The Dapper Cards

The Dubai-based band play one last gig. We were there to join them, and shed a few tears, as they said farewell to their fans.

Music feature

Describe your sound in five words.
Black Sabbath meets the Kinks.

Who’s in the band?
Reggie Steps: Vocals, rhythm guitar, slide whistle, enigmatic frontman. Archie Hemingway: Lead guitar, mustachioed riff-merchant. Artie Cavendish: Bass guitar, 6’6” groove-maker. Kit Ludvig III: Drums, man-of-mystery and owner of the finest cymbals in the UAE. Paulus von Kronsky: Band manager, loan shark, general shady character.

How did you meet?
Archie and I (Reggie) have known each other for a while, then Artie ended up sleeping on Archie’s chaise longue for a while when he fell on hard times. No one can recall meeting Kit III – he’s been hanging around in the background for pretty much as long as we can remember, as drummers tend to...

The best gig you’ve played in Dubai?
The first, Volume: Eleven, at Jimmy Dix – that night will soon become a Dubai institution.

Is Dubai an easy musical market to break?
Yes and no. There’s not much of a scene for original bands, so we’ve had to do a fair bit of door-knocking to get venues willing to put gigs on. But then again, because the scene’s fairly small, you probably don’t have to work as hard musically to get a decent crowd. At least that’s how it’s been for us.

Has the city inspired any songs?
Perhaps some lyrics: ‘You don’t love me, you just love my wallet/ I’m a victim of my own income’.

Why are you splitting?
I’ve decided to concentrate on my solo career. I’ll be releasing a solo album called Steppin Out: Reggie Steps Breaks Free, and embarking on a world tour – Steppin’ Round the World – which will take in most major cities in Central Asia, Siberia and Afghanistan [Ahem].

Why are you breaking away, Reggie? Was it musical differences?
[Artie] Reggie’s always been a difficult character to deal with, especially since his soy latte addiction started. As for the rest of the band, well, we’re going off in our directions. Archie Hemingway is going to finally put out his adult contemporary album, Singing For Your Supper. I’m going to finally do my jazz funk fusion bass album without accompaniment. Kit’s going back to Johnny Rockets to overhear another conversation about needing a drummer.

Why choose Aussie Legends for your swansong?
We’ve spent a fair bit of time there, coming from the Al Bada’a badlands, and it’s pretty well set up for live bands. And they were willing to take a punt on some live, original, Dubai-grown music, which is a noble attitude all venues in this town should adopt.

What words of wisdom would you pass on to other inspiring bands?
Don’t stay in your garage, get real gigs at real venues, and keep pushing everyone you know to support live, original music in Dubai. Furthermore, come along on Friday 29, and introduce yourselves. If you’re any good you could be lucky enough to support the Cards on our reunion tour in a couple of years...

The Dapper Cards, Aussie Legends, Friday February 29, 8pm-3am, free. Hear

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