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Review: Ibiza Rocks 8th Birthday ft Beady Eye

Ibiza Rocks goes nautical and Liam Gallagher joins the swollen roster of rock'n'roll legends to saunter across the Ibiza Rocks stage.

Before the official birthday party, we sent Spotlight writer Michael Huntington out to experience the Ibiza Rocks Boat Party. Here are his thoughts...

2013 sees the Ibiza Rocks brand join the growing boat party fray - within which the noticeable differences between individual parties are becoming increasingly hard to find. Thankfully Ibiza Rocks managed to present their unique ethos in a felicitous manner - transposing their live versus electric template successfully onto the high seas.

The two boat convoy - left with standing room only - departed San Antonio with the usual fanfare. Pointedly - the usual safety announcement decrying throwing oneself into the ocean was absent. Instead the DJ and host for the party - Ste-V-Something - announced that unlike other boats, the Ibiza Rocks vessel would journey to a 'swim stop': Cala Tarida. Delivering swift, mega-mix style transitions the music tripped between current and classic crowd pleasing hits - opening with MK's 'Right Through' and navigating through hip-hop, garage and crossover house selections. The eager crowd lapped up the constant and energetic MC-ing which seemed to steer the uninitiated participants into zones of electronica - Ibiza Rocks success then lies in straddling the boundary between commercialism and underground with a friendly outreached hand.

Arriving at the designated cove the majority dived headlong into the turquoise surroundings. During the stationary time Paddy Slater who makes regular appearances at the hotel led proceedings. Armed with an electro-acoustic guitar, a multi-loop pedal rack and naught but his vocals - he deftly rang off renditions of Daft Punk's Get Lucky, classic Oasis records and communal derogatory chants directed at the lesser quality of the opposing boat. The rippling rock strata of Ibiza's cliffs enclosed what was a boat party with a much needed dash of original flair and creative imagination. As the DJ returned to the decks and the catamarans began the homeward journey the party - styled as the 'pre party' for Beady Eye's headlining gig that evening - felt more like a substantial event in itself. Ibiza Rocks have broken the tried and tested boat party mould and jumped straight to the head of the curve.

As Michael arrived back on land, Jordan was heading off to Ibiza Rocks Hotel for the evening's main celebrations...

Last night Ibiza Rocks travelled across at least half a century of musical history in a few short hours and hardly broke a sweat (can't say the same for the animated crowd). We started deep in the 60s with support band Temples, whose stripped down psych-rock had the crowd nodding and swaying as the sun dipped behind the stage. Fresh from supporting the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park (so yeah, they are the real deal), Temples was retro from the chords to the hair cuts (these manicured mops must be seen to be believed).

The final guitar swirls were still rotating in our ears when Zane Lowe took over the stage, catapulting all present into the 21st century with boosted bass, broken beats and siren synths. The sonic-jump took a few people by surprise and Zane Lowe had his work cut out for him at the start, but frenzy-whipping is what this New Zealand boy does best, and he whipped ‘em up good in three songs flat. His energy on stage and through the mic sent sparks out into the crowd and by the time he threw out the TNGHT monster Higher Ground all arms were flailing and bass faces were go.

I don't know if it was the I'm-in-a-band-and-we're-northern haircuts, or the wild screams filling the air, but Beady Eye came down the stairs and onto the stage like The Beatles onto airport tarmac. Opening with Flick of the Finger, my favourite from the new album Be which was to feature all night, the band was as tight and professional as you would expect, though some early pitch-problems slightly undercut Liam Gallagher's confident rock star swagger.

Gallagher wore a metallic jacket from his own clothing line, Pretty Green, defiantly zipped up against the Balearic heat. Never one to pander to his audience, the singer stood with arms folded behind his back for much of the performance, passionately belting out his lyrics and surveying the audience with mostly-faux severity. Gallagher gave little, but captivated, whilst drummer Chris Sharrock (new to the fold) was excitingly emotive behind him. Soul Love and Second Bite of the Apple were crowd favourites, but as you might expect it was the Oasis classics delivered later – Morning Glory and Rock'n'Roll Star – that really caused a stir. You can't help but wonder if that blows a little for the former Oasis members of the band, but then remember that it's a precious few who make it so big and successfully pull off a second shot. For all the drama, these ex-Oasisites have got something very right – twice.

The energy continued to escalate throughout the set, climaxing at the final tune I'm Just Saying, which Gallagher wrapped up by grabbing one of the giant inflatable Ibiza Rocks guitar picks that had been rollicking along the top of the crowd all night and holding it aloft whilst he held the final notes. Bit of a moment, that.

Ibiza Rocks celebrated its birthday just like we expected it to – a quality support act followed by a wildly raucous dance act peaking with rock'n'roll legends that you have not and will not see anywhere else on the island. No one is doing it quite like Ibiza Rocks.

Book your stay at the Ibiza Rocks Hotel, and enjoy access to weekly live music and electronic gigs from your balcony!

Photography by Marco (Ibiza Rocks the Boat) and James Chapman - for more shots, checkout the full album on our Facebook page.

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