The Boxtones Beirut Commute - Monthly Blog
Well straight off of the back of our summer holiday blog,
this one is slowly easing us in to the busy working season. We have managed to snag ourselves a nice cozy little gig on Monday nights over at Red Hot and Chili in the Donatello Hotel near Mall of Emirates, and it’s turned in to quite the little friendly haunt. We have regularly had the company of some of the best working musicians in town popping in to see us to have a catch up over some nicely priced booze, as well as some local regulars from other bars we have played in over the years. So a big fat thanks to all who have popped down to say hi in the 3 weeks since we have taken up these Monday night slots.
The bar itself is a cool take on an American sports bar with huge graffiti style tables large enough to fit your rowdy rabble around. There are motorbikes framing the stage and enough pool tables and darts boards to start a friendly war as well as some pretty decent bar grub to sop up some of the liquid stuff you will no doubt overindulge in! Also, did we say that we are providing the tunes? Yes…yes we did, so you know what to expect!
Next up we decided to brave the skies and take our kit and caboodle airborne in search of a Beirut adventure. We were offered a few shows, all the way over in Lebanon and being the heart warmed wanderers we are, we jumped at the chance! We’ve long been told about the growing and appreciative music scene in Lebanon’s capital, so it was a chance for us to spread our music to another country whilst also exploring some of the places we had heard friends raving about.
Now despite the enthusiasm, this was no easy task! We literally finished our gig at Red Hot and Chili, haired back home for a savored 2 hour nap, then jumped up with the lark and headed out, bleary-eyed and zombie-like in to the truck and off to the airport. And I’ll be the first to admit it was not a pretty sight! Then after arriving in our hotel, we went off exploring and enjoyed the Zaitunay Bay, a Marina walk complete with eateries and yachts galore. After that it was a chance to catch up on some missed sleep, head to the venue, soundcheck, have a bite and a drink and then jump up on to the stage to play our hearts out. The crowd was brilliant actually jumping up on stage with us, singing and dancing on their feet. It was a raucous gig and we loved every minute. All the staff made us feel so welcome, but before we knew it we were slapping our alarms off the night stand and boarding another 4 hour flight back to Dubai on minimal sleep again. But I will say that it was worth every missed hour hugging our pillows to experience the lot.
We also learned quite a few things on these no sleep trips:
No.1 We love Beirut
No.2 Snap front, beaded, neck pillows are the way forward…FACT!
No.3 Gary even snores on a plane!
No.4 Pat uses a scarf as a black out blind!
No.5 Costa Coffee can literally save your life from ‘death by lack of sleep’!
No.6 Changs in Beirut sell wine….Mic Drop!
We had little to go on before we arrived in Beirut, but it became clear right off the bat that the people of Beirut are so proud of their country. Everyone we met was excited to tell us about all the amazing things you can do, see and experience there including the ancient Roman ruins, the mountains, grottos full of stalactites, the skiing, and the beaches. Next time we go back we will definitely be checking out B018, a bomb shelter now converted in to one of the cities best nightclubs. It’s an amazing testament to the people who after so many years of hardship can turn something so somber in to something so hopeful. Apparently at the end of the night the roof opens up and everyone goes nuts! We like the sound of that.
We loved the gig itself in the very popular Seven Sisters Garden Bar. Although it was outdoors, the countless fans and slightly cooler climes were a welcome change from the swelter of Dubai in August! And check out our swanky tree-backed stage!
Thanks Beirut and we hope to see you again soon.
Next blog we have a big reveal so keep your peepers peeled for some smashing and ‘whizz-popping’ (BFG reference if you were wondering!) announcements in a fortnight!