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REVIEW: Desert Beats Festival – Bahrain International Circuit

January 31 - February 6, 2018
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Gulf Weekly REVIEW: Desert Beats Festival – Bahrain International Circuit

THERE was a ‘celebration’ going on in Sakhir when old school band Kool & the Gang took the stage at the inaugural Desert Beats Festival.

The US stars were the headline act in the evening after a day of cool music … and they didn’t let this troupe of loyal disco buddies down.

When their appearance was announced the 45+ disco-soul community of Bahrain started to buzz and the bug transferred across the island, albeit, given more warning it could have gone viral. A few teenagers joined in the fun too as it must be educational to find out what parents once partied down to.

And we showed that we can still party with the best of them … the vibe was there and it was like travelling back in time 35 years – we danced a full two hours non-stop!

Kool & the Gang have performed continuously for the past 45 years, longer than any R&B group in history. Their bulletproof funk and tough, jazzy arrangements have also made them the most sampled band of all time, according to the band’s website.

After a warm-up by local acts such as Majaz and Mo Zowayed, Michael Jackson tribute band - Unity, Adam Kadabra and the impressive Bahrain regulars UB40, featuring line-up originals Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue (they headlined a Spring of Culture gig at Bahrain Bay just a few months ago to much acclaim) the stage was set for some serious disco strutting.

It was not as crowded maybe as was expected but it sort of made the concert extra special, as if Kool was there just for us!

It was a case of dance, dance and dance as standing was not an option for a band full of fabulous musicians who put on a superb show. These guys know how to entertain a crowd … even a small one of approximately 250. They can come back to Bahrain anytime, our dancing shoes are waiting.

 

Guest reviewer Ellen Van Manen-de-Boer

 







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