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OK, naming your band after a motorway is hardly the height of cool, but ambient techno mainstays Orbital have managed to pull it off and then some.

The Hartnoll brothers chose their moniker after the M25 and its pivotal role in the nascent Eighties rave scene from which they burst forth, and ever since their debut tune Chime hit the charts back in 1989, they have been pushing boundaries with their constantly evolving sound and innovative approach to the live show

.From becoming the darlings of the dance scene, they then alienated fans with their mid-Nineties sound which cleared dancefloors, as Phil Hartnoll has since recalled.

And when they took pride of place with their centrepiece performance at the Paralympics Opening Ceremony this summer, who did they share the stage with?

Rihanna? The Mumfords? Coldplay? Nope – Stephen Hawking, that’s who.

Like we said, the brothers have never been one to settle for predictability. 

After calling it a day back in the mid-Noughties, they reconvened and released their first album in eight years, Wonky, this April.

It was a true return to form that they then took off to the world’s summer festivals, playing everywhere from Scotland’s T In The Park to Seattle’s Decibel Festival, before releasing their soundtrack to the Brit crime film Pusher this October. 

They hit the capital for two gigs at the legendary Brixton Academy (Dec 15a late curfew show, too), which will end their year in style, and give you an early Christmas present that will take some beating come the 25th! Hallelujah indeed.

Brixton Academy, Dec 14 & 15  
Doors at 7pm & 8pm,  £30+  
Tube | Brixton




London gig: Orbital play Brixton Academy - December 14 and 15
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