Academy - London
16th November - Brixton Academy - London
23rd December - The Point - Dublin - Ireland
  TOURS - 2001
  10th October - Washington DC - 9.30 Club
  I arrived a couple of days before and did the tourist thing (as you do!). I had spoken to a lot of people in DC about the gig and the kind of crowd to expect. They said that the crowd tends to be a bit more laid back.

The venue itself is very similar to the Hackney Ocean club only not as posh. It looked like an ideal place to host an Orbital gig with plenty of viewing areas on the balcony and plenty of room for the dancers. The old 9.30 club was a bit different - rumours had it that the dance floor was slightly caved in when they closed it!

The crowd slowly spilled into the club and it was very much a younger crowd as opposed to mixed age. I met up with a few people before - one person I had met two years ago in Brixton! All friendly of course and a special mention for France who put up with my deranged English humour (well....thats what I would call it anyway!). Orbital came on stage and "Tension" ripped the set open. The crowd response was appreciative but more in a head-noding way. After a period of time the movement started and the domino effect took place. The dance floor was now transfixed into the music, the balconies were a mass of bopping heads.

Washington DC
Everything was in place tonight although the 303 decided to go all mute during the "Weekend Ravers mix" of "Funny Break". The crowd didn't notice it but of course some sad trainspotter did :) "Chime" also didn't want to stop but there was nothing wrong in that!!!

Speaking to people in the crowd - there was a positive vibe and no negative comments. Many said how better it was from the gigs they did two years ago. Washington DC - a very friendly place (in most areas) with very friendly people.

We left Washington in the early hours of the 11th and started our long drive all the way to Worcester by Boston. I think most people were woken by the rough roads on the outskirts of New York City but it was worth it just to take in the views. As we approached Worcester we could see the beautiful display of the Autumn Trees - a mixture of dark reds, yellow, green and orange. Colours that we just wouldn't see in England. We arrived in Worcester approx. 10am


  11th October - Worcester - Palladium
  The jet-lag effects are slowly disappearing and the lack of sleep on the drive to Worcester have added to my deranged sleeping pattern.

Worcester is a quiet city and a total contrast to DC. I decided to spend the first part of the morning (yes...morning!) walking up the main street to find a source of information about the place. St Pauls Cathedral had the information desk I was after but the person who talked to me said there wasn't much to see. "You need to go to Boston" he said.

The venue was slightly bigger than the 9.30 club with a deep balcony section which unfortunately was closed for tonight's gig. There was a lot of activity around the stage as Paul and Phil were looking into bringing a classic track back into the live set. They had received many requests for "Halcyon" and decided that it should get another airing. A few hours later and the sound check consisted of the lush vocals of Kirsty Hawkshaw.


  I met a couple of people before and during the gig who were off the old mailing list and the new forums. Again...friendly people and eager to experience the live sounds of Orbital. A lot of people were asking the question "Why Worcester....why not Boston". I wasn't too sure of the answer at the time but I had a quick chat with the Tour Manager and he explained the situation. Boston has a strict curfew in the week so if Orbital played in Boston then the gig would have to be finished by 9.30pm

Orbital came on to a warm response and it didn't take long for the crowd to maneuver into a mass of waving arms. No technical problems and a smooth transition from track to track. Phil announced Halcyon to a massive cheer. You can just imagine the response when THOSE samples kicked in. Fantastic to see and experience. There were some unusual dressed up people - saw a couple of fairies at one point and im sure it wasn't the drink!

We decided to video a few people about the gig and when I get back to England we should hopefully get some of these videos online for everyone's amusement. No negative comments - all positive. An appreciative audience that were obviously there to have a good time.

The drive took south and once more past the rough roads of New York. The Manhattan skyline was in the far distance - lights twinkling in the dark night. The eerie feeling soon came across as I realized how things have changed over the past month. We arrived at Philadelphia as the sun was creeping up over the horizon but I was in bed way before that!


  12th October - Trocadero - Philadelphia
  Day three...Philadelphia. The morning started with the search for the venue itself. We parked in Chinatown around the corner from the venue...but which corner. After around 10 minutes the Trocadero was found (and i thought my memory was bad :) ).

