Tonight’s gig is one of the ones I’ve been looking forward to most of all so far in the 2012 season. I’m a Kaiser Chief’s fan – I like their music and they’re a fantastic live band. It will be great to see them in an intimate venue. Spector the support act are growing on me too. This will be the third time I have seen them live. The first time was when they supported The Kaiser Chiefs at The Forum in London last October, and then with The Drums at The Roundhouse in February. In the space of four months and with a fair amount of radio play and gigging around, they had honed their act, were getting a good fanbase and were looking like they meant serious business. So I’m waiting in the venue, watching it fill up, full of anticipation.
Spector appear onstage at 9.20 to a backdrop promoting their forthcoming debut album ‘Enjoy it While it Lasts’ (out in August). Fred the singer is looking dapper in an eye-catching bright blue suit. He’s a great front man – making use of the small amount of space that the band have in front of the Kaiser Chief’s kit, and engaging the crowd in between songs.
At one point he embarks on some matchmaking, trying to fix up a guy on his own on a balcony with a girl on her own a few balconies away. He finds out that most of the crowd is from the UK, and they clearly know the band and their music. They’re doing a great job of warming them up before the Kaiser’s. By the time they play ‘Chevy Thunder’ the crowd has their hands in the air and are dancing along.
Fred proclaims, “Ibiza it’s our first time here and I hope it won’t be our last”. He then announces the last song ‘Never Fade Away’, their first single, and everyone has their hands in the air and is clapping. He goes to the very front of the stage. In the chorus he is jumping up and down and he has the audience doing the same. They leave the stage to rapturous applause. I think the crowd would have liked more but they’re probably on a strict no encore brief so that everything can be set up for The Kaisers. And from where I’m looking, there’s a lot of gear to get on that stage.
Spector did a sterling job warming up the crowd for The Kaisers. DJ Nicola Bear is keeping up the momentum by playing some great tunes and the crowd is jigging around (there’s not enough room to dance now) and singing along.
Eventually the Kaiser Chiefs appear onstage to Dire Straits ‘Money for Nothing’ starting their set to a rapturous applause from the now packed venue. I start the gig down in the pit at the front of the stage taking photos (my first time). All I want to do is watch, but I have a job to do. It’s an amazing experience being so close to the band. There are plenty of photo opportunities as Ricky moves around and commands the stage, but he’s hard to capture, as he’s darting around all over the place. I’m so close that I can almost feel the energy and adrenalin pouring out of him.
By the second song he’s broken free from the stage and is standing on the security barrier amidst the crowd. Ricky is on form, and it’s going to be a good show. The rest of the band are used to his off-stage antics (it’s one of the hallmarks of his performance), and just carry on playing in the background. The band is part-way through a run of international festival performances, so they’re playing most days – they’re tight, they’re rehearsed, and they have a great repertoire of anthemic hits to play. And that is exactly what they do, whilst Ricky uses the Ibiza Rocks venue as his playground.
By now I’ve left the pit, and am moving around the venue to get different perspectives from different locations in the venue. They run through ‘Everything is Average Nowadays’, ‘Kinda Girl You Are’, ‘Na Na Na Na Naa’ and ‘Everyday I Love You Less and Less’. Everyone is singing. Then they launch into ‘I Predict a Riot’, and the whole place is jumping – I wouldn’t be surprised if some seismic activity is registered in Ibiza tonight. Ricky scales the lighting rig on the stage, using it as a climbing frame. When it comes to ‘Ruby’, Ricky finally takes off his jacket (it’s a hot night) and tells the crowd that they’re all gonna laid tonight (the crowd that is).
I’m mingling with the crowd now enjoying the gig, near the mixing desk. Clashing with The Kaiser Chiefs is Spain’s clash with Portugal in the semi finals of Euro 2012. I start to hear loud cheers from the back of the venue near the TV screen, and realise that the game has gone to penalties. I go to look at the TV to see what’s happening, but decide the gig is more important to watch. I go back to see that Ricky has run off the stage, and is now singing from the balcony of the press room, left of stage and two floors up! It’s crazy. There’s Ricky singing on the balcony taking swigs from a bottle of Jack Daniels, and Spain scoring penalties at the back of the venue. He makes it back to the stage and wishes everyone a good holiday and imparts some safe sex advice, before the band leave at the end of the set.
But it’s not long before they’re back. Then they launch into ‘Oh My God’. Part way through, Ricky’s making his way through the crowd: he scales the mixing desk rigging up to the VIP balcony, edges his way along the balcony, sings for a while, and then jumps off into the pool. What an exit! What a gig – pure rock n’ roll. This could well be the gig of the summer – it’s certainly going to take some beating! Oh, and Spain got through to the finals of Euro 2012, so there’s a packed venue full of happy people.
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