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Review: Orbital at the Cambridge Corn Exchange

The popular dance act, who have been making music since the late 1980s, got the Cambridge audience moving when they appeared in the city on Wedesday, December 19.

Phil and Paul Hartnoll, who are originally from Sevenoaks in Kent, came out on stage to the sound of Professor Brian Cox's existential commentary, which features on the track There Will Come a Time (We Will Die) off their latest album, 2018's Monsters Exist.

Climbing the steps to a high-rise platform which had their futuristic-looking equipment on top of it, the pair then donned their famous 'laser eyes' and played the title track of the new album, supported by excellent lighting and visuals.

Sections of the crowd began dancing almost right from the off, while others took a while to get going. The title track of the new album went down very well, as did Impact (The Earth Is Burning) off 1993's Orbital 2.

The video screens behind projected fast-moving lights, images and videos - including the London Underground and UK protests. The latter was the backdrop to P.H.U.K., which I leanrned stood for "Please Help, UK" when the cry for help was displayed below the band.

Belinda Carlisle's Heaven Is a Place on Earth was sampled, subtly 'mashed up' with Bon Jovi's You Give Love A Bad Name, ahead of the superlative Halcyon, and later on in the show the Doctor Who theme tune made a welcome appearance on Doctor?. Belfast was a further highlight.

At the end of the show, the grateful brothers took off their headsets and saluted the appreciative crowd who had received them with such enthusiasm, one of them saying, "Thank you very much, you've been brilliant!"

Despite a couple of slightly lacklustre tunes, this was a winning performance from an exciting and forward-thinking act that has still most definitely 'got it'.

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