For the second gig of the Ibiza Rocks 2012 season, we’re treated to two performers born in Hackney, East London – Maverick Sabre with support from Labrinth – although Maverick spent most of his formative years growing up in Ireland. Neither are Ibiza Rocks virgins, having had support slots in 2011 – Labrinth with Chase and Status and Maverick with Tinie Tampah.
So Doorly the DJ announces Labrinth saying “if you haven’t seen this band before you’re going to be blown away” – I hope he’s right! Watching them from my bird’s-eye view from the balcony before they go onstage, they’re hyper and ready to go.
Labrinth is joined onstage by a 4-piece band – drummer, keys, bass guitar and someone in the background mixing. Labrinth also occasionally plays guitar and synth as well throughout the set. When he plays guitar, the tracks have a noticeably more rocky edge, which I like.
The second number is a cover of Express Yourself, a soul classic originally recorded by Charlie Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, and more recently covered by N.W.A., which it turns out is the latest single, released at the beginning of May. That gets me dancing! Meanwhile a couple of bats have joined in the party, and are flying around in circles in front of the balcony.
Labrinth’s music is a fusion of soul, funk, drum and bass and rock, and it’s perfect for Ibiza Rocks. The crowd is loving it, and are jumping up and down for most of the set, egged on by Labrinth, although they don’t seem to need much encouragement. A great warm up act – they’ve set the bar high, and I suspect that they are going to be a hard act to follow. They could have headlined and everyone would have been happy!
‘Let the sun shine’ the first solo single (and very apt for Ibiza) went down well, and was the closing number. But they’re soon back onstage to do an encore. The noise in the place is deafening. The crowd by now is whipped into a frenzy. The atmosphere is electric and Ibiza Rocks is truly rocking!
Maverick Sabre comes onstage just after 23.00. Immediately the music is noticeably much more mellow than Labrinth’s. He’s accompanied onstage by a 4-piece band and a female backing singer. There’s a much more soulful vibe. I know it’s not good to make comparisons to other artists, but from where I am on the balcony his voice sounds a lot like Finley Quaye. The crowd is grooving and watching his every move onstage, but they’re not as ecstatic as they were earlier.
Maverick has an almost unassuming presence on stage, wearing a casual ensemble of baggy shorts, T Shirt and trainers, but he paces around the stage and works his audience to good effect. The backing singer has an amazing voice and a great stage presence. To be honest, I’m watching her more. A few more songs in and Maverick announces it’s her birthday, and leads the crowd in singing happy birthday to her. They play the new single – it has an anthemic quality. The crowd roars in appreciation. And another great night at Ibiza Rocks comes to an end.
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