With the biker festival returning to Dubai Media City Amphitheatre from October 30 to November 1, Chanelle Tourish brings you the lowdown on some of the local bands headlining this year’s event.
While Gulf Bike Week may seem like an event just for petrolheads, it’s as much a music festival as a bike show. For the first time, Gulf Bike Week features two music stages, catering to both rock music fans and commercial music lovers. A total of 15 bands will play 31 sets over three days, on both the Time Out Dubai Festival Stage and the Rock Stage. The Time Out stage will host radio-friendly rock and acoustic performances while the latter will cater to rock and heavy metal fans.
Time Out Dubai Festival Stage
With 15 years of experience across a range of genres, The Boxtones are a favourite on Dubai’s music scene. The five-piece rock group consists of Gary Tierney as lead singer, his sister and drummer, Gillian Tierney, singer Louise Peel, bassist Patrick Thibault and keyboardist Will Janssen. The band, who hail from the UK and Canada, started out singing cover songs at bars, clubs and weddings before they released their debut LP,
In the Pockets of Clowns, an original album featuring rock and grunge sounds. Expect powerful guitar solos and energetic noise as well as ‘Against The Odds’ the song they recently wrote for this year’s Dubai Rugby Sevens, as they hit the stage on Thursday October 30 at 9.15pm and Saturday November 1 at 8pm. www.boxtonesband.com.
Formed in December 2011, Kicksound are a hard rock trio based in Dubai, founded by singer and guitarist Olly Ephgrave, drummer Branislav Trkulja, and bassist Gabriel Matute. This year has seen a line-up change, with Will Skidmore taking up bass duties and backing vocals. The band is currently touring venues across the UAE before performing their soulful songs at Gulf Bike Week on Friday October 31 at 4pm and Saturday November 1 at 3.30pm. After almost a year of recording and mixing at the world-class SoundStruck Studios, Kicksound’s long-awaited debut EP is to be released on November 7.
Getting together in 2009, Riff Raff have cut an independent swath through the clutter of metal bands that dominate the live music scene in the UAE. Consisting of Ray Fahy, Nante Vanguardia, Bibars Nakhesh and Eddie Whelan, the group have a distinctively ’70s rock sound. The first release off the album By The Seat of Our Pants, ‘Rock and Roll Mama’, has garnered consistent airplay since dropping in 2012. Expect blues stomp rock at its finest on Thursday October 30 from 6.45pm and October 31 at 5.15pm.
The alternative rock band, based between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, are known for their unique of blend folk, funk, rock and rap and once performed at small venues across the UAE. The band consists of vocalist Greg Brown, lead guitarist Theo Mahmuti, rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist Kal Al Hashmi, bassist Brandon Vear and drummer Sultan Al Ameri. Their influences include rock ’n’ roll classics such as Led Zeppelin, as well as other bands including The Raconteurs, Kings of Leon, Foo Fighters and blues artists such as B.B. King. Catch the band on Friday October 31 at 4.45pm and Saturday November 1 at 3.45pm.
This hard-rock band hit the Dubai underground music scene in 2009 with their alternative grunge sound. The five-man band go by the names Cruize, Charlie, Walid, Frederick and Kenan. The group, who have supported several international bands including Nickelback, Maxïmo Park and The Kooks, worked with Bosnian producer Elvis Garagic on their debut album, Panodrama, which was recorded in Dubai and released in March. Catch them live at 8.30pm on Friday October 31 and Saturday November 1 at 6.15pm.
The band line-up was completed last year after long-time friends Ravenson of Ravens Throne and Bader ‘Ghocifer’ Nauman, former member of Blaspherion, met in Dubai in late 2012. Both Ravenson and Nauman spent many years in Syria struggling against the mainstream to revive the metal scene in the country through the project known as Ravens Throne. They later decided to form the black metal band in the UAE as the genre was underrepresented in the underground music scene. Nauman introduced Rippon ‘Obscurus’ Madtha (drums) to Ravenson with Kris Kudla joining in 2013 on guitar. See them live on Thursday October 30 at 7.30pm and on Friday October 31 at 9.45pm.
Get your tickets now
Gulf Bike Week tickets from Dhs90 on the door for all-day pass, Dhs200 VIP lounge pass. Thursday October 30 4pm-11pm, Friday October 31 1.30pm-11pm, Saturday November 1 1.30pm-9.30pm.