Due mostly to BBC Radio 1's takeover on the island, the first weekend of August is traditionally the apex of the Ibiza season. To capitalise on the increase in footfall, that Sunday's We Love... party at Space put together their most show-stopping lineup of 2013 so far, inviting seminal '90s ravers Underworld to spearhead the charge. Joining them were Derrick Carter, Scuba, James Zabiela and Ben UFO, who was booked to play back-to-back with resident DJ Paul Woolford.
As I entered the Discoteca to the sounds of the Hessle Audio boss, the floor was surprisingly inanimate and underpopulated. Considering the event was billed as one of the biggest nights on the calendar, it seemed like further evidence of Ibiza's waning attendances. To make space for Underworld's full live set-up, Ben UFO and Woolford played from a makeshift booth, giving Space's cavernous main arena a bit more of a more personal feel. A choppy edit of Technotronic's "Pump Up The Jam," coupled with a few choice piano numbers, raised energy levels a few notches, attracting a late dance floor surge of casual bar dwellers. By the time Underworld took to the stage, the place was packed.
These days Underworld can't help but look a little out of place in a contemporary club environment. Karl Hyde immediately pranced about the stage like a camp Paul Weller, and their energy fell a little flat on the tepid crowd. That said, as the likes of "Rez" emanated from the speakers, followed by extended renditions of "Born Slippy" and "Two Months Off," the audience shook off any feelings of trans-generational awkwardness and succumbed to the power of the tracks. Space, too, played their part, catering to the live spectacle with professionalism, as has been the hallmark of theirs and We Love...'s relationship over the years. It wasn't the best night I've been to in Ibiza, but it certainly left an impression.