Clean Bandit returned to Ibiza Rocks last week, after their support slot last year with Ellie Goulding. Since they played last August, they’ve become hugely successful, with their single ‘Rather Be’ featuring singer Jess Glynne (who appeared at Ibiza Rocks a few weeks ago before Rudimental) reaching number one in the UK last January. Their debut album ‘New Eyes’ was released in the UK in May, and reached number three. I enjoyed their performance last year and so was looking forward to seeing them again.
First onstage was Ella Eyre with a full backing band and two female singers. She’s only 20, but recently sang the lead vocals on Rudimental’s number one hit ‘Waiting All Night’ and has been touring with the band over the summer, and it shows. With her mane of long curls she looked the part, as she energetically commanded the stage and belted out her songs, with her strong, striking vocals coming though loud and clear. She did a cover of Rudimental’s ‘Right Now’, which got the crowd bouncing up and down as well as singing the other singles she has under her belt.
In great rock and roll tradition she left the stage after throwing down the mic stand on the stage – always a good exit in my book. It was a full-on, energetic set, and a great way to start the night.
After that performance, Clean Bandit had a tough task on their hands to follow her. The band’s four members were joined onstage by two guest female singers, which is the way the band choose to record and play live. They write and produce the music and bring in guest lead vocalists for their fusion sound, which combines classical elements with electronic music and some deep-house elements. They met as students at Cambridge University, where two of the band, Grace the cellist and Milan the violinist were playing together in a string quartet.
The noticeable difference onstage this year was that Grace had traded in her traditional bulky cello for a sleeker electronic version, which in my opinion had less visual impact on the stage. But I’m sure it made it easier for her to switch between playing it, singing and dancing, which is how a Clean Bandit performance takes shape – they all take their turns at singing, there is intermittent playing from Grace and Milan and much dancing in between. The crowd loved them and joined in dancing and singing along when they knew the words.
A highlight was their cover of the house classic from Robin S, ‘Show Me Love’, which everyone went mad for, but overall after Ella’s energetic performance, they just left me wanting a bit more of something. My patience paid off, as the two songs that they played in the encore, pushed the pace up a notch or two, and the high point of their set for me was ending on their number one hit ‘Rather Be’, which was magical as the entire crowd sang back to the chorus to them.
The night ended on a high, much as it began, as everyone left the venue to go on to wherever they were going – for us it just had to be Rock Nights at Ibiza Rocks House at Pikes, for another dose of hedonistic fun.
Words & video by ClaireB
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