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PRS for Music to honour electronic duo Orbital 

24 October 2013

Iconic group to unveil music heritage plaque at site of first live gig in North London

Musicans' Union and UK Music

Orbital, one of the UK’s most influential electronic music acts, is to be honoured with a PRS for Music heritage award. The plaque will be unveiled on 12 November at The Garage in Highbury where Phil and Paul Hartnoll played their first live show on 18 March 1990.

The Hartnoll brothers from Kent formed Orbital in 1989 and quickly became central to the seminal 1990’s UK dance music scene. Most famous for their classic anthems, Chime, Belfast, The Box and Satan, Orbital achieved eight studio albums, two original score albums, three live session albums and four compilation albums including a Peel session. Orbital performed at the London 2012 Paralympics Games opening ceremony and their 1994 Glastonbury performance is often hailed one of the best live shows at the festival. Their most popular album, Snivilisation spent four weeks at #4 in the UK charts, selling 80,000 copies and was listed by Q magazine as one of The 25 Best Dance Albums Ever.

Paul Hartnoll said: "It’s hard to believe our first proper Orbital gig was 23 years ago, I feel touched that PRS for Music want to mark this occasion which was for me one of the defining moments as a young man. I felt like 'I’d arrived' at some place, finally putting my foot on a road that I had been looking for as long as I can remember.  We were so pleased to be asked to play at The Shaman’s heavily influential club night, Synergy which fused house music, indie music and political comment under one roof - not something that happened much then.

The gig took place between 'Chime’ coming out as a white label (2000 copies at the time) and being released on FFRR a few months later. I remember taking the stage assuming everything was new and fresh to this sophisticated London crowd (we'd come up from Sevenoaks in my Mini Metro) so was gobsmacked when we played ‘Chime’ at the end of our 20-25 minute set and a ripple of recognition happened and smiles spread throughout the crowd. I truly realised at that point that something may have started."

The Garage venue has been a rite of passage for up and coming bands for over 20 years. Its notoriety for staging impressive live music shows has lead to performances by Suede, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mumford and Sons, Danzig, The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, The Undertones, Fall Out Boy, Paramore and The XX.

General Manager, Gemma Shamah of the Garage said: "As champions of music, new and old, we’re thrilled and honoured to receive the PRS for Music heritage plaque alongside Orbital."

Mark Lawrence, Director of Membership, PRS for Music continued: "Orbital are true pioneers of British electronic music. They influenced a generation and helped to create an environment within which British dance acts could regularly achieve chart success.  Orbital have created a long list of amazing songs. My personal favourites, ‘Chime’ and ‘Belfast’ were pivotal moments in my musical taste and I still listen to them today. To have Orbital returning to The Garage to accept their PRS for Music Heritage Award clearly demonstrates the crucial role live music venues have in helping to develop talented individuals who have the ability to shape a scene."  

Ben Turner, founder, Association for Electronic Music concluded:

PRS for Music set up the Heritage Award in 2009 to recognise the unusual performance birthplaces of iconic bands and artists. There have been thirteen recipients of the prestigious award including Queen, Blur, Elton John, Supergrass, Soul II Soul, UB40, Faithless, Snow Patrol, James, Dire Straits, Squeeze, Status Quo and Jethro Tull.

If you would like to apply for press accreditation or were present at the first Orbital performance and are interested in attending the plaque unveiling ceremony contact michael.hale@prsformusic.com.


Notes to Editors

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of over 118,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK. As a membership organisation it ensures creators are paid whenever their music is played, performed or reproduced, championing the importance of copyright to protect and support the UK music industry. The UK has a proud tradition of creating wonderful music that is enjoyed the world over and PRS for Music has been supporting the creators of that music since 1914.

PRS for Music provides business and community groups with easy access to over 10m songs through its music licences. In an industry worth over £4.1bn PRS for Music is uniquely placed to be a voice for music and music creators. Collecting £537.4m in 2015, PRS for Music is one of the world’s most efficient combined rights organisations. With over 100 representation agreements in place globally, PRS for Music's network represents over two million music creators.

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