Never Get Out The Boat is a boat party with a difference, run by the Dubai Underground Music Movement, it regularly features many of the top DJs in the region as well as a few of the travelling DJs passing through. With a reputation of a crowd that is happy to leave the DJs to play and that shows its appreciation through loud cheering and enthusiastic dancing, Essentialibiza is happy to be invited on board by Matthew Charles while we pass through on our way to Asia.
Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa is where the party sets sail and as we arrive, fashionably late, the deck is already full and there is a nice deep groove washing over the smiling faces, courtesy of Rich Showell. It’s the perfect start to the day. Before the adventure begins Matthew gives us a quick tour of the boat, a great space on deck, where the party has kicked off already is backed up but a bar inside, and air conditioned floor below where you can literally chill out on giant bean bags and order food from the kitchen. Even the toilets are cool, like something out of a five star hotel. Not a shocker really when you consider where we are, it certainly looks nothing like the boat parties we’ve been involved in before.
Back on deck and Rich takes the groove up a notch, adding some deep, chunky beats to the equation and as the boat gently moves away from the jetty, a huge cheer goes up. We don’t venture out to sea or anything but smoothly hug the coastline as the sun beats down. This could be the perfect day. The beats are of a high standard, the crowd clearly know their tunes and there’s not a frown to be seen, apart from the girl who is unlucky enough to be hit by the glare off my white body as the sun hits me. She quickly adorns her designer sunglasses and the smile is back.
As we cruise along, Never Get Out The Boat resident Sammi Adami takes over behind the decks and cranks the pace up slightly, delivering a chunky, tech house journey that sees the crowd react and move up a notch accordingly. Sammi and Matthew are the boys behind the boat parties although there are a group of Dubai based DJs that regularly play and between them they have put together the coolest vibe, when you consider, and with all due respect, Dubai tends to lean towards the slightly more accessible side of then dance genre. Not on the boat though, underground all the way, this could be a hot August day in the sea just off Ibiza! The boat comes to a halt, the anchor is dropped, the jetty brought out and Never Get Out The Boat turns a blind eye as half the cargo does exactly that! A short, cooling off swim is just hat the doctor ordered and with that out of the way, it’s time to head back in.
Matthew Charles is charged with the return leg of the journey and does so effortlessly, with a deep house into tech house and back, even though he is operating with one arm in a cast, it doesn’t seem to hinder his ability to get his hands in the air! It’s funny how the euphoria of doing something you love trumps all pain! The boat is due back in at 18.00 but no one is clock watching, even the crew can be seen grooving while they go about their duties. The boat finally docks but that doesn’t signal the end of the party as a few stalwarts refuse to leave, prompting Matthew and Sammi to play a few more for the road. More and more we hear tales these days of the halcyon days of the house music scene, where no one knew what it would become, or the industry potential that it had, it was only about putting on a party, making sure the sound was good enough and taking your turn playing the tunes you thought would make people dance. How these days are gone for good. It might not be the late ‘80s/ early ‘90s but Never Get Out The Boat has captured the essence of those early parties. If you’re in Dubai, check out their facebook page for current parties, you will not be disappointed! Now all we need is someone to give the D.U.M.M. guys a venue on dry land, come on Dubai, you know you want to…