Popular regional music showcase The Other Side will host Beirut band LUMI on Friday October 9, almost a decade since the two-piece were last in Dubai. Ahead of the show at AND Lounge, The Address Dubai Marina, Time Out Dubai spoke with the band. For more on The Other Side, visit their Facebook.
Welcome back to Dubai. For those who are new to your music, can you explain what you're about?
'It's funny, I wish we knew what we are about ourselves. Our music has been described as a mixture of electro and rock, of glamour and punk, but today its harder for us to describe it.'
You are enjoying a 'second coming' following your break from the industry a few years ago. How different are you finding it?
'When we first started around 2006, there was still very few bands in the region and infrastructure was limited; it was both a challenging and exciting era. Today everything seems to be functioning well; I see promoters, bands, venues, sponsors, everything. But we're also excited to discover how the audiences evolved. Most of the people who go to concerts today never bought a CD in their life.'
What can those who saw you in Dubai before expect to see this time around?
'Visually its going to be very different, we are just the two of us on stage and we play everything live. Mayaline holds the guitar now while Marc attempt to control various ferocious machines. Analytically, expect an immersion into more profound and dangerous territories.'
What is it about Beirut that harnesses such creativity?
'The fact that it inspires so much love and hate at the same time. For those who live in it, people have a thousands reasons to get away from it. But most remain there and they dont know why, it has this hypnotic effect, it's a mystery that is very inspiring.'
Is there anyone else from the city that you are expecting great things from?
'The biggest expectation right now is from the civil rights movement that started this summer, it was so unexpected yet its hard to understand how it didn't pop up before. There are so many things we need to change to make our country a better and more just place.'
And what about the region as a whole, and its impact on the worldwide popular culture. Do you feel it is progressing?
'I haven't seen any sign that worldwide popular culture is anywhere influenced by any Arab culture. The best ambassadors of our culture today are our artists. It's true they are doing great in all domains, in the museums, exhibitions, festivals or fashion shows worlwide but it hasnt reached the mainstream culture yet.'
How can it break through the glass ceiling?
'I don't know. The most important thing is to remain true to what we are, and to have ambitions beyond the immediate gratification of fame or glory.'