Ibiza: it’s all about sun, sex, dance music, sex, dance music and, er, angular post-punk played by indie geeks, of course
Something’s not right in Ibiza’s Bar M. Sure, there’s the Manumission dwarves. There’s leopardskin leotarded ladies left, right and centre, the vague whiff of KFC and several legions of sunburnt Carhartt-clad boys from Essex, but what’s that, the sound of Art Brut blasting from the speakers? And not even the ‘hit’, but lesser-known album track ‘My Little Brother’? Followed by – are our ears deceiving us? – The Chalets. Where’s the fooking Judge man? Oi, Ricky Wilson, get some Sanchez on, mate. Wait a minute… Ricky Wilson?
First though, we have to get through support act Electric City. Two FCUK-clad, fake tan-smothered twats with wraparound shades and carefully teased hair play at being guitar heroes over a backing track, ending their two-song set (with the stage lights broken down) with a medley of ‘Fake Tales Of San Francisco’ and Free’s ’70s rock classic ‘All Right Now’. It’s musical blasphemy, especially from the sons of two of Duran Duran, and represents the dark side of this current clubland/indie love-in.
The kids here though have been queueing along San Antonio’s vomit-splattered beachside promenade for one thing only, and once the car park generator has been kicked (literally) back into life the show begins in earnest.
Walking – well, body-popping – on to Haddaway’s ‘What Is Love’ (a recent addition to the set, not a pander towards Ibiza, we’re assured) the WAS threesome launch into ‘Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt’. Fake plastic palms shake to the beat of 700 clubbers spasming with excitement, not only over the likes of ‘It’s A Hit’, which is of course just that, but also ‘This Scene Is Dead’ and other album tracks that didn’t get single releases or airplay. This could be down to several reasons. Maybe these are avid WAS fans (unlikely). Maybe it’s the recreational aids (both legal and otherwise) necked in vast quantities by most of the punters (possibly). Most likely, though, it’s the inherent heart-stopping infectiousness of the Scientists’ tunes. That said, even the more anthemic and introspective ‘Can’t Lose’ and ‘Textbook’ cause a storm.
After another bout of the usual banter (“I want to go to a foam party, Chris”, “I’m wearing foam underpants, Keith” etc) they rip through ‘Cash Cow’ and for a minute we almost forget we’re in a venue that has Rolling Stones lips urinals. The Bonnie Tyler-lookalike dancing bimbo gives up trying to work out the indie moves and gives way to a knickerless broad who is equally as inept, resorting instead to flashing her amply-tanned bush at the indie club kids. Nobody cares though, as the alchemists of angular punk celebrate their now firmly cemented international status.
As the hour-plus set comes tumbling to an end with a chaotic ‘The Great Escape’, there’s a sense of victory in the air. Three hairy urchins from Brooklyn are the main attraction in a resort normally reserved for plump superstar DJs, coffee-table beats and incessant house dirges. The guitar is king. The Balearic bastion of dance has fallen. For how long is anybody’s guess, but for now at least there’s something to spend your euros on that doesn’t involve group T-shirts, ‘hilarious’ nicknames and demeaning booze-cruise bouts of sangria-fuelled slap and tickle.
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So it seems, for now at least, guitar music is the hot ticket at all those god-awful welcome mornings. Well, either that or the 18-30 booze cruise.