Having spent the majority of last summer in the protective bubble that is the Ibiza Rocks pressroom, we’ve never really noticed the Ibiza Rocks VIP let alone wondered what exactly it entailed, until we received an invitation at Essential HQ to come down and enjoy the hospitality of the VIP – an invitation we quickly accepted of course – because no matter how difficult the task, we know that we owe it to you to make sure we try every Ibiza experience possible to help you get the best from your time on the island. As luck would have it, the invitation came on a week that we had some friends visiting from the UK and Bloc Party was making its long overdue Rocks debut.
Given that we have a full team to coordinate, we land at the hotel slightly later than we planned and are met at the front door by Leanne, who shows us to our table at the front of the VIP balcony directly opposite the stage. The great thing about Ibiza Rocks VIP is that there is no necessity to buy bottles; you can if you want of course but the option to buy rounds is also available. As we grab our seats and place our drinks order, Zane Lowe has invited the full crowd to turn and face the balcony before challenging everyone on it to perform for the crowd, eh, we haven’t even had a drink yet mate, give us a chance! Zane’s DJ style is unique, using hot cue’s and the microphone to replace the traditional headphone and mixing technique, while a traditionalist like myself might take a bit of persuading, I would say, I’m not sure I have seen another DJ entertain the crowd quite like he does. He has the whole place rocking as he flawlessly moves through his set, he even has time to show off his counting skills, although four seems to be his limit for now. With the crowd well and truly warmed up – if there was a roof over the Ibiza Rocks it would have been blown off long ago – he leaves the stage but not before a heart felt introduction for one of his favourite bands.
A couple of years ago the rumour mill went into overdrive and tales of a Bloc Party split were rife. Kele recorded a solo album and had to constantly fend off questions about the future of the band. Fast-forward to the present and the new album ‘Four’ has landed and captured the imagination of all and sundry and Bloc Party is seconds away from making its Ibiza Rocks debut. The deep growl coming from the speakers and the strobes from the back of the stage intermittently flashing, bathing the capacity crowd in white light, heightens the anticipation, resulting in a decibel shattering roar when they eventually land on stage. After initial pleasantries, we’re off and it’s a white knuckle ride of thrashing guitar loops, soaring vocals and one of the best drumming performances I can remember at Ibiza Rocks.
I wouldn’t class myself as a massive Bloc Party fan, I’ve heard most of the hits and like them but the fact that I couldn’t distinguish, from the crowd reaction, between new or old tunes bodes well for the latest album. Catchy guitar licks, intricate drum patters and in Kele, a front man with more than his fair share of stage presence has made Bloc Party one of the finest live bands on the circuit and on the strength of the set tonight, large festival headline slots beckon. High points invariably surround the better known tunes and the decibel level rockets for the likes of One More Chance and The Prayer, there’s also an impromptu chorus of Calvin Harris’ Rhianna collaboration – ‘We Found Love’ – before launching into Flux. The performance is polished but with a real edge and the resulting reaction of the huge crowd is as good as anything we’ve witnessed in front of the famous stage. After a couple of encore tunes the lights go up and the hour and a half show comes to a close.
This is our first experience of the Ibiza Rocks VIP and it has been one that we’ll not forget in a hurry. With other VIP areas around the island there is no real guarantee where you will be seated and more often than not the view of the performers is often not the best. With Ibiza Rocks, where seeing the action on the stage is arguably more important than checking out a DJ booth, the VIP experience is perfect. The view and sound is amazing, you definitely feel part of the atmosphere, not to mention you never have to go to the bar – result!