Philadelphia has some cool sights to see. Lots of unusually shaped sky-scrapers with cool blue colours. Its one of those cities where its easy to get lost...and i did....twice!

The venue was very similar to DC and Worcester. There is a tall balcony looking over a reasonable size dance floor. I came across some strict rules about drinking - as in you was not allowed to drink in the hall itself. Mickey Mann was informed that he wouldnt be able to smoke at the mixing desk neither. Unusual ... but maybe not in America.

There was a slightly better turnout tonight. Most people that i had spoken to had mentioned that they never really heard about the gig until the last minute. Not many had heard of the website neither but we are working on that now.

Orbital kicked off their set and had no problem getting the crowd moving. Everything seemed a lot tighter tonight although "Halcyon" (yes...its still on the set list at the moment!) had a bit of a false start.


Once it had kicked in there was a gigantic roar as the crowd showed how much they wanted to hear it. There was no turning back - the crowd didnt stop moving until the final bars from the last track. I only spoke to a few people after as one of the bouncers (as we say here) wanted people out and he was as wide as i am tall. I did manage to meet up with a few people including the resident Loopz graphix artist Mike Melli (see you in New York!).

Tonight was the best gig so far of all the American dates i have attended. The crowd played a major part - its always good to hear good music and see lots of smiling faces.

Tomorrow is New York - this is one i am seriously looking forward to.


  13th October - New York - Roseland
  A very short drive to New York turned into a tale of detours. I was in the truck following the tour bus as the tour bus driver knew how to get there. Its a shame he couldnt remember to turn into the right roads :) We arrived at the venue after many minutes getting lost and a scary moment where we encountered a low bridge that was fortunately just about high enough for the truck to get under.

New York...its a name that is on everyones minds and a place which really appealed to me when i heard about the tour. It was about 4am on the day of the gig and the city was very alive. I was really tempted to hit the town then but i knew that i had a couple of nights where i could let my hair down (if i had any). I hit the trunk bunk instead...

We was parked round the back of the club so i awoke to see some really cool art graffiti alongside the outside wall. The venue itself is similar in size to the Wolverhampton civic but with a very low roof. Balconies span the sides and the back.

I met loads of people tonight including a friend who i have had virtual communication with for 5 years (Doris). That was a special moment for me and i wont ever forget it. There was also two people i met at Maida Vale in April (Becs and Chris) who had flown out for the weekend especially to see Orbital. Then there was people from the forums and xmission list. Im glad to say that people i talk to via email, messaging or by phone end up twice as friendly in real life.

New York
Orbital were on top form - Phil came onstage and immediately was warming the crowd up - "Its great to be here!". The party had started and there was nearly 2000 people freaking to the awesome sound of "Tension". It was hot in the venue and it soon became a sweat bucket with the crowd activity. "Funny Break (Weekend Ravers Mix)" is still proving to be a massive crowd pleaser. A mass of arms waved as the breakdown introduced the uplifting synth. "Illuminate" has metamorphosed into a vocodered version 2 with the aggressive fat bass lines and crashing beats. Orbital bid goodbye before the encore and immediately the crowd simultaneously shouted "We Want More!....We Want More!". Paul and Phil gladly fulfilled the request. Tonight the crowd in New York made this into the gig of the tour without a doubt.

Tomorrow is a non-gig day - the band moved onto Toronto overnight whereas i decided to spend an extra night in New York. I travelled with a few people from the meetup with our host Doris to a really cool , low-lit pub not far from that cafe from "When Harry met Sally". It was a long night ...


  15th October - Toronto - The Opera House
  After my extra day in New York and not much sleep at all, I made my way to the airport for a quick flight to Toronto. I had a very interesting taxi journey - the conversation was totally inspiring and one that I caught on video as I was filming the scenery. A few people have asked if I have photos and video of the sights and the answer is yes. I will be creating a side page so that those who are interested can view it online. This wont be completed until I come back from the tour and recover of course :)

My flight was very relaxing and I probably spent less time in the air than I did in the airport. Security was way too relaxed for my liking and I was surprised the reaction I got when I told three people about a box that was quite happily sitting in the baggage area on its own. No one was interested and one security person mentioned that they "didn't care". Shocking...

