Balearic beats

Trevor Nelson rocks like it's the end of the world.

Live at Mallorca Rocks
Radio 1Xtra

It's 7pm, Saturday, Radio 1Xtra, and DJ Trevor Nelson is on tour with MistaJam and DJ Target, preparing to be joined by special guests Chipmunk, Mann and Lethal Bizzle in an unmissable night of classic anthems. "I'm looking out at thousands of beautiful people! Mallorca rocks! Are. You. Ready?" The energy is already unnaturally high. Think the super-confected intensity one might feel among air-traffic controllers.

“Everywhere I go I see beautiful people. Gettup. Get up, gettup! Loving Mallorca rocks! We rocks! It rocks! Yeah!" Suddenly we're down in the crowd. "Check out the guy in the crash helmet raving safely!" someone shouts. "Put one hand in the air and unscrew the light bulb then wiggle it back in!" says another, possibly a little knocked-off - but benign - like the neighbour found sitting on a front lawn at dawn getting the electric garage to open and shut by itself.

Although this is a live simulcast, things are being constructed here specifically to sound like a highlights show: a bottomless montage of Great Moments as though put together by editors working round the clock, swivelling back and forth on their chairs in a focused, comforting motion, going through the footage that was recorded at what feels like so many different speeds one would be almost overwhelmed by the choices.

“Don't let them bring you down!" begs Nelson. "No!" hollers the crowd, largely jolly fifth-formers from Camden School for Girls. "Oh, it's gonna be a party!" promises DJ Target, immediately firmly in the zone of all successful MCs - exclusively and perpetually predicting the very near future. "I'm gonna get it locked up like holiday love! We might not go again, so lock it down-do-it-yeah."

In many ways this is like a wartime tea dance. Same kind of songs, really, full of lyrics that peddle "tonight" as the last and only night available, beyond which one will certainly be evacuated from paradise. So amplify your courage, overplay your hand, because the distant future (ie, tomorrow) sucks in hope like black holes do with nebulae. "Jump! Jump! Jump!" shout Nelson and Target and all the happy children: "Jump jump jump jump . . ."

Antonia Quirke is an author and journalist. She is a presenter on The Film Programme and Pick of the Week (Radio 4) and Film 2015 and The One Show (BBC 1). She writes a column on radio for the New Statesman.