Orbital (Crop Circle)


August 1991 nr. Devil's Dyke Brighton. I'd traveled down to the south coast of England on the train from Victoria with Phil Hartnoll, the late Steven Wells and Orbital's publicist, Jones to meet up with Paul Hartnoll at the flat he shared with Sally Harding in Brighton. Swells and I were doing a piece for the NME on Orbital who I knew next to nothing about at the time, still being a dyed in the wool indie kid myself. I remember Phil helping a lady sitting opposite us on the train with her child and her bags, explaining to us that he had kids himself. At Paul's flat Swells and I got a beginners lesson in sampling. Paul showing us how he could take the vocals from a Crucifucks track and incorporate it into one of Orbital's pieces. I was impressed at the mix of hardcore punk and acid house. This was a new world to me; I'd never even used a computer at this point in my life! When Swells had finished his interview we talked about where to do photos. it was a lovely sunny summer day and the only real place I knew in Brighton outside of the dull city centre was Devil's Dyke. One of the party said that there was a crop circle visible from up there and then somehow Paul and Phil ended up getting the joke shop ears and eyes and bow ties. I really have no recollection of this came about but I can only assume that it was one of those let's just goof about and see what happens moments. The alien dance boffins landing on the Planet Rock of NME in their space ship. Maybe. But it certainly beat nearly every other dance duo photo taken up to that moment!

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