Unfortunately I didn't get chance to see much of the sites - I wanted to experience the view from the tower for one. Downtown Toronto was rammed - I experienced the rush hour on a tram with all my baggage. Great Fun! I finally arrived at the venue just as the sound check was starting up. The atmosphere has always been very relaxed considering that the tour has remotely suffered from poor promotion and a reduced crowd because of the obvious reasons. We have received many emails with kind comments including "All thoughts of the attacks, missing friends and Anthrax scares melted away the moment you hit the stage. It was incredibly therapeutic and you made a lot of people happy". That is the biggest compliment that Orbital could have received.

The venue is the usual balcony theater's but this one had different levels for viewing. The support act was a live group so that made a good change. Their music was fairly chilled out which appealed to me and a lot of the crowd (I have some brief video footage which I will get online when I get back). I met some wonderful people tonight and a few eccentric fans (nothing wrong in that). Special hello to Aimee, her Boyfriend, her Brother and her Dad (Thanx for your help getting me away from the airport). Aimee is another friend who I have had years of communication with over the Internet but never ever met her until tonight.

Orbital had no problems warming the crowd as they were already up for the gig. "The Girl With The Sun In Her Head" was warm and refreshing enough to raise the hairs on the back of the head in time with everybody's arms and cheers. Phil and Paul appear to be even more animated on stage as they respond to the crowds response. "Oi" has been a favorite with the American crowd and it appears to have made an impact with the Canadians. The video animation created by Giles Thacker contains the infamous PacMan sequences being chased by toasters! Totally deranged!

I managed to mingle down front left and the crowd were certainly one of the best of the tour especially as "Impact" turned everyone seriously mad. It was a big wet sweaty night!

Tomorrow we make our way to the American border and get ready to entertain Detroit.


16th October - Detroit - St Andrews

We left Toronto and my head was spinning. I don't know whether to blame the two bottles (ahem) I drank or the lack of sleep. I managed to update the site as Kenny (Mr Truck driver extraordinaire!) blasted towards the border. We was expecting some serious delays because of the added security checks but it was surprising easy to get back into the states.

As soon as we crossed the bridge we could see the lights of Detroit. It was raining...and it didn't stop raining and raining. After a short sleep I decided to have a look around. I thought i would find a record store so i could grab some classic Detroit sounds but i searched for at least an hour. I was soaked and cold - the wind didnt help one bit neither. No one could point me in the direction so it wasn't long before I came back to the venue.

The venue was smaller than the usual gigs we had been to but it still looked an appealing night. The balcony creaked as you walked on it and the downstairs was supposed to be THE place that the Detroit house sounds were made - Strings of life!

I was generally feeling a bit low today and im sure that other seemed to be the same. Sounds a bit mad but seeing and experiencing the bad weather just made a few of us think of home (its an English thing I guess!). So it was good to see the doors finally open ready for a night of Orbital.


There was a few familiar faces, Aimee, Chantale and Trish turned up because they wanted a second dosage from the Toronto gig night before. Orbital were certain to please and fulfill their request. There were quite a few photographers and its always a good idea to see their reaction to the gig. I remember watching one guy stop shooting his film during "Belfast". The familiar tones were brought in and he just stopped clicking away, looked up and beamed a massive smile. "Illuminate" oozed the crowd into a frenzy as the more up-beat part of the track enticed the people with the big deep bass and "phat" beats. Hypnotic they didn't start dancing until the night was over. The crowd was a lot slower to react but in the end they were one. Not the best crowd of the tour but it was certainly a different story as the last few tracks played out. Tomorrow is Chicago.


  17th October - Chicago - The Metro

We left the wind, rain and cold of Detroit and made our way to the Windy City. We arrived in the early hours of the morning after the long drive. Chicago wasnt as cold as I thought it would be and it wasn't raining so that was a massive bonus.

