Ibiza Sept 2017 - review..

Amp and Deck

Active Member
At the time of writing, my girlfriend is desperately trying to persuade me to return to Ibiza for a certain closing party. Unfortunately, unless someone can teleport me from France to Ibiza and then back to my office in the space of 24 hours I can’t see it happening. As the Russian barman said to the woman in Casablanca:

“I love you…..

…..but they pay me”

It is of course the same feeling I always get leaving that island. The temporary suspension of reality when wild plans are hatched to drop out, to let out our Barcelona flat, to start afresh, to carve out a lucrative career selling silk scarves on a beach and live in a remote finca forever. There is something that always lures us back and interestingly no two visits are ever quite the same.

It all started with a bang. The turbulence on the flight was extreme. People were scared. “Ay Antonio, tengo miedo” I heard my petrified neighbour scream. There was one person with her head under her jacket, shaking violently although that might have a reaction to the Diana doc she had on her ipad.

The flight was mercifully short. There were immediate clues as to where we were when I saw an English kid in nothing but a pair of shorts gurning furiously outside departures.

We picked up our hire car from a firm called Click & Rent (via doyouspain). A tiny Ford Ka which I sensed had been much (ab)used over the summer.

The road from the airport to Portinatx is a long one. Possibly the longest route on the entire island.

As you leave the carreterra, the roads start to wind a lot and the driving becomes more challenging. Spanish drivers have this unnerving ability to drive at breakneck speed in any situation regardless of what they can (or cannot…) see ahead. The key is not to be intimidated.

Portinatx is a curious mix of old Ibiza and classic Spanish tourist resorts. The kind of all inclusive, aerobics to EDM by the pool (by day), Elvis impersonators or bingo (by night) package that could be anywhere. The Apartamentos El Rey are a reminder of an old-fashioned kind of holiday, with rooms largely untouched since their construction probably at some point in 1968, kitchens concealed in cupboards and discarded John Grisham paperbacks providing the sole indoor entertainment. The building itself is a veritable labyrinth. In order to access room 26, you have to get a lift up to Floor 4A before walking up two further flights, down a secret outdoor path and then ensuring you are in the right block. The views of the sea are fantastic however. And you are only a short walk away from the (excellent) El Puerto restaurant and the nearby chiringuito.

Whereupon we met up with none other than Spotlight’s very own Jimmiz. An absolute pleasure to knock back the hierbas with this man. A very funny and knowledgeable guy and honorary Ibicenco to his core. The sunset from that chiringuito was a sight to behold. I would have happily stayed there all week but we had a pressing engagement elsewhere.

Which would have to remain pressing until we could work out how to engage the reverse gear in the hire car. After 15 minutes struggling, I decided we would have to manually push the car out of its parking slot. Tempers started to fray and I shouted at my girlfriend

“GET OUT OF THE F**KING CAR AND PUSH”

“I may laugh about this one day…” she muttered

“…but not right now”.

We eventually collected our friend the Balearic High Priestess who was flying in from Southend and then headed into Ibiza town, where my first act was to run over a cyclist who went into the car at breakneck speed.

“Oh my God” one of the girls shrieked.

I got out to see what had happened. He wasn’t moving and it briefly looked like he was dead. But after a few seconds he got up looking very groggy. He declined my repeated offers to call emergencias but he did ask for cash. This time, I declined. He reeked of weed and looked completely banjaxed. He got up and walked away. With the remnants of his bicycle.

What a night.

We had a meal at El Patio just opposite Dalt Villa. It was cold and pissing down. Or maybe that was me? It was hard to tell. I was still in shock.

The BHP showed us how to reverse gear. It was pretty straightforward.

Rain never lasts long in Spain, especially Ibiza.

It was time for the beach. We opted for Aiguas Blancas. A foolish choice as the beach below the steep cliff is narrow and sunlight is limited to the lucky few. We erred with our next sunset too. Someone had recommended Cala Xuclar but it was deserted as we arrived and the sun was almost totally concealed behind a rock. It also occurred to me that the drive back up to the top might prove too steep for some bullshit hire car with all the horsepower of a gnat. Around me I could see abandoned cars gathering dust that had presumably never made it back to the top. As we – somehow - made it back to the top, I began to wonder how many lives I had already used up on this trip.

