Did Winehouse impress? No, no, no



ABU DHABI // Concert-goers yesterday spoke of their disappointment at what they described as a "car crash" performance by the English singer Amy Winehouse.

The pop star appeared in concert in front of a 10,000-strong audience at Dubai Festival City on Friday, as part of the culmination of the city's annual Gulf Bike Week event.

But the singer-songwriter - whose troubled lifestyle constantly features in British tabloid newspapers - angered fans by leaving the stage for 10 minutes midway through her set.

Her backing singers then had to cover for her over the next three songs.

Some concert-goers booed when she returned. Others stayed, despite many of them being unable to hear her.

Winehouse also forgot some of her lyrics, even those of her bigger hits, such as Valerie and Rehab.

Christina Smith, a 31-year-old teacher from Liverpool, said: "She would look around as if saying 'Oh ... I forgot my words'. She was like a little girl singing along to herself.

"At some point she pointed her finger to her head as if saying 'shoot me now'. It was a car crash."

Ms Smith said she would be asking for a refund for at least half of the ticket price.

Thomas Ovesen, the chief operating officer of the concert organiser Done Events, said "nothing was guaranteed" in a live performance.

"If any of her fans were disappointed I am sure she will be the one the most disappointed," he said.

"All we can do is set up the production and accommodate the fans and then hope she delivers a show the fans will like - if you pay to attend you have a right to review and even dislike her show and that is the nature of live entertainment.

"When you attend an Amy Winehouse concert I would assume most people don't really know what to expect, so as she performed all her hits, did a longer set than anticipated and didn't run off half way through, I think she has delivered.

"Fans vote with their feet. Last night 10,000 fans saw her full length show complete with all her hits. Whether they decide to ever again attend another Amy Winehouse concert will be a matter for them to decide on and obviously something the artist will need to be considering."

Kate Donaghy, a 25-year-old from the UK, said: "She sang all of the songs as if she was bored, not there. We paid Dh300 a ticket. It was not worth what we paid for."

Mahmoud al Khoja, a 29-year-old Lebanese national who works in business consultancy, said the concert was not all bad.

"The last three songs were really good. She did an encore which was really good also."

However, Mr al Khoja, who paid Dh500 for a ticket in the fifth row, said he would also be seeking a refund.

COMPANY PROFILE

Founder: Hani Abu Ghazaleh
Based: Abu Dhabi, with an office in Montreal
Founded: 2018
Sector: Virtual Reality
Investment raised: $1.2 million, and nearing close of $5 million new funding round
Number of employees: 12

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

Nepotism is the name of the game

Salman Khan’s father, Salim Khan, is one of Bollywood’s most legendary screenwriters. Through his partnership with co-writer Javed Akhtar, Salim is credited with having paved the path for the Indian film industry’s blockbuster format in the 1970s. Something his son now rules the roost of. More importantly, the Salim-Javed duo also created the persona of the “angry young man” for Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan in the 1970s, reflecting the angst of the average Indian. In choosing to be the ordinary man’s “hero” as opposed to a thespian in new Bollywood, Salman Khan remains tightly linked to his father’s oeuvre. Thanks dad. 

Company profile

Company name: Hakbah
Started: 2018
Founder: Naif AbuSaida
Based: Saudi Arabia
Sector: FinTech
Current number of staff: 22
Initial investment: $200,000
Investment stage: pre-Series A
Investors: Global Ventures and Aditum Investment Management

Dr Graham's three goals

Short term

Establish logistics and systems needed to globally deploy vaccines


Intermediate term

Build biomedical workforces in low- and middle-income nations


Long term

A prototype pathogen approach for pandemic preparedness  

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-final:

First leg: Liverpool 5 Roma 2

Second leg: Wednesday, May 2, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

TV: BeIN Sports, 10.45pm (UAE)

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

Gulf Men's League final

Dubai Hurricanes 24-12 Abu Dhabi Harlequins

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

The biog

Hobbies: Writing and running
Favourite sport: beach volleyball
Favourite holiday destinations: Turkey and Puerto Rico​

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre supercharged V8

Power: 712hp at 6,100rpm

Torque: 881Nm at 4,800rpm

Transmission: 8-speed auto

Fuel consumption: 19.6 l/100km

Price: Dh380,000

On sale: now

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2


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