July 27, 2005
Fischerspooner/ Babyshambles : Ibiza, Manumission, Thursday July 4
Ibiza goes indie, Fischerspooner get good! It could’ve been the drugs
Ignore the people waving their glowsticks in gleeful abandon. Ignore the freak on stilts blowing fire into the faces of the front row. And definitely ignore the woman dressed as a cherry with fairy lights on her nipples. These people are obviously all high on the killer rave drug ecstasy and are in no position to offer critical opinion. NME, on the other hand, is high on a variety of illegal substances, and is therefore able to deliver a far more balanced picture of the first of a series of indie gigs taking place at legendary superclub Manumission this summer.
We know what you’re thinking: you’d have to be off your skull to visit ’Beefa these days. Well think again, because this year, Ibiza’s going to be a bit different. Realising there’s only so much tribal house one island can take, Manumission has invited loads of your alt-rock faves over. The coming months will see a three-month Fischerspooner residency, plus shows by Kaiser Chiefs, Maximo Park, The Futureheads and The Rakes.
Basically, Ibiza’s gone indie and it’s all a bit strange. In between the four two-song sets Fischerspooner play tonight, we hear ‘Mr Brightside’ remixed into a gurn-friendly floor-filler while, over in the smaller Music Box room, Babyshambles are onstage, arriving just in time after the usually punctual Pete Doherty missed his flight. It’s surreal: the kids pile out of the main room and scream along to every word. You can’t see anything above the hysteria – just the occasional glimpse of Pete as he leans into the front row. But watching the crowd give ‘Fuck Forever’ and ‘Killamangiro’ the kind of reaction normally reserved for the last rave on earth easily makes up for it.
But that’s nothing compared to the full Fischerspooner freakshow. In case you were on holiday the week they were supposed to be The Future Of Music [Some time around May 2002 – Ed], here’s the deal. Pronounced ridiculous on arrival due to their silly clothes and penchant for ’80s synth lines, Fischerspooner now find themselves labelled ‘Not Really The Future Of Music At All’, despite the fact bands only get a look in these days if they wear silly clothes and nab ’80s synth lines. It’s a crime, because The Killers, The Bravery, The Faint – even Franz – all owe more than a dash of eyeliner to these guys.
OK, so things get off to a muted start, mainly because the crowd don’t understand why loads of women are cavorting around the stage in animal costumes, and such stunned silence means the slick electro-soul of opening song ‘Let It Go’ is wasted. But their second set is a different story, and as 2002’s near-smash ‘Emerge’ builds into a digital pile-up, singer Casey Spooner starts screaming, “Dance! Dance! DANCE!” and the crowd all start to dance, dance, DANCE. From then on there’s so much happening that your brain needs to lie down: eyebrow-scorching pyrotechnics; attractive girls dressed as leopards; the bit where Casey emerges in an American football kit; and the scary, beardie Manumission owner coming onstage carrying what appears to be his comatose wife being just a few choice moments.
And so, as the set draws to a close at 6am, we head off to bed but somehow go down a wrong turning and end up talking bollocks for hours on a stranger’s veranda, before going to Space to dance euphorically to bad tech-house until about 2pm the next day. A couple of hours later, we will order NME’s photographer to carry us home from the beach, convinced that our brain has floated off to Majorca.
And so, the conclusions of this balanced critique are:
1) Ibiza is going to be an indie paradise this year, so get out there on cheapo EasyJet.
2) Fischerspooner still put on shows that make your senses want to multiple orgasm.
3) I know we’ve only just met, but I’ve got a feeling we could end up being really good friends, like, forever.
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