I have a soft spot for Las Dalias, our next port of call. We arrived quite late for Acid Sundays and they tried to charge 15 euros on the door. As a rule, I don’t pay to enter parties, so we went to the bar next door and ate a meal instead. Some locals were absorbed in the US Open on the tv. Local hero Rafa Nadal is still big news in the baleares. The waiters as everywhere else were incredibly friendly and helpful. The music in there (an old Nuphonic CD) sounded more to my tastes than anything we could make out next door. From there it was on to St Gertrudis where we came across a beautiful boutique (with an indoor fountain) selling gemstones, run by an old wrinkly malagueño who was impressed by my Spanish. He had lived in my Barcelona barrio a few years previously and had quite a story. The man was as balearic as the hills. We got on to politics – he sounded totally baffled by the Catalan independence referendum. (He’s not the only one)
 

Amp and Deck

Active Member
Our only big night was scheduled to take place at Pikes. Ahh Pikes; a well-documented pantheon of popstar largesse, summer sin and urban myth. It was perhaps apt that DJ Harvey should select this venue and specifically, Freddie’s Room, for his Mercury Rising residency, as he is probably the most charismatic DJ currently playing on the island, a throwback to an era when showmen ruled the roost, rather than overpaid droids playing tech-house to insomniacs. DJ Harvey is someone I discovered through the DJ History website about 12 years ago, his cult status cemented by seemingly permanent ‘exile’ in Hawaii and inherited tales of legendary Ministry of Sound sets in the 90s or clandestine Sarcastic Disco parties on the West Coast. Hype aside, I was drawn to his diverse taste in music, which I would loosely (and unwisely) classify as discohousesoulrock via a Mediterranean beach, Californian highway or Norwegian fjord - the kind of music largely ignored, unnoticed or forgotten by the major clubs, music with heart, depth and peppered with mischief; music which, above all, is actual fun.

Harvey is an audiophile known for his meticulous attention to detail, both sonic and visual. As you enter, you cannot fail to notice gigantic disco balls looming above like imperious death stars. On the periphery of the dancespace, old pianos and dining room tables play havoc with your senses. (I was told there was once a double bed in the middle of the dancefloor). On the stroke of midnight we flooded into the room with only the slightest regret – the Pikes garden is a work of art – whereupon the show began. The crowd was fairly mixed. Alongside the heads and holiday nerds were more than a few casual tourists curious to see what the fuss was about or because they’d seen the hype about Pikes and/or Harvey in some inflight magazine. I would say it was a largely UK crowd with a smaller Spanish and Italian contingent. But on the dancefloor it really didn’t matter. The devotees crowded around the booth. Some danced for six hours without a break, others gathered on (or in some instances inside) bushes in the garden. At one point I was leaning against a wall reeling when I heard some Northern English voice saying “You’re Lee Sharpe, arn’tcha. Been looking for yer everywhere.” I assumed he was talking to me. It was none other than Diver off the Spotlight forum. Genial fellow. The conversation was probably a bit one-sided as I could barely speak by this stage. It sounded like he was having a good time. I know I was.

Having heard Harvey DJ before I was well aware of his taste for the weird and obscure. On this occasion, I was unable to spot most of the records, but there was a consistent chuggy vibe and a welcome revival for an old favourite Gatto Fritto ‘invisible college’, which for me stole the show. In the haze I also recall an old indie-baggy number (maybe Primal Scream?) which again sounded very Weatherall-inspired and Tulio de Piscopo Stop Bajon (Primavera), perhaps the ultimate balearic record. Hearing it played at this venue by this DJ on this night felt almost ridiculous. There were nods to Afro-disco, acid house, even bossa nova, at which point Harvey started blowing a carnival whistle, and a wild finale culminating in Neil Diamond’s September Morn and Marti Caine’s love the way you love me. A memorable night about which I naturally remember very little. Oh yeah and Mercury Rising at Pikes is completely free.

