Gulf Weekly - The community newspaper at the heart of Bahrain
Band's universal appeal - May 13 - 19 2015
THE Boxtones, one of the region's favourite music-makers, have just notched another major entertainment honour and have been signed up by Universal, the largest music corporation in the world that records stars such as the Rolling Stones and Rihanna.
The five-piece band has close connections to Bahrain where the act really took off. Lead guitarist Gary Tierney's sister Gill, a former pupil at St Christopher's School, plays drums, and their British parents Brian and Lynn, live in Awali.
Gary's fiancée Louise Peel is lead vocalist and Canadians Will Janssen on keyboards, and Patrick Thibault on bass guitar, make up the current line-up which was voted 'best UAE act' at the recent Hype Awards at a showbiz ceremony staged at Palm Jumeirah.
"We were humbled to be nominated," said Gary. "We were up against the top band / acts in the region and we didn't think we would win it."
"It's true we have all worked really hard over the last two years in Dubai since starting our own company here as musical consultants, and we had released our first independent album early last year, but we still didn't think we'd win."
"Obviously we were all surprised when they announced our name, and did a wee dance, had a wee sing-song, picked up our plaque, got our photo taken and had a great night celebrating!"
"The great thing is, our label was also selected as best UAE record label, and one of the other artists - Hollaphonic, who are also under the Universal umbrella - won best producer, so it was kind of a clean sweep!"
The band developed a massive local following during a two-year stint at Bahrain's Diplomat Radisson Blu, Residence & Spa, providing the entertainment at the hotel's legendary Friday brunch sessions and late on in the evening at its adjoining Fiddlers show bar.
More than a thousand devoted fans turned up for a farewell performance and they have returned regularly to put on shows at hotels and schools in the kingdom to keep the relationship rockin'.
The Boxtones also won Rolling Stone's Street to Stage competition, starred on all three nights at Gulf Bike Week and supported 1980s hair band, Europe, at Dubai Tennis Stadium.
Gary added: "We were signed to Universal just a few weeks ago, and it has been a pedal-to-the-metal ever since. We all have worked tremendously hard to aspire to become more international, and get our music out to more and more people, and we believe that the label can help us get there quicker."
"We have always believed in ourselves as musicians, and with our original material, along with the great reaction we got from it, plus the thousands of sales we made online, has really helped us to solidify a place int he music scene here in the region."
The band is aiming to have the first single released by September, with another in October and an album out in November.
"Right now we are scheduling tours for next year, as well as international festival involvement, supporting other Universal artists, and headlining a few of our own shows to boot," Gary said.
The touring is set to take in Lebanon, Egypt, Scandinavia, Kazakstan, UK, US and Bahrain, although dates have yet to be confirmed.