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Page last updated at 11:32 GMT, Monday, 2 March 2009
Orbital respond to 'call of the wild'

By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat music reporter

Orbital will play together for the first time in five years this summer

"We're just going to collect them now from a dodgy pub in London Bridge under the counter," says Orbital's Paul Hartnoll somewhat suspiciously.

Thankfully he's not talking about a set of knocked off MP3 players or a plastic bag of pirate DVDs.

In a grimy, but historic step he's just about to pick up two brand new pairs of Orbital's trademark torch-goggles.

"They were always customised but these ones they really are 'up to 11' - new and improved," he laughs.

Extended absence

So it is with glistening equipment that Sevenoaks' seminal dance duo return to the stage for the first time in five years this summer.

Alongside The Prodigy, Underworld and The Chemical Brothers they were one of the 90s most important dance acts.

"We felt the call of the wild to revisit the Orbital stuff," says Paul, the younger of the Orbital's Hartnoll brothers - Phil being the other.

"It feels right - it feels exciting, it feels fresh again," he says.

"We've got five years absence of new ideas - it just felt like the right thing to do."

Orbital at Glastonbury 2004
Orbital's last performance was at Glastonbury in 2004

Back in June 2004, at their spiritual home Glastonbury, after 15 years and five studio albums they decided to call it a day and hang up the decks and torches for good. Well, not for good.

"The first couple of years I was relieved to have finished that chapter of my life and I was really enjoying doing other things," he reflects.

During the absence Paul worked on an orchestral solo album whilst Phil made an LP as Long Range. Both also scored films.

"The last couple of years I've just felt this pull back to it - just seeing people like the Chemical Brothers on stage and really enjoying a concert of theirs and thinking, 'Oh, yeah I miss doing that'".

However, it won't be a case of wheeling out a performance which was successful half a decade ago - the set will be brought up to 2009.

"[We plan to] treat them to a refit and rethink and sort of rejig them how we'd like to hear them now - we've been constructing our set on paper if you like.

"I've been revisiting stuff and that's been helping us to decide what to play live and that kind of thing we've got so much stuff there its hard to boil it down to a festival set."

New material

Plans to begin writing new material aren't confirmed just yet though.

"I think one step at a time really with that," says Paul diplomatically.

"I'm not going to say no or anything like that because I said that before when I said we weren't going to play anymore, and here we are five years later playing gigs."

We've got five years absence of new ideas - it just felt like the right thing to do
Paul Hartnoll, Orbital

With fellow 90s dance pioneers The Prodigy sat at number one in the album chart it seems like an apt time for the duo to reappear.

Paul Hartnoll: "At the moment we haven't been sitting anywhere in the dance landscape - we're about to plop ourselves right back into the middle of it hopefully.

"But then, we've never been entirely a dance band. People enjoy us who aren't just necessarily dance fans."

While their summer plans will include dates at the Get Loaded ["the light show over the sunset and darkness approaching towards the end of the gig - I love it"] and Big Chill festivals it won't see them rekindle their love affair with Glastonbury.

"Not this year. We're very busy, I think we're doing enough," he reasons.

Despite that, with Chime set to soundtrack this summer once again, it is more than a welcome return.

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