Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Graham Clark
Music Features Writer
4:54 PM 27th June 2022

Pete Tong And The Heritage Orchestra Shine With The Ibiza Classics

All photos by Cuff and Taylor
All photos by Cuff and Taylor
As legendary DJ Pete Tong brought the Heritage Orchestra to the Piece Hall in Halifax it seemed that there could not be a more appropriate place to perform some of the biggest dance tunes of the genre, albeit in a classical style and setting.

The early nineties were a fruitful period for dance music. Listening to Pete Tong’s Friday night dance show on Radio One was an important start to any clubbers weekend. The majority of his “Essential New Tunes” went on to become major chart hits in the UK and the rest of the world.

With the audience spanning a wide age range the younger fans at the front were probably not even born when the tracks were originally released, whilst the older ones towards the back are more likely to be considering booking a Saga holiday than boarding on a plane to Ibiza.

The real stars of the evening were the songs themselves. Dance music had a habit then, as is still the case, of bringing faceless acts to the fore, names otherwise known only to aficionados.

“Are you ready to party, Halifax?” questioned Tong to the sold-out audience, not that any needed encouragement as the mood was already fizzing.

If he was not jumping up and down behind his DJ desk Tong was raising his hands in the air as if summoning the faithful, whilst below him the orchestra conducted by Jules Buckley gave the songs a fuller and more soulful touch. The string section made tracks such as Music Sounds Better With You, Children and Groovejet sound as if they were always meant to be played by a forty-piece orchestra rather than by the shrill and cheesy synthesizers of the recorded versions.

A spectacular laser show complemented the atmosphere making it feel like you were actually back in Ibiza dancing the night away at Pacha or on the terrace at the celebrated club Space.

As a succession of vocalists took turn to perform the hits the audience were never far away from hearing the next club classic. The cover of the Faithless track Insomnia was a euphoric moment as the love and joy which erupted could be felt as the fans danced in unison.

The night closed with You Got The Love. There could not have been a better title to describe the feelings of the delighted audience as the night ended in classic style.