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Getting back into the groove with Roger Sanchez

Counting newfound appreciation at Eden for The Late Show.

Clubbing is back - back in Europe and now, finally, back on Ibiza.

After the best part of two years off, how do our dancing feet shape up? Have we still got it in us to pull all-nighters, a full weekend itinerary or even multiple events in a single day?

With several huge weekends on the horizon, a midweek return to Eden Ibiza for The Late Show with Roger Sanchez would be the litmus test. A night charting the highs, lows and highs again of a night on the dancefloor.

Getting back into the groove

Approaching Eden and clocking the queue, I notice a hesitancy. Should have got here earlier and avoided the rush, I lament. You live and learn.

Still though, I get that little tingle as I cross over the threshold and the bass hits me. Clubbers, real diehard clubbers, will know the one. That sensation. It never leaves you. Not even after two years.

And, man, it's loud. Is it too loud? Or maybe I'm too old? Nah. It's probably just that I'm lacking game time, I tell myself. It has been a while...

One thing's for sure, my ears will be ringing well into tomorrow afternoon. The things we do to ourselves for a little dance, eh.

Clubbing can be a minefield, clubbing in your thirties even moreso. But if Roger Sanchez can still do the business behinds the decks at 54, then I can cut some shapes on the dancefloor at 36.

Rolling with the S-Man

The tunes are pumping, that magical main ingredient that blurs those other misgivings into insignificance. I'm here to dance and dance I shall. The S-Man fires through a set-list of classics, from Precious Love to Deep Inside, Needin' U to Jump N Shout.

It's just what the doctor ordered. Already the medicinal effect on me and my fellow clubbers is clear - it's a sea of smiles and happy faces on the dancefloor. The best kind of therapy.

Daft Punk's One More Time leads us into the unmistakable piano keys of Roger Sanchez's own Another Chance for his final track of the night. Something washes over me. I can feel my eyes well up. Tears of happiness. In that moment, the club becomes one.

Would there be the usual dancefloor exodus when the headliner ends? Not tonight. We're staying. We're all staying. Go home early? After having this privilege removed for the last 18-months, not a chance.

Ending on a high

Product Of Us step up for the final hour of dancing, keeping the momentum laid down by Roger, but taking things in a darker direction. Two tracks in, and I haven't just refound my happy place, I'm in the zone. ARTBAT and CamelPhat's For A Feeling shoots shivers through my body.

There's no stopping the waterworks this time. Tears stream down my face. But the grin, the grin says it all.

Over the course of the next hour, more emotional highs come with London Grammar's Hey Now, Discopolis and Cristoph's Sweet Disposition remix. But it's the new one from Franky Wah, featuring the monologue of Ibiza hero Carl Cox, that really resonates in the moment:

"ain't no negativity inside the dance, just pure vibes"

The lights slowly turn up and the music fades out. How is it 05:00 already? I don't want to go home. Nobody does. We're not ready - we're just getting started.

I leave, not only satisfied, but full of energy, of excitement, of positivity. We're back. Ibiza's back. Clubbing is back.

And if anybody asks me tomorrow, "how was your night, mate?" "Best night of my life." Without a moment's hesitation.

Those worries before? They were minor. Negligible. And now, they're an afterthought.

You've got to take the rough with the smooth. I wouldn't change this night for anything. The queue to get in, the sour-faced doorman, the cubicle door without a lock - it's all part and parcel and I love it!

Clubbing, man. I'll never take it for granted again. It's good to be back.

Eden continues with its 2021 reopening programme with the second WNDRLND on Saturday 16 October, featuring David Penn, followed by Mansion on Sunday.

Follow the links for the last remaining tickets.

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