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Review: Mark Ronson at Ibiza Rocks, 9th September

A diverse musical array of grooves and blues from Ronson and support act Lion Babe.

Making a welcome return to Ibiza Rocks was a long favourite for the venue, Mark Ronson, the night proving to be a diverse musical array of grooves and blues. New York duo Lion Babe was on the warm-up shift with her R&B and soul mixture blasted out with single Impossible. Button pusher Lucas had live drum sequences and midi notes on the fly, operated impassionedly, the piece of kit no bigger than a PlayStation. They had two backing singers and guitarists in tow as Jillian managed to burst her way through her discography with spinning harmonies, while executing a dramatic dance routine. Throwing her body to the floor, collapsing as one song came to an end, it's unsurprising that she initially wanted to pursue dance. Treat Me Like Fire was played last, the track that shot them into the neo soul consciousness, and we were all blazed alight during a guitar solo at the end, they made an exit and we took a breather.

Patrick Nazemi then worked as the medium between the live performance and Mark Ronson's slot, firstly spinning Paleman's distinctive Beezledub while I took the chance to walk around the venue, which filled up rather quickly with well-dressed folk, ranging in ages. The reputation that surrounds the record producer here had me expecting an especially catchy selection combo. A monochrome wheel back-drop initiated Mark Ronson proceedings, starting with the instrumental to Still Dre, a heads up to us that noughties hip-hop was the direction we were going to be taken on. Two MCs all the way from Brooklyn, New York joined him onstage, also using his own mic at points as Ronson stood with possibly the largest monitor stack I've seen all season, placed either side of him. Eventually going for King Kunta, he reminded me of my adoration for Kendrick Lamar.

Early on, things got considerably immersed during his production work for Bruno Mars with Uptown Funk, introduced to a big reaction and impossible to deny enjoyment of. R&B jems amongst favourites that shouted for a skanking were: Biggie's Hypnotise and Get Your Freak On by Missy Elliot. Funky injections stabbed us all around before a hip-hop return with his recent work with A$AP Rocky on Everyday. People got loose on the floor, and as Ronson flitted between Kanye West and Michael Jackson, the chemistry was on point. Then the soul train called us on-board with his biggest hit Valerie going down a treat, succeeded by James Brown - Get Up Offa That Thing. Having joined the well-spirited rappers at the front, Ronson returned to Uptown Funk and the excitement came to a close.

WORDS | Emma Gillett PHOTOGRAPHY | Luke Dyson


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