Last week’s gig at Ibiza Rocks saw Jake Bugg returning to the venue for the third time.
Support was from Catfish and the Bottlemen, whose debut album ‘The Balcony’ is being released on September 15. I’d heard their latest single ‘Fallout’ played on BBC6 Music a few times and liked what I’d heard. As soon as I saw them onstage wearing skinny jeans and dressed from head to toe in black, I suspected that they were going to be good. And they were! The four-piece band from Llandudno in Wales belted out their indie-rock tunes to the large and appreciative crowd who had gathered to see them. They quickly got everyone dancing and they were my favourite support band so far at Rocks this summer, against some stiff competition. Their name is a bit of a mouthful, but their performance is memorable. With their album out soon and a UK tour planned for November, catch them while you can and before they start playing massive venues.
Since headliner Jake Bugg appeared here last year, he has a second album under his belt and has been enjoying huge success, both in the UK and internationally. He’s now reached the grand old age of 20, which is incredibly young when you listen to the maturity of his songs and witness his undeniable talent in the flesh. He came onstage at 10.40, to a barrage of screams from the girls at the front of the stage. Entering the stage on his own with just an acoustic guitar he opened with ‘Strange Creatures’. Throughout the gig he switched effortlessly between playing acoustic and electric guitars and performing both solo and with his backing band of drummer and bassist. Playing a mix of songs from both his albums he oozed talent and captivated the crowd, even though he didn’t engage with his audience much, opting to just stand centre stage at the microphone and wow them with his songs. Without sophisticated backdrops or projections, it’s basically a show of one man and his guitar and his occasional backing musicians, but he’s quite capable of holding his own. The pace changed frequently from the ballads of ‘Me And You’, ‘Ballard of Mr Jones’ and ‘Broken’ to more raucous songs such as ‘Slumville Sunrise’, ‘Kingpin’ and ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’. We were also treated to a great cover of ‘Folsom Prison Blues’, originally written and recorded by one of his musical heroes, Johnny Cash. He played for well over an hour, ending with ‘Lightning Bolt’, choosing not to give us an encore. It’s not that we didn’t deserve one – the crowd was behind him all the way and loved every minute. It’s just a reminder that encores shouldn’t be taken for granted. It was resoundingly another top gig at Ibiza Rocks, with two great acts that proved that there’s plenty of demand for guitar bands in Ibiza.
Catfish and the Bottlemen ‘Pacifier’:
Jake Bugg, ‘Seen It All’:
Jake Bugg, ‘Broken’:
Jake Bugg, ‘Simple Pleasures’:
Jake Bugg, ‘Lightning Bolt’:
Ibiza Roots Festival
July 15 saw the first of the Ibiza Roots Festival events this summer, held in the outdoor space at the Recinta Ferial, just outside Ibiza Town. Starting at 7pm it was billed as being “world music under the stars”, and that’s exactly what it was. Featuring 4 bands from around the world, each playing a different genre of music, and featuring an eclectic mix of theatre and art performances taking place in between the bands for good measure.
During the festival I spoke to Matu Mulville, one of the five people behind Ibiza Roots, who filled me in on what they were doing. As Ibiza residents they are all keen to bring live music and performances from around the world to the island, which they see as a melting pot of people from different countries and cultures. They are also keen to support local Ibizan culture and artists and give them an opportunity to perform with bands from elsewhere. This is the second year that they’ve held the festival. Last year they put on two concerts over the summer in Dalt Vila in the Bastion Lucia. Last year’s events sold out and the move to the Recinta Ferial has enabled them to increase capacity, keep the entrance prices down and have more freedom in decorating the space. This year the decorations that adorn the stage and the festival area have all been created using recycled materials, many being impressive structural artworks in their own right. They also organise other events under the ‘Ibiza Roots’ banner: sessions which feature local bands in smaller venues such as Las Dalias, and back in April they put on a theatre/dance/music performance ‘Viaje a las raíces musicales’ (journey of musical roots) at the Can Ventosa cultural centre in Ibiza Town. They plan to hold sessions and other events throughout the year in Ibiza plus more festival events in August this year and again next summer. Like their Facebook page to keep up-to-date (link at end of article).
