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Review: Cream Ibiza Birthday, 1st August

Ibiza at its biggest.

Cream Ibiza at Amnesia has its regulars without doubt – who wouldn't want to return for another taste of that insane buzz? But what the Cream Birthday Party last night really proved is that Cream is also the perfect night for Ibiza Virgins, introducing them to the grand scale on which the island can celebrate in a raucous baptism of synths, lasers and crowd revelry.

It would be ridiculous to call the ‘warm up sets' of last night by that name. When we arrived towards the end of Rob Harnetty's set in the main room the cavern was already full and jumping. Eddie Halliwell took over at 1.30 and the energy coasted upwards from its already lofty heights, as he smashed out the dirty electro/trance hybrid he puts out these days, a highlight of his set being Daarryl Green & Xendo's Oh Yeah. Halliwell is a name and face punters know and love and he was dancing about the booth like he was Muhammed Ali doing the butterfly, bellowing into the microphone “Oh yes oh yes Amnesia, how we doing?” (erm – that's Coxy's line).

Next stop we zipped over to the Terrace to catch some of Burns; I say ‘zipped' but by this point nobody was going anywhere in Amnesia faster than a glacial ooze. The club was really, really busy, especially in the Terrace which, whilst making for some incredible sights when hands go in the air and bodies line every surface, just doesn't leave enough dancing room in my opinion, and makes a quick trip to the bar an epic and lengthy squeezathon. All the same, Burns was on form and the crowd were dead keen, mimicking every movement of his dark silhouette against a wildly flashing backdrop.

Then it was Calvin Harris time, and the crowd added ‘choir' to its list of collective contributions to the night as thousands of voices chorused his huge hits like Flashback, Bounce and Feel So Close. His homegrown classics were interspersed with uplifting tracks like Avicii and Nicky Romero's I Could Be The One and his own remix of the Fatboy Slim and Riva Starr banger Eat Sleep Rave Repeat. For many Calvin was the main draw card and the pinnacle of the night (just ask the lasers), but for me it was all about Paul Van Dyk, so I glacially oozed my way over to the main room for some full-throttle happy times trance.

Now here was a fun sight. The ever-smiling Paul Van Dyk darting around the place, completely engaged in his part-live, part DJ set, but still finding time to squeeze the hand of every hopeful fan who raised themselves up to the height of the now-accessible DJ booth. He was also thoroughly engaging with Amnesia main room lighting guru Zeles, the two always working as a team to create mood and moments with their chosen tools. Musically his set had everything you could want: the singalongs, the heavy drops, the old school classics like Underworld Born Slippy (playing Live this Sunday at We Love), his own hits like We Are Tonight and Eternity, haunting and beautiful vocal moments like Urban Astronauts Feat. Kate Louise Smith See The Sun (Aurosonic Remix) and epic moments like the Deadmau5 rework of Energy 52's Café Del Mar. He really took the trance lovers through their paces and crafted a fantastic party and experience during his time in control – nice one Paul.

There was still some time to duck into the Terrace, where Laidback Luke was taking the masses into the wee hours with no-mercy electro. I happened to arrive at a more chilled moment when Luke dropped the Bookashade and M.A.N.D.Y. hit Body Language, but as things started to heat up again I felt myself flagging and made an extremely satisfied beeline for bed. Cream as ever, has pulled out every stop to deliver a party of epic proportions.

Photography by James Chapman

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