A GUEST SERIES
20 – Belfast – Orbital (1990, FFRR Records)
Released as part of the III EP in January 1991 (Reached Number 31)
Or of course, you could have this version
Belfast (Wasted) (1995, Number 53)
Which was recorded specifically I’m told for the Volume CD Series. Volume was a CD album that was always accompanied by a booklet or magazine thing full of information and interviews with the bands on the CD. I think there was an ‘indie’ release and a dance release, but one of them may have had a different name, I forget.
In 1995, the makers released a ‘Best Of…’ compilation and to promote that they invited two bands to record and release a track which would be released as a split 7” single.
The bands they chose were Therapy? (who recorded a song called ‘Innocent X’) and Orbital who re-recorded their seminal track ‘Belfast’ with some vocals over the top which were sung by their buddy Grant Fulton who wrote a song about a bloke he saw in bar who was in his words ‘Wasted’. So the track ‘Belfast/Wasted’ was born.
If anyone owns anything else sung by Grant Fulton I’d be interested to hear it, because until I’d Googled it, six minutes ago, I’d never heard of him.
For many it made an already essential song even more essential. Personally, I prefer the original version, but only just.
So, lets talk about staying up all night. Which back in their heyday you had to do if you wanted to see Orbital live and not in a field. In 1999 Mrs SWC and I went to see Orbital in Brighton at a place called The Zap Club. The Zap Club for those of you who do not know is situated right on the sea front at Brighton it probably has one of the best views of any music venue in the UK and I’m including the view from the toilets in the Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff in that statement (third stall in the gents, open the window, crane your head left a bit and you can see the castle. Just.)
This gig was billed as ‘an all nighter’ and it had a cast of thousands. On the bill for instance were this lot who ambled onstage around midnight to thousands of loved up ravers.
Rez – Underworld (1993, Junior Boys Own Record, Number 196)
I didn’t even know the charts went as low as 196 – anyway – before Underworld we were also treated to a short DJ set from this chap who dropped this near the end of the set.
Higher State of Consciousness (Original Tweekin Acid Funk Mix) – Josh Winx (1995, Manifesto Records, Number 8)
Which just sent the room mad.
I’ve never danced as much, DJs followed bands who followed DJs, it was crazy, every now and again you could sneak away to a smaller room around the side which was doubling up as a chill out zone, but even there the music was non stop and besides every time we walked in there, we wanted to eat some Kettle Crisps. No idea why.
At around 2am, we all realised that Orbital were on stage, we had no idea how long they had been on for. Largely because of the flashing lights, the constant strobes, the pounding beats and the fact pretty much all the noises were now merging into one. I remember ‘Chime’ and then ‘Belfast’ and then ‘Satan’ being just stunning.
Orbital played until about 4.30am at which point Mrs SWC and I wandered outside and strolled along the beach in the half dark as it if was something we did every weekend. We picked a bench near the marina and sat and watched the sun rise, munching away on fresh breakfast baps.