The HRH Road Trip takes up the evenings on Ibiza, but there’s plenty of time to head off exploring during the day. Now I must admit that we did kind of think the island would be lacking in appeal outwith the clubbing and partying and ‘avin it large.
We were very wrong.
Although San Antonio itself is nothing much to write home about (which saves money on post cards) there is a local bus network that goes to various places nearby, as well as the bus to Eivissa town. Speaking to the staff in the Hotel they recommended we head off to Cala Bassa, and the short bus ride there took us through some awesome scenery before depositing us on a beautiful stretch of coast with a picture postcard beach and some stunning views, with the concrete jungle of San Antonio just out of sight round the headland.
Can’t beat a spot of exploring, certainly beats lying in bed with a hangover.
After a leisurely 2 and a half hour walk back into San Antonio (via the HRH HQ that we found by accident) it was time to get ready for another night of the very best in rock’n’roll, via one of the many eateries on the San Antonio seafront. Day three of the road trip was billed as the Metal Hammer night, and it had the week’s big name headliner in Skindred. Now as you know Benji does like to jump about a bit so we did wonder how the ragga-metallers would do on the V club’s diminutive stage.
We arrived, in typical CB style, just in time to catch the end of the opening band. There was no way we were going to miss the second set of the evening though… Druganaut were one of our most anticipated bands of the whole week and by ‘eck they didn’t disappoint. Not a band to take themselves too seriously, Druganaut shook the walls of the V club, with frontman Craig looking very dashing in a pair of short shorts and, well, that’s it… just the shorts.
Some things you can’t unsee.
It seemed that Friday had seen a load more Road Trippers arrive on the island, and add in a generous contingent of locals and reps drawn in by the big name headliner and you had all the ingredients for one of the busiest, loudest and sweatiest nights of the week. After singing ourselves hoarse to Druganaut’s soulful, heartfelt tracks like Sex Face and Carradine’s Closet Team CB needed a quick breather before heading back down into the pit for another eagerly anticipated HRH regular, Attica Rage.
The ‘Rage guys had been on the island partying hard since their covers set a couple of nights before and they needed no introduction to the HRH faithful who gave them a typically raucous reception which the band were clearly loving. After Attica Rage there was just the small matter of watching Benji trying not to bang his head off the ceiling as Skindred brought the evening’s entertainment to a close.
Well, a close unless you wanted to head up to the rock disco in the club next door.
The next day saw another fairly early start before we headed off in the opposite direction to the previous day’s Cala Basa trip. The lure of sharks, octopus and other assorted sea life in a cave was too much to resist so a visit to the Cap Blanc Aquarium was the order of the day. The aquarium is housed in an old smugglers cave and most of the fish are in the pools under your feet rather than in tanks, which is probably a good thing…
Anyway, the Aquarium may be small, and the octopus conspicuous by its absence but it was still well worth the 4 euros that it cost to get in just to see the sharks (well actually Dogfish) do their dorsal-fin-out-the-water impressions of Jaws. I know other Road Trippers were disappointed by their visit to Cap Blanc but we loved it.
OK, so we may have we sang the Jaws theme all the way back.
You had to be there…
Rather than get the bus back to San Antonio we elected for the water taxi and a more scenic, and much, much choppier, journey back into town for another night in the V Bar where SKAM and Massive Wagons were the pick of the bunch. We’ve seen a lot of the Wagons boys in the last wee while but they never fail to deliver, even if everyone else was wilting from a mixture of the heat and three days and nights of partying hard.
Another day done, that’s us half way there.
The next morning at breakfast we met Jonny from Attica Rage who was looking surprisingly bright and breezy. One of the cool things about the Road Trip is that the bands stay in the same hotels as the punters so you see them in a whole new light.
Who thought the hard partying frontman of Attica Rage has a bowl of sugar puffs for breakfast.. we thought it’d be raw meat and whisky.
Oh, and don’t take tourist information guidance from Druganaut
The next day was penciled in for a trip to the Island’s capital for a wander around the old town which dominates the skyline. The same inner 12 year old boy that had enjoyed the Imperial War Museum before leaving the UK was in his element here when he discovered there was a museum where you could try on the classical Spanish armour and have a play with swords, pikes and various other weaponry.
I think they keep that quiet from the HRH crowd as decapitations are bad for business and there are folk in San Antonio you wouldn’t trust with a plastic fork, never mind a 5ft long sword..
Seriously, if you only tear yourself away from San Antonio for one thing, it should be this. Swords, Cannon and Mortars, what could be more heavy metal. I know this is starting to read like a travel blog, but there is SO much more to Ibiza than you may think, and the HRH Road Trip leaves you with loads of time to do your own thing.
Back to San Antonio and matters music related, we arrived in the venue just as Northern Ireland’s finest Screaming Eagles took to the stage. A band who are creating something of a buzz for themselves they were another who exceeded our expectations, especially with their cover version of Bruce Springsteen’s Immigrant Song.
The electric part of the HRH Road Trip was brought to a close by the one and only Bonafide. We did wonder how they’d manage to top a brilliant performance by Screaming Eagles, then they came on stage and blasted straight into Doin’ The Pretty and showed us. Bonafide are a brilliant band but we have gotten use to seeing them on the big stage at Hard Rock Hell. Seeing them here in a sweaty little club was nothing short of brilliant.
The evening finished with the usual singalong for Fill Your Head With Rock (with the usual making up of our own lyrics) before team CB couldn’t avoid it any longer… we headed next door to Ground Zero for the aftershow party.
We went for one drink, just one. Honest.
And after that it’s all a bit of a blur. Vague memories of people (not us) pole dancing inappropriately, dancing to Motley Crue and drinking Buckfast in the toilets with Chris from the Screaming Eagles and Pontis from Bonafide surfaced the next day, but everything became a bit of a blur.
Apart from the bit when we asked the “rock” DJ to play some Sabaton… and he’d never heard of them.
Oh well, at least we made it back to the hotel in time for breakfast.
The final day was a laid back affair with some acoustic sets at the Tulp club on the beach. The highlight of this should have been Bonafide playing a short set, but alas we’d broken Pontis the night before so the Screaming Eagles (who can drink !!) played an extended set to finish off the 6th installment of the Hard Rock Hell Road Trip.
And so it all came to an end. I must admit that we were a little skeptical about spending our holidays in Ibiza and it’s fair to say that if it wasn’t for the Road Trip we never would have considered it but just as the performances of many of the bands exceeded our expectations, so to did Ibiza itself. Unlike the HRH North Wales shindigs you’re not confined to one place and Ibiza has more than enough going on to make it a great holiday destination in it’s own right. OK, so San Antonio was, erm, not exactly our thing (putting it diplomatically) but there are so many places that well and truly were our thing just a short bus ride away.
If you’ve thought about doing the HRH Road Trip then you definitely should. The organisers Jonni, Terri and Fleur do a brilliant job of assembling a great line up making sure that everyone has a fantastic time. Quite how they manage to take care of a veritable legion of mostly hard partying and often drunk Road Trippers we’ve no idea, especially when it looks like it’d be easier to herd cats.
So HRH Road Trip 2015, that was a f’kin blast. Great people, Great bands, Great times.
We Never thought we’d be saying this about Ibiza.. but.. Best. Holiday. Ever.