Scroll down the #Dubai tag on your Instagram feed and you'll find skyscrapers, lots of selfies and fancy cars, which is nice and all, but sometimes you need a change of pace.
On Saturday, I headed down to the Dubai Garden Centre for a gig called Fresh Sounds of the Fall by a UAE music initiative, Freshly Ground Sounds.
Another in a string of chilled out, acoustic open mic gigs that encourage newbie/amateur/non-commercial performers to come up and perform for a welcoming, supportive community of music lovers.
All the performers were amazing. Highlights include Kali Juali (not just for their name, which if you haven't figured it out is a spin on the popular Arabic phrase "Khalli Walli"), whose set included a cover of Dave Matthews Band "Crash into Me" using wind chimes; Therese and Shane's cover of Riptide; Josh Monteath, whose vocals were enjoyed by the majority, and who was a clear crowd favorite; sisters Iman and Sarah's cover of Ghost, which was lovely; elecro/synth indie band Parallel Sound System, who were jamming when we entered, and are a new favorite of mine for their chilled out sound; and 'Nushka, whose cover of The Chainsmoker's "Kanye" was a standout.
The venue, which had a BBQ station and pop up shops like The Sameness Project's #TheConversationChair, which encouraged strangers to sit with each other and have a conversation - with Humans of New York-esque questions like "What is the biggest problem you're facing today?"
The UAE has a burgeoning indie scene and it was refreshing to see that the crowd and performers were a mix of young and old, and of different cultural backgrounds.
Sidenote: I bought a tiny basil pot at the Garden Centre because it just smelt so good I couldn't resist and how often do you get to go plant shopping anyway?
As the weather gets a bit cooler in Dubai, outdoor gigs can only get more relaxing and enjoyable. Freshly has announced its next gig is on October 20th - more details can be found on their Facebook page at the bottom of this post.
|(Image: Instagram @h1980)|
|(Image: Instagram @hibawaraich)|
|(Image: Instagram @whatsondubai)|
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