When it ended, it kind of made sense to have a rave nap in the car. The BHP was still inside the venue having a catch up with DJ Harvey who she had known for over 30 years. She came back and said he wasn’t having anyone back to his villa. So we headed down to Cala Gracio instead. There was an awkward moment when a police car came towards me on the narrow street outside Tanit (not far from where we stayed last September). It felt like a showdown at dawn. I reversed over the kerb into a space in yet another Ford Ka-induced ball of chemical sweat. They passed and I heaved a sigh of relief.
 

Amp and Deck

Active Member
Swimming at 8am when you’re still in the rave zone is of course one of the great underrated pleasures of life. The area was totally deserted. One of the girls was asleep in the car, the other sprawled across the rocks. The journey back to Ptx was going to be interesting. I took a wrong turn on the carreterra from San An to San Rafael and ended up driving back to San An, something that slowly dawned on me as the sea we had just left behind loomed in the distance. We made it back to Ptx and slept for years or at least until it someone suggested trying out the pool. A very different clientele to those we had danced with at Pikes only a few hours before. Seated to our left was a English family who were skyping someone ‘back home’ to tell them absolutely nothing about their holiday. To our right, a Dutch family were sat on sunloungers glaring at each other. The Dutchman looked psychotic. I sensed the influence of steroids. The music at the swimming pool bar as nearly everywhere was pretty terrible. I wondered why they blast out banging music when sensitive souls around the pool are still trying to make sense of life after a heavy night. Play some Sade or Demis Roussos instead you c**t. Eventually it calmed down and Luther Vandross could be heard, crooning through the tannoy. Much as I enjoyed the Portinatx experience I am in no hurry to return to the El Rey.

Not something that can be said about Salinas. I’ve never made any secret of the fact I am a massive fan of Salinas, arguably the silliest, campest, most entertaining beach in Europe. Sadly this year, even though Jon ST was banging it out, there was no wild dancing at Sa Trinxa, but plenty of merriment along the sand. We were offered everything from top hats to bottles of extortionate Coronitas by eternally optimistic African guys searching out punters. As ever the beach was a festival of breasts and fluorescent speedos. Although not everyone had stepped off a magazine cover. We were sat next to a couple - both nudists - so enormous they looked like beached whales.

The car hire refused to extend our hire by 24 hours so we returned to Salinas by cab to check in at Pepitas. This wonderful guest house can be found at the far end of the Salinas car park, next to the Mar y Sal hotel. Pepita is a Spanish lady of the old school. The rooms are also of the old school and so are the mosquitoes. If you want the true balearic pension experience look no further.

Having missed our return flight and extended our stay by 24 hours, we decided on one final visit to the old town for the last night. The airport bus takes forever to get to the old town so allow plenty of time if you’re skint and tempted. The centre of Eivissa town at night is a poseur’s paradise. The boutiques open late and uber-expensive restaurants line the square behind Vara de Rey towards the foot of D’Alt Villa. We saw one called Locals Only, populated (naturally) by a group of German tourists. I was particularly impressed by a stilt-walker performing spectacular dance moves. We decided on the Asturian restaurant at the end Poma Sidreria which was a good choice. Attentive service and tasty tapas. It was my girlfriend’s birthday and I got a few other diners to sing along. Outside, I spotted a few Troya trannies out in the street immersed in (promotional?) chitchat with some man dressed as an orthodox Jew. Only in Ibiza.

We parted with the BHP who was back off to Dalias to help out at wax da jam. In many ways, this was my most bizarre trip to the island yet. Amazing fun for the most part. Big love to everyone we met. Hasta la proxima…
 
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diver

Well-Known Member
Nice review dude and good to meet you. We really enjoyed Harvey too, I was quite pissed that night tbh and on a few occasions had to prop the wall up. You any idea what that version of Just An Illusion was he played, it seemed to go on for ages?
 

