By Abby (@dressupshowup)
With the Rocks stage decked out with inflatables and bunting, it can only have meant one thing – the HMS Bestival was in town. On the agenda was fancy dress, props and an easy-going, be-ready-for-anything festival vibe (without the mud).
Rob Da Bank lets his music do the talking. The man at the helm of Bestival knows a thing or two about how to get a crowd going, and he used that to his advantage last night, spinning a set of eclectic tunes that defied musical boundaries – from rock’n’roll to garage to jungle – he covered all bases and had the crowd happily swaying along for the duration.
Shy FX came on stage and, expectedly, cranked things up a notch. He lulled everyone into a false sense of ease by initially coming out on a reggae tip, but it wasn’t long before he could resist a big, pumping tune. Ms Dynamite, Gyptian and a relentless ambush of d’n’b classics made up his set – by the time he left the stage the crowd had been whipped into a skanking, sweaty frenzy. Hair was stuck to faces and feet were moving of their own accord – they were ready for more.
Then it was time for the mixing maestro that is Jaguar Skills to take control. The genre-busting masked master took the crowd on a journey through music, from 90s house classics to garage to current classics-in-the-making, with one theme being concurrent throughout – these tunes were designed to make you dance. He mercilessly bombarded the crowd, allowing just enough time to get them jumping around like maniacs before switching it up for the next track. It was a night of frenzied, unstoppable fun that left you wishing there was more diversity like this on offer in Ibiza. All aboard the HMS Bestival! Let’s never get off.
By Abby (@dressupshow)
Where do you even begin to sum up the highlights of a season that’s included The Vaccines, Professor Green and Biffy Clyro? How can you hope to single out one defining moment of 2013 when you’ve been confronted with the shameless strutting of Liam Gallagher, the endless energy of Rizzle Kicks and the effortless enthusiasm of Zane Lowe? It’s a tough one, but someone’s got to do it. Ibiza Rocks 2013 has been 16 weeks of blindingly brilliant music that’s had the White Isle rocking-and-a-rolling every Wednesday and Friday night. 16 weeks of live acts, some of the best music around, and some of the worst dance moves you’re ever likely to see, all at the same venue. 2013 is a year that I, and every other Rocks-goer of this year, won’t be forgetting in a hurry.
So let’s start at the beginning. Jake Bugg, the straight-talking, crazily gifted teenager from Nottingham, kicked off the season in blistering style way back in June. His unique style of folk combined with rock had the crowd mesmerised. Then there was Tinie Tempah, who guarantees a sell out every time he performs. People got excitable, sweaty and ever so slightly lightheaded in the presence of East London’s favourite pop star, dancing like loons and providing one of ‘the’ moments of the season by collectively going mental to ‘Pass Out’. Chase and Status gave us a well-needed injection of drum’n’bass, giving the kind of intense performance that leaves you unable to sleep at night, and CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers was undoubtedly a summer, if not, an Ibiza, highlight. There’s nothing like getting your groove on to some disco underneath the Balearic stars. Mentions should also go to Dizzee Rascal who was outstanding, and London Grammar who are undoubtedly set for huge stardom.
Every Friday at W.A.R! we danced our socks off, without fail. It’s impossible not to when you’ve got Example smashing a five week residency and global superstar Idris Elba making his Ibiza debut. Rinse FM took over three dates over the summer and gave us some of the finest bass-infused electronic music around, and the HMS Bestival takeover with Shy FX and Jaguar Skills was also out of this world; never have I seen people dance so hard, for so long. Epic amounts of fun. Bondax confirmed their credentials with a fantastic set back in June, and we should tip our hats to Mistajam who’s unending gusto is as contagious as a virus, Rocks resident Doorly, who weaved his magic on the decks, week in, week out, and to Zane Lowe and Mark Ronson who gave us a stonking closing party that we’ll never forget.
So we’re left in no doubt that the 2013 has been a mind-blowing season. But for me, the one stand-out performance came from Bastille, who blew everyone away when they performed at the end of June. A band coming into their own but with an already established fan base, and some of the catchiest tunes around, made for big things at Rocks. The place went off. ‘Pompeii’ will always remind me of Ibiza and the many incredible memories that have been made here. We danced, we partied and we’d do it all again tomorrow if we could.
Who’s counting down to 2014 already?