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Give Us Some Gigs !

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  • Give Us Some Gigs !

    Last Thursday night saw the first Western concert in several months to reach the city of Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, where I live. We have been starved of concerts for a while:- big names coming to the Gulf inevitably go to the vast fleshpots and much bigger expat populations of Dubai and Abu Dhabi UAE, Manama Bahrain or Doha Qatar. The last big concert we had was Tom Jones in March, an excellent outdoor evening gig, very well attended by an enthusiastic , mainly Western audience.

    This time though, Howard Jones was coming and it looked like it wouldn’t be well-attended, as not many people knew or liked him much. Most who would be going were there to support concerts and have a night out (they sell beer and food at the venue). The bad news was that no more than 300 were expected, whereas Tom Jones had pulled in 3,000.

    So last Thursday night there were high hopes of a great night. It was advertised as an ‘80’s Party Night. The main concert was ‘80’s singer/techno musician/late in the day New Romantic Howard Jones and his band (as in “What Is Love” etc), sandwiched in between two sessions of ‘80’s Capital Radio DJ Pat Sharp. Everyone was encouraged to dress up in the spirit of the ‘80’s. I went to a photo shop and got a white tee-shirt made up with “Frankie Says Relax” on it and a provocative photo from their “Relax” video (the one banned by the BBC) of a man dressed in an English schoolboy uniform and school-cap, with heavy make-up, pouting and caressing a rather stout, long candle – say no more !! Rather racy wear by me for a country like this – wuah hah hah !!! Anyhoo, my wife and I met friends in a hotel pub near the venue and as people came in, yup, they were mainly all dressed in ‘80’s style, many women with big ‘80’s hair-dos, coloured wigs etc, off the shoulder tee-shirts, waist belts and tight leggings etc. Theh in the door of the pub comes a guy wearing a “Frankie Says Relax” tee-shirt (without photo). We looked at each other and gave thumbs-up. Soon more “Frankie” tee-shirts appeared until there were at least 14 of us (remembered to roll up the sleeves a couple of times !)

    At the outdoor venue, we were surprised to see more than 300, possibly 500-600 people there, corralled into a smaller area to give the crowd effect. All were in high spirits and when pat Sharp started playing popular ‘80’s music, everyone was dancing and having a great time. There was a build-up to Howard Jones entry and after a while, they stopped the DJ and HJ came on. Everyone cheered a lot and he started his set. To begin with, everyone cheered and clapped etc, but by the 4th unknown song, I came back from a toilet visit to find gaps in the audience and the rest pretty silent with just polite clapping. He did his best known (for me that’s 2) songs at the end and off he went. No-one missed him to be honest. Then on came Pat Sharp, the DJ, again and the party continued till the end.

    Perhaps HJ should have come as part of an ‘80’s concert party, with Kajagoogoo and Bananarama or something (but again that costs money). The thing is good or bad, we need to support concerts here, or else bad attendance will mean no more concerts in the future.
    We have Bryan Adams coming in December which will surely bring in a big crowd (not only Brits etc, but eg Americans and Filipinos etc too). Pat Sharp has declared a desire to come back to warm up for BA.

    Obviously, Muscat cannot afford the top-line acts, or even the veteran, but still “up there” acts, so we’re a bit second division, but we can still get some good performers surely.

    I’ve written to the managements of Duran Duran, Madness, Spandau Ballet and Paul Young to see if they have plans to come to the Gulf and if so, can they add a Muscat date.

    We live in hope here in little Muscat !

  • #2
    Bryan Adams will be here on 18th December and Michael Bolton on the 20th ! At least they're concerts !

    Doesn't Michael Bolton sing some soul ? I hope so.


    • #3
      Bryan Adams was really good. Also used the biggest stage and most gear too so far !

      I haven't seen sight or sound of Michael Bolton yet, but I'm not too fussed.

      I hope we can get some good gigs this year, but I think it won't be anyone on the current performers' A list, more likely blasts from the past out on the road again - though some of them can still draw the crowds eg the Strolling Bones and The Who -? Speak up, my hearing aid battery's a bit low ! .


      • #4
        Folks, the "Celtic Connections" is just about to start in Glasgow, everything from Bob Dylan to Kathleen MacInnes & Rosanne Cash. Google it up, it's on till the end of January. wullie.


        • #5
          best gig i can see happening so far this year is:

          Primal Scream will play their 1991 'Screamadelica' full album live in the Glasgow SECC on the 18th march


          • #6
            Originally posted by Lachlan09 View Post
            I haven't seen sight or sound of Michael Bolton yet, but I'm not too fussed.
            You must be really desperate for live gigs if you're prepared to sit through a Michael Bolton concert
            "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire


            • #7
              Originally posted by Magenta View Post
              You must be really desperate for live gigs if you're prepared to sit through a Michael Bolton concert
              Hopefully, he's just a threat ! But there's a thin line here between concerts and no-concerts so every visit by a Western artiste has to be supported.

              Bloody Abu Dhabi and f****** Dubai get all the big now-popular names. For us low-lifes in Oman, we can't afford to fly to these places, book hotels and pay big concert prices (boo hoo ! poor us !). We live in hopes we can be seen as a charity ! Shakira is supposed to come here but us foreigners won't get near her concert for bratty locals with dads having powerful relations and friends !