After a short visit for breakfast with multiple cups of coffee (they just keep filling it up yaknow!) the truck was unloaded and another gig day starts. It takes hours to set up the Orbital stage and equipment. These guys just make it look so simple and it always runs fairly smooth. There needs to be a bonding, when they are on the road for weeks without seeing their family.

It appears yesterdays blues had an effect on half the crews brains as one by one, people within the Orbital camp realized they had left something back in Detroit. I then realized I had left my coat and my traveller cheques (although...i realized that they were with me all the while...thick or what :) ). It was gonna be fun getting everything back!

The venue was yes...you guessed it....a hall with a balcony. This was more wider than the others and it was to be rammed with Orbital punters. Sales were very good at this gig and the general thought was this was to be a sell out.


Doors opened and the place was packed - a confirmed sold out gig. The crowd didnt disappoint and soon got into the swing of things. "Tension" is always a good starter to an Orbital gig. Hard, loud and generally evil sounding. It sends the eardrums into overdrive just like "Satan". "Satan" is just changing as time goes by and all for the good reasons. The visuals are dark and menacing, the sounds are loud, heavy and the Kirk guitar solos are just mind-blowing. "Halcyon" had a massive response as soon as the synth came in. It was a good move for Orbital to bring this classic back for the American audience.

There were a lot of people filming and taking shots - hopefully some will get in touch. There wasnt much room to move and even shoot photos without disturbing someones space so i decided to complete some quick shots and let everyone enjoy themselves. I spoke to many people after the show who had never seen Orbital before. Good responses as normal and i even saw a few people in tears.

My last leg of the tour is tomorrow...im tired and i seriously smell! :)


  18th October - Minneapolis - Quest
  We had a bit of a nightmare finding the venue in Minneapolis. Ken knew where it was but the truck had to deal with reduced road widths due to roadworks and navigation problems because of the one way systems. We got there in the end!

The venue looked very cool - a dancefloor, side bars, sit down table area, a balcony with more sit down areas and this really cool tree infested nightclub area.

This was to be my last Orbital gig of the USA tour and I would have to admit that I was starting to feel very tired and rundown because of the whole experience. All those late nights and cat nap sleeping doesn't really help does it ? :)

I managed to get a small video interview with Paul and Phil before the gig and within time (hopefully sooner rather than later) we will get that online for everyone to download and watch. I just had enough time to get myself booked in the hotel and then back to the venue to meet up with a few people.


This was a bit of an early gig with Orbital due to FINISH at 10pm but there was a good vibe in the club from the start. I got all the photo stuff out the way early on and I decided that I wasn't going to video any of this gig just so I could get stuck into the gig with the crowd. "Belfast" sounded awesome tonight - the rumbling bassline that introduces the track from the Weekend Ravers mix of Funny Break is enough for me. I could listen to that loop for hours on end. The vocal samples that are lifted from the original always guarantee a response and tonight is no different. I cant see anyone not enjoying this rendition and I feel exactly the same with "Impact". Last tour they decided to reverse part1 and part2, this time they take the original track in a different direction. I seriously cant get enough of this track and its current version. Brilliant! "Satan" has also been taken to another world mainly because the visuals and lighting play a major part in the track. The final section with the strobes is just great to watch and hear!

Its all over. Its time for me to head back to normal English life. I have the jet-lag to look forward to and then I have work at 9am on Monday. cant wait. America is an amazing place and it was good to see a mixture of cities. The people I met were friendly and made us feel very welcome. I felt sorry to go especially as I knew that Orbital were carrying on westward. I missed my life back at home as well and I missed a lot of special people in my life.

I would like to thank everyone who I met and everyone within the Orbital camp for making all this possible. A big thank you for Ken for the entertainment on the road!

I have plenty of material in photo and video format that I will be slowly adding to the site within the few weeks. I will also be creating a separate page that will have sight-seeing pics for those who are interested in that. Join the mailing list to ensure you are kept up to date with any updates on the site.



The End of the Road

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