Cream @ Amnesia - Ibiza July 5th 2007 - Well, the weather boffins have been telling us for years now that the climate is changing.. we've been promised Mediterranean sunshine and never having to buy another umbrella or pair of Wellingtons as long as we live. Bloody scientists, what do they know?
Instead we get the wettest June in the entire history of the world and rising damp in our walls and joints.
The month started off ok with the excellent Coloursfest in Glasgow, though it did drizzle during the night. The following weekend I was on the banks of Loch Ness for the Rock Ness festival, where I got sunburnt on the Saturday and hypothermia on the Sunday.
Two weeks later I was at the excellent, new, Knowsley Hall festival where there were brilliant performances from bands as diverse as The Who Madness, The Thrills, The Zutons, Miss King and the Cougars, Keane, Joss Stone, The Hoosiers and many others. This is the Knowsley Festival's first year and I recommend you check it out next year because the quality of the music on offer was first rate. Sadly, the weather was not, as the whole weekend was a mud bath from start to finish. I had a great time despite being soaked from head to foot and caked in mud.
Never mind, I thought to myself, next weekend I'm going to the Sanctuary Festival, near Winchester in the south of England, where it's bound to be warm and balmy for the last weekend in June. There was a fabulous line-up on offer with the cream of the hard dance and hard core scene offering up a weekend of banging tunes. I could not have been more wrong. I arrived at 3pm and left at 7, I just couldn't abide the thought of spending another 12 hours in the rain and the mud.
You can imagine I was getting pretty pissed off by this time, having spent 3 out of 4 weekends either getting wet or trying to get dry.
The solution was simple www.Jet2.com flight No LS197 from Leeds & Bradford Airport to Ibiza, departing Leeds at 8.30pm, 2Â½ hours later I was taxiing down the runway on the White Isle. Stepping off the plane on Monday night (2nd July) it was so nice to feel the heat I damn near cried with relief, and waking up the next morning to blazing sunshine and 24 degrees celsius was like dying and going to heaven.
So far so good.
Now I had to decide how I was going to fill the time between the evening meals and the morning hangovers. Tuesday was no problem as Tidy are at Eden in San Antonio every Tuesday night, so that suited me fine as I like nothing better than to get a a bit of hard house in at the beginning of the week.
The excellent Tidy Boys were on the decks when I arrived and were pumping out their usual blend of banging tunes old and new to a club packed with happy hard house fans. They were followed by the up and coming Kym Ayres who raised the roof with a brilliant set that never flagged from start to finish.
Watch this girl; she is steadily building up a loyal following and gets better and better every time I see her.
On Wednesday I decided I would have a bit of a chill (it's my age, you know) and took myself off to KM5; surely the coolest bar in Ibiza. It's been providing tranquil candle lit surroundings and chilled out relaxing music for 30 years, now, and should be on everyone's itinerary. From there I went to Bar Guarana in the harbour in Santa Eularia. I first discovered this bar about 3 years ago and usually try and spend the last hour of the night there before going to bed.
I was up on Thursday morning (actually, to be honest, it was well into the afternoon) feeling totally relaxed and ready for anything and wondering whether Amnesia had managed to resolve their difficulty with the local authorities which had meant them being unable to open for the first few weeks of the season.
The reason I was keen to know if Amnesia would be open is that Thursday night is Cream night at Amnesia (and has been for many years, now) and I couldn't imagine being in Ibiza without going to Cream.
Imagine going to Ibiza and not going to Cream on Thursday night!
It would be like going to India and not seeing the Taj Mahal, going to Rome and not seeing St Peter's or going to the cinema and walking out after the adverts.. madness.
Cream's association with Ibiza started in 1994 with a one-off party at Pacha and the following year weekly parties were held at Ku, which is now called Privilege. Amnesia hosted Cream for the first time in 1996 and has been its home ever since. Anyone who has attended a Cream night in Ibiza, or indeed been to Cream in Liverpool will be aware of the passion for quality music that has been Cream's trademark since its inception nearly 20 years ago.
Their insistence on using only the world's foremost DJ's has kept them at the top of the league of great clubbing experiences, whilst other brands, such as Ministry of Sound and Gatecrasher, for example, seem to have lost their way and slipped down the road of commercialism and the easy dollar and forgotten that it's all about the music!!!
When I got a text from home telling me that Cream was going to be on that night I nearly fainted with relief.
But how, I wondered, were they going to fill the club with only 12 hours notice?
The island was plastered with posters informing everyone that Amnesia wouldn't reopen until Saturday the 7th and I couldn't see how it would be possible for Cream to get 4,000+ people there at such short notice.
I needn't have worried.. Mo, Sandy and the Cream Ibiza promotion team deserve full marks and all praise for their work that day.
When I arrived at 2am I had to wait to get into the car park because of the line of coaches disgorging hundreds of people and there were taxis backed up for 200 yards. The queues went round the building and the atmosphere was electric.
Hardly surprising when you consider that Ferry Corsten and Eddie Halliwell (or God as I prefer to call him) were going to be on the decks in the main room with special guest Above and Beyond, and in the other room D Ramirez, the excellent Chris Nixon and Kissy Sell Out would be doing the honours.
I won't bore you with a list of great tunes that were played.. it goes without saying that when you're at Cream you're gonna hear only the very best music. And I'm not gonna rattle on about how good Ferry Corsten and Eddie Halliwell and the others are at what they do. Quite simply they are masters at work and the fact that they can fill a club the size of Amnesia at such short notice is testament to their skill and ability.
Instead I'd like to try and tell you about how it felt to be there on the night; how electric the atmosphere was and how the adrenaline and excitement went up and up and up as the night went on. Looking down from the DJ box all I could see was a sea of faces and arms, faces wet with sweat, but smiling, and arms raised in homage as one fabulous tune followed another.
With every build up and breakdown the intensity went up yet another level and just when I thought Ferry Corsten couldn't possibly get the crowd any more wired along came Eddie Halliwell and smashed the place apart with a set that had to be heard to be believed. I've never seen a DJ play a crowd in quite the same way that Eddie can. He took everyone there on a musical journey that started in heaven and ended in paradise and I doubt many people will forget it in a hurry.
I sincerely hope someone was recording that set because I, for one, would go out right this minute and buy it.
And of course the sound system at Amnesia is amazing and the lighting and laser operators are surely amongst the best in the business. They make a perfect combination of sound and light that heightens and deepens the whole experience.
So, there you have it.. Cream at Amnesia, July 5th 2007.