American rockers Train have challenged Bruno Mars to trump their performance when the star plays Dubai for the first time this weekend.
Performing at Dubai Media City – exactly a week before Mars makes his Middle Eastern debut on the same stage – Train guitarist Jimmy Stafford laughed off any competition from the Hawaiian hitmaker.
‘We’ve been blowing him off the stage for years,’ said Stafford, before the band’s appearance at the du World Music Festival on Friday May 5.
But he confided that the band are friends and fans of their rival, who follows them on Friday May 12. ‘We love Bruno Mars,’ he added, ‘we’ve done many shows together and it’s great to see Bruno become as successful as he’s become – he’s a great dude and an awesome songwriter.’
Train confounded fans in Dubai by playing a set packed with covers, playing material including The Rolling Stones’ ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’, Lou Reed’s ‘Walk on the Wild Side’, Fun’s ‘We Are Young’ and Glee anthem ‘Don’t Stop Believin’.
But the song Stafford wishes he’d penned most is the band’s own breakout hit ‘Hey, Soul Sister’ – because then he’d get a share of the royalties that have gone to lead singer Patrick Monahan, he told Time Out exclusively.
‘I wish I’d written that song,’ he added, ‘because then I’d not only be sitting on the beach with my family – I’d own a little slice of it.’
The ‘Drops of Jupiter’ hitmakers have had little luck with the weather on their two visits to Dubai, enduring a sandstorm both on this visit, and before their last appearance at the same venue just over two years ago. ‘All I remember from last time is there was a sandstorm and everybody ran for cover,’ added the guitarist.