Written by Mark Playle

One of the many things I love about Ibiza is the way it draws many like minded souls together. My chance encounter at Pikes Hotel with legendary musician, DJ  and record label owner (Wall of Sound – http://www.wallofsound.net/) Mark Jones was no exception. I had seen this crazy looking guy almost running around IMS at the International Music Summit 2016 held in Ibiza a couple of days before dressed from head to toe in pink, including a pink flat cap and I had had to do a double take. We sat by the pool at Pikes Hotel, which is on the outskirts of San Antonio, which was used as the set/backdrop for the iconic 1983 pop video ” Club Tropicana ” by George Michael and Andrew Ridgley, an absolute Wham classic. Mr Jones himself is a former member of 80s boy band Perfect Day and I started to chat about the hotel, music and club scene in Ibiza and it transpired Mark had previously held a summer DJ residency @ Manumission back in the day. When I explained that I was part of the Uneek Ibiza team he listened intently as I described what Uneek Ibiza was about and how myself and Andrew Darwin my business partner had shaken hands on setting up Uneek Ibiza over a “Club Tropicana Cocktail” in the pool at Pikes Hotel.

Fast forward nearly a year to the day and I find myself headed to the Round House in Camden, North London with Mark Jones on what has become a regular collaboration of “right I’ll get the tickets, you get the food”, which always includes a line of cake (yes cake!) as Mr Jones does have a very sweet tooth.

Having recently been treated to Mark Almond & Howard Jones ( no relation) tonight’s instalment I felt really needed documenting. There is much so more to the Uneek Ibiza – Wall of Sound encounters, but in the meantime let me tell you about Debbie Harry – Blondie @ the Roundhouse.

We took our place in the theatre and as the band breezed onto the stage the atmosphere was quite literally atomic. The room was packed out and felt like the roundhouse of old. This venue had seen many many huge and iconic acts over the years and Blondie was clearly not going to disappoint. I guess the opening track “One Way Or Another” was the best place to start and the room surged with enthusiasm. I loved the fact that Debbie casually addressed the audience at an intermit level – “so this is the roundhouse” she moved about with a slogan adorned smock “Stop Fucking the Planet”.

Debbie introduced the second song with a thought provoking observation about pay phones or lack of them in this mobile smart phone age before launching into “Hanging on the telephone”, the relevant lyrics being:

“I’m in the phone booth, it’s the one across the hall
If you don’t answer, I’ll just ring it off the wall
I know he’s there, but I just had to call
Don’t leave me hanging on the telephone”

The crowed really started to connect with the music and by track three “Long Time” the audience and Blondie had become one.

The fourth song also from the latest album Pollinator “My Monster” really showed the band hadn’t lost their touch as both these latest offerings were on a par with all their past material which perhaps is sometimes the draw for some fans. Certainly Blondie remain an “in the moment” musical phenomenon and I have the urge to go get a copy of Pollinator (and it’s gotta be on vinyl).

In contrast the next song “In the flesh” was one of the very first Blondie offerings right at the beginning of their journey and flowed amazingly giving a real tight and complete feel to the evening’s set list.

Followed by “Rapture”, it was then time for Blondie to go up a gear & Debbie had already tossed aside the slogan adorned garment to reveal a very very hot, tight fitted red dress and then suddenly the band rather crazily blasted out a heavy rocky sounding cover of the Beastie Boys “Fight for your Right”.

As we started the descent towards the climax of the show the pace and vibe had really built and we rocked forwards to “Fragments” off the new album and straight back to a roundhouse roof off moment with the mighty tune “Atomic” then bounced back to “Gravity”, also from the latest album.

There was still time to breath as the show’s climax was upon us and as the room filled with the hypnotic sounds of “Heart of Glass ” it really felt like a good evenings work here had been done. So I guess then quoting a line from “Maria” the penultimate tune is not wrong:

“She moves like she don’t care
Smooth as silk, cool as air
Ooh, it makes you wanna cry”

And to close the show with “Dreaming” really did end the night for all concerned on a high as it’s important to dream and follow your dreams, in the words of the song again:

“something you can have and hold
I’d build a road in gold just to have some dreamin’
Dreamin’ is free
Dreamin’, dreamin’ is free

Thus ends the spritely review leaving the way clear for more Uneek & off the wall moments.

Blondie’s new album Pollinator is available now from her website http://www.blondie.net/

Related Posts