September 18, 2008
Critical acclaim may elude them, Ibizan adoration does not. Ibiza Rocks Closing Party, The Hippodrome, San Rafael, Ibiza (September 9)
In a summer that’s seen England flounder through acres of waterlogged fields, there’s been a loud and happy revolution going on in the rest of Europe. While Benicàssim and Summercase and the rest have been reaping the rewards of our monsoon, Ibiza Rocks has been churning out indie-rave frills and fucked-up spills every week all summer long. Soulwax, Mystery Jets, We Are Scientists and, er, The Zutons have been turning up week after week for the semi-clad in-the-know. There’s been buckets of quality bands performing for the sun-kissed punters and they’ve saved, if not the best, the most appropriate ’til last: Pendulum.
Following sets by Iglu & Hartly (who are young, dumb, gleefully spent of cum) and The Whip (who get the party started in a manner more traditional to this island) they step up to a sea of inflatable guitars, the emblem of Ibiza Rocks. Pendulum themselves, though, could just as easily be the mascots of the IR phenomenon. They’re as hardcore dance as Pacha’s most foam-covered techno titan, yet they rock harder than any indie shamblebottom that’s ever graced this legendarily blootered stage; they are, more than any band that’s ever grabbed music by the Balearics, the sound of Ibiza rocking out. And they wear their musical hearts on their sleeves from the off: “Yo, Ibiza! Screeeeaaaam!” MC Verse (aka frontman Ben Mount) howls, before they launch into the first maelstrom of the evening, a totally unironic cover of The Prodigy’s ‘Voodoo People’, and it’s the first track that gets the sunseekers, including young girls in ‘Fuck Dance Let’s Rock’ T-shirts, going lunatic. To follow it up with ‘Propane Nightmares’ is just cruel – there’s people, including Kate Moss on the parapet, losing their minds here. Verse gets a Mexican “woooaaaaah” going through the crowd before ‘Mutiny’, ‘Blood Sugar’ and, finally, ‘Hold Your Colour’, until the coaches turn up to take the Bacchanalian throng on to the next party which, no matter how much lather, onstage group sex or Carl Cox it may involve, could never sum up the Ibiza experience so perfectly.
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