Arriving at the venue just after 7pm, first onstage at 8pm was Formentera band Chimichurris, who were a fusion of ska and rock music, and did a great job of getting the assembled crowd dancing and settling into the venue as darkness fell. It was clear that the audience was predominantly islanders but it was nice to see them turning up early on in the evening to see all the bands.
Whilst the stage was being set up for the next band, we were entertained by a group of ‘payesas’, performers dressed as Ibizan country folk on stilts and a group of drummers, who moved through the crowd and gave shots of hierbas to anyone that wanted one. They were followed by a flamenco-style dancer on the stage at the side built for people with restricted mobility to view the concert from. A nice touch, and the perfect diversion whilst the equipment was switched over on the stage for the next band.
Next were D’Callaos from Barcelona who were billed as Nu Flamenco, and they fused some traditional Spanish flamenco with a lot of rock. It was a great combination and went down extremely well with the crowd, and if people weren’t dancing after Chimichurris, they were certainly dancing and clapping along by the end of their set.
Third on the bill were Bohemian Betyars from Hungary. They played Hungarian folk-inspired rock. With an electric violin player, a trumpeter, a singer-guitarist, a second guitarist, drummer and bassist sporting the best Mohican I’ve seen since I left London, think of an Hungarian, madder, version of The Pogues and that might give you a sense of what they were like. Alternatively look at the video from the links at the end of the article. I was so captivated by them that I squeezed my way right to the front of the stage, something that I don’t often do these days. I loved them, and despite the other bands all being great, they were the highlight of the night for me.
After their set, another performance artist appeared and danced around the venue: a larger than life dreadlocked giant, decorated with a multitude of lights, which looked great and was mesmerising. See the video link at the end.
At midnight headliners Calle 13 from Puerto Rico took to the stage. The stage was filled with musicians, singers and performers, so many that it was hard to count them. Calle 13 are the world’s most recognised Latin American band and wowed the crowd for the next 90 minutes with their eclectic home-grown brand of Latin salsa-infused music combined with some hip hop and rock.
I love what the Ibiza Roots organisers are doing and what they are bringing to the island. This festival was really well organised: the choice of diverse and original bands who all complemented each other and the in-between-band entertainment was superb, the outdoor staging and decoration was impressive, there were plenty of bars and food stalls and drinks prices were reasonable (3€ for a beer).
The next festival is on August 20 and will feature reggae icon Alpha Blondy plus other artists. If you like live music and want to see something different on the island and experience a bit of that festival spirit, then I highly recommend it. Check their Facebook page for more details and where to buy tickets.
Dancing neon man:
Electronic Music Awards Ibiza
Now in it’s 17th year, the annual DJ awards for 2014 will be held in Pacha on 30th September.
The line-up of Categories & Nominees is now confirmed—this year there are 11 categories; Deep House, Tech House, Electro House, Techno, Trance, Drum & Bass/Dubstep, Newcomer, Electronic Live Performance and International DJ, plus 2 new categories, Breakthrough and Electronica. All are now open for the public to vote at the links below. Voting will close in August.
In addition to the public vote categories there are 12 Special Industry Awards, chosen by an industry panel, to be presented during the ceremony.
In it’s first year, 1998, the track of the season was awarded to ‘Music Sounds Better Than You’ by Stardust which went on to receive Platinum in the UK & Australia and was featured within Mixmag’s 100 Greatest Dance Songs of All Time listed at #11 and appears again at #6 on Mixmag’s 50 Greatest Dance Tracks of All Time in 2013. MMMMmm Bayby …
Ibiza Dance Chart by Shazam
The Shazam Dance Chart gives a uniquely Ibizan view of what’s hot—compiled weekly and exclusively from Shazam users in Ibiza. Who do you think should be at the top? Best you get Shazaming …
1. Forget – Patrick Topping
2. Bullit – Watermat
3. Crossfade (Maceo Plex Mix) – GusGus
4. Pushing On (Edit) – Oliver $ & Jimi Jules
5. Walking With Elephants – Ten Walls
6. Another Love (Zwette Edit) – Tom Odell
7. Read All About It (Stefan Biniak Remix) – Emeli Sandé
8. My Head Is A Jungle (Mk Remix) – Wankelmut & Emma Louise
9. Okay – Shiba San
10. Wicked Games – Parra For Cuva Feat. Anna Naklab