The Music Room in Dubai Pays Tribute to Rock Legends

UAE acts descend on city’s premier live music venue for The BIG Rock ‘n’ Roll Festival
ByAhlan! Live ReporterWednesday , 31 December 2014
The Music Room in Dubai Pays Tribute to Rock Legends
Dubai band Behold the Locus are set to perform at The Music Room

The music needn’t stop once the NYE bubbly runs dry, so party on into 2015 at The Music Room this Saturday!

Billed as “a high-energy evening boasting a line up of the city’s most electrifying bands,” the Bur Dubai venue’s BIG Rock ‘n’ Roll Festival pays tribute to music legends spanning the past half-century, from Elvis and the Beatles to Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana and beyond. Here’s a quick rundown of the cracking acts you could catch...

Nominated for Best Local Music Act at this year’s Ahlan! Awards, headliners Behold the Locus have shared the stage with Guns ‘n’ Roses’ Bumblefoot, East17, Avial and The Parlotones, and fuse a wealth of genres including indie, rock, reggae, funk, punk and R‘n’B.

If cheeky lyrics and loud guitars are your thing, then prepare to be blown away by Sandwash. Claiming to be the only groovecore band in Dubai, they’ve been performing gigs since 2002.

Influenced by the sounds of the early Elvis Presley era, Eddie Misk and the Hot Rod Rockers sprang to life in 2009. The band endeavour to recreate the rockabilly genre here in the UAE.

Fronted by sisters Rica and Moki, pop-rockers Amon play both original tracks and covers of tunes by Pretty Reckless, Nirvana, Paramore and Goldfinger.

Xalbaje are a melodic rock band known for their energetic performances, fronted by Filipina vocalist Liza Uraning

Newcomers Carl & The Reda Mafia took home the top spot at Al Ghurair Centre's recent Battle of the Bands contest. Founded by an Indian singer and an Egyptian funk and blues guitarist, their acoustic set’s expected to be anything but chilled out.


We caught up with Amon’s Rica; Carl of Carl & The Reda Mafia; Xalbaje singer Liza; Eddie of Eddie and The Hot Rod Rockers and Fabian Pereira of Behold The Locus for a quick Q&A session...

Q: What does rock‘n’roll mean to you?

LIZA: It can be anything that inspires my passion in music . Rock‘n’roll is my escape from all the sorrows in life and it makes me happy!

FABIAN P: Rock‘n’roll, to me, is about raw, honest music as it allows people to be themselves without having to compromise on their artistic creativity; furthermore, it’s all about having fun.

Q: How relevant is rock‘n’roll to today’s music scene?

RICA: Artists can allow themselves to speak about political issues, their emotions and their thoughts through music.

CARL: Rock‘n’roll doesn’t exist any more. Artists have recently been trying to bring it back and that’s good to see. It still has very little popularity with the electronic generation.

Q: What’s your take on the UAE’s rock scene?

EDDIE: It’s fair, but there are great bands that need more support, sponsors and concerts.

LIZA: I’m happy to see a fast-booming underground music scene here in Dubai, depending on what genre you’re into. Metality and Storm Productions were into the metal scene. You’ll also find talented Filipinos playing with well-known bands. We’ve also got the pure Pinoy productions Roots and Blacksheep, which invites Filipino talents to show off and play their pieces.

Q: Name one band who got you into rock music and still remain an influence today.

RICA: Metallica.

FABIAN P: There are quite a few bands and solo artists who really got me into rock music. Iron Maiden and Jimi Hendrix have influenced me, and still do.

Q: If you could tour the world, who would be your opening act?

CARL: George Ezra, probably. His music is the perfect build-up to what we deliver, haha!

LIZA: Alanis.

Q: Mainstream or underground?

RICA: Underground

CARL: It doesn’t matter to us – wherever we get to play our songs and to make people familiar with it.

EDDIE: Underground is generally much better, but there’s still some good mainstream stuff. I’d say 50/50.

FABIAN P: I’d like to go mainstream, but given the freedom of true artist expression of music just like in the old days.

Q: Does rock music get enough airplay in UAE?

RICA: Not much.

CARL: Absolutely not. But that’s gonna change, for sure.

INFO: The BIG Rock ‘n’ Roll Festival runs 8pm-3am, Sat 3 Jan, Dhs60,The Music Room, Majestic Hotel Tower, Mankhool Rd, Al Mankhool, Bur Dubai, 04 359 8888, Further details from Fabian on 050 796 3035 and Elena on 052 779 0077


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