Review: Pete Tong – Newmarket Nights


It’s that time of year again, the Jockey Club’s live music season at Newmarket’s July Course kicked off on Friday night. With Pete Tong starting his Ibiza Classics tour at the racecourse. The tour sees Tong once again partnering with conductor Jules Buckley and a 65 piece orchestra to reimagine a selection of club favourites that even the non clubbers should know and enjoy.

The set started with Snap’s 1992 Rhythm is a Dancer getting the crowd moving, before the distinctive keys of Gala’s Freed for Desire tee’d up the crowd to get ready to sing along when the vocals kicked in and ready for the Na-na-na’s to get anyone who didn’t know the words to be swept up with the tunes.

Through the set fantastic live vocals would be provided by Vula Malinga, Brendan Reilly and Holly Petrie. Who occasionally took breaks to dance to the irreplaceable recorded vocals of people like Maxi Jazz on the Faithless classic Insomnia.

Tong worked his way through the 90 ish minute set high up at the back of the stage, triggering samples and setting up loops live, taking moments to stoke up the crowd on the mic. Whilst at the front of the stage Buckley conducted the orchestra, and throwing some shapes while he enjoyed the music himself.

Highlights included ATB’s 9pm Til I Come, Moby’s Go, Robert Miles’ Children and Kernkraft 400 from Zombie Nation which featured a fantastic tuba solo. However they might just show my love of mid to late 90s dance music.

For those not able to make it along to see Tong and Buckley on the tour this year, it’s worth finding their Classic House and Ibiza Classics albums on streaming services, to see how great these tunes sound with a full orchestra alongside the usual samples and drum machines of electronic music.

For those simply looking for a great summer Friday evening out, the Jockey Club have four more shows this summer at Newmarket with JLS, Busted, James Arthur, Becky Hill and Deacon Blue still to come this year.

Photos and Review Stephen Keable for Ipswich24 Magazine