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Music Overload - The Second Coming!

So the two-week wait is over and since I know you have been sitting by your laptops feverishly waiting for the conclusion of our December Blog for the last 14 days, I thought we’d better be prompt!

Now let’s get back to business. Where were we? Oh yes, our mental busy November and December. So let’s kick off with some of the pretty cool out of town gigs we had.

We literally sold our lives away for a weekend gigging and partying throughout F1 weekend in Abu Dhabi, followed by a full weekend at the mental Rugby Sevens and then within the blink of an eye we were flying through the skies to our second home of Bahrain to pull out all of the stops for a show in the place of our making, The Diplomat Radisson. The memories were definitely stirred up wandering around our old stomping ground. It will always be such a special place for us. It’s always great going home to Bahrain and catching up with the familiar faces we encounter, but before we had five minutes to spare reminiscing, we were back in Dubai and performing for a massive corporate event followed by re packing our bags for the idyllic island of Goa that very next day!

Now I’m not saying we have the best job in the world but getting paid to fly over to the paradise that is Goa comes pretty close in our eyes.

Flying over to India’s best-loved beach resort island was actually a nice bit of well-deserved respite and we couldn’t have needed it more. We managed to wrangle a spare day before and after the event we were hired for and we made sure to make those days count!

As soon as we stepped off the plane we called the awesome guys over at The Jungle Book tours and bagged ourselves a full day of Zip lining and the elusive and worryingly titled ‘rope activities”? Pat went off exploring and we braved the 2-hour drive in to the Goan jungle.

This was definitely a good move. Despite our apprehensions at the shaking structures clinging to the trees, like a drunken man clinging to a swinging mast at sea we reigned in our fears and manned up to face the challenge whilst still wondering just what these ‘rope activities’ may mean for our immediate life expectancy!

First up was a HUGE rock-climbing wall scaling a monster of a tree trunk. Will made it up fairly spritely, followed by Gary who peppered his assent with lots of warnings to Gill and I that apparently the hand grasps were too wide for us to reach. Gill, being the typical little sister, managed with sheer determination to prove him wrong. I on the other hand championed the short girl excuse and decided if that lot were struggling to reach, what hope did my 5 foot 2 self have?  So ladders it was!

Now I consider myself a bit of a Zip line expert. After all I have soared over the ancient treetops and through the rainforests of Cambodia. And let’s not forget that time only a few weeks prior when I whizzed overhead at the F1 track with my comedy borrowed (two sizes too big) trainers strapped on like flailing parachutes clipping the quaffed hair-dos of the candy floss scoffing tourists as they moseyed below! That said, none of us were prepared for the hell that was ‘rope activities”!

Will led the ‘Boxtones Adventure Team’ out on to sickening ledge after nerve-wracking ledge whilst Gary barked warnings of the terrors ahead and Gill and I followed in a mix of hysterical laughter and monstrous nausea. Now don’t get me wrong, the Zip lining was great. Huge hoots and whoops escaped from our excited faces as we zipped through the skies but the same could not be said for the sideways-harnessed rope ladder swinging uncertainly from skyscraping trunk to trunk or the tightrope walk, which swayed in such a manner that your arms and legs were fighting to get away from each other, leaving your torso utterly confused and feeling like the knot in a tug of war.

However, the absolute WORST was the ‘Net of Doom’ as I like to call it which I am far too traumatised to describe but let’s just say that trying to maneuver upside down along a sagging frayed fishing net suspended somewhere in the clouds, whilst losing (at the very least) the top layer of all arm skin and any dignity from my constant whimpering was less than flattering, so we will leave the rest to therapy and move on.

Thankfully the day’s activities did not leave us completely reeling from terror. In fact it was quite the opposite.

The days end was quite probably one of the most unique experiences anyone could have. We walked with our guide down to the river as the sun was setting and turned to see 5 majestic giants wade down in to the water. These incredible elephants were all of varying ages and sizes and after watching them splash around and dunk themselves below the surface they were led over towards us and we were able to swim with them. We were so happy to see that our research was true; that they were well loved and cared for and that there was no cruel harness or wooden bench strapped to their backs. It made for such an amazing experience to climb up bare back as they swam through the cool river after a hot day in the sun.

We had at least an hour with our new friends and a good laugh at Gill whose elephant was a bit of a rogue and kept disappearing with her on his back right under the water. Luckily she hadn’t lost any arm strength in the trees, as she needed all her might to stay on. It was like a night at Rodeo Drive watching the bucking bronco! Next we were all led back to the edge and the elephants used their trunks to shower us off in huge bursts of chest thumping water splats. It was literally a breath taking experience.

The gig itself was a magical affair in the gardens parallel to a private and very tropical beach. Before we left we also managed a morning of shopping at the Goan markets so all in all it was a great few days.

Now with that said, we would like to give a big shout out to everyone who turned up to my Shure Vocal Mastery Workshop at Melody House in December. It was great to see you all and to talk about my favourite mic, the Shure KSM9. I also loved getting to bash out a song in store with two fantastic singers on the Dubai scene Maha Ismail and Richard Hagan of When the Night Comes, as well as champion the Shure Vocal Mastery Competition of which they were both contestants. NMK and Melody House are always at the forefront of pushing the boundaries and creating a fruitful music scene here in Dubai and we are so proud to be in partnership with both them and our endorsees over at Shure.  Over all it was a great day and a fun opportunity for singers in the region to get a bit of advice and test out the latest from Shure. We can’t wait to see what else they have up their sleeve.

Lastly our New Years Eve gig was a bit of a change from our usual high-brow 5* affair and it was certainly a unique show.

We were invited by the U.S Air force to play at their UAE Airbase for the troops.  From the minute we arrived we were well looked after. We were fed until we burst and supplied with a fair few celebratory drinks! The crowd, we were warned, would likely not dance and we decided to take on the challenge. It didn’t take long for us to smash that test.  Halfway through the show we had the crowd right up front, all singing back, and dancing right up until the 12 o’clock bells. As a thank you for showing us such a good time we decided to carry on in to 2016.  It was a great way to bring in the New Year.

On that note, now that we are well lodged in to 2016 we can now tell you that we are in the final stages of recording the album. It’s been a heavy month doing this in tandem with all these shows but we are so happy with it and can’t wait to let you all hear it.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next blog release where we will share all our Soundstruck Studio antics and let the cat out of the bag on the guest appearances on some of our tracks.

Thanks for listening,

Peace Out

The Boxtones