LOVE IN THE TIME OF COVID, THE ALBUM: O IS FOR ORBITAL

Surely, by now, at least one of you has danced around the house in your underwear. Doesn’t even have to be your underwear. Doesn’t even have to be your house. Or inside. Or in underwear. Or clothes.

Look, just send me videos of naked people dancing, okay?

Dance music is some Marmite stuff. Either you love it or you don’t. But while we’re all tucked up in our living rooms, and the gym’s closed, and they’ve changed the locks to the gate at the pool so my your key is useless, you’ve got to do something to maintain that clean, high-energy lifestyle you’ve been telling yourself you’re just about ready to commit to any time soon, right? (The prosecution would like it noted that the defendant is literally eating a plate of cheese, pickled onions, and crackers while typing this unwarranted slur on everybody else’s reputations….)

Orbital are great. High energy, high octane beats with a ridiculously large slice of satirical side-eye and a self-awareness about the popular culture that surrounds them which borders on the perverse. They played a huge part in bringing dance culture into the mainstream, headlining Glastonbury in 1994 and delivering one of the all-time great gigs before becoming movie soundtrack staples throughout the 90s. They’ve been a staple of my playlist for years: songs like Satan, The Sinner, Belfast, and Chime are mood-lifting staples for when I really need them.

And then there’s this: the song that first brought them into my… uh… orbit. The song that brought Lord 15 into dance music. A song that should remind us that everything changes, everything evolves, everything continues, even if the surface details may alter from time to time.

I can think of no more resonant and symbolic cultural figure to hold onto in these times than The Doctor, and so here we are: Orbital, and my favourite of their tracks, Doctor?, performed live at the scene of their greatest triumph, with a special appearance by… well, let’s just say it’s perfect.

So, no matter what happens over the next few weeks and months, no matter what we suffer through, and endure, remember: One day, we shall come back. Yes, we shall come back. Until then…..

 

 

If you’re late to the party, you can still get timey-wimey and listen to everything that has come before:

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