Michael Bolton, Taio Cruz and Dave Dobbyn go head-to-head
It could be the biggest gig night of the year. After a summer lull, promoters have left us spoiled for choice by bringing over three musical stars to play in a single evening. November 24 will see a trio of male talent take to stages across Dubai: overnight urban success Taio Cruz will perform at N’Dulge, squaring his slick moves against ’80s and ’90s megastar Michael Bolton’s soaring soul at the Madinat Arena, via a slice of Kiwi legend Dave Dobbyn’s rugged rock at Wafi Rooftop in Oud Metha.
Believe it or not, the decision of which gig to choose could have been even trickier: two fighters set for the very same ring forfeited the bout at the final hour. Brit dance diva Sophie Ellis Bextor was set to play on November 24, but her gig has been postponed until December 2, while British indie darlings Razorlight were also scheduled for an appearance next Thursday (we’ve been told to keep our fingers crossed for a February date instead).
So to celebrate the diversity of competing talent arriving on our shores, we meet the New Zealand contingent (aka Dave Dobbin) to find out how he’s preparing to tackle the competition, and profile the two remaining fighters’ likely on-stage tactics. Let the battle commence…
Credentials: With more than eight million singles sold in the US in just two years, and as the UK’s most-watched artist on YouTube with more than 100 million views, the 28-year-old English singer-songwriter exudes an edgy fighting spirit.
Audience: There’s a noticeable lack of streetwise estate kids in Dubai, so we predict this is one for young yuppie clubbers.
Likely tactics: Keep it short and energetic – in and out with the job done in three rounds or less.
Knockout blow: A one-two whammy of consecutive US number ones ‘Dynamite’ and ‘Break Your Heart’.
See him at: N’Dulge, Atlantis The Palm on November 24 at 9pm. Tickets Dhs195 in advance, Dhs220 on the night (04 426 0561).
The Contenders Michael Bolton, 58, American
Class: Keeping nicely trim into middle age, we’d say Bolton is a safe, sound welterweight.
Credentials: With album sales of 53 million, he can claim to be one of the biggest-selling artists ever – but he lacks an element of danger in the ring. Audience: As Bolton edges closer toward the grand age of 60, it’s safe to say his audience isn’t getting any younger.
Likely tactics: He’ll no doubt pull out all the stops, cherry-picking tunes from his 35-year, 17-album career.
Knockout blow: Likely to be a soul cover from his late-’80s heyday. Watch out for Percy Sledge’s ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ or Otis Redding’s ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay’.
See him at: Madinat Arena, Madinat Jumeirah on November 24, doors open 7pm. Tickets Dhs350-Dhs950 at www.timeouttickets.com.
The Contenders Dave Dobbyn, 54, Kiwi
Class: Now in his mid-50s, Dobbyn is something of a cruiserweight.
Credentials: Has been charged with inciting a riot after kids took on the police at a gig in Auckland in 1985. That’s rock’n’ roll, and demonstrates that he’s up for a scrap.
Audience: An energetic troupe of tanked-up Kiwis.
Likely tactics: Something of a rambling storyteller, expect Dobbyn to draw out the bout, littering his set with familiar hits, forgotten gems and material from early bands Th’Dudes and DD Smash.
Knockout blow: ‘Bliss’, his incredibly popular, ironic, iconic drinking song, written in 1980, will surely floor the audience.