We introduce the local talents you really should be listening to
Time Out Bahrain staff
Remember The Boxtones, the band who used to rock Fiddler’s and The Diplomat’s Friday brunch? They’re on their way to becoming one of Bahrain’s most famous exports after moving to Dubai and winning Rolling Stone magazine’s Street to Stage competition. March will see the launch of their first album and they could be touring internationally soon. Inspired, we decided to take a look at some of the bands currently entertaining us in Bahrain who could be destined for bigger things.
Alderon Formed in 2008 by Basil Malik and Arif Farooqui, the band is now made up of Basil on rythm guitar/lead vocals, Arif on bass/backing vocals, Ali Malik on lead guitar/backing vocals and Abdulla Adel on drums/percussion.
Basil and Arif met while working at Ernst & Young and what started as impromptu jam sessions turned to writing their own material and the formation of Alderon after both had previously played with the band Dive from 2000-2004.
They were later joined by Ali and Abdulla and, inspired by bands such as Nirvana, Metallica and Iron Maiden, they have a rocky/indie sound when performing both their own stuff and covers.
They pop up at independent festivals and markets and can be seen playing occasionally at Déjà vu. Check them out at Alderon on Facebook.
Black Lime A locally formed rock/fusion band with members from across the globe with a musical style which varies from classic rock to grunge, fusion, alternative and orbit rock. Originally established as Spring Jam in 2011, the line up has been evolving and currently consists of James Morgan, from the UK, Davin Dsouza and Jebin Verghese, both from India, Ryan James, from Pakistan and Tom Romanski , from Poland.
You may have seen them on stage at Bahrain Rugby Football Club’s 18th anniversary bash or the Celtic Picnic at Coral Bay and there are plans for further gigs in the not too far distant future. For details of coming events keep an eye on Black Lime on Facebook.
Cinderella Rockafella They’ve conquered Canada and the USA, rocked the far east and made their mark as three times Battle of the Bands winners – Bahrain in 2001 and 2002 and Abu Dhabi in 2005 – and now they’re back.
The six-piece features Trent from Australia on lead guitar and vocals, Sean from the USA on keyboards, vocals and percussion, Canadians Daggy, on bass guitar, vocals, drums and percussion and Johnny (Bondero) on drums and vocals, with Venny from Indonesia on vocals and percussion and Pookie (Monster) from Thailand on vocals and keys.
With such a mix of nationalities, their influences are varied and their performances run the gamut of rock to reggae and jazz to Latino and pop.
They’re at Downtown at the InterContinental Regency Bahrain nightly except Mondays. Call (17 227 777).
Elevate The band is made up of Canadians Manny Geronimo and Terena Armstrong, on lead vocals, Karl Sharks, on bass and lead vocals, Marc-André Épinat, on guitar and vocals and Josée-Lise Lévesque, on keyboards, plus Rush ‘RastaBarbie’ Minnaar from South Africa on lead vocals and drummer and band leader Karim Moussa from German.
The nucleus of Elevate was formed last year, 6000ft up on a mountain above the clouds in Malaysia where Rush, Karl, Marc and Karim were playing at a casino resort, all in different bands. They decided to work together and Elevate was formed. The rest of the band came on board through recommendations from mutual friends.
Karim says; ‘We literally play everything. From the latest and newest hits to rock classics, funk, R&B, Latin and we even do an Arabic song.
Elevate play nightly except Sundays at Davy Crockett’s in Hotel Diva. Call (39 922 583).
Dune A mix of talented musicians from Bulgaria and the West Indies who can’t wait to rock the island having played around the world from Canada to Dubai, Malaysia, China and Korea.
They put an international spin on covers ranging from pop and disco, to Latin, rock, reggae and techno.
Dune can be found playing nightly at Warbler at the Ramee Baisan Hotel. Call (38 381 631).
Generation A versatile, seven-piece Canadian band, with one Welshman in the mix, they’re are so popular they’re now on their third stint on the island.
A multi-talented group they constantly switch around the front line, with everyone taking the vocalist’s spotlight at some point.
Since leaving Bahrain in 2011, they’ve been performing in Oman, China, Canada and Indonesia, and have made the return trip with four new members. James, Jerry and Gizelle are all back and new members are Melanie and Ashley, two vocalists with plenty of stage experience back in Canada, Rob, who has taken the reins on drums since 2011, and Leigh, the new Welsh front man strutting the stage.
They play a rocky mix of covers and we’d love to hear if they have any of their own compositions.
On stage at Dublin at the Ramee International nightly except Sundays. Call (39 736 547).
Hot Laser We asked for details and this is what we got – ‘Newly formed late last year, playing rock, wearing Spandex! Robert 'Jungle' Allan John Jennings - lead singer/keytar synth/writer, Rob 'Rock Star' Cecil - electric guitar, Joe 'Danger'' Dalton - bass guitar, Syed 'Ashe Tray' Isam Shah Gilani - drums.
But seriously folks, we’re hearing good things about this band, check out Hotseat on page 8 for more on them.
Intempo Intempo were selected from a lengthly audition process in the uk by a agency set on creating party bands for the international circuit. They’re made up of Daniel Batchelor, band leader and rhythm guitar, April Bonas and Victoria Rotten, vocalists, Elliott Rouse, lead guitar, Harwood Shing on keys, Kris Grecian, on drums and Dale Farrow, on bass.
They’ve been together in their current incarnation for around seven months but various members have worked together before and they play a huge range of music including pop, rock, hip hop, R&B, reggae, indie, country, folk, dance, drum and bass and much more, in fact, if you come up with it, they’re willing to give it a go.
They’re onstage at Buffalo at the Ramee California nightly except Tuesday and there’s open mic on Monday nights. Call (33 731 000).
Likwid Formerly La Movida, this band has gone through a number of changes in line-up since its formation in 2004 gaining a solid reputation among both fans and fellow musicians. The latest incarnation is Khalid AlShamlan, keyboards and backing vocals, Ahmed Abdulaziz, guitars and backing vocals, Ahmed AlQasim, lead vocals and bass, and Abdulrahman Malallah, drums. La Movida was known for playing purely Latin but the latest line-up has diversified to cover smooth jazz, blues, rock and more. They're currently working on a self-penned debut album and have just finished recording with folk artist Ala Ghawas who's fourth album 'Armor' has just been released.
Machine Gun Machine Gun are an alternative/indie/groove band with ‘a hunger for music and a passion for groove’.
Created by a group of friends and musicians that started jamming together way back in 1999, they initially went their separate ways but are now back together with a new vocalist doing what they love most, playing great music.
They’re made up of James Morgan (yes you have seen that name elsewhere on this round-up) on vocals, Sunny Salis on lead guitar, Patson Godinho on bass guitar and Ryan John on drums and have recently played at various venues such as Bahrain International Circuit and The Dilmun Club, where they supported the Queen tribute act.
MG are making a name for themselves with really dynamic, energetic sets encompassing modern indie, rock and alternative music inspired by the likes of Muse, The Clash, Kasabian, Everything, Everything, Maximo Park and the like and their stated aim is to 'develop a scene for lovers of indie rock ‘n’ roll'.
Keep an eye on their Facebook page for upcoming gigs.
Ovaload This band arrived just as we were putting together this feature so we’re keen to see what they can do.
Formed in 2012 by Oba Hyacienth, a Jamaican-born Canadian citizen, who wants to take the concept of the cover band to a higher level, always performing live with no sequences and no backing tracks. He’s joined by Canadian-based Brit Richard Dailey on bass, Portugese-born Canadian Felipe Debastos on guitar, and fellow Canucks Dany Lemire, on drums, Rob Neal Christian on keyboards and Tino Koufogiannakis and Karelle Remillard both also taking a turn on lead vocals.
Their performances are available on Youtube and you can catch them nightly except Sundays at Ibrida at the Ramee Grand Hotel & Spa, Seef. Call (17 111 972).
The fuse Mainly focusing on UK Top 40 hits, The Fuse are Dave band leader/keyboards from the UK, Mikey, also from the UK on bass and vocals, Irishman Sharke on guitar, Joe, from the UK, on drums and Tori and Kay from the UK and Peter from Canada on vocals.
The play nightly except Mondays at Rocky’s at the Ramee International. Call (17 727 230).
Shockwave This group of musicians has been entertaining and wowing audiences all over Asia and the Middle East with a diverse mixture of personnel, characters, cultures and musical styles. They’re a group of long-time friends who blend their differences to create an impressively rocky and fun sound.
They did well at the recent National Day bands contest at Bahrain International Circuit as well as receiving several individual accolades.
They’re made up of Canadians Chantal Cardin on lead vocals, Dave Le P on bass and vocals, Carl Braddy, on guitar and lead vocals, Martin Allard on drums and Tiana Santrata on keyboards, plus Dezi K from Australia on lead vocals and band leader Sergio Andres from Colombia on lead vocals.
Shockwave are on stage nightly except Sundays at The Hub, Monroe Hotel. Call (17 296 699).
Ones to watch Osiris These guys, with their brand of Bahraini rock, have been around for years and have a solid following. They were due to be gigging at the end of January, however it seems the poor drummer’s broken his wrist, so we’ll be eagerly awaiting more news from them. Ravens A group of old friends who also happen to be musicians, The Ravens are made up of vocalist Osama, Mohamad and Hassan on guitars, Basim on bass and Khalifa on percussion.
The play various different styles from old-school rock to blues, classic Latin and tango and appeared at Upstairs Downstairs where George is hoping to make them a regular feature. Check out Ravens on Facebook for details of where to find them.
The Accidentals Anyone who’s caught The Awesome People at either Farm Fest or other Boho Baha events could well be mourning their demise. However, take heart, from the ashes of The Awesome People, we are reliably informed, comes a new band The Accidentals, fronted by Arab Idol star Mo Zawayad, which took second place at the recent BIC bands contest. No further details available as yet but definitely worth watching. The Legendz The island’s only band specialising in reggae played by a bunch of born-and-bred Bahrainis doing covers and their own songs.
They’re made up of Essa Al Hayee on lead vocals and guitar, Abdulla Adnan on drums, Hassan Rashid on bass, Fahad Sayar on backing vocals and keys, Mohamed Rashid on guitar, Yousif Al Zayani on hand percussion and Abdulla Haji on saxophone.
They’ve played various festivals and are regulars at the Boho Baha events as well as at Formula One.