048-050 Ibiza Rocks n Raps R 23.08.2008 11:12 Uhr Seite 2
‘Dance wiv me’
Once again the magical
quality that sets Ibiza
Rocks apart from the
competition has struck – but
who could have predicted
As Dizzee Rascal celebrated
his third week
at No. 1 in the charts with
“Dance wiv me” and the
support act, Sam Sparro,
sat at No. 11 with “Black &
Gold”, Ibiza Rocks had them
both on stage in front of a privileged
audience of barely 1,000.
As I write seven of the other
recordings that make up the gap
between Dizzy & Sam are all by
rap artists. The also-rans were
Madonna and The Ting Tings.
As the name of the venue suggests
“Ibiza Rocks” hotel is more
about the original musical revolution
of the late 60’s than the current
shift in the taste of musical youth.
I remember the arrival of punk on the
scene, but I don’t recall it dominating
the top ten so quickly. (Do hoodies really
seek out record shops in their
hordes, whilst the rest of us download
How quickly ‘rap’ will capture the
imagination of the audience of Ibiza
Rocks is probably another
matter. Nonetheless Dizzee and his partner, Calvin
Harris, hit the stage in a blaze of lights and about as
much sub-bass as the audience could cope with. They
responded by waving their arms in the air, but chose to abstain
from throwing beer in the air for a change.
However, a bit of background: Dizzee, aka Dylan Mills,
brought himself up on the streets of Tower Hamlets, East London,
an area that might reasonably be described as
‘a bit rough’. A few skirmishes with the law and expulsion
from school drove him into music – and here we’re
talking rap, but he’s poured his energies into this to the
extent that he’s now earning a nice living, thankyou very
Small world that this is, my step-daughter once drove him
and a colleague from the Roll Deep Crew, Skepter, back down
to London after a gig at a ‘blues’ in Nottingham. On the way
Skepter pulled out his latest toy, a stun gun, and proceeded to
show how it worked as they sped down the motorway. My stepdaughter
wet herself but managed to keep the car on the road.
Apparently they’re still talking, but it’s not the sort of stuff to inspire
white kids aspiring to university.
It soon became obvious that the rappers haven’t quite got
their heads round successfully crossing over into the mainstream
– the unforseen challenge that’s dropped upon you by
The problem is that they now have to perform to a whole new
different audience who don’t ‘bump and grind’ in the way that
only those of African descent truly can?
Similarly, such heavy bass works best in a sweaty underground
venue with a low ceiling – ideally in Brixton? Add in the
audience’s difficulty with ‘Patois’ lyrics and the performers frustration
at their less than over enthusiastic reaction was almost
It was too hot for hoodies, so none were to be seen, and the
only two black faces were those to be found onstage, so this
looks like being a bit of a struggle for both the top act of the
moment and their ‘mainstream’ audience.
Some of the more experienced of those
present who had previous experience of
‘blues’ culture felt ‘de riddims’ and understood
the vibe – this is the message of the
‘yout’ from the streets and it’s getting louder.
Best to ignore that shiver down your spine
that the lyrics might
inspire if you understood
48 IbizaNOW 9/2008
048-050 Ibiza Rocks n Raps R 23.08.2008 11:12 Uhr Seite 3
Stand back Oasis, maybe...
After the distraction of the Dizzee Rascal show the previous
week Ibiza Rocks was back to business as usual with
some full on thrash rock featuring virtual unknowns that
might yet become household names.
For the third week running we were at the Ibiza Rocks Hotel
and the downstair’s bar was still the smart option. I missed the
first four tunes trying to order a beer in the VIP whilst the barstaff
focused on emptying bins and pouring complex concoctions
in the middle of an ice shortage.
It was better than last week though – they’d got the till back
from the girl in the other room where you had to go to buy a
ticket once you finally got to the front of the queue at the bar.
Then it was time to join the unhappy queue back at the bar
who’d beaten you to the girl that stole the till!
