The hardest of Dubai’s rockers are proving that they’ve got the softest of hearts, in uniting for a one-off gig to support those affected by the earthquake in Nepal.
Rock Nation Live and Red Crescent bring together the cream of local rock talent on Wednesday at the Fridge, including headlining band Point of View, Liberty Hounds and Chronicles of Khan; acoustic performances by brothers Wesley and Scott Attew; Cruize from rock band Nikotin; and Bollywood bashers Dhruv and Prakash and Vidya, who will be performing a mix of Bollywood and western folk music. Also in the line-up is a debut performance by Nepalese singer-songwriter Sanjay Shrestha.
The gig, titled Rebuilding Nepal – A Charitable Initiative, is being masterminded by Nikhil Uzgare, the lead vocalist for Point of View, who were winners of Best Band in Dubai in Timeout Music & Nightlife Awards two years ago.
“This event will showcase some of the best live musicians, singers, songwriters and bands from the UAE,” says Uzgare, 41, who is from Bombay. “Musicians can be really complicated people. But when it comes to events such as this, everyone is very open-hearted. Dubai has a small musical community and everybody knows everyone. The city’s musicians are leaving everything aside and coming together for one purpose.”
One of the headliners is a collective of musicians known as the Chronicles of Khan, led by Faraz Khan. He describes the concept as “a weird place between a solo act and a band”.
British brothers Wesley and Scott Attew are also in the line-up, with Scott's claim to fame opening for Paolo Nutini's Dubai show in April. Older brother Wesley, who pays the bills by working as a travel agent, penned a poignant song called The Kingdom: "About how people are treated differently for working different jobs."
Point of View are proud friends of rock royalty Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, the guitarist for Guns N' Roses, and have toured India and Bahrain with him. But despite their mean rock'n'roll personas, the band are softies on the inside: 90 per cent of proceeds generated from sales of their album Revolutionize the Revolutionary were donated to animal charity groups. Two years ago, they pitched in to organise a concert in aid of Pakistan Flood Relief at Traffic.
The rebuilding of Nepal has some personal resonance for band members. “A lot of our musician friends were actually stuck in Nepal while this was happening,” says Uzgare. “So they got first-hand experience of what was going on there. There are loads of musicians in Nepal, a lot of music festivals happen there. Rebuilding Nepal is a huge process. Now that this has happened, an alarm has been raised that stronger houses need to be built, and everything has to be done properly this time. What we can give might not be a lot compared to what the governments are putting in, but I think everyone needs to do their little deed for the day.”
• Rebuilding Nepal – A Charitable Initiative is on Wednesday at 6pm at The Fridge, Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz, behind Times Square Center. Minimum donation is Dh30, which goes to the Red Crescent’s work in Nepal