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This is a live review that originally appeared in 'Fantastique' fanzine.

Hop&Grape Manchester

"Some have greatness thrust upon them; others get it otherwise"; but my modest claim in the history books (at least those of Mancunian Kenickie fans) shall be staked as That Girl Who Always Dances To Orlando. Because this conflict is what the few who didn't come to see Kenickie's militant spangliness, caterwauling and onstage ramblings (someone get them a slot on that Eddie Izzard 'one-word improv' thing- NOW) are used to: that guy in the football top who STARED throughout the set at anyone who dared to know the words was unwittingly contributing to that very sense of small-mindedness and rejection which Orlando define so well by being its exact opposite. Confused? Even for those who simply cannot relate to the poetic, blinking ennui of Dickon's lyrics, even for those who laugh at the interviews or cannot think further than a misplaced homophobia- all I can say is LISTEN TO THE MUSIC. Just listen. There's Tim, leaping about the mic stand in a way that is ultimately elegant, the living embodiment of joy and hope born of despair. There's Dickon on the left, someone I cannot even describe for being caught up in the moment- and being surrounded by the indifferent makes it all the more personal.
Songs, then. The set starts with a new song, "Afraid Again"- very Orlando, and that can only be a compliment- before a collection of more familiar live tunes ("Sidelined Youth", "Don't Sleep Alone", "Reach Out For Me"), peaking inevitably in "Nature's Hated"- a true anthem and the next single- and the final "Just For A Second". Also worth a special mention is "Furthest Point", for sheer energetic, affecting pop music...
Then the band leave the stage, we exhale, and those nearby regroup for one last stare. But we can meet their eyes, because we know that, under the school uniforms and collecting dust, we are emblazoned with the words Nature's Hated.
"Were we all right?" they ask, some time later.
Words are never enough.

Kate Dornan