Back in time

Classic bands The Christians and The Blow Monkeys to play UAE

By Adam Zacharias

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Wed 15 Sep 2010, 8:53 PM

Last updated: Mon 7 Aug 2023, 3:54 PM

acts from the 80s will be draping their retro velvet over the UAE next month, as The Christians and The Blow Monkeys play back-to-back dates in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Both bands will perform under the stars in Abu Dhabi, by the Sundowner pool of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Yas Island on Thursday, October 21, followed by a second gig at Dubai’s Irish Village the next night.

The Blow Monkeys (pictured above left) are perhaps best remembered for their contribution to the soundtrack of ladies’ favourite Dirty Dancing; You Don’t Own Me saw singer Dr. Robert attempt to assert his independence over a possessive yet unnamed adversary.

The New Wave quartet also scored a Transatlantic smash with 1986’s Digging Your Scene, which scampered up both the UK and US singles charts, and later in the decade they snuck into the UK top 10 with Wait and It Doesn’t Have to be This Way (the latter of which was also used in a Hollywood soundtrack, for the sadly overlooked rib-tickler Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol).

The group also caused havoc with Celebrate (The Day After You), a collaboration with Chicago soul/ funk legend Curtis Mayfield. Openly critical of then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the track was banned by the BBC for its politically charged content.

The Blow Monkeys called it quits in 1990, but reunited in 2008 and have since released sixth studio album Devil’s Tavern, while resuming their busy touring schedule.

The Christians (pictured below right) were founded by Liverpool brothers Garry, Roger and Russell Christian, alongside keyboardist Henry Priestman (whose middle name is Christian, as chance would have it). In 1988, the pop-soul outfit had a huge hit with Harvest for the World; a cover of The Isley Brothers song, all profits from the tune went to charity. Their self-tiled debut album, which also contained the singles Ideal World and Hooverville, went on to sell a million copies.

In 1989, the band again proved their pulling power with another cover – performing Gerry and the Pacemakers’ Ferry Cross the Mersey with other Merseyside artists including Paul McCartney. Again proceeds went to a good cause, helping those affected by the Hillsborough tragedy that year, in which 96 Liverpool FC fans lost their lives in a stadium crush.

Ferry Cross the Mersey hit number one in the UK, as did The Christians’ sophomore album Colours.

Though the band split in the mid-90s, they came together again following the death of Roger Christian from a brain tumour. Now featuring just singer Garry from the original lineup, The Christians released new single Where Do the Children Play this year, a cover of the Cat Stevens track which the singer himself has called, “better than my own version”.

Supporting both bands will be Dubai-based Aussie songstress Tahnee (pictured above right), a regular face on the local scene who boasts a blissful, Jack Johnson-esque musical style.


What: The Christians, The Blow Monkeys and Tahnee

Where: Sundowner poolside bar, Crowne Plaza, Yas Island

When: Thursday, October 21 doors open at 7pm

Cost: Dhs100

Tickets: Available from GMP Stores,, and on the door (Entry 21+)


What: The Christians, The Blow Monkeys and Tahnee

Where: Irish Village

When: Friday, October 22, doors open at 7.30pm

Cost: Dhs95

Tickets: Available from and on the door (Entry 21+)

More news from City Times