Tonight’s support band were The Automatic, with three guitars
and a set of drums. They were ostensibly destined for academic
careers and using music as a hobby to keep them out
of the University bar. Then they had a massive hit with ‘Monster’
whilst discussing their futures with their careers master. Drunk
and famous as rock stars rather than drunk and in debt as students
will hopefully be the end result…
The main event were The Corteneers who are from Manchester,
which might explain why the accepted pronunciation is ‘The
Cortinas’. The lead singer is called Liam who, allegedly, fancies
the vacant crown of the Noel of Oasis fame (that makes two of
They’d had a difficult week in ‘music speak’ as their debut
album came in at No. 4, rather than the No. 1 their record company
told everyone was inevitable. But here they were in Ibiza
before a significantly smaller audience than Dizzee pulled last
week, and giving it their best shot.
It was clear that few were familiar with their songs until the set
neared its early end. But heck there’s only one live rock gig a
week at the moment, so if you’re in the audience you might as
well get your rocks off.
This they did, but as they traipsed inside for their after-party it
was clear that more toilet rolls had been thrown than plastic
beer glasses on the night.
Once again, draw your own conclusions – we’d run out at
home, as it happened, but are now the very lucky owners of two
slightly soiled ones…
IbizaNOW 9/2008 49
048-050 Ibiza Rocks n Raps R 23.08.2008 11:12 Uhr Seite 4
A proper Street party
It’s hot and sweaty at the Ibiza Rocks hotel, particularly on
the counter where I’m sitting with my back to the grill to get
a view, whilst people aren’t ordering hot dogs. Others would
rather stand under the stream of unidentifiable liquid from the
VIP balcony upstairs in order to get a decent view of their heroes,
The Streets, live on stage.
The kids are loving it – almost all are pogoing their way
through the early numbers despite their sweating. A sultry
As the pace slows down so does the pogoing, but rap is all
about the lyrics and can be hard to
dance to, so in between the new
stuff the band throw in a few of their
anthemic successes. This has the desired
effect and the assembled
throng get back to waving at the
stage, rather than the TV cameras,
for the benefit of their mates at
Mike Skinner, the vocalist, is an accomplished
showman and knows to
work an audience.
At one point he insisted that everyone in the crowd sat down
on the floor, until the rhythm section kicked in and the whole
crowd erupted into the air in true breakdown style. Those in
prime positions on the balconies and in the VIP missed out on
He introduced the next song by asking everyone to gaze into
the eyes of someone in the crowd who they’ve never met before.
Satisfied that all are participating he instructed “Now tell
them that you love them”. The audience, with no need for ecstacy,
were completely won over.
The air guitar being volleyed around the audience finally
50 IbizaNOW 9/2008
burst and, as if by magic, a pink lilo appeared to take its place
in the air above the heads of the audience. Eventually this was
confiscated by one of the security team without an explanation,
but no one cared. Perhaps, after all, these beautiful young
people do respect a father figure? Could this hotel actually be
a finishing school of sorts, exerting an example on kids who
might otherwise fall foul of dance music and its legacy of drug
The set ends, but the band come back for an encore. I’ve
seen encores before, but never anything like this! First Mike
clears a gangway through the crowd, then
runs to the back of the audience and bodysurfs
back to the stage over the heads of his
Then he instructs them all to jump into the
hotel pool. Fifty immediately follow orders and
another security guard appears waving his
arms. Someone tries to push him in as the pool
approaches capacity and glowsticks rain
down from the balconies above. Lilos, beach
balls and toilet rolls follow them as ingredients
into this extraordinary soup.
The security man called in assistance, presumably in the interests
of public safety, but they were overwhelmed. I didn’t notice
any of them give up and jump in with the crowd, but it would
have been fitting if they had.
• 2nd September – The Zutons & Black Kids
• 9th September – Pendulum with Iglu&Hartlay
For the full pictorial story of all of this year’s Ibiza Rocks
gigs, visit the nightlife section of your web site at: