Faithless, Ibiza Rocks, San Antonio, Ibiza,

  • 31st August 2016
  • Photos Luke Dyson

Faithless by Claire B 

Last Wednesday it was the turn of the ever-popular Faithless to grace the stage at Ibiza Rocks. The venue was packed with a slightly older and more mixed crowd than usual as half the island came out in force to see the band’s only Ibiza performance this year. Having reunited for their 20th anniversary last year, they’ve been playing selected venues and festivals since then and are on a roll.

The band came onto the stage amidst clouds of CO2 and launched into instrumental ‘Emergency’. Then Maxi Jazz appeared to loud screams and cheers from the excited crowd, beginning with ‘All Races’ followed by ‘God is a DJ’, as Maxi bounced around on the stage and the crowd got their phones out to capture what they were seeing and jumped up and down in unison. Maxi is one cool dude of a frontman and sported a stylish dark brown suit with the jacket open at the front, showing off his toned, muscley chest. Sister Bliss coolly commanded over her banks of keyboards as she got into the groove and played the riffs we all know and love. The bassist and guitarist strutted around the stage at every available opportunity.

They played all their favourites, including ‘Muhammad Ali’, ‘Mass Destruction’, ‘Salva Mea’ and more, but for many, myself included, the highlight was the massive tune that is ‘Insomnia’, and as it built up to its peak, the crowd inevitably got more excited as it did so, reaching fever pitch as Sister Bliss played THAT synth riff in the middle! It’s always a great tune to hear and with the classic line of “and let me dream of making mad love on the heath, tearing off tights with my teeth”, what’s not to like and it’s great live! With a brilliant laser and light show and plenty of dry ice accompanying them throughout the show there was plenty to like. I loved them – I’ve always liked their music and live they become heavier and the guitars and drummers inject a large dose of rock into the mix.

Faithless by Claire B & LessFaith by Nick G, Same Gig, Different Views
Faithless by Claire B & LessFaith by Nick G, Same Gig, Different Views

It was a great gig – lots of happy punters and the band were clearly enjoying being back together and playing live. Faithless really are a perfect act for Ibiza Rocks, with their combination of dance music fused with rock guitar and some heavy percussion.


LessFaith by Nick Gibbs

OK it wasn’t as if I thought they were bad as such, I just expected, at least I hoped for, far more.

I don’t want to come over as a miserable git by default—so I will briefly state my case as not walking through the door with a negative outlook.

For me, Faithless are one of those seminal bands. Their work may not have been prolific in quantity, but the quality of the classics that are Insomnia and We Come One give them a get out of jail free card on any further expectation.

I’m not going to pretend I have a really deep relationship with their lesser known works, I don’t. I have their albums, but never play them. Why bother when I will never get bored of those incredible anthems.

I remember hearing insomnia on the dancefloor for the first time in a club in Mallorca. It must have been pre-release because everybody looked as lost as me when the chimes of Big Ben suddenly cut through the mix. Hearing it for the first time you didn’t know where it was going, but I remember sensing this is gonna be good.—it was, and some.

Best Dance track ever? I don’t like those type of questions but if pushed, yes it probably is. My all-time favourite.

I got to see them live around 2000 I guess, an incredible night, and since then ‘we come one‘  has been with me daily as my ringtone – . Both records have been near the front of my box permanently.

In the run up I was posting ‘days to go’ faithless nonsense on facebook like a teen with her first boy band crush. Most significantly perhaps I even got the paper finished early and got to go out Wednesday night for the first time since I started in my current job.

So you can probably tell, I’m a bit of a fan.

Claire B and I have very different views on going to see old bands still playing. She loves it and though my often aired view that huge names in music have an obligation to die before 30 is probably a little strong, I am just wanting to ensure we are  spared the hideous spectacle  of Kirk Brandon with jowls, and Marc Almond on the breakfast TV sofa plugging another comeback with tales of cum.

I think some memories are best left as exactly that, not diluted with a weaker version 20 years on.

I didn’t think that possible from faithless, because I considered them just too cool.

I expected that in the intervening 16 years they would have honed their major contributions to the history of music into some 25 minute long seminal work that had people dropping to the floor in worship and/or an involuntary collapse of legs through orgasm.

I thought I would be hearing music for angels played by god’s chosen ones. Nice of them to say he was a DJ, but I knew it was you all the time, kind of thing.

But it just wasn’t. It was just faithless. Now as I said at the outset, just faithless is better than the majority of bands at their best, but for me it was just a bit, well, flat.

I never want to be conscious that a band are playing because they want their fee, and that is what it felt like.

Having said that everybody I know (except one person, Darren Hanna take a bow) said they thought it was brilliant, and judging by how many of them were determined to record it on their phones I guess they must be right.


(whatever else i thought about the night, love Luke’s photos)