It’s been party time this week for Lauren Laverne and the BBC6 team as they celebrated their 10th Anniversary in style with a variety of live sessions from artists, old and new, broadcasting from Maida Vale Studios. The fact that we are here with them celebrating this event just two years after the station was seriously threatened with closure during the (continuing) economic doom and gloom is testament to its sustained popularity and the continued success it deserves.

Helping them with the festivities this week by performing live sessions have been SBTRKT, De La Soul, Paul Weller, Spiritualized and Orbital, all playing to select crowds of BBC6 fans who managed to get their sneaky hands on tickets. It would have been great to be able to report from all of the sessions but really just being at one session was good enough, especially when it was Orbital.

Back in 2004, 2 of the UK’s finest dance purveyors’ aka Orbital played their last event and ended their career at a John Peel Maida Vale Session via a performance to a small group of fans. That was just a few short months before the great JP headed out to Peru for his last trip. Now, skip forward a few years, a reformation and a few grey hairs later and the brothers are back at Maida Vale Studios recording new live sessions celebrating the 6 Music birthday and promoting the April 1st release of their new album called Wonky.

I was lucky enough to get a pass to go and see the madness that was going on first hand. Firstly it’s bloomin’ Maida Vale Studios, so many, many sessions from here have been broadcast into my mind and my memory over the years and it feels awesome to be escorted around the studios, imagining the people I’ve admired and the live sessions aired from within that building.

It’s just before 12pm and we gather in studio 3 where Orbital have their equipment all set up and the studio is rigged for television and radio recordings. There are probably about 60 of us in the audience and we’re about to be pummelled by dance grooves before lunchtime.

Lauren introduced the band live on air, then the guys got stuck into playing two sets that lasted about an hour. They had their visuals projecting all over the back wall and they had their trademark torch glasses focused right on their equipment. It was great to hear and see them play a couple of new tracks and of course some classics like ‘Halcyon 1 & 2’. If the sounds I was hearing were anything to go by then their new album should be a corker.

Live footage from their session can be watched here:

Let’s not forget that without the likes of 6 Music many of the worlds’ alternative artists would find it a hell of a lot harder to find a place to be broadcast to a wider audience. For that important reason and in conjunction with their milestone birthday we should most definitely celebrate their anniversary by joining them in raising a glass.