Doktor Pepper is giving Dubai an indie injection with his Happy Mondays nights. James Wilkinson says ‘aaaaaah’.
Happy Mondays at Submarine, eh? What’s going to make the crowds so happy? I’ve been in Dubai for six months now and haven’t found a place yet where I could listen to any type of music other than house, mainstream hip-hop or R&B. I believe there have to be a lot of people out there who are passionate about all sorts of music. You know: classic or alternative rock, indie, punk, electronica, old school hip-hop, etc. I hope they’ll be happy that they now have a place where they can hear the tunes that we expats grew up with.
‘We expats’? Where are you from and how did you get into music? I am from Budapest, Hungary. I first took to indie or alternative music in high school. Back then we still had hardcore communism, and music and the attitude that came with it were the most effective ways of rebelling against your teachers, your parents and your government. So we’d listen to U2, Nick Cave, Joy Division, The Cure, The Ramones etc. and would be as rebellious as teenagers can get.
What sort of bands and genres will you play? I’m planning to have ‘anything goes nights’. Depending on how much versatility a given crowd can take, I’d play anything including David Bowie, Beastie Boys, Blur, Metallica, Oasis, Rage Against The Machine, Arctic Monkeys, Run DMC, The Vines, The Strokes, The Hives and any other bands beginning with ‘The’.
What made you decide to start up a night with this kind of music? I have been a music fan since I was a child and have been going out clubbing since I was 16 and I really miss that. So I thought if nobody else – or very few – do the ‘rock club DJ’ thing in Dubai, why not give it a shot? I can only hope there are people out there who eat their music with really big spoons and from any bowl they can get their hands on, just like me.
Don’t you like house music, then? No, I do. As music evolved from the middle of the 80s, I evolved with it. I went from alt and goth rock to hip hop, then jungle, drum ’n’ bass, breakbeat, then acid-house, house, techno and all the rest. It’s just that if there is too much of one ingredient in your food and too little of another, it starts tasting funny, don’t you think?
Why do you think there are so few indie nights in Dubai? Without trying to offend anyone, Dubai is very materialistic. Nobody ventures out and invests in something that involves the least amout of risk. So it’s, ‘House works in that club so let’s do house in this club, too. Nobody else is doing rock, so let’s not do rock.’ But life gets dull like that, I think. I mean, we’re in a very versatile society; why not have versatile music?
What kind of atmosphere do you want to develop in the club? A friendly, unpretentious feel; a place where people who are ethusiastic about music can get together and just have a good time. I’m starting the night at 9pm, so people can come down early, have their dose of music, dance to it, and then go home early if they have to go to work the next day.
Will live bands be playing there? I would love to see that happen. It’s up to the club management, of course, but if we do get live bands there, we’ll let Time Out know!
What do you think of the venue? I love Submarine because it has the feel of a real club, not that of a huge superclub. Happy Mondays will have one type of energy, a Friday night of house will have another kind of energy but they will all work well with Submarine.
So your DJ name is Doktor Pepper and the night is Happy Mondays – aren’t you worried about being mauled by rabid lawyers? It’s ‘Doktor Pepper’ not ‘Dr Pepper’ so there should be no problem there. And with Happy Mondays? Well, you have the word ‘happy’ in English and you have the word ‘Mondays’, and if you put them together, this is what you get. And it’s on Monday nights, so what can I do?
Doktor Pepper plays Happy Mondays on Monday June 9.