Here’s one that I own almost purely for the cover art alone and you can see why, surely?

Summer's here, time to chuck another LP on the barbie
Summer’s here, time to chuck another LP on the barbie.

I was a big Orb fan circa ’93, U.F.Orb is a Top 15 LP for me easily, but I never bothered going to see them play live.  Partly because I didn’t really see what they would/could/should add to their immaculately crafted studio tracks in the live arena and partly because I had absolutely no intention of spending 3+ hours of my life locked in a big room full of gonked out zonkonauts all of whom were off their collective tits on space drugs, it just didn’t appeal to me.  The Orb always had an excellent live reputation too, so it possibly wasn’t too big a surprise when they released Live 93 spread across 4 lovely albums.

Orb Live 93 03 (2)

I was skint when Live 93 came out and found it second hand about a year later, bought it, listened to it maybe once and then, being skint again, sold it back to the same shop for a loss a few months further on.  You see, much as I loved the Orb and the cover art, the music wasn’t a patch on the studio cuts – it was rougher and less perfect and much as they are qualities that thrill in a more traditional band, that wasn’t what I wanted from my favourite ambient dub dance combo.  The completist in me missed the LP though and so I bought it again in 2012, just before 90’s vinyl really soared in price.

I love how this one turned out!
I love how this one turned out!

So how do I feel about Live 93 today? well, I’ve sat down and listened to all 8 sides of the album again over the last day and I was right enough first time around.  The two best tracks are taken from a live-in-the-studio situation and do add one or two interesting things to the mix, especially in the case of ‘Assassin’.  As for the rest, if you’re a big enough Orb anorak you can entertain yourself to a point, spotting additional samples woven into the beats, or different beats being dropped into the mix here and there but it is a bit of an esoteric sport.

Orb Live 93 06

It may be a bit of a sodding obvious thing to say a 4 LP live album is for mega fans only, but Live 93 is.  For fans of the Orb and toy sheep that is.

About that cover: The Orb always did have a bit of a Pink Floyd obsession going on, Battersea power station featured in the cover art for their debut LP and the subsequent remix album, I have a joint interview with them and Dave Gilmour and they did go on to make the Metallic Spheres LP with him in 2010.  Anyway, any fool can muck about with the cover to Animals can’t they?


685 Down.

PS: Evil Bro 39? accidental back to front thing, or coded Hitler warning – who knows? although by 1993 I think I can safely say that most people were aware of Hitler’s plan to conquer Europe.

Orb Live 93 04

29 thoughts on “Evil Bro 39

  1. 4 disc live album. Not even a Grateful Dead album. Jings. I was always on the fence about Orb. Cousin liked them a lot, but it never was my patterned sweater.

    That said, I really liked the cover art.

  2. I really wish The Orb put out more live albums. It suits them well, since the tunes don’t generally have a lot of structure. They have a BBC Sessions disc that they put out in 2008 (though the sessions only run up to 2001) that’s incredible. Better than this anyway, if only because the sound quality’s better. Which is very important, y’know? Too much of Live 93 is weirdly quiet, I feel like I’m missing something. Thanks to this post I’ve found that they’re actually putting out another LP this year called COW (Chill Out World) – quite liked their last one, though some of their recent work (thinking of that Gilmour collab) has really fallen flat to me. In short I think they’re still wonderful now, but only if Fehlmann is involved, since I get the impression that he does pretty much everything these days. Cheers!!

    1. Hiya, you hit the nail on the head it’s quiet and a little flat. My mate saw them in Brixton last month and they filmed it.

      The Peel sessions are so much better to my mind, plus they did that great cover of ‘No Fun’ too.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    1. It is rather far out. U’F.Orb is the album – love that one. Best thing about this one, by far is the art. I happen to think it looks rather good in my garden too!

  3. “found it second hand about a year later, bought it, listened to it maybe once and then, being skint again, sold it back to the same shop for a loss a few months further on.”

    Oh man, we’ve all been there!

  4. This album cover always intrigued me. I know nothing of the artist — always got them confused with “Orbital”. I do like me some ambient music but live…that’s interesting.

    Did you discover that it’s Evil Bro 39 backwards? Imagine if they delayed this a year and in was 94.

    1. I liked The Orb more than Orbital, they were more subtle and less beat-driven to my mind.

      Live is an interesting concept with pre-recorded/sequences sounds. My view is that they still have to trigger/play things in the flesh, so it’s valid. They used to change things around a lot live too. It’s not like they could just turn up, press play and go out for a meal!

  5. Nah, those covers justify purchase, re-purchase, hoarding, gloating, showing off and filling your head with nitrous oxide while floating over Carnarvon castle.
    If I wasn’t at work, I’d bash out a #200wordchallenge review of ‘Metallic Spheres’ right now1

      1. Not over here, I spend my whole professional life summarising and condensing arguments, this is my chance to be a windbag!

      2. Or sleeping- ?
        This is reminding me of one of the funniest ever 1537 consciousness Comments streams, the one about answers to questions. ‘Am I ever gonna see your face again?’

      3. That was one of the best times I’ve ever had on 1537. Those were the days, eh?

        Go on, do a 200 worded on Metallic Spheres Bruce.

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