Phil Hartnoll (ex-Orbital) DJ Set Review

By theajaysharma

I'm too tired to write a real review and it's already hard enough to talk about a DJ set because when you boil it down, it's just a dude playing records. Granted, this "dude" is the legendary Phil Hartnoll from Orbital and the records were all stored in a PowerBook, but it's still just a DJ set. So instead of actually writing anything, I just posted an IM conversation that I had with fellow Excellent Online contributor, Brian. Enjoy.

(23:30:27) Ajay: wanna hear about my weekend?

(23:30:33) Brian: Sure

(23:30:49) Ajay: like you, I had wicked insomnia on thursday night and didn't get any sleep.

(23:31:14) Ajay: went to work, got off early for the Memorial Day weekend and went to the bar around 2pm

(23:31:21) Ajay: drank 'till about 6pm, went home.

(23:31:43) Ajay: got the directions to a bar in Long Beach that Liz, Scott and Brandi are heading too. I've never met Liz before.

(23:31:54) Ajay: She's in town for the Scott and Brandi's wedding that's on Saturday

(23:32:02) Ajay: So I head out...

(23:32:16) Ajay: First I stop at In 'n' Out, and I literally fell asleep in my car in the drive thru.

(23:32:37) Ajay: there were like 10 cars behind me and none in front of me, one of the employees came out, knocked on my window and woke me up. I was super embarrassed and laughing at how wacky it must've looked for a guy to pass out in a drive thru.

(23:32:58) Ajay: Funny thing is, after that, I felt really refreshed and wide awake.

(23:33:10) Ajay: So I went to long beach anyway, met up with everyone and drank some more, then drove home...

(23:33:23) Brian: hahaha.. falling asleep in the dt

(23:33:31) Ajay: Saturday I pick up the equipment like speakers and a PA system.

(23:33:57) Ajay: Scott gives me the rundown of how things are going to work, I get dressed in his hotel room and then set up all the equipment at the wedding.

(23:34:10) Ajay: I miss a few cue's here and there and messed up some fade outs but overall it was okay.

(23:35:13) Ajay: 9:50pm rolls around and I had a friend make an announcement that we're going to play the last song, we end on T-Rex (Diana's request) and the last song is Stone Roses "Made of Stone"

(23:35:21) Ajay: hands down the best music at a wedding ever.

(23:35:27) Ajay: Scott picked some really good stuff.

(23:35:53) Ajay: I break everything down with some help from Josh, the Best Man, throw it in my truck and go to LA to see Phil Hartnoll from Orbital DJ at a Spundae @ Circus

(23:36:19) Ajay: I get there at 11:15pm and these two guys are spinning, I think, "cool, he'll go on at midnight"

(23:36:44) Ajay: I get a shot of Jager and a Long Island, meet up with a few friends, and proceed to buzzed...

(23:37:03) Ajay: midnight rolls around and fuckin' Lee Combs takes the stage. Phil Hartnoll won't go on until 2am!!

(23:37:04) Ajay: FUCK

(23:37:16) Ajay: So I get another Long Island and then dance for the next two hours straight. Lee Combs is really kickin' ass, great breaks which I haven't heard in a long time.

(23:37:43) Ajay: around 1:30 I notice Phil Hartnoll behind the DJ booth and the best part about the club is that the booth is in the middle of the crowd.

(23:37:51) Ajay: and it's low enough so you can just walk up there and talk to people

(23:38:17) Ajay: So I walk up there, and tell Phil Hartnoll, "I just wanted to let you know that 'Insides' changed my life. It's the greatest electronic album of all time."

(23:38:31) Ajay: And with that, I could've left. 25 dollars well spent. :)

(23:38:41) Brian: INSIDES!!

(23:38:53) Brian: that record wasnt that good even compared to their other ones

(23:38:56) Ajay: I was wondering if he was going to throw on any Orbital songs since maybe he's done with all that.

(23:39:00) Ajay: He goes on at 2am and plays Halcyon+On+On and the crowd goes nuts. It was the live version with Bon Jovi and Belinda Carlisle mixed in. But this was the more recent live version that also mixed in that Darkness song, "I Belive In A Thing Called Love".

(23:39:13) Ajay: later he even throws on Impact and the crowd flips out again

(23:39:35) Ajay: During Impact he took his headphones off and even put on the headset with the little lights, ala the old Orbital gigs.

(23:39:46) Ajay: It was really cool. he was having fun with his set.

(23:40:51) Ajay: I left around 3:15, I was so exhausted and still had an hour drive home.

(23:41:01) Ajay: Had I not left then there was no way that I was going to make it home.

(23:41:23) Ajay: Got home at 4:30 and crashed 'till 2pm the next day...

(23:42:06) Ajay: I think I'm going to use this IM conversation as my review for Excellent Online like Giant Drag's bio

(23:42:42) Ajay: Oh yeah, and Insides is their best album to me because that was the first record I heard by them.

(23:42:55) Brian: The one with Halcyon is better

(23:43:02) Brian: so is Snivilisation probably

(23:43:18) Ajay: When they played Organic in 1996, I got a free copy of that record then from the KROQ booth and listened to it constantly after that.

(23:44:15) Ajay: And it literally changed my life, I didn't know you can make music that good without using guitars and wah-wah pedals. All I knew at that time was 80's shit like Duran Duran and shoegaze stuff like Ride and Slowdive

(23:45:14) Ajay: The Brown Album (the one with Halcyon) is a pretty important album too.

(23:46:56) Brian: Sounds like a packed weekend