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The Geckos in Oman.

Byline: Emma Williams

What do you get if you take two British men, two Omani men and a Canadian? DonAAEt worry, this isnAAEt the start of a really bad joke Au

itAAEs a description of Muscat-based band The Geckos. The five band members, who have been together under their current name since 2008, play in the band outside of their day jobs, which are as varied as their range of music.

The Geckos consists of lead singer David and drummer Justin from the UK, Nadeem on the guitar and bassist Adil from Oman, and

last but not least, Tom from Canada on the keyboard and saxophone. Depending on the occasion, The Geckos has a selection of musicians and singers that they call on to join them if needed. David explained, AoThere is a great pool of talent here in Oman from the

residents, whether they be expatriate or Omani.Ao

He continued, AoThere used to be jam nights here in the various nightspots around Muscat and I turned up by total chance at one of the nights when the organisers said, AaeDoes someone want to come up and a sing a song?AAE I got up with a few other guys and Nadeem, who eventually became our guitarist, was one of them. After performing we thought, why not start a band? That was five years ago now. However, at that time Nadeem was already in a band. So I started Shotgun Pete and the Decoys, and in 2007 we won the AaeBest Band in OmanAAE award at the Touch Event OmanAAEs Battle of the Bands competition. But when some of the members left to go back to their home countries, another group of us started up The Geckos in 2008.Ao

When the new members of the band came in, the group decided that a name change was also in order. Their inspiration came from a gecko that is often found in one particular spot on the wall in DavidAAEs bedroom. The Geckos has to work hard to stay together. Tom said, AoThe music scene in Muscat is unfortunately ravaged by the seasonal shut down of live entertainment. It is very difficult to keep good people together when there is nowhere public for them to perform.Ao

Shotgun Pete and the Decoys also performed at the Mecit University in Muscat in 2007 and 2008, where before playing they acted as judges for a music competition between local schools. This musical interaction with schools is something that David is keen to continue.

Of the Mecit performance, he said, AoWe had such a good response from the students who were predominantly Omani, so it was pretty memorable. I thought the event might have been quite formal but when we got up to perform we had one half of the audience in dishdashas and the other half in abayas and everyone just had fun.Ao

The bandAAEs first concert with its current line-up was at the Sohar Jazz Festival 2008 and Tom said it was

his favourite performance to date. Nadeem added, AoAll our performances are my favourites and special to me because we are playing to

an appreciative audience each time we play.Ao However, David preferred playing at The Green Sapphire Ball 2009 because, AoWe were playing to people you wouldnAAEt normally get to play for and there was a really good, fun, diverse group there. The way the stage had been set gave it such a nice atmosphere to play in.Ao

When it comes to the bandAAEs style, David thinks it is difficult to pigeonhole them in a specific genre. AoI would describe us as a party band; we donAAEt really play anything specific. We normally play a selection of rock, pop, blues, reggae and even Latino, so some songs are sung in bad Spanish. We donAAEt have a clue what we are singing but it sounds great. We donAAEt like to do the same old stuff that people are used to. We get people up and dancing and they always seem to have a good time.Ao

The group has high hopes for the future, and David said, AoThe Geckos live in Wembley would be great!Ao On a more local scale, the band members think it would be fun to have something like the Sohar Music Festival held in Muscat, where local bands could appear in the same line-up as more experienced international groups. AoThere are some amazingly talented performers and guitarists here in Oman, but since the band nights stopped, bands like ours have dwindled and donAAEt get the chance to showcase themselves,Ao said David.

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Publication:The Week (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Nov 16, 2009
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