FallenangelGparsons

Well-Known Member
for Acid sundays closing u shoud give a shout..i got some contacts working for them ...
Quiet dangerous to have a ride with u :D
Car wont extend location as they dont care about the broker, better subscribe to new contract.& cheaper than extend old one...
He played "imagination" in Paris last time too..
 

ibiza77

Well-Known Member
Ibiza baleric beat hit.jpg
Our only big night was scheduled to take place at Pikes. Ahh Pikes; a well-documented pantheon of popstar largesse, summer sin and urban myth. It was perhaps apt that DJ Harvey should select this venue and specifically, Freddie’s Room, for his Mercury Rising residency, as he is probably the most charismatic DJ currently playing on the island, a throwback to an era when showmen ruled the roost, rather than overpaid droids playing tech-house to insomniacs. DJ Harvey is someone I discovered through the DJ History website about 12 years ago, his cult status cemented by seemingly permanent ‘exile’ in Hawaii and inherited tales of legendary Ministry of Sound sets in the 90s or clandestine Sarcastic Disco parties on the West Coast. Hype aside, I was drawn to his diverse taste in music, which I would loosely (and unwisely) classify as discohousesoulrock via a Mediterranean beach, Californian highway or Norwegian fjord - the kind of music largely ignored, unnoticed or forgotten by the major clubs, music with heart, depth and peppered with mischief; music which, above all, is actual fun.

Harvey is an audiophile known for his meticulous attention to detail, both sonic and visual. As you enter, you cannot fail to notice gigantic disco balls looming above like imperious death stars. On the periphery of the dancespace, old pianos and dining room tables play havoc with your senses. (I was told there was once a double bed in the middle of the dancefloor). On the stroke of midnight we flooded into the room with only the slightest regret – the Pikes garden is a work of art – whereupon the show began. The crowd was fairly mixed. Alongside the heads and holiday nerds were more than a few casual tourists curious to see what the fuss was about or because they’d seen the hype about Pikes and/or Harvey in some inflight magazine. I would say it was a largely UK crowd with a smaller Spanish and Italian contingent. But on the dancefloor it really didn’t matter. The devotees crowded around the booth. Some danced for six hours without a break, others gathered on (or in some instances inside) bushes in the garden. At one point I was leaning against a wall reeling when I heard some Northern English voice saying “You’re Lee Sharpe, arn’tcha. Been looking for yer everywhere.” I assumed he was talking to me. It was none other than Diver off the Spotlight forum. Genial fellow. The conversation was probably a bit one-sided as I could barely speak by this stage. It sounded like he was having a good time. I know I was.

Having heard Harvey DJ before I was well aware of his taste for the weird and obscure. On this occasion, I was unable to spot most of the records, but there was a consistent chuggy vibe and a welcome revival for an old favourite Gatto Fritto ‘invisible college’, which for me stole the show. In the haze I also recall an old indie-baggy number (maybe Primal Scream?) which again sounded very Weatherall-inspired and Tulio de Piscopo Stop Bajon (Primavera), perhaps the ultimate balearic record. Hearing it played at this venue by this DJ on this night felt almost ridiculous. There were nods to Afro-disco, acid house, even bossa nova, at which point Harvey started blowing a carnival whistle, and a wild finale culminating in Neil Diamond’s September Morn and Marti Caine’s love the way you love me. A memorable night about which I naturally remember very little. Oh yeah and Mercury Rising at Pikes is completely free.

When it ended, it kind of made sense to have a rave nap in the car. The BHP was still inside the venue having a catch up with DJ Harvey who she had known for over 30 years. She came back and said he wasn’t having anyone back to his villa. So we headed down to Cala Gracio instead. There was an awkward moment when a police car came towards me on the narrow street outside Tanit (not far from where we stayed last September). It felt like a showdown at dawn. I reversed over the kerb into a space in yet another Ford Ka-induced ball of chemical sweat. They passed and I heaved a sigh of relief.
 
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