Shhh...comes home to Pikes Ibiza with Jeremy Healy raising the roof.
Without a doubt our recent event at Pikes was the most monumental party in Shhh... history. This was the one we’d all been waiting for! Finally, after months of planning, preparation and anticipation, it was time for our Homecoming, at what we’ve always felt is the most magical party palace on the planet - the inimitable Pikes Hotel in Ibiza.
We have to confess that, despite having a 700 strong guest list and a party of 100 Shhh faithful who flew in from the UK with us especially for the event, there was still a little nervousness mixed in with our excitement at Shhh HQ. After all, 2 days earlier the amazing Wax Da Jam party at Pikes had been the talk of the island, featuring a surprise live performance from Jarvis Cocker. We were also aware that 2 days later the ever popular Melon Bomb would be taking place and that their guest list was already almost full as well. No pressure then. We were the relatively new kids on the block, sandwiched in the middle of all this. Although we knew we’d already built a faithful and loyal following on the island the previous Summer with our events at STK, we hoped that the Ibiza crowd weren’t feeling Piked out, so to speak!
However, from the second the event started our nerves quickly evaporated and turned into goosebumps. We were absolutely blown away with not only how many of you came out to play at Pikes, but with the sizzling energy that you brought with you. This was one of the happiest, bubbliest crowds we’ve ever seen and we were left genuinely humbled by how much Ibiza seems to have taken the Shhh collective, the vibe, and all that it stands for into its heart. Our family has grown for sure - into one big, happy, international melting pot!
The action kicked off late afternoon, with an invitation only drinks reception around that famous pool, co-hosted with our partner marketing agency, About Time Ibiza. We loved watching one of our favourite island DJ’s, the agency’s own Lisa Chadderton, as she glided effortlessly back into her renowned role as a Pikes poolside ringmaster, bouncing around behind the decks with her infectious energy. A popular former resident DJ at Pikes, we knew she’d be an expert at getting the party started there. Lisa played a laidback mixture of nu-disco, re-edits and balearic beats mixed with a few of her signature house and hip-hop classics like Erik B and Rakim’s ‘Paid in Full’. As she played, an incredible vibe was already developing around the pool, with heads nodding and bodies starting to sway. Pikes veterans and virgin’s alike were exchanging hugs, introductions and anecdotes. The scene was well and truly set for an unforgettable night ahead.
Next up was a proud moment for the Shhh... family when 2 of our UK residents, Nigel Clarke and Eastie took over from Lisa. Playing back to back, the pair weaved delicious disco together with some elegant house classics, starting to gradually take the tempo up, all the while grinning from ear to ear at their homecoming experience. It was as if they had been playing by that pool all their lives and the Shhh crowd lapped it up, none more so than our gorgeous hosts Carlie Carpenter and Kid Loco, who were grooving around the DJ booth all afternoon.
Just when we thought the poolside action couldn’t get any better the Queen of the Decks and our very own Shhh… resident, Sarah Main, came on and completely stole the show, playing her first of two sets that evening, bursting with house and disco fire.
By now the sun was starting to set across the splendid grounds of Pikes Hotel, the perfect time for our man of the moment, Buckley, to take command of the poolside proceedings. Having been a resident DJ at some of the most legendary nights on the planet over the last 30 years, Buckley has the ability to dig deep and yet still has his finger firmly on the pulse, playing lots of original new music. You never know what he’s going to conjure up out of his box of tricks. His poolside set included fresh, unreleased tracks from the likes of Crazy P, alongside some brilliant gems we’d forgotten about, like the D’ Julz remix of David Duriez’s ‘Get On Down’, with it’s irresistible building sax driving everyone into a frenzy.
As day turned to night at was as if the venue metamorphosised and us with it, everyone suddenly seeming to transform from lazy poolside chic to glamorous dancefloor devastation in their attire.
Together we spilled into the interior labyrinth of Pikes, collectively feeling like Alice falling down the rabbit hole to discover all these intimate, beautifully crafted party spaces. The main action for the evening was centred around ‘Freddie’s’. Formerly known as ‘Freddie’s Suite’, it was named after Freddie Mercury who was a regular guest at the hotel in the 80’s and 90’s, throwing wild and lavish parties there.
Mercury was just one of many celebrity guests who regularly escaped to the hillside bolthole to let their hair down away from the glare of the public eye, during a time when Ibiza was much more of a well kept secret than it is today. The hotel’s original founder, the late Tony Pike, had a knack for taking care of such guests. Himself a bona fide international playboy, he published his autobiography, ‘Mr. Pike’ last year, chock full of outrageous and hilarious stories about the antics of the flamboyant and the famous that took place at Pike’s over the years.
The takeover of the hotel by Dawn and Andy from Ibiza Rocks over the last 9 years has helped to gradually restore this jewel in Ibiza’s crown. This year Pikes seemed to sparkle more beautifully than ever, albeit missing the priceless diamond that was Tony. The first thing we noticed when we walked into Freddie’s was the sound! Pikes has never sounded so good thanks to a new Void sound system that the team installed in April before re-opening. We couldn’t go near the wall of speakers without our hairs standing on end, which was happening quite frequently throughout this amazing night.
Freddie’s was rocking from the get go, thanks to our resident’s Nigel Clarke and Eastie who opened up the proceedings there on what they later described as, ‘the gig we’ve been dreaming about all of our lives!’
They were followed up by another dynamic duo who had the room bouncing - Sarah Main behind the decks and Samantha Carrie, aka blondewearingblack, on the mic. Something really special happens when these two get together, Sarah Main’s classic house and disco beats providing the perfect soundtrack for blondewearingblack’s sultry house diva vocals. Samantha was not only singing but was really reaching out to people in the audience, shouting out to familiar faces like a traditional MC, cracking jokes and generally making everyone in the room feel important. Something that the entire team at Pikes seem to have an innate ability to do. Sam and Sarah played around with 80’s reworks and vocals including Madonna and Frankie Goes to Hollywood as well as recently remixed house classics like Rui Di Silva’s ‘Touch Me’ plus Sam’s own original material too. By the time they finished the room was electric.
Then it was the moment we’d all been waiting for. Mr Jeremy Healy came on and did what can only be described as absolutely tear the roof off Pikes. This man’s been rocking dance floors in Ibiza since the early days of house music, but to see him play on the island these days is a rare privilege, let alone in the intimate, decadent shrine to hedonism that is Pikes Hotel. Supported by Bongo Ben, drumming as if his life depended on it, it was a match made in heaven. The peak of his set was undoubtedly when he dropped the Erik Haggleton remix of Basement Jaxx’s ‘Jump and Shout’. When the beat dropped back in after the main break, with that ridiculously brilliant train roar horn sound over the top, the room went wild, every single person was literally jumping and shouting with not a care in the world.
It was at that moment that we stopped and took a breath and looked around the room, allowing things to go into slow motion as we soaked in what was happening. This was all of our favourite happy people, in our favourite happy place - all brought together under one roof to celebrate life together. If ever there was a moment where our motto of ‘Music Is The Answer’ seemed to come to life, this was it.
Looking out at the dancefloor, we were greeted by a sea of happy, smiling faces. Some of whom had come over from the UK with us and had never been to Ibiza before. They told us after how surprised they were to find this intimate, special and more mature vibe on an island that they had assumed was full of scantily clad kids. They felt they had discovered the opposite of the picture of Ibiza that gets painted in the media. We knew what they meant. Others on that dance floor were familiar Ibiza faces, friends on the island, staff and clients from our agency and still others were brand new friends we made that night.
It was a feeling you had to be there to really appreciate. A feeling that was heightened even further when the unstoppable Buckley came back on as the final DJ of the night and shook the walls of this legendary old finca to its very foundations.