- Henry Northmore
- 1 October 2009
Ambient electronica legends in Glasgow
The Orb brought ambient to the masses. The brainchild of Dr Alex Paterson the band emerged from the early house scene, manning the decks at Paul Oakenfold’s Land of Oz in 1988. ‘We split £90 between us when we did the six-hour chill out sessions. Our only brief was, “We don’t want them to dance in your room”,’ laughs Paterson, the only enduring permanent member of The Orb (currently a duo featuring Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann) that has featured names such as Youth, Jimmy Cauty (KLF), Kris ‘Thrash’ Weston, Steve Hillage and Andy Hughes through the years.
Their psychedelic electronica was packed with looping samples and dub basslines. ‘When [Adventures Beyond the] Ultraworld  came out, no one had heard of it,’ explains Paterson. ‘It was word of mouth and that was the most beautiful way of getting music across because it’s not about ego, it’s about making music, making people happy and making people chill out after a good night out raving.’ It was a formula that worked and they became mainstays at the likes of MegaDog and Glastonbury while UFOrb (1992) reached number one in the UK album charts.
But it’s not all about past glories, as The Orb’s latest album Baghdad Batteries proves. The band are still famed for their live shows. ‘With The Orb every night is different. We have a set routine but I can throw a spanner in when ever I want to,’ laughs Paterson. He leaves us with tantalising information on his next project: ‘I’ve just started work on an album with David Gilmore from Pink Floyd which I think every Orb and Pink Floyd fan will want to hear.’ Us included.
The Arches, Glasgow, Sat 10 Oct. Unfortunately this event has been CANCELLED