The ninth cycle of the HRH Ibiza Road Trip promised another raucous rock and roll journey. HRH Mag’s Simon Rushworth wraps up the day one action.
Eden And Dusted
2018 marks a move into brand new territory for the HRH Road Trip with recently refurbished super club Eden hosting the best of the action before the weekend. Boasting a forest of giant plastic tree trunks, a glitter ball the size of Gene Simmons’ ego and a main bar longer than a Lynyrd Skynyrd guitar solo, it proved to be the perfect setting for the four-band bill that announced the ninth cycle of this unique festival in some style. With plans to open up the balcony as the festival grows, it’s easy to imagine 2,000-plus Ibiza invaders laying siege to one of San Antonio’s most iconic venues very, very soon. And in a neat twist, silky smooth Swedes Eclipse came armed with an anthem made for HRH’s stunning new home –The Downfall Of Eden somehow befitting a scene more akin to The Marquee than one of the Mediterranean’s dance music meccas.
It was lucky seven for those Road Trippers who bagged a prime spot early doors as two of the fastest-rising female-fronted bands on the planet punched their way through the first two hours of a festival renowned for fusing emerging talent with proven class. HRH Awards Angels Of Rock nominees Joanovarc and Tequila Mockingbyrd might have been pipped for the top prize by trailblazing all-girl trio Girlschool in 2017 but both acts will surely feature again in the future. The former reminded fans (as if it was needed) that Girls Wanna Rock and when they do there’s no better way than rolling out a feisty cover of Skynyrd’s Free Bird. The T-Byrds took the opportunity to unleash five new tracks from this summer’s upcoming long player and booted out a couple of branded beach balls into the crowd for good measure. Stalwart Josie O’Toole has fought tooth and nail to keep the band together during numerous line-up changes and new tunes like Tell Me suggest it’s a been a battle well worth winning.
Swede Smell Of Success
Eclipse brought the house down at HRH AOR earlier this year and the heirs apparent to the Swedish hard rock scene maintained the Monumentum in Ibiza with a set made for long summer nights on an idyllic Spanish island. If frontman Erik Mårtensson found it mildly amusing that the home of dance music found time to host the denim-and-leather clad riff fest that is the Ibiza Road Trip then he wasted no time in making a balmy night his own. Hurt was achingly affecting and Jaded was joyous in its anthemic energy. But Mårtensson and wingman Magnus Henriksson stole the show immediately after Philip Crusner’s crushing drum solo as they joined forces armed with two guitars and vocal harmonies sweeter than a double shot of Ibizan Hierbas. It’s happened before and it will happen again: HRH Road Trip’s opening night headliners Eclipsed the rest – and then some.
It takes balls – and a bagful of sleaze-fuelled, punk rock anthems – to whip a tiring crowd into a 2am frenzy. Tackling HRH Road Trip’s graveyard shift’s a dirty job but somebody’s got to do it. And who better than Sweden’s high octane, ass-kicking, shit-stirring Sister? Feisty frontman Jamie Anderson looks like he could start a fight in an empty room and his no-nonsense stagecraft shook the masses from their early morning slumber and breathed new life into Eden’s expansive main room. Anti-anthem Spit On Me – from the band’s classic debut Hated– still has the power to make even the most sceptical onlooker sit up and take notice. And once Sister grab your attention there’s simply no escape. As the curtain fell on the first night of the 2018 Road Trip, angry Anderson looked like he was only just getting started. Proudly part of the HRH family, Sister are here to stay.