Sandance Dubai just keeps getting better and better — and it’s all down to the fact that the event organisers really listen to fans’ feedback. Month on month, improvements are clear to see — whether it’s the stage/VIP stand set-up, the number of F&B outlets and better layout to improve space.
This month’s line-up was one I was really looking forward to: Newton Faulkner, Leftfield, Stereophonics, Labrinth, Benny Benassi and Marco V.
First up was the uber talented Faulkner, an English singer-songwriter whose name was probably the least recognisable in the line-up, but most will have seen him on YouTube with that amazing Teardrops cover (just search for it). The 27-year-old guitarist put on a great show just in time for sunset, with tracks including Over and Out, Write It On Your Skin and Clouds.
One of the hotly anticipated acts of the night was Leftfield aka Neil Barnes, who had told tabloid! earlier this week that Dubai “will be one of the last concerts I will play any of the older stuff. I’m going to call it a day and look to the future now.” So whoever caught him at Sandance on Friday night was very lucky. The only drawback to Leftfield’s appearance is that Barnes was on stage too early – his stage time should have been swapped with that of Labrinth’s (who, in my opinion, failed to impress).
Welsh rockers Stereophonics were no doubt the biggest draw for this month’s show – and having seen them live in the UK in the 1990s, I can confirm that they have still got it. Kelly Jones (who’s now 38, but still looks like he’s 21) and co played some of their best-known tracks, such as A Thousand Tress, Just Looking, Pick A Part That’s New, and of course, Have a Nice Day.
With an extensive back catalogue, the band could have played a longer set.
Before DJs Benny Bennasi and Marco V took to the stage to close the night with their sets, the last live performance came courtesy of Labrinth, who unfortunately came across as not having enough tracks to pull off a one-hour slot. Not surprising, since he has only released six singles in his career so far, his biggest being Earthquake (his last song of the night).
All in all, a great night, and if this show is anything to go by, Sandance Dubai’s New Year Eve special will be a good one. Rita Ora, Ellie Goulding and Paul van Dyk are just few of the names confirmed to bring in 2013 at Nasimi Beach.