We are Beat Antenna, the latest band in the UAE: Neil plays rhythm guitar and sings; Joseph plays drums, Grant plays bass and Andy is the lead guitarist. We’re all from England, except Grant, who’s a Scot. We started off playing in a Dubai cover band for a laugh, doing a grand total of one gig under the name of Temporary Visa. As far as gigs go it was pretty terrible, but what can you expect with Bryan Adams on the menu? Since then we’ve started doing original indie/rock ’n’ roll about everything: girlfriends, ex-girlfriends, bad drivers and – well, just life really. It’s important to keep a balance, so some are more personal and some are a bit lighter.
We’re playing at the Jump Fest on December 12 at the Irish Village. You can expect original rock ’n’ roll songs played with energy by four lads who really mean it. Or if you just want to turn up and see what a drummer having an epileptic fit looks like, then that’s entertaining too. This will only be our fourth gig, but our last one was supporting Arrested Development.
There must be more than 50 inspirations for Beat Antenna, but Neil believes the bands most responsible are Oasis and The Verve. People probably sigh when they read those names, but these are bands that we grew up with. Being 15 years old and hearing ‘Live Forever’ at the time of its release was like being hit by a sledgehammer. They are also bands that you can experience and not just ask your dad about. The Rolling Stones are the exception to this because they are all 400 years old and still gigging. In fact, our band name was inspired by something Keith Richards wrote in his autobiography about him being an antenna and picking up sounds and songs around him. It was a strong image, so we just added the ‘Beat’ bit.
We would like to be signed but it’s not essential – we’ll keep playing whatever happens. But it would be something to have our music judged and played alongside the people who made us want to play in the first place. So if anyone out there wants to support us in our attempt to woo the UAE – say, with sponsorship and gig opportunities – please don’t hesitate to contact us!
How many fans do we have? Including all of our grandparents, about 10. And even they don’t like us. Nah, we don’t know really. Whatever it is, hopefully we’ll get more after we release our debut EP – Half Now, Half Later – in January. It’ll be available on iTunes.
If we were doing our last ever gig, we would probably quadruple the length of every song, really drag it out, Led Zeppelin-style, and do a few encores with different costume changes. And we’d end with a remix of the EastEnders theme tune. Something bad like that. I guess we should all pray it never happens.