Pikes Cranks Up The Vamp

Posted on November 2, 2015

Images: Andres Iglesias

I grip the wheel of the car as it bounces across the field that doubles as Pikes’ parking. Strange figures appear out of the gloom. The headlights pick out skeletons with grimacing skulls, a decomposing pirate and other unmentionable characters – they seem half-dead, half-clubber. And it’s still early as we head up to the house on the hill on the last night of October.

Andrés Iglesias || www.andresiglesias.com
Andrés Iglesias || www.andresiglesias.com

Seemingly since Dracula was a boy the buzz about Vamp Halloween at Ibiza Rocks House has been building to a fiendish frenzy. All week, social media have been filled with increasingly desperate pleas for tickets, even from people whose presence on any island guest list is normally automatic. No wonder. A party for creatures that only come out at night? There’s no shortage of them in Ibiza. And they want to come out to play. They’ve been cooped up for too long. There’s a real end-of-term feel about Halloween on the island and it brings out the devil in everybody. The closing parties are finally over so the workers who’ve staffed the island’s clubs, bars and restaurants can at last release their pent-up inner party animals. And tonight they have definitely let loose. Just about everybody has put an amazing amount of effort into dressing up.

Andrés Iglesias || www.andresiglesias.com
Andrés Iglesias || www.andresiglesias.com

It’s not just the costumes and makeup that get more elaborate by the year. Pikes has once again managed to raise the ghoul posts thanks to Leanne Chilton and Jill Canney. The latter is specially back from the dead or – Northern Ireland – as she sometimes calls it. The dastardly duo have left no corner of the hotel’s labyrinthine complex of corridors, cave-like rooms and living-dead spaces untouched by funereal hands. Everywhere there are headless corpses, skulls, bats, cobwebs, grinning pumpkins and dancing skeletons. Even in the toilets ghosts peek in the windows. Not for those of a nervous disposition. As we arrive a smell of burning flesh permeates the air, but it’s really just the barbecue in the corner of the creepy courtyard. Centre stage Paco Fernandez is whipping up a devilish storm with his vampire band, ripping through a set fusing flamenco, house, hip-hop and rock. All the time mystical creatures come to talk to us. Often it’s minutes before I recognise them. If ever. To those to whom I appeared completely blank I apologise. You fooled me. I began to wish I’d made more effort with my costume. Dressing as Satan is hardly a stretch for a journalist. Trust me. Or, maybe not.

Andrés Iglesias || www.andresiglesias.com
Andrés Iglesias || www.andresiglesias.com

Inside Pikes it was even more perplexing. There was Melon Bomb’s Scott Gray in the DJ booth dressed as a crazed clown while, simultaneously, he was apparently throwing ghostly shapes on the dance floor. Work that one out. The only clue was that one twin had a slightly higher pitched voice. Take a bow Faye Reynolds for one of the most inspired costumes of the night. To add to the confusion it was her old man Paul clowning around with Scott behind the decks. This was all leaving my brain hurting almost as much as my feet from dancing. Grabbing a seat we watched the procession of costumes go by, looking for a theme. But there were no rules. Horror movie characters, devils, Day of the Dead corpses, zombies, they were all there. Even the people who’d come dressed as themselves fitted in as seemingly ready victims for the ghouls around them. And the crowd was as cosmopolitan as it was spooky.

Andrés Iglesias || www.andresiglesias.com
Andrés Iglesias || www.andresiglesias.com

There are times when Pikes, for better or worse, can be rather overwhelmingly British. Not for Halloween. One memory, that will probably live with me until death, was a corpse bride assisted by a variety of characters including a gaggle of zombie schoolgirls and a female transvestite Santa singing The Macarena in sinister Sunny’s bathroom karaoke. Anybody that can deliver those lyrics at full tilt just has to be native-fluent in Spanish. Even more than usual after a Pikes’ party we left exhausted and smiling, but wondering what we’d missed. There’s just so much going on that you can never catch it all. We’d say it was the ultimate Halloween house party, but somehow you know that next year Jill and Leanne will take the house on the hill even deeper into the underworld. Until then I’ve still got to figure out how to clean off this red devil makeup. At least, I hope it’s makeup…

Andrés Iglesias || www.andresiglesias.com
Andrés Iglesias || www.andresiglesias.com
Andrés Iglesias || www.andresiglesias.com
Andrés Iglesias || www.andresiglesias.com
Andrés Iglesias || www.andresiglesias.com
Andrés Iglesias || www.andresiglesias.com
Andrés Iglesias || www.andresiglesias.com
Andrés Iglesias || www.andresiglesias.com