are an English electronic dance music duo from Sevenoaks, Kent consisting of brothers Phil and Paul Hartnoll. Their career initially ran from 1989 until 2004, but in 2009 they announced that they would be reforming and headlined The Big Chill, in addition to a number of other live shows in 2009. The band's name was taken from Greater London's orbital motorway, the M25, which was central to the early rave scene and party network in the South East during the early days of acid house. In addition, the cover art on three of their albums features stylised atomic orbitals. Orbital were both critically and commercially successful, and known particularly for their element of live improvisation during shows. They were initially influenced by early electro and punk rock.

Links To Peel

John Peel Introducing Orbital In 1999

John Peel Introducing Orbital In 1999

John Peel introducing Orbital in concert

Peel seemed to discover Orbital in the early 90's, when their debut single Chime hit the UK Top 40 singles chart in 1990. The group were regularly played on Peel's shows and in 1999, he compared them to Lonnie Donegan, the singer Peel praised when interviewing the artist at the Glastonbury Festival. Strangely, Peel believed he detected Lonnie Donegan's music in Orbital's ambient music.[1] The band performed their last ever gig for Peel's show on 28 July 2004, before they decided to reform in 2009.


Festive Fifty Entries


1. Recorded: 1993-08-05. Broadcast: 10 September 1993. Repeated: 21 January 1994. Available on Orbital - Peel Session (CD, Internal, 1994)

  • Semi Detached / Detached / Lush 3 (Eurotunnel Disaster 94) / Walkabout

2. Recorded at Maida Vale and Broadcast: 28 July 2004

  • Remind / The Girl With The Sun In Her Head / Belfast / You Lot / The Box / Satan / Halcyon / One Perfect / Sunshine / Impact / Doctor? / Chime / Remind (Rewind)


Recorded live at the Glastonbury Festival: 1994-06-25. Broadcast: 01 July 1994

  1. Impact  
  2. Remind
  3. Walk Now
  4. Walk About
  5. Chime

Recorded live at Leeds Metropolitan University. Broadcast: 12 April 1996

  1. Out There Somewhere
  2. The Girl With The Sun In Her Head
  3. Dwr Bude
  4. The Box
  5. P E T R O L

Recorded live at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London: 1999-04-24. Broadcast: 27 April 1999

  1. An Fromhair
  2. The Box
  3. Nowt Left
  4. Style

Other Shows Played

(The following list was compiled only from the database of this site and Lorcan's Tracklistings Archive and is certainly incomplete. Please add further details if known.)

Orbital feat

Orbital feat. Alison Goldfrapp - Are We Here? (Industry Standard?)

'Are We Here?', a Peelenium 1994 and #31 in the 1994 Festive Fifty

Orbital - Out There Somewhere (Full 24 Minute Version)

Orbital - Out There Somewhere (Full 24 Minute Version)

'Out There Somewhere?', #47 in the 1996 Festive Fifty

Orbital - The Box - HQ

Orbital - The Box - HQ

'The Box', #07 in the 1996 Festive Fifty

  • 15 March 1996: The Box (CD – Single ) Internal
  • 19 March 1996: The Box (CD: The Box) Internal
  • 01 April 1996: The Box (CD: The Box) Internal (Peel sitting in for Mark Radcliffe)
  • 04 April 1996: The Box (CD: The Box) Internal (Peel sitting in for Mark Radcliffe)
  • 21 April 1996: The Girl With The Sun In Her Head (album - In Sides) Internal
  • 27 April 1996: P.E.T.R.O.L. (album - In Sides) Internal
  • 11 May 1996 (BFBS): 'The Girl With The Sun In Her Head (CD-In Sides)' (Internal)
  • 21 December 1996: Out There Somewhere? Parts I and II (LP-In Sides)' (Internal) (JP: 'I'm tempted to say that that's the longest record that's ever appeared in the Festive Fifty, but I know that if I do that somebody will write in and say, "Actually, you're quite wrong, and something a minute and a half longer than that appeared in the Festive Fifty." That someone might turn out to be David Gedge.') FF #47
  • 29 December 1996: The Box (CD-Insides)' (Internal) (JP: 'Not exactly my favourite Orbital track, but it's your Festive Fifty and not mine.') FF #07
Orbital - Style (Official Music Video)

Orbital - Style (Official Music Video)

'Style', #15 in the 1999 Festive Fifty

Orbital - Beached

Orbital - Beached

'Beached', #45 in the 2000 Festive Fifty


See Also

External Links

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