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Review: Rhythm & Waves opening ft Rudimental, 7 July 2016

Cova Santa comes alive to the tune of Rudimental

Nestled in the hills about 10 minutes from the picturesque town of San Jose is Cova Santa, an intimate venue set among the Ibiza campo. When I arrived last Thursday night, there were small groups of people drinking and relaxing in the designated chill-out areas dotted around the al fresco venue. The atmosphere was calm, but the weight of expectation hung in the air - Rhythm & Waves was rolling into motion for the first time this summer, and the effervescent Rudimental were the orchestrators behind it.

Monki was in charge of the soundtrack when I entered, and the 21-year old DJ Award nominee delighted with her track selection - a set chock full of nineties classics. She finished up after an hour of retro damage and after a brief interlude and a lot of running around on stage by the roadies, it was time for the headliners.

The band took to the stage to the chrous of the crowd chanting their name. There were eight of them altogether, each playing a variety of instruments - everything from trumpet, drums, guitar, bass, keyboard, keytar, electric drums and a number of drum machines was packed onto the dimunitive stage. Bridgette Amofah belted out an exceptionally powerful version of ‘Right Here', before Kesi Dryden took to the mic for ‘I Will For Love'. Each band member had a moment to shine and Leon Rolle, sporting a Star Wars t-shirt, acted as MC for the night, egging on eager devotees throughout. When ‘Not Giving In' was played out, my Scottish bus-stop mate, Dave, tells me he has goose bumps - I'm glad to have met him - he's a Rudimental fanatic who gave me a crash course in the band, naming all the tracks as they came on.

Mid-set, the rain started spilling down for the first time since I've been on the island, but neither I nor anyone else seemed to mind. The next track was ‘Bloodstream', and Rolle ordered the crowd to the floor before demanding they leap into the air on cue. A woman straddled her partner's shoulders and started a trend - I counted close to 20 people following her lead. The entire band hopped around on stage - maximising the connection between themselves and the fans and feeding off their boundless energy.

As the intro to arguably the band's most famous tune, 'Feel The Love', kicked in, Rolle commanded the crowd to "go f***ing mental", and they dutifully responded, singing along to every word in perfect unison. The final song of the night, ‘I've Been Waiting All Night' was the perfect climax to a fantastic performance and the icing on the cake of another quality night of live music on the island.

WORDS | David Fleming PHOTOGRAPHY | Luke Dyson

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