The legal market battle of the bands Law Rocks broke new ground last week, as the London-based event landed in Dubai, a move that has helped the charity event close in on a record total fundraising of $1.5m.
Four bands battled it out in Dubai in front of 400 fans, the first time Law Rocks has been held in the Middle East.
DLA Piper’s Pipers At The Gates Of Dawn opened the evening, making Dubai partner Simon Palmer the only person to be able to say he has opened two inaugural Law Rocks, both Dubai and the first ever one in London.
The set included brilliantly executed songs from Blur, The Killers and, to boot, the first-ever song to be played at Law Rocks, The Undertones’ Teenage Kicks.
CMS Cameron McKenna were up second, having flown in the day before from the UK to play. The Stragglers, consisting on this occasion of partners Jonathan Dames and Paul Smith, and their colleague Menna Haf knocked out a semi-acoustic set, using Haf’s powerful and soulful voice to good effect.
In particular, Queen’s Somebody To Love had the whole place singing along. The Stragglers were winners of the first ever Law Rocks back in 2009.
Nabarro’s band, Latent Defects, were up next, with Dubai managing partner Terry Fleet, the driving force behind the band, playing bass in public for the first time in his life.
When asked how he found it, Fleet said: “I felt nervous. First time performing in public for me. But I am Alright Now and I Feel Good.”
Possibly not entirely coincidentally, these were two of the songs Latent Defects played with gusto. While musically the entire band was of a very high standard, singer Rebecca Day shone with a remarkable performance.
Finally, Taylor Wessing’s Tomorrow’s World took the stage. Relying on the staple diet of a four-piece band, some good old fashioned rock including Born To Be Wild, I Fought The Law, and Twentieth Century Boy, Middle East managing partner Mark Fraser and his team emerged victorious.
The panel of judges consisting of Tim Taylor QC of King & Wood Mallesons, sponsors 4 New Square’s George Spalton and Navigant Dubai managing director David Dale, all described it as a very close call, but Taylor Wessing just pipped DLA Piper with a point or so in it.
Regular compere Damian Hickman, CEO of the IDRC in London said: “To have finally made it to the Middle East was brilliant. The legal market there, like everywhere else it seems, has taken Law Rocks to its hearts, and we’re very grateful. Quite how the bands keep getting better year on year is beyond me.”
Navigant managing director and Law Rocks founder Nick Child added: “I thought I’d seen the most impressive inaugural event yet in Singapore earlier this year. But these guys, they just rocked it. The bands, the crowd, even the venue, it simply couldn’t have been better.”
The 2016 event will be on 30 November so any budding UAE bands better get practising.
Outside of the Middle East, there will be Law Rocks gigs in 2016 in London, Los Angeles, New York, Vienna, Washington DC, Istanbul, Limassol, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Sao Paolo.
By the end of 2015, the Law Rocks team estimates the total funds raised since it launched six years ago will pass the $1.5m mark.
Earlier this month Howard Kennedy was victorious at the final UK Law Rocks of the year at London’s iconic 100 Club, while in October Addleshaw Goddard and Coffin Mew’s performance split the judges with a first-ever tied result.