I complained yesterday in my post about how I found a music bar that refused me entry with a guitar and camera. Last night I managed to get a step closer to Nirvana in an expat bar called PJ O’Reilly’s, located within the compound of the Royale Meridien Hotel in downtown Abu Dhabi.
I say I got just a step closer because I managed to get into the bar with my guitar and my camera and no questions were asked. And I also managed to sit there for some time contemplating how, when and why I would approach a member of the house band to ask about places to play at jams or open mics in Abu Dhabi.
But as I sat and listened to this cover band and the music was very loud, and the full-house of clients dancing, laughing, joking, talking and moving about in cramped quarters, and as I used my Zoom Q3HD camera to try to get some of the music and atmosphere on video, I felt a tap on my shoulder from behind after only my third video. It was a security guard who told me I had to turn off my video recorder.
“No videos,” he yelled.
Well, this was all a step closer to my goal of finding my musical jam, open mic or other venue to mark my musical territory in Abu Dhabi. But, of course, there still seems to remain a very large hurdle before I get there. On the other hand, with two venues in a row that don’t like cameras, I’m beginning to form an interesting picture of music in Abu Dhabi. Hope it’s the wrong one….
In the end, the bar was so jam-packed, my welcome less than that, and when between sets I sought out a band member and found I could barely move and that even if I did find a band member they would not hear my voice over the loud piped in music, I decided to leave PJ O’Reilly’s and call it a failure. I’ll try another couple of ideas tonight.