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Dropping the Mic on Dubai

Dropping the Mic on Dubai!

Don’t worry guys, it’s not for good. It’s just that The Boxtones have waited a long, long, loooong time to get any kind of holiday where we can touch base with our families back in our various homelands. And incase you hadn’t noticed by the (hot-running) cold tap, Dubai’s summer is almost upon us. We need to blow off some steam in countries where our sandals won’t melt under our feet on the pavements as we run the 10 steps from the truck to Spinneys for the weekly shop and back again with bags of melted butter and bubbling hot milk cartons.  Ahh it’s the small things. As much as we love our sunny, sandy home, it’s always delicious to squeeze in a trip back to the motherland!

In addition, it’s a running joke with anyone who knows us that we are never apart! We gig together, work together, have games nights together, share friends, meals, transport and even socialize together, so it’s no surprise that we are excited to blow apart and spend some time with some other faces for a bit too.

Now before I give you the lowdown on where we are all disappearing to for Ramadan, I thought I’d fill you in on the last few weeks worth of news.

I had the extreme luck to attend a singing workshop with Torb Pederson of The Torb Pederson Institute throughout May and it was awesome. I really had to throw everything I knew about singing in to the bin and start again. Our good friends over at SoundStruck invited him over all the way from California to host four 2-hour workshops at The Boxtones second home of SoundStruck Studios.

Now even if you haven’t heard of Torb you will definitely have heard of his impressive client list. He has worked with Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, some pretty big names at The White House and was getting ready to head to Cannes for the Film Festival to work with some actors straight after leaving Dubai.

Torb is literally a vocal genius. He specializes in absolutely EVERYTHING you need to know about your voice. Within the first few minutes of the class, and without any of the eight singers attending singing a note, he told us which of us had swollen chords, if there were old vocal injuries we had been singing over and all sorts of magical wizardry. He knew the exact effects of certain medications on your vocal chords, he knew how to repair serious damage as well as how to extend your range and increase your tone and power. All in all, the course was an invaluable boost for working singers.

We did do some singing but it certainly wasn’t all “mi, mi, mi” noises (and anyway Torb much prefers the ‘moom, moom, mooms”). There was a lot to soak up so the notebook was out and despite my bad art skills I made some quite convincing sketches of the inner workings of the throat. As well as myself there were quite a few familiar faces and it was a class packed full of local talent. It was nice to have our fellow Scots Clarita De Quiroz and Mike Ross there, even if they did keep giving me the giggles during the vocal warm ups. Also attending were the very talented ladies; Layla Khodjasteh and Pimms Brooke. To be honest I was sad at the end of the four classes when it was time to say goodbye to our little group and of course the amazing Torb.

If singing is something you are interested in, then you should definitely check out Torb’s workshop next time he’s in town which by his estimate should be around March next year.

So going back to our first big holiday in 2 years, we thought you might like to know where we are all heading off to. 

On his last trip home to Canada in 2014 Will managed to catch the arrival of his very first niece Rae-Anne. Sadly he hasn’t seen her in the flesh since then therefore he will be loading his case full of goodies and heading off to Winnipeg to spoil her good and proper. Gill will be tagging along for free ice cream and Zoo visits too, although I’m pretty sure she will manage to drag Will off to get some more ink and check out the local bands whilst they’re at it.

Pat is heading back home to Canada too, although he will be back amongst people who will allow him to speak his native French Canadian language. Poor Pat has pretty much adopted English as his partner tongue these last few years since joining The Boxtones so it’s a well-needed verbal rest in that sense.

I will be making a short detour to Paris on my way back to Bonny Scotland. I’ll be whizzing around all the local sites and taking a day out to get Disney-ed out of my face with my little mini-me, Rosie! From there, it’s home to my beautiful city of Edinburgh to partake in some proper Scottish-isms. I will be collaborating with my friends in a home made raft race, eating (veggie) Haggis and just generally trying to engage the giggles with my homies whenever possible. 

Now moving on. If you have been following us on social media then you will have seen that we are still in the wake of Awards Season and fast on the heels of the last couple of months Boxtones nominations in the Time Out Awards and the Hype Awards, we were touting for the title of ‘Best Local Music Act’ at this past week’s Ahlan! People’s Choice Awards. The event was held at Bu! Trinity inside the Abu Dhabi World Trade Center Mall and with our hotel room for the evening booked, there were some serious hangovers the following day! Nothing a little Cheesecake Factory couldn’t help with…

All in all, a great end to a busy season and we’re all looking forward to a much deserved holiday!

Until next time,

Peace Out from The Boxtones