Small venue lucks into big star

Local club promoters have struck lucky, as an act they booked months ago has hit the top of the British charts.

British DJ Calvin Harris poses for photographers as he arrives for the Brit Awards at Earls Court in London February 18, 2009.    REUTERS/Luke MacGregor (BRITAIN) *** Local Caption ***  LON114_MUSIC-BRITS-_0218_11.JPG
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DUBAI // Local club promoters have struck lucky, as an act they booked months ago has hit the top of the British charts - creating big demand to see the star in an intimate venue. Calvin Harris, a Scottish singer-songwriter, began his career in 2002, but in the past month his popularity has soared with his hit I'm Not Alone. He also will record music for a new Coca-Cola advertisement this summer.

But despite his newfound fame, this weekend he will perform in front of only a few hundred people. Andy Buchan, promoter and resident DJ of the See You Next Friday night event at Alpha Club, said he booked Harris at just the right time. "We signed up Calvin at the beginning of March, and since then he has topped the UK charts and has become one of the most sought-after artists around," Mr Buchan said. "He is in the media spotlight at the moment and is playing gigs every night of the week, so for him to play in Dubai is very special. In fact, he has doubled his price, so we wouldn't be able to afford him now."

Lindsay Stokes, 30, a bar manager from England, said the gig was unique. "It's a great opportunity to see a big star just before he leaves clubs and small venues for stadium tours and festivals," she said. "I saw him play a small stage at Glastonbury, and he has great stage presence and really gets the crowd going." "My friends back home are jealous that I am seeing him in Dubai before they are in the UK," she added. "I doubt there will be many times he plays in front of only 600 people."

Fraser McPhee, 34, a civil engineer from Scotland, said: "Dubai has been attracting more stars to play in the last year, but often they are already established acts, like Shakira or Coldplay, and the tickets are very expensive. It is rare to see a big name play in a small venue, and that's why there is so much expectation in the clubbing community about Friday's gig."