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ROCK THE BOAT ’23 Tour Diary, Day 4 Please Sir, Can I Have Some More?

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Late last year, HEAVY had the honour of being invited on board the Royal Caribbean to join Rock The Boat 2023 and moonlight as journalists by interviewing bands on board.

Admittedly, it was a little outside of our comfort zone with a more rock and blues-orientated line-up, but you know what they say? You talk to one musician, you talk to them all.

Actually, I have never said that myself or heard anyone else say it, but you get my drift.

With artists and bands like Jimmy Barnes, Jon Stevens, Chocolate Starfish, Sarah McLeod, Bob Spencer and Daryl Braithwaite among our intended victims (sorry, I mean interviews) HEAVY knew we were going to have to stay on the ball – and possibly not dive too deep into our drinks packages too early in the day.

The HEAVY team included myself and Jimmy Glinster as interviewers/shit talkers and Squirty behind the camera, and to say we had fun and many unexpected adventures is not even close to covering it.

Lucky for you (but maybe not us), Jimmy kept a tour diary, of which we will be publishing daily entries over the coming week. Kick back and enjoy our tales of life on the open seas.

Rocking the boat!

Day 4 – Please Sir, Can I Have Some More?

Day four started with Squirty’s presence being requested by the Lifou Government for a cavity search, although he’ll neither confirm nor deny if this actually happened. Rumour and innuendo would imply that it did though, and either the boats rocking hard, or he is now walking with a limp.

Let’s start from the start, though, shall we. We woke up that morning to an anchored ship in the calm waters surrounding Lifou. Today, though, this boat won’t be rocking until our newfound Welsh friends Haxan kick off the party again on the Pool Deck once everyone jumps back onboard following their little island adventures.

Today and tomorrow are both island days, with tomorrow’s stop being Nouméa where we pick up Barnsey and Jon Stevens to keep the party going. We’ll be staying onboard today though to get some more content ready for you on our return, but I’ll get back to you all later when this boat starts rocking again.

And here we go again, after a late lunch we drop in for round 2 of Haxan up on the pool deck where a big crowd has already formed. Yeah, we are the people that just couldn’t be f@#ked getting off the boat today. We came for rock and roll and not sightseeing, and rock and roll is what we got. 40 minutes of originals, a quick 20 break, and then a smashing 1hr covers set.

I just realised it’s been 4 days since I’ve had my last energy drink and I usually smash 3 a day, but I’ve just discovered that vodka red bulls are on the menu. Let the fun begin!

Tonight’s theatre show is The Black Sorrows, and their set kicks off with a piano intro while frontman Joe Camalleri lingers around the keyboard player as the rest of the band slowly creeps onto stage. What follows is a bluesy little number, but don’t ask me any of the names of these songs because although I’m familiar with the band, I’m not that familiar with any of their songs.

I’ve been told by Squirty though that I should know a few, and I believe the next song was a cover called Since I Met You Baby and the song after that was Hold Onto Me. I completely missed the next song though while Squirty and I were trying to figure out what the guitarist is playing. It’s kinda looks like a Customshop Fender Jazzmaster, but the body shape is not quite right, and the wood grain is very unusual for a Fender. Definitely a Fender shaped headstock though but no Fender Logo.

Next up is a Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons cover called Hit and Run, which came with a ripping sax solo mid-song. Joe asks for the house lights up and gets the crowd on their feet to teach them some dance moves, which apparently got him a record deal. Next thing a song called Lazy Slide Guitar kicks off which matches the dance moves, and everyone commences clapping and sliding along. From right to left as another sax solo ensues.

The next song may or may not have been Daughters of Glory, but either way it definitely included some crazy keyboard work. Do do do do dat, da do, do da do might be the name of the next song or at least that’s how the crowd bit goes and then ring a dingaling ling, ring a dingaling. Everyone gets a chance to solo in this band, apart from the bass player so far, but I’m sure that’s coming.

I definitely know this next one, it’s called Harley and Rose, and it’s dedicated to Joe’s daughter for her birthday. A few punters in the crowd claim it as well for their birthday. It appears that more than one person has a birthday each day. Now I know why I remember this band’s name.

This song was huge, and so was the response to it tonight.

The bands get introduced one by one by frontman Joe because apparently they are cheaper if they get introduced. Tony Floyd on drums, Mark Gray on bass, James Black on keys and Frank Moranz on guitar. Well, at least that’s what I think Joe told me, Wikipedia says otherwise.

Chained to The Wheel gets the crowd going again with full sing-along participation through the chorus, which ends in a clap along into a cover of Honky Tonk Woman before kicking back into