Latest News from the Band

Our second outing..... Limelite cafe, right after the MACArts Festival gig went off well, two sets of Rock and Roll and some requested Bollywood music later, we were back in our rooms. Although the plan was to try and make it an early night, but like it is in the Rock and Roll world, there is no early night. It was 2am before the last light went off, and with no more shows on the horizon, a long overdue snooze was welcomed by all.

The next day was a rest day, and some of us decided to jump into the Core mobile and head out to the famous Niagra falls, and with the help of some good friends, now settled in Toronto - a guided tour followed............loads of Pics, and a nice walk down the Niagra Falls, we headed out to a special invite from the MACArts Festival Director for evening Tea at her place. Turned out to be a nice relaxed day out for the band.

Whats a day in a Rock bands life without some live music..............this time around, we were on the other side of the stage. Right after Tea, we took a train into Downtown and seeked out some bars with live music, and sure enough, we found this quaint little bar with a Jazz band hammering out standards.............and for the first time, we kicked up our feet and enjoyed some real nice music, good vibes and a nice cold one. Relaxation was right up our list.

The next day was departure for most of the band, with some of us heading out in different directions............a hectic, but hugely satisfying trip was coming to an end for Core............another tour, another country, one hell of an experience and the band was ready to go back to Dubai and hit the local scene in a hurry...................

Its a Long Way....... the top, if you wanna Rock and Roll!! An ACDC classic............representing almost every bands dreams, aspirations, hard work, sweat, disappointments, empty venues, crazy promoters, snooty recording company execs and everything that is the good and bad of the music business.............and all that we wanted was to get on top of the stage and let loose...........this was Mississauga Arts Council Music Festival - 11000km from home, cool strong breeze blowing across the field from the Great Lakes.............the stage was set for Core to roll on and show them what we got..........

We started with Two Arabic Numbers, Zina and Aisha, keeping with the theme of the Festival - Bringing the World Together - followed by a medley of Bollywood numbers..............Wrapping it up with our now so famous Mash up of "Mission Impossible / Final Countdown / Back in Black / We Will Rock You / I Love Rock and Roll" and the whole set was gift wrapped for the audience with the tune of Pink Panther Core Version with the band intro built in - a tight 30 minutes that whizzed by even before we could say "Jack Black gimme that face melting Guitar Solo" ................ as we have experienced in previous festivals, the stage manager keeping a tight watch on his watch - and so he must, we took a bow to a very apprciative crowd and exited the stage, not before, a now so customary selfie with the Master of Ceromonies...........a quick back stage check on equipment, it was time to take a long, huge lung filling breath of fresh air, and relax.

A quick de-brief later, we were mingling with the crowd, our friends, making new friends, talking to other artists and looking foward to driving down back to last nights venue, where we were to perform another two sets that night, having been retained for another night of Rock and Roll at the Limelite Cafe back in Vaughn................the fun had just begun and we were raring to go, just as one Rocking Set at the MACArts Festival came to a close.

Another chapter in our short history embeded in our memories - a digital foot print right here on the blog for time to come.............

Sound Check.......... 

..........went smoother than most times.......professional crew on hand made life much simpler, and we were in and out, satisfied with the efforts to get good sound out of the monitors. With some free time in hand (finally), most of us headed out in the 'Core Mobile' to Toronto Downtown to grab some lunch.

The weather by now hadnt changed much and closer to Downtown was actually quite pleasant and less cloudy. A quick bite at Shoeless Joe, and a bit of drive around the Bay, we headed back - and were almost immediately hit with a new plan, submitted by the universe - heavy, heavy showers. Half way back to Mississauga, we got the biggest rain shower we had seen all year - and we mean compared to Dubai was massive. Visibility fell to 5mtrs, traffic slowed down to 40kmph, our hearts sank to 50mtrs below sea level.............this was worrying. Time was 3.30p, we had about an hour and half to showtime, and at this stage, we werent even sure if we could make it back on time, let alone change, stretch, pep talk, feel good, before showtime. There was absolute silence inside the Core Mobile, with prayers and hopes to stop the rain, AQAP (as quickly as possible). The sky was dark, and the rain drops were guitar pick size, and it was pouring strings and sticks (well, cats and dogs!!)............

We managed to roll into our hotel drive way by around 4.15 - the weather kind of had eased up a bit, rain drops were now pin-head size and slowing.........a quick call to the festival director filled us with renewed hope, as she enthusiastically said, ' we are clearing the stage, and the rain will stop at 4.45p' - that was all we needed to know, and in the rush of things no one even questioned how she knew when the rain will stop?!! Anyhoo.........this was not the time to question a busy stressed out Festival Director, who was trying to get the show back on track after a massive rain shower in an open air arena, we all ran in for a quick change, and glance out to the window confirmed her prediction, and we were back at the venue 5p, to see a dry stage, and performances already started..............the sky was lighting up and by the time we settled into the green room...........there was some amount of sunshine peaking through the black clouds. We got introduced to the Mayor of Mississauga, had a photo session, a swig of water and we started to spot a few friends who had started showing up for our set.............most of Core has friends and family living in and around Mississauga, and they turned up in force to support............and that was a swell feeling. A big thank you from our side for taking out time and supporting us. You guys were awesome.

Looking back now, this has to be the moment of reckoning, when we were moments away from playing in a complete foreign land, environment, equipment, sound, stage and an almost foreign and new audience............the collective heartbeat must have been 140bpm.......well, it surely sounded sure did!

More in next...... ta ta!! 


Waking up........ 

........the next day was tougher than we thought (not that waking up in a strange bed, 11000km away from home, knowing that rush is the only way ahead, if we have to make it on time for sound check, was s'posed to be any easier anyways!!).....some of us didn't sleep at all - Taha spent all of the early morning hours, mastering the new keyboard that we had received, figuring out the menus, tones etc......some of us missed our alarms, and had to rush down for breakfast, just in time to be able to freshen up and grab a couple of boiled eggs.......some of us were disciplined enough to have gotten a few winks, freshened up and had a hearty hotel buffet breakfast...........which as time will tell, was the wisest choice made that day!

The festival organizers had put us up within walking distance from the venue, but with all the gear, and a new heavy keyboard added, we drove.....all of 7 minutes to the venue........and it looked like this:

An open air arena, with a covered stage, properly rigged up with pro sound to fill a football field and a stage tech crew with a separate monitor and FOH engineer........this was going to be fun, we thought, and as we met the stage manager and the chief stage tech, we were ushered into the VIP area, where we met the Festival Director and her team of volunteers, the MC and host of other people involved in the was Game on!! From here on, the adrenalin pump was revving at a full throttle 1200rpm, pumping in enough adrenalin to last us the day. We were at the venue, for our maiden Music Festival in this beautiful country Canada and this amazing arena of Celebration Square in Mississauga, ON. 

It was slightly overcast, and the weather forecast said rains at 4p..........our slot was 5.10p .......... doubts started to creep in, and as the wind picked up speed from the great lakes in land, some hopes of a clear sky post afternoon lifted our spirits, but then the universe had something else in store......something so beyond our control, that the two hour delay of our flight last night, seemed like an ant in front of an elephant!! You get the drift........the clouds were quite ominous, and coming from the land of floods caused by drizzles, we had no clue what was to befall upon us. Like Asterixs and Obelix, the only fear, the only 'real' fear was if the skies were to fall upon us ......... we could handle anything else, well we did......just last night, a ton of stress and quick thinking set up and belting out 3 rocking sets, getting hired for the next night at the same venue, just a few hours ago, would have justified our resolve to make this happen.............

More in our next episode............keep it tuned here..........well it will pop up in your social media feed, so chill till then, and catch the rest of the action, as we tell it, as it happened.........


Last Week......... 

............will go down as one of the most memorable weeks in the history of Core 304. Not only did we manage to get onto the big bird to Toronto, which took off two hours late, for no apparent reason other than ATC telling the Captain to stay put (rumor on board has it that we lost our take off slot due to off loading some late comers, and then our landing slot due to the delay, so it was cheaper to stay idle on the ground, than to circle over YYZ waiting for a gate - we love conspiracy sure helped kill some time waiting to get air borne.........true or not) - dominoing into an almost on time start to our first gig - taking away the precious set up and line check time - not for the first time though, we have been down this road before, and thankully, the experience of quick set ups, almost no sound or line checks, held us in good stead.........we were from Plane to Stage in no time and rocked our first gig!! So much so, that the hosts hired us for a second night............which was awesome.........things came in place, almost as planned - although none of this was planned - not the two hour filght delay, not the 'car not being available at the airport' and managing to fit into a mini van as an alternate, which happened to be there coz someone else cancelled............and getting to the venue, to find it packed with invites and dignitaries, waiting for us to kick off the celebrations, and rock we did. With a bit of Arabic, a bit of Bolly and a whole lotta Rock and Roll..........the Core Train Rolled down the track for a brilliant East meets West Journey...... 

The first night was super exciting, the whole band was buzzing, not withstanding the long haul flight, the adrenalin of a good show (eventually) kept us up late into the night. Knowing that the next day was our big festival gig, sound check at 10am, by the time the last winks came, checking into the hotel and all the formalities, it was already 3am............that was just 7 hours from Sound Check, including sleep, change, shower, breakfast, drive to venue and set up.............we knew we had to muster up everything we had, with some of us having nightmares of missing the alarm ............ and like they say, you attract what you fear the most............

More on that in our next blog post............until then ............. hang loose, stay cool & rock and roll.................

Here is some......... 

..............more details on our dates and Shows in Canada.

We kick it off on the 18th of September, 8p (straight from the plane to stage), part of the Grand Opening of Limelite Cafe in Vaughn, (an import from Dubai to Toronto). For More details Click on: Limelite Cafe 

The next day we head on over to the Celebration Square in Mississauga, where we play at the MACArts Festival, organised by the Mississauga Arts Council. More details on this here: MACArts Festival and Events Page

If you live in and around the area, or will happen to be there on the 18th and 19th of September, drop by and say Hi.......we would love to hang out with you in your beautiful neck of the woods. Looking forward to getting there and Rocking your neighborhood.

Ten Days............ go, and we get on the big bird straight to Toronto. Practice and preparations are in full swing.........some of us may have already packed our bags (you know who you are) and some of us are still wondering if this is real or just a prank (you know who you are). But all of us are really looking forward to getting across half way around the planet to rock the people on the other side, show them the cultural diversity of UAE, and take in their music, culture and way of life. Its not everyday you wake up and get on a plane for 14 hours to get to somewhere, get on a stage and rock complete strangers.........well, almost complete strangers.

There are a lot of our friends who will be attending one or all of our gigs in it will be real exciting to meet some familiar faces half way across the world. If you happen to be reading this in and around Toronto, and happen to be in the area on the 18th and 19th of September 2015, give us a shout...........we will be playing at the Limelite Cafe, 8540 Keele St, Vaughan, ON L4K 2N2, on the 18th and then at the MACArts Festival at Celebration Square, Mississauga on the 19th of Sept 2015. We are cooking up another show, just waiting for the venue to confirm and we will announce that here on the site. Would love to see you in the crowd and hang out with you guys after the show. 

Until then, keep on rocking the free world!


Something that... 

.........happens rarely in our lives, a news paper covering a story on us!  

Story on Core 304 in Gulf News

A big shout out and heartfelt thanks to Marwa Hamad, for running a story on us in todays Gulf News Tabloid. Looking back, its not many times you see your picture in the papers, and you go 'Oh Thats me!' - in this case 'us' ............. a story within a story, something we love doing - telling stories through our songs, be it audience favourite covers, or our own original songs, telling a story each time we hit the chords.

We are part of the story telling community and the songs we pick and choose reflect and transcript our story onto the stage that we perform in, and the audience that we connect with relates to the story and sometimes even immerses themselves in it, losing themselves, albiet for a short period of time, forgetting the realities of life that we all deal with on a day to day basis.

We will endeavour to continue our story telling sessions, through our music, our set lists, our shows and this Blog in our website, hoping to connect with many, many like minded folks like yourselves. Until the next time, hang loose, stay cool and keep on rocking the free world!


We are............ 

...........delighted to announce that Taha, our very talented musician friend, who toured with us earlier this year in April to Morocco, will be joining our Canada Tour in September. Adding the Oriental Arabic touch to our set, Taha brings a fresh breeze of energy, and will belt out popular Arabic tunes with Core 304.

The MACArts Festival, which we will be performing at on the 19th of September 2015, in Mississauga, a melting pot of world culture, and is organised by the Mississauga Arts Council in association with the City Council. Aimed to bring the varied cultural aspects of the society on one stage, artists from various countries and cultures will share the stage and showcase their art, including arts and crafts, fine arts, traditional costumes and music. Core is the only band travelling from the UAE for this festival and we will be showcasing Arabic, Bollywood, our own original music and Rock and Roll......representing the diversity of UAE and the people who reside here.

Super excited about being able to travel and perform half way across the world, we will be posting more details on our tour, details on the different shows lined up and an ongoing commentary on how the tour is going, right here on this blog on our website. So stay tuned, its going to be one long and interesting ride.

A weekend.......... 

............full of action for the Band. Two shows, Two sound checks, one heck of an experience. We knew its going to be hectic, the mind was prepared, the body kicked in on an overdose of adrenalin and a whole lot of love and support of the audience. Always wonderful and heart warming to get audience support, you guys cheered us on every song, and we were glad to see that the new set list went down well with everyone.

At Legends, despite the initial technical challenges, the sound beast was tamed - thanks to our Audio Engineer, Anubhav - who also managed to record the show for us as well, a big thanks to him for multi-tasking, specially after we threw him in the deep end at the last minute - but its Rock and Roll and he likes it ......... we like it too. :) The audience was amazing and we had a blast. Thank you.

Our second show at Music Room was a late set, infact we closed out the show at this venue, supporting Luke Kenny of 'Rock On' fame, we called him on on stage to jam with us, totally unrehearsed, impromptu and what fun that turned out to be!! Our set list included a patriotic song medley that we have Core-ified, along with a bunch of new tunes that we have not done previously. We also played one of our new songs - Deja Vu, a song that was played for the first time on stage, which we are working to record in studio and release it here on the website very soon.

All in all an awesome Independence Day this year. A big shout out and thanks to Ryan of Mainstage Events - you continue to inspire us with your hard work and dedication, and Nikhil of Rock Nation - thanks for putting your faith in us, much appreciate it - thank you both for hosting us, and a big thanks to the management and staff of Legends Sports Bar and The Music Room for thier hospitality right through the night.


May 2020


Whats Core up to?

We get asked this a lot. So what are you guys upto? Any gigs coming up? What new material have you written?

Its what fans, well wishers, supporters and frankly even we want to know. So apart from actively setting up practice sessions on a weekly basis, working on a master song list of cover songs that we would like to cover - a list that grows with every show, taking inputs from the audience, request slips that we get passed on in shows and quite frankly building on the library of songs that people just love to hear live. This is one thing that Core has been able to deliver and has had its finger on the pulse for a long time. Three years in the making, this list helps us put on great set lists out there, surprising people and pleasing them at the same time. Songs that traditionally are not played in the 'Pub-Circuit', taking cover songs and putting a twist to them has been the hallmark signature of Core 304.

Never wanting to sit still, or rest on the last shows applause, the team at Core is always curious and inquisitive on how to make the next song different. How do we 'Core-ify' the next cover, is the usual banter in the band on most practice sessions. Whether it be the start, breaks in the middle, melodies from old Hindi movies woven into Rock songs or endings that dont sound anything like the original, however fit in there as if they were meant to be - almost like an ending that never was!!.........and building on the response we get for each twist. Some work, some kinda dont work. So its an evolutionary process and like all evolutionary process you live and learn. There is no MBA in Evolutionary Process at Harvard that we could find, so we just live it.....and roll with it, coz its just Rock and Roll, but we like it !!.

Join our mailing list for the latest news