Back in 2007, Scottish-Canadian pop-rock band The Boxtones had their first-ever gig at Sherlock Holmes in The Gulf Hotel Bahrain. Guitarist and vocalist Gary Tierney and drummer Gill Tierney (siblings) grew up here, and after growing tired of their home country of Scotland, they decided to return years later. “We were working in function bands and doing weddings and stuff at the weekend – it was all a bit depressing,” says Gill. “We decided, why not – we’d seen so many bands, growing up in the Middle East, in and out all the time, every three months doing different places and travelling all over the world, we thought, why not give it a go ourselves?”
And they gave it a good go for nearly four years, most famously playing the popular-at-the-time Diplomat Radisson Blu brunch and Fiddlers Green. While they were there, the brunch went from having 150 guests to 1,200 by the time they moved to Dubai.
Our loss was their gain, however, because, last year, the band signed to Universal Middle East and their brand-new single "Against The Odds" was released on Friday September 2, with a music video and album to follow. “We like the song, [the label] likes the song – it was the song we were signed on,” says Gary. “They picked it up because I sent it off to them and said ‘why don’t you sign us?’ And they did!”
Unfortunately, for contractual reasons, The Boxtones can’t tell us much more about the album ahead of its release, but it’s clear they’re extremely proud of it. And just to think, it was the support they got right here in Bahrain that kicked it all off. “It was a difficult decision [to leave Bahrain], because we were really attached,” says lead vocalist Louise Peel. “If we’ve got time, and we get asked to play there, we always go, because it’s amazing there. We do love it.”
And we’d happily welcome them back, but perhaps we’ll need a bigger venue next time.The single is out now on iTunes.