Live Review: The Orb, Bridport Electric Palace

Ravers young and old had much to celebrate this evening as The Orb brought their 25th Anniversary tour to Bridport.

The ambient house pioneers have been exploring the stratosphere since 1988. Tonight they again hit the heights with a joyous blend of timeless tunes, irreverent samples and surreal visuals.

From the off they’re in complete control, allowing opener Spanish Castles In Space’s celestial synth washes to ebb and flow for nearly 15 minutes before a beat finally kicks in.

For the next two hours, they produce an immersive set that sees colossal peaks tempered with mellower, reggae-infused grooves.

Read more: Music Review: The Orb, History of the Future, Part 2.

Never content to stand still, they take their back catalogue and remould it, sending huge slabs of dub bass through classics like The Blue Room, Towers of Dub and UF Orb.

These hard edges give their material a directness that keeps the music exciting and offers the dance floor plenty with which to work.

And in a final flurry, Little Fluffy Clouds is reborn with a techno bounce that takes the song into a euphoric new orbit, showing they’ve learnt a thing or two about subtlety and dynamics over the decades.

With the climax of a triumphant show, it’s clear The Orb still have a lot to offer.

Here’s to the next quarter-century.

(Music Editor: This review was originally published in the Dorset Echo, as was this album review. Photo courtesy of Steve Belasco.)


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