CATCHING UP WITH THE BOXTONES
Mark your calendars as The Boxtones are returning to Lock, Stock & Barrel and starting a new residency at Rock Bottom to rock your socks off this season!
Lock, Stock and Barrel - Barsha Heights: Every Wednesday from 10pm to 3am, back on Sept 6th.Rock Bottom - Barsha Heights: Every Friday from 11pm to 3am, starting Sept 8th (band on after midnight).
Ahead of their new rocking gigs, Dubainight caught up with Time Out’s official "Best Dubai Act" and Hype’s "Best Local Band"!
You are made up of members from Scotland and Canada, how did you all meet?
GARY - Gill (Drummer) is my sister, and Louise (Singer) and I are engaged, so that’s pretty self explanatory. We met Will (Keyboards) in Bahrain on a gig we were playing, he was in another band, and he started dating my sister Gill. Now they are engaged too and are getting married next year. We found Pat roaming the streets of Abu Dhabi, his band had just split up, and he was looking for a new gig.
What brought you to Dubai, and how do you find the music scene here compared to the UK and Canada?
We were offered a residency job here in a hotel about 6 years ago, and we were offered so much work and interest from music promoters and media, we decided to start our own company in 2013, registered ourselves as residents of the UAE and became ‘musical consultants’. Since then we have performed over 700 shows in the region and were signed to Universal Music. The scene here is very different, and one of the major differences is the local law regarding performance visa’s / permissions. If people were permitted to play anywhere at any time, then the scene here would be vibrant…unfortunately that’s one of the major things that holds it all back. The other difference that comes to mind is the sheer variety of styles, cultures and experience levels in musicians and promoters here in the UAE. Having done the smallest venues in the Middle East to some of the biggest, you know what’s what and who’s who. The opportunities in the UAE are boundless if you have the right head on, and work with the right people in the industry. I think that’s what the UK, Canadian and UAE music scenes have the most in common to be fair.
We see that you have played with huge names like Elton John and Lily Allen, is there anyone on your tour wish list that you would love to play with?
Elton John is coming up on December 8th, he had to move his show from earlier this year due to illness, but its one we are very excited about. Lily Allen was at Party in The Park, and was an interesting experience, we were on the acoustic stage then, but the following year we shared the stage with Stereophonics and Kaiser Chiefs. A good bunch of lads.
Who are your musical influences?
We all like different kinds of music, and I think that comes out on our record “Home” which we released late last year with Universal. Gill and Will are your heavier rock musicians, Pats your punk guy, I like Alternative rock and Celtic influenced music, and Louise is more your Soulful and 80’s type stuff…so it’s a real mixed bag.
You have a very individual style, what influences your look?
Whatever’s clean… Well that may be me, but our label did hire a stylist for our last video shoot, which really opened my eyes to fashion as its not something I’ve ever paid attention to. Black jeans and a T shirt always did me. The girls in the band will kill me for answering this question…
Do you see yourself staying in Dubai for a long time given that you have been expats for 30 years?
Gill and I grew up out here, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and a bit of Dubai back in the mid 90’s. Its our home. I can’t speak for the others in the band, but we’ve been here the better part of 6 or 7 years, and we all still love Dubai.
What have been some of your best moments in the UAE?
The gigs and the fans. Hands down. Beats on the beach to 35,000 people. Rugby Sevens mentalness. More recently Lock Stock and Barrel gigs are going down really well. Also of course, being signed to a major label and making the album and the music videos. Its just one thing after another out here, and cant wait to share with everyone what we have coming up next!
Aims for the next 5 years?
Rock and Roll – And international Festivals – lots of festivals…
What makes your Wednesday residency at Lock Stock and Barrel so special?
Its one of the best live music venues in Dubai – Hands down. The crowd are great, the staff are amazing, and they promote you properly…it’s a winning formula and we love playing there every Wednesday night.
Do you have some groupies coming every Wednesday?
I think you may need to google the word ‘groupies’…don’t think I can comment. Ha ha…We have a fair share of fans who come along to our gigs…and we always like to catch up with them whenever we can.
After months of hard work, the worldwide release of The Boxtones debut album ‘Home’ with Universal Music MENA, is available to download on all digital platforms and physical CDs are for sale at all Virgin Megastores in the MENA region! https://UmusicMENA.lnk.to/TheBoxtonesHome