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bronze at q8books

BRONZE – Of beginnings and endings!

Post Event Reviews IMG_2901bw

Published on February 24th, 2013 | by Nabeel

 

I’d been invited by Jacob, a friend and the owner of Q8books to a musical sit-in at the shop in question. If you’ve never been to this second-hand bookshop, you should. It’s the first of it’s kind –  an impressive affair (opposite the Sheraton and KFC in Kuwait City) with a massive selection of reading material and a quirky, homely feel. Jacob, who loves to have his country music running in the background,  is always quick to help with suggestions or just shoot the breeze over a cup of the hot stuff.

Kuwait City itself is a fascinating lesson in cultural symbiosis. Here, Indians, Bengalis, Egyptians and Filipinos have been ‘ghettoed’ together and have somehow learnt to coexist – merging their foods, their love of music and cheap shopping into one very special section of the country. Karaoke bars, petty crimes and exotic foods abound and Jacob’s shop is smack dab in the middle of that glorious action.

 

 

But I digress. The night itself was not quite what one would expect of a bookshop. The event was a cozy session with a duo called  Bronze. Lyndon (16) takes care of lead vocals and acoustic guitar, while George (13), A rabid Queen fan, covers the bass and lead guitars.  They played their way through some real classics like Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton, Every Rose has its thorn by Poison, Under Pressure by Queen and a host of other goodies that, for most of us in the guitar playing world, were the very reasons we became musicians in the first place. Particular mention needs to go to their singing – especially when the song called for seconds. Definitely one of their strengths! I also noticed that when they were just fooling around on their guitars during the intervals, completely relaxed and seemingly unwatched (haha!), that they displayed some fine instrumental work

There were also a couple of rousing, feisty performances from two young girls at the shop.

 

 

We listeners were simply a handful of music-lovers and felt uninhibited enough to sing along to these great tunes and just feel the moment. There is something very special about listening to a band like Bronze in this setting. Maybe it’s because the City, and gigs like these, remind me of the good ol’ days in Kuwait when I would sit on the beach with Caesar and a few other friends, and just play and sing and not give a damn. Maybe it’s because sometimes I get weary of the hype and the glamour of Kuwait bringing in really famous musicians to do shows when this country’s main resource is not oil, but an overflow of budding talent like Lyndon and George. Or maybe it’s because it’s always gratifying to be reminded that the reason we even do KM is because we are head over heels, neck-deep, smitten, madly in love with this gift called music and these are the same songs that made it happen.

 

 

This Q8books gig was Bronze’s first ever paid one and it wasn’t the ridiculous amount you have to pay at some places just so you can line the event manager’s pockets – it was 1 simple KD. 100 percent of the money went to the musicians. Jacob kindly provided the refreshments and a general sense of generosity abounded.

And that dear readers, (and I’m sure Ahmad Al-Hamily will agree with me on this one!) is what Kuwait’s music culture should look like. People supporting people. With time, effort, encouragement, venues and yes – even money!

 

Sadly, Lyndon is relocating to the States mid-March and George still has a few more years of Kuwait left in him. So Bronze will, at least for the time being, be no more. But  I had a chat with the guys and they’re not intending on giving up soon. Whether it’s pursuing music as an education or plans to re-form in the future, Lyndon and George seem optimistic. And I’m optimistic for them.

 

Watch Bronze Perform

 

 

Look us up when you get back together Bronze. We’d be more than happy to jam with you any day!

 

 

 

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About the Author

Nabeel Mohan is Editor-In-Chief at ENGAGE. As a science fiction buff, he loves robots and space aliens and if ever the world were to be taken over by robot space aliens, he would be the first to betray the human race.


12 Responses to BRONZE – Of beginnings and endings!

  1. Nur says:

    Amen, amen to that Nabeel! This is exactly what a music scene is, nothing more and nothing less than the humble heartbeat of Kuwait’s ordinary and pleasant folk out together in a place as special as Jacob’s to hear some of their talented young musicians and give them an audience. You recreated the scene for me so beautifully that between your evocative writing and pictures I felt I was there!! I actually tho I recognize Lyndon as or of the boys I got talking to at the end of Chris Byars’ concert, lovely kid, and it seems everyone really enjoyed the evening! Hopefully this will not be Bronze’s last performance in a while! :)

  2. Nabeel says:

    Hiya Nur, it was actually George that was at the concert I think – although Lyndon might have been there as well :D thanks for your kind words… Caesar ya gimp – you’re almost half the man I am :P – just playin!

  3. Dina says:

    Loved reading this, thanks Nabeel. Big hello and thank you to Jacob for being a part of this feel-good atmosphere (& Bronze!) Would have loved to be there :)

  4. Fred Kelly says:

    good one folks.. very encouraging to see this happening here. more power to kuwait

  5. Tahir Mahmoud says:

    nabeel, i used to visit this store as a teenager in kuwait city! so happy to see it growing!

  6. Ahmad S. Al-Hamily says:

    Now this is really cool.

  7. Jacob says:

    @Nabeel: A long overdue note of appreciation for the timely and well written article. I liked the part of “…but People supporting people. With time, effort, encouragement, venues and yes – even money!” . The “Boys” were rather happy to be given the privilege to play in a used books store. In any case, how many of us can think of small bands starting out their music career from a bookstore. Garages, pubs, schools, church choirs, and even barber shops – but almost never from a used bookstore!! So, if at all they, or even one of them, get to a high in their lives singing – this day would go down in history!! Guess, I just need to keep my fingers crossed for these young fellas! Of course, since I own the music rights to their first gig, I will have more money to get myself a larger used bookstore and have more gigs like this!:)-

    All in all, it was a fun evening and something to take home in terms of little memories that we all make here in Kuwait. Sorry Nur that you missed it. Perhaps you would be here for the next one.

    Here’s to music, writers and blogs such as this, books, and all good things in life. Cheers.

    • Caesar (Kuwait Music) says:

      Thanks for visiting Kuwait Music Jacob :) You are doing a fabulous job and please do continue to support- all of us artists need it!

      Good luck
      Caesar

  8. Philip Dela Cruz says:

    Hello, its Philip,
    Thank you Sir Nabeel for this rather lengthy article, the Kuwait-music “staff”, the people who set their time aside for the show, and to Mr. Jacob for making this happen.
    Lyndon’s leaving next week and as much as we want to play another one, he will be busy, so if you know anyone who wants to play music with me sometime, you can send me a reply or e-mail.
    And we’ll definitely contact you after we finish our studies, which will be soon!

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