BRONZE – Of beginnings and endings!
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!