x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Get lost in a musical world of your own

q&a Andy Buchan will be one of the DJs at the Silent Disco event in Dubai.

The DJ Andy Buchan will bring music to clubbers' ears at the Silent Disco nights running over the next two months in Dubai.
The DJ Andy Buchan will bring music to clubbers' ears at the Silent Disco nights running over the next two months in Dubai.

Andy Buchan will be one of the DJs at the Silent Disco event which will be held at Mina A' Salam Hotel beach, Dubai, on Oct 31, Dubai Marine Beach Hotel on Nov 12 and at the Rugby Sevens from Nov 28 to 29.

It's disarmingly simple. You get one large space, two very different DJs, a host of music fans and instead of blasting music out of speakers you use headphones. You can then choose, through the headset, which of the two DJs to listen to. It can be hard to tell who's winning, but it's safe to say that if you put on James's song Sit Down and the crowd is still standing, you're not in the lead. Which is just as well, as it's a cheesy tune.

It was 9714 - the guys who were behind iBO, the brilliant club that used to be in Dubai.

It's going to be party music from start to finish. No cheese but classics from funk, hip-hop, disco, house, indie and electro are all likely to get an airing, plus a few mash-ups, covers and curveballs.

I've been to a couple, but one was less intentional than the other and not so silent for us. The first was in the UK a couple of years ago. We could hear this music coming from a club up the road, so we wandered up to have a look. The bouncer gave us slightly weird looks when we said it sounded good, but everyone was having an ace time. It was really bassy and pounding, then I realised we'd gatecrashed a deaf disco, where they turn the bass up so you can physically feel the beats.

Not at all. Some of the best clubs in the world - Fabric in London and The Womb in Japan - have amazing soundsystems designed to do what a set of headphones do, to immerse you in the music.

It's great that people will be able to listen to two different types of music and vote with their ears. Other than that, it will place the emphasis of the night on the tunes. Clubbing is about many things, but it should primarily revolve around the music. And, among all the glamour and glitz of the UAE, that quite often gets lost.

Yeah, I think so. The novelty will be the big draw for most people, but beyond that they have a very real choice between dancing to some great music and taking a back seat and people-watching.

I've been in Dubai for more than three years now so have played at most of the venues in the city, but I now have my own weekly club night at Alpha. It was on a Tuesday but has now been promoted to Thursday nights and is called See You Next Thursday. I'm bringing out seven live acts between now and Christmas. There isn't a lot of live music in the city, which is one thing I really miss, so we're bringing out some great bands from South Africa, London, Manchester, Beirut and, of course, a couple from Dubai.

I'm a total music fanatic and listen to whatever I can get my ears on. That transfers into my DJing, so on a regular night I'll play everything from 1950s funk and rock 'n' roll to indie, electro, mash-ups, covers, breakbeat and drum and bass. I don't play Shakira - not even to the guy who offered me Dh500 to play one track - and I steer clear of commercial hip-hop and R&B. If it's good, I'll play it, basically.

I'm a journalist by day, so I've met a few. I interviewed Daft Punk once, which for me was a very cool moment. My DJ alias is Da:: Funct, so the influence is obvious. They were very chatty. I did also meet Marti Pellow from Wet Wet Wet. I was a big fan at the age of 10. My first question - was he annoyed that he didn't come higher than sixth in the Glasgow Herald's list of Most Scottish Men, considering that he was a Rangers fan and had a bad ponytail, making him a very strong candidate - elicited an unprintable reply.