Despite making regular trips to Ibiza since the start of the noughties, it took six whole years for Chris Todd of electronic group Crazy P to step foot inside an actual nightclub. In the meantime, he spent long days soaking up the island’s inimitable magic in bars and at beaches, alongside the friends and band mates he’d made the journey over with. In reality, this fact isn’t so surprising; although Crazy P feature on many an eclectic line-up, they tend to feel at home when playing smaller, more intimate venues. “Playing a big space isn’t really our natural environment,” says Chris. “We only do it on the odd occasion in Ibiza.” On these occasions however, whether performing as a group or DJing solo, there’s no denying they truly rise to the occasion.
It is these clubbing gigs that bring Chris – who’s also known as Hot Toddy – and his comrades from Nottingham to the white isle’s shores for a few exclusive dates each summer, allowing his relationship with the island to continue to evolve with each new trip. Drafted in to play a shimmering fusion of soul, disco and house sounds, Glitterbox at the all-new Hï Ibiza, has proven to be the perfect home for their unique sonic wizardry in 2017.
Tell us about the first time you visited the island? You know… I think it was way back in 2000. There was a place called Coastline just down the promenade from Mambo and our percussionist at the time had a Passion residency there. He used to curate all the music, so we ended up there pretty much every two weeks, either DJing or playing with the band. That was our induction to Ibiza, which was quite interesting because we were smack bang in the middle of San Antonio!
Have you seen it change a lot since then? I haven’t spent much time there recently but when I was a lot younger it certainly had a bit of a wild west vibe to it – it was fairly lawless!
Did those first visits set off a lifelong relationship with Ibiza? Well, these days I come out around two or three times a year, and I’m only now starting to discover that the clubbing side of the island is really quite a small part of it. The most recent time I visited I stayed on the east coast and it’s just lovely. And that’s the side of Ibiza I’m starting to really warm to – it’s a beautiful place. As much as I like the energy of the clubbing scene, it’s not really what I gravitate to anymore. There’s a lot more to appreciate here than just going to clubs.
The nightly view from the famous San Antonio promenade, also known as the ‘Sunset Strip‘.
Do you have a favourite part of the island? Well to be honest I’ve got limited experience because up until recently we just stayed in Ibiza town. But the most recent time I was in Santa Eulalia and it was stunning, there was a beautiful little beach just a 20-minute walk away.
Does Ibiza feel like work or holiday to you these days? Each time I come out here for work I try to plan two or three days either side of a gig to explore. It’s not worked it out yet but it’s something I’m going to try to do because I hear October and November are great months to visit the island.
What is it about Ibiza that you think has made it resonate with DJs and musicians over the years? It’s a beautiful place and it’s always had a special kind of spirit. Even before the summer of love it was popular with people who liked to come and party. I think the culture here and the laid-back vibe was attractive to musicians, and over time that’s cultivated a really nice feeling.
Santa Eulalia’s pretty beach sits right alongside the town.
You’ve got quite a strong connection to Glitterbox nowadays – what do you credit for its soaring success? I played for Glitterbox in its first year at Booom! actually, and now they’re doing really well – even better than back then. I had a chat with Simon recently and it seems they’ve had really busy nights all summer. As a party, it seems to be filling a bit of a musical hole and that’s really good for the island. They have a nice mixture of acts like David Morales and Dimitri from Paris and that makes it quite accessible.
What were your first impressions of Hï Ibiza when you performed for Glitterbox this year? I remember Space so I’m familiar with the venue but it certainly looks a lot different. I opened the main room and it looks the biz! It’s very glitzy but it really works. After my set, we stuck around till the end and went into the Theatre where Horse Meat Disco were playing, and it’s a really cool room. And the toilets are a bit of a revelation because they’ve got the DJ booth in there! I thought they were brilliant – if I got booked to play there again that’s where I’d want to play!
What would you say is your favourite Ibiza memory? Definitely when Danielle and I went to Pacha for the first time – we’d been coming to the island for six years and still not been to a proper club so we didn’t have much experience with those kinds of things. Anyway, we’d done a little PA at Café Mambo as part of the Galaxy FM takeover, and their team were all going to Pacha after so they invited us along. We were umming and ahhing, but then we were like, ‘fuck it, let’s go!’. We got on the coach and when we turned up we were already a bit squiffy, but they’d organised dinner in the restaurant so we just followed them through. Then it took us about half an hour to find our way out of the restaurant. Actually I think one of the waiters had to take out hand and lead us out! Then we spent most of the time on the outside terrace. I couldn’t tell you who played but it was brilliant, we had a great time!
Iconic Ibiza town eatery La Bodega, below the drawbridge to the walled city of Dalt Vila.
Favourite lunch spot? It has to be that place with all the umbrellas – the Fish Shack on Talamanca. Dani and I went there about three years ago and it the fish and potatoes were absolutely lovely. Views aren’t bad either.
Favourite place for dinner? The last place I went for dinner was La Bodega, the tapas place in Ibiza town. It’s just got a really great atmosphere, and the waiters are hilarious. The food is beautiful, in fact I think I remember the sardines in particular being excellent. Simple but stunning.
Where do you go for a drink? I would have said Coastline because that place was fabulous but it’s not open anymore so it’s got to be Mambo hasn’t it? Somewhere on the coast so you can see sunset while sinking a bevvie.
Pikes – the original Club Tropicana also features its own club called Freddie’s Suite.
Favourite place to go out for a dance? Based on my scant experience I’d probably say Pacha because it goes back decades. Or Pikes because it’s the only place I’ve ever been to in Ibiza that has a normal-sized club – well, what’s normal for me. Pikes is a great venue.
Favourite Ibiza DJ? I think out of all the people who play, DJ Harvey is always worth a look. And Horse Meat Disco are always worth seeing wherever they play.
Finally, what’s your ultimate Ibiza track? I wouldn’t say it was an ultimate Ibiza track but I seem to remember that when I first started going to Coastline about 15 years ago I always used to play the track ‘It’s Yours’ by Jon Cutler. It always reminds me of those first trips over.
The outlandish performers at Glitterbox get bigger and better with each year.