18
Oct

The Tim Robbins interview

My interview with Tim Robbins was always going to be a peculiar one. The actor-turned singer was in Japan for a week of concerts at the Blue Note Tokyo, supporting his 2010 album Tim Robbins & The Rogues Gallery Band, but I was warned beforehand not to mention any of his movies – a tough ask […]

The Joe Odagiri interview

The closing ceremony of the Middle East Film Festival is a glam affair, starry as the desert sky. But as the cameras flash across the red carpet, capturing Orlando Bloom and Eva Mendes in the way in which they’ve become accustomed, one figure stands aside, happy to go unnoticed. His name is Joe Odagiri, and […]

18
Oct

The Booker T. Jones interview

Everyone knows Booker T Jones, though not everyone realises it. Despite being one of the most influential musicians of the last half century, he is best known as a session man and songwriter, plying his trade in the background, producing tunes that have been in the foreground more times than you could ever recall.

Haggling tips from an Abu Dhabi newbie

When I first arrived in the UAE, I met up with a family friend who’d spent more years in the Middle East than in his native Ireland. Keen to impart some of his local knowledge, we arranged a trip to Dubai’s Global Village where he agreed to verse me in haggling culture. ‘The golden rule,’ […]

Into Wilfred Thesiger’s Empty Quarter

Good old Wilfred Thesiger. The explorer’s five years in the heat of the UAE desert have inspired countless expats to dip their toes in the shallows of the Rub’ Al Khali, and his books and artefacts have become a small tourist industry in their own right. You can head out to the museum in Al […]

The Bob Geldof interview

This was one of the first interviews I did working for Time Out. Jeremy Lawrence, the editor of Time Out Dubai at the time, popped his head up over the computer screen and asked nonchalantly if I fancied interviewing Bob Geldof in, oooh, an hour? Cue 50 minutes of frenzied research on African policy, all of which led […]

The Tom Jones interview

The snake hips have gone, but the charm is all intact. ‘Just call me Tom,’ he laughs down the phone as I fumble with his title. This, after all, is the original Mr Jones: celebrated lothario, knight of the realm, Hollywood Walk of Famer… He’s clocked up more Vegas appearances than Sinatra, talked fitness tips with Elvis […]

Status Quo: The Francis Rossi interview

Francis Dominic Nicholas Michael Rossi has been giving a lot of people ‘whatever they want’ for a long time now. Onstage, he’s half of the core duo that make up the unstoppable Status Quo, a British hard rock band that formed in 1967 and have famously played few more than three chords ever since. Offstage, […]