Sketched over a 30 year period in the UAE and Gulf Region
Abu Dhabi Hilton Beach Club looking back towards the City
At that time in 2003, Abu Dhabi Dhabi was going through change. Shk Zayed PBU, was ill and there was a feeling of change. Shk Zayed was the person who's thinking back in the 1950/60s kead to the formation of the UAE from the fractured small sheikdoms that made up the Arabian Gulf. His modern thinking made todays Metropilis possible.
I arrived in Dubai with a Theatre Co as Designer and Production Manager in 1985.
We were perfomimg, ' Educating Rita', Dinner Theatre with a fully constructed stage and set in ballrooms of the 5 star hotels in the Gulf Region. The owner/actor was a guy called Derek Woodward, A very annoying man, no longer with us (no relation to Edward). My fellow crewman
rigger, lighting, jack of all and best friend was a guy called Malcolm McInnes. He's from Dundee and now a very respectable Production Manager. We have many a tale to tell, not least the bomb in Sri Lanka that kicked off the Tamil thing. That happened a year later on the second Cafe Theatre World Tour,' The Odd Couple'. Neither of us had ever heard of Dubai but after a month in Turnam Green, London rehearsing, we flew out to Dubai
Jebel Ali Beach before palm 2. Looking back towards the resort. Small dwelling with a wind tower
I left Cafe Theatre in 1986 to become a pop star. I had signed a record deal for two albums, to be written and performed by myself and my band. In order to deliver the first album we spent three weeks in Universal Recording Studios (Now sadly gone) but situated in Sidcup, South London. We recorded in 1987 when the hurricane hit.
Malcolm, who was now my roadie and personal assistant was still with putting up with me and does to this day. Clintons of London drew up the deal and by the1990s it was over. In order to raise cash, I decided that gigging in the Gulf would be a good idea. We were offered a gig in the Sherton Hotel, Damascus. Thinking it would be glitzy like Dubai. Wrong. It was a dangerous place
We were escorted by UN guys everywhere. Burnt out tanks and holes in buildings everywhere. You we told not to eat salad, so when i did it was no surprise that i became very ill and we had to leave ( wait for the book for the details ) Eventually we were offered a Gig in Ras Al Kamiah. Where? I hear you cry. Yes, us too. One of the UAE States on the East Coast where the beaches have brown sand from the Mountains there, was beautiful.
Not a soul for miles.
Abu Dhabi Marina Mall view
We played at the Hilton Hotel and entertained the US troops based at the airport and off shore on the carriers. They were all there because of the first Gulf War. 'Bombed Out', T shirts for sale everwhere. By this time myself and my pro singer wife Suzanne, were a Hi Tech Duo. One of the first to use 'Midi' based set ups. Backing sequencers and guitar.It was a living and allowed me to paint and sketch during the day.
That was a blessing when touring. Eventually we moved to the Novotel, Centre Hotel in Abu Dhabi and as it turned out it became a regular haunt for Suzanne and I for over twenty years. At this stage I could bang on about pro touring but it takes us away from the Gulf to Japan and other countries were we performed to large crowds and club tours but it's not relevant. Anyway you don't want to hear about the Prodigy and Tokyo Dome.
No it's not relevant to these sketches. Just to say we were blessed by see the World and to playing for a living.
The turn of the Century ssaw Su and I in Shanghai and then Nagoya, where we saw in 2001
Next stop was the Centre Hotel , Abu Dhabi again. Which brings us full circle. That is where this collection started all sketches and painting are from 2001 to 2004 whe I hung up the 'Axe' and started a design venture in Media City , Dubai.
Palm Island, From Open Beach, Dubai. UAE.
Al Maha View Towards Hajar Mountains From Presidentian Suite
Conte sketch. New Year's Day 2006
Open Beach Jumeriah 2004, Dubai, UAE. Sunbathing.
Marina Mall from the Hilton Beach Club and The Cornice, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Satwa Mosque from the Rear of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Shk Zayed Rd. Dubai. UAE
Graphite stick Sketch 2003
The Burj Al Arab Hotel from the open beach. Dubai, UAE.
Suzanne Sun Bathing - Beach Club Abu Dhabi. UAE.
Palm Island dredgers, Jumeriah Open Beach, Dubai, UAE.
Mosque and minaret Can't remember location. Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Burj Al Arab, Open Beach Dubai. UAE
Ink & Wash
Thompson Gazelle. Al Maha Desert Resort. Dubai, UAE.
Pencil & Watercolour
The Omani Desert, Looking towards Al Ain. Al Maha Desert Resort. UAE