San Antonio Sa Pedrera

...she's been miming all along. Cheers, [B]Geri[/B].

Curiouser and curiouser. After [a]Iggy Pop[/a] and Lulu shared a bill at T In The Park, sense just doesn’t figure in festival line-ups any more. The sunburnt 20-somethings at MTV’s Ibiza 2000 festival (set in an amazing stone quarry decked out in fairy lights), might want trance and house 24 hours a day, but the station insist they’re going to get Armand Van Helden and, er, [a]Geri Halliwell[/a].

MTV doesn’t count on the kids’ resistance, though. The rules are simple. If people wanted garage, they’d have gone to Ayia Napa. If they wanted slick chart pop, Party In The Park would have suited. It didn’t. They’re here. And even if CRAIG DAVID is slinking through ‘Fill Me In’ at top volume 20 metres away, did someone say a bloke playing happy house has just gone on the second stage? Unbelievably, that’s how the intriguing teen responsible for forcing garage into the mainstream gets up, sings three quite brilliant, note-perfect songs (plus a rendition of ‘Re-Rewind’ with the awful, bland Artful Dodger) then leaves with barely a murmur of excitement. His voice – a relief during a weekend of samples and miming – is staggering, slick but just seedy enough, soulful but not [I]too[/I] perfect. Looking somewhat lost alone on stage, though, now he just has to work on becoming a star. They won’t ignore him in six months’ time.

SONIQUE and UNDERWORLD have the advantage here because they’re both behind an all-important Big Hit. While Sonique is just plain dull – all tedious hand-clapping to ‘Feels So Good’ – no-one bothers with Karl Hyde‘s brilliant hip-wiggling performance until ‘Born Slippy’. Then they rush back to the trance. A band? With microphones and everything? Not round these parts, thanks.

After that, it’s no surprise few hang around for the following Pop Day. Only 1,000 turn up to gawp at GERI HALLIWELL, but she doesn’t care. Geri‘s too busy playing at being Madonna for the cameras, appearing for the grossly inoffensive ‘Lift Me Up’ in a wedding dress (it’s ‘Like A Virgin’ minus the attitude) before stripping off to jeans, bra and cowboy hat for a perfectly soulless version of Nancy Sinatra‘s ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’. Then she runs through her singles, cavorts with muscly men and we all laugh when her mic doesn’t allow her to be heard speaking, thus revealing she’s been miming all along. Cheers, Geri.

FIVE are just hilarious. They can hardly believe their luck and permanently act like kids in a sweet shop. Theirs is inelegant, two-syllable Homer-pop but it works because it’s beefed up with hi-NRG moves, sweat and crunching electric guitars. If Five were on holiday in Ibiza, they wouldn’t come to this festival. They’d be out ‘charming’ the laydeez, because that’s what people do here. If only they’d told MTV that.