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Well guys, in the theme of our latest festive track “Winter is Coming”, Winter IS coming and as always, it signals the end of one year and the approach of a new one. We are loving all the support for our Christmas tune and if you haven’t seen the video or heard the song yet then check it out here…

That said we want to clear off the cobwebs of last year in anticipation of the fast approaching 2017.

In December when we’re not running around organizing the holidays, it’s natural to start looking back across the year we have just had and analyzing how far we have come, what we want to change and what we need to focus on for the coming year. Sadly there have been a lot of big losses this year in the music world; Prince, Bowie, Leonard Cohen to name just a few but there have also been a lot of exciting things throughout the year too and for Dubai at least it really feels like the music scene here is starting to gather momentum. We are excited to contribute and help push the scene, as much as we can. 

For us personally, 2016 has been a massive anticipatory build up to the release of our album ‘Home’. We spent the entirety of last December gigging like loons, still writing and recording in tandem in the studio. After the whirlwind of activity, the anti-climatic month of January had an extra low dip BUT…to be fair, it was well needed!

We pretty much hibernated for much of the Winter season other than our regular slots and we sat and waited for each track to come back from mastering, tweaked it and then moved on to the next. It was a long process but we had to work towards the looming deadline given to us by Universal for its completion. Then followed the agonizing but exciting listening session with our label and the planning of mountains of social media content for our release Campaign. It didn’t end there! Next up was to shoot two completely different music videos for our first two single releases “Against the Odds” and “City of Mirrors” followed by editing a whole heap of studio footage for our ‘The Making of’ videos ready to coincide with the album release.

As well as all the in-house album prep, we were doing some pretty amazing gigs across the region. Boxtones favourites Comic Con, Party in The Park and Dubai Rugby Sevens were highlights for sure and our stints at McGettigans in Abu Dhabi and the ever popular Stereo Arcade kept us in touch with all our favourite ‘ride or dies’ who show up at every local show to support us (you know who you are)! Did someone say Monty?

I asked the guys what the highlights of this year have been.

Gary’s best memories were playing to over 15,000 drunk people at Dubai Rugby Sevens, opening for Travis and the Kaiser Chiefs and of course releasing our album.

For Gill, it was her endorsement with Vic Firth (a big thanks to Jana Urbanovska and the team at NMK Electronic Enterprises) and of course a surprise proposal by fellow Boxtone Will, in the Rocky Mountains of Canada! Did she know it was coming? Did Will manage to find one of the most romantic places on earth to get on one knee and pop the question? Think so!

Will follows suit saying he had too many fun times to mention but includes his first trip home to Canada in 3 years. He got to hang out with his family and little niece who he has mostly bonded with over Skype, so that was huge. And of course his engagement to Gill was a pretty big one! He adds hanging out with Max Landis and Daryl McDaniels of Run DMC at Comic Con, our show at the Canadian Stampede in Oman and our nomination for ‘Best Local Act’ at the Time Out Awards 2016. Of course being Will you didn’t think he’d go without some kind of Star Wars reference did you? Did you really? Novices! This year Will added a Darth Vader tattoo to his collection and managed to bag some winning tickets to ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ to his list …Phew, ok move over for the very concise Pat!

Pats winning moments of 2016 were his discovery of some new bands after finding out we were supporting The Charlatans, Travis and Kaiser Chiefs at Party in the Park.  It’s safe to say he has added Travis to his play list since the run up to our sharing the stage with them.

For me, I’m a bit like Will…it’s so hard to pick! The studio experience with Elvis at SoundStruck Studios was awesome, the video shoots were nothing but fun, the awards ceremonies and big gigs well they are always epic. But my favourite moments of the year are always the ones where we feel connected. I’m a big hippy like that. I love looking down from the stage and seeing all those hands in the air and watching all the crazy dancing people losing their minds on the dance floor. It’s the best (and often funniest) thing about this job! I loved taking my mini-me to Disneyland, I loved touching base back home with my friends and family over the summer. In September I had THE best Birthday Party I’ve ever had in total Dubai-style, on a yacht, with a pool and 30 of my favourite crazies including my mum and two of my best friends from Scotland (who dropped everything at the last minute to fly over and spend it with me). And lastly for anyone who doesn’t know me, I LOVE Christmas. So this month is my favourite time of the year.

There you go, after such a hectic but exciting year we can’t wait to embrace all that 2017 is hiding in it’s coat sleeves for us, but first we would like to add our little letter to Santa at the bottom as we’ve heard he’s a subscriber to our blog.

Dear Santa,

We hope you can forgive us for of all the shenanigans and just go on, erase us from the Naughty List and add us on to the Nice one thanks. We really do mean well and to show our goodwill we would like to give back. 

Gary will make sure he leaves you a nice little Jager and Red bull on the mantel/ TV unit.

Gill has offered up some drum lessons for you.

Will has promised to give you your beard back (he is very sorry).

And I will make you some home made cookies if you could just swing by on Christmas Eve.

As for Pat we’re very sorry to say he is a non-believer so if you can either fly right over his place or stop in and put his finger in a glass of water as he slumbers, then he will still have that Christmas Morning surprise!

All we ask for in return is just have a few days in January to rest please Santa. 

That’s top of all of our lists along with a nice bottle of bubbly merriment and possibly some shiny new Apple products.

Lots of love from the Boxtones!

To everyone else, we wish you the best holidays whatever your beliefs and plans and we look forward to sharing the new year ahead with you too.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from us to you,

As always,

Peace Out.

The Boxtones