Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Arrived in Dubai this morning just past midnight. The airport was absolutely teaming, people going every which way and jumbo jets still coming in like it was noon. It took a while to sort out people, passports and baggage. One of Matt's bags ended up missing. I know he's the new guy but I promise we didn't have anything to do with it. We finally got to the hotel around 2 in the morning. I'm getting much better at these 7 and 8 hour flights than I used to be, I simply get myself into some kind of alpha zone and just turn up on the other end with a bit of help from a good book and my brand new iPod. I'm currently reading The Devil In White City by Erik Larson (from the Glenn Worf lending library) and among other things listening to This Is Reggae 1960-1975 box set.
I had a slight finger nail crisis during the second show in Johannesburg. I play with my fingers quite a lot and I have acrylics applied to strengthen the nails. One of them began chipping about midway through the show and I felt like a dog on three legs. Conveniently in our hotel was a nail salon so that was my first stop of the morning. Actually, more like noon. Then a band breakfast with the boys and out for a walk. Dubai is the place with a manmade island built in the shape of a palm tree, complete with a hotel that looks like a huge boat sail. That same hotel is the only 7 star hotel in the world and I'm not sure how much better it could be than a 5 star. Might be an arbitrary number, anyhow the scale is now inflated. Kind of like an amp that goes to 11. They've begun work on a second palm island as well as a series of islands in the shape of a globe of the world with every continent up for sale! Anybody for Great Britain? Business is booming here in Dubai and I'd say that every square inch of sand will be snapped up and built upon in the next few years. Apparently the casinos are on the way and it's destine to become the Las Vegas of Europe and the middle East.
At last, the gig, but not before another meet and greet, so out came the trusty National steel and string bass. Glenn and I have been dubbed The Maui Twins by Guy. I think we should do an album and call it What's That? Hawaiian Noises? Tonight was our first outdoor show of the tour with about 9,000 fans. I forgot how enthusiastic and loud outdoor/stand-up gigs are, everybody singing along to all the songs. One guy was actually whistling the guitar licks to Song For Sonny Liston as Mark played them! We also played Donegan's Gone for the first time live and that went down very well. Boom Like That caught fire tonight like it never has before. Another cool thing, while we were playing Why Aye Man huge lighted building cranes were on the job and in action, Dubai booming. A gig loaded with confidence, and that after only two shows. This has all the signs of a great tour.
We're on our way Mumbai (formerly Bombay) India tomorrow afternoon, Bangalore the next day and then it's off to Oz, the land down under. Our first city in Australia will be Perth. I'll post a few notes from the road about the India gigs, both 25,000 capacity gigs, and sold out, in a couple of days.