PRS for Music to honour electronic duo Orbital

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

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.


As champions of music, new and old, we’re thrilled and honoured to receive the PRS for Music heritage plaque alongside Orbital.

Gemma Shamah, General Manager of the Garage

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.

Mark Lawrence, Director of Membership, PRS for Music

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.

Ben Turner, founder, Association for Electronic Music

About PRS for Music

Here for music since 1914, PRS for Music is a world-leading music collective management organisation representing the rights of more than 175,000 talented songwriters, composers and music publishers. Redefining the global standard for music royalties, PRS for Music ensures songwriters and composers are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. 

For 110 years it has grown and protected the rights of the music creator community, paying out royalties with more accuracy, transparency and speed. In 2023, PRS for Music paid out £943.6m in royalties and collected a record £1.08 billion in revenues.

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