Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 14 November 2019

Independent Dubai folk rockers David Beats Goliath strike a chord

The independent Dubai folk rockers David Beats Goliath are on the rise: an EP that's making the rounds online, a launch at The Fridge, and a gig with Make-A-Wish Foundation Austria.
Members of David Beats Goliath, clockwise from top left, Daniel Tovey, George Driscoll, Jonathan Coulles and Lakshmi Ramirez. Courtesy David Beats Goliath / Mandolin Media
Members of David Beats Goliath, clockwise from top left, Daniel Tovey, George Driscoll, Jonathan Coulles and Lakshmi Ramirez. Courtesy David Beats Goliath / Mandolin Media

They uploaded four songs on YouTube in July, hoping to be heard. With no gigs, producers or even a website to their name – to the music world, they were nobodies.

Barely a few weeks later, things got interesting.

“The songs went slightly viral, finding their way all over the world, thanks to social networking,” says George Driscoll, the lead vocalist of David Beats Goliath. “So we started to think that maybe the band has some potential.”

Apparently, so did an advertising agency in Austria. One of their four tracks, Maisie & Neville, somehow made its way into the offices of Demner, Merlicek & Bergmann, who were working on a commercial for Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“We received a message on Facebook saying they thought the track was a great match for what they were working on and asked if they could use it, so, of course, we said yes,” recalls Driscoll, 28. “It really came out of the blue – we didn’t even know the music had gone so far afield. It was really so flattering and affirming.”

Directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky – the Oscar-winning director of 2008’s The Counterfeiters – the television spot premiered in Austria in early October. A week later, an English-dubbed version was released with plans for it to be used by the 46 countries that Make-A-Wish currently operates in.

Behind the beat

The folk rock band was formed in 2011 by Driscoll (who plays rhythm guitar and piano), Daniel Tovey (lead and rhythm guitars, vocals) and Jonathan Coulles (percussion, acoustic guitar, vocals) in Birmingham, UK. Their Filipino bassist Lakshmi Ramirez joined the group this year after Driscoll saw him at a gig in Dubai in February.

“We met up and messed around with the tunes that had been written and decided Lakshmi had to get his basslines onto the imminent EP recordings,” says Driscoll.

Tovey is looking to officially move to the UAE in January, “so we can get the band going”.

David Beats Goliath, who count The Beatles, The Avett Brothers and John Martyn as influences, plan to launch their EP in early 2014 at the warehouse of the local music management group The Fridge. In the meantime, the EP is available on iTunes.

“We have been doing it purely as a creative outlet thus far, but it seems to have a natural momentum of its own, that as a group we have started to respond to,” says Driscoll.

The quartet are also looking to expand.

“There are musicians who want to join, so the line-up will be experiencing some growth over the coming year. There’s talk of trumpets and percussionists afoot,” Driscoll says.

The band filmed their first music video over the weekend at Al Hamra in Ras Al Khaimah, produced by the Dubai-based Mandolin Media for their song Maisie & Neville. The video is out on YouTube today and can be viewed here.


• Find David Beats Goliath on Facebook, YouTube and SoundCloud. They can be reached at beatsgoliath@gmail.com

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Updated: November 27, 2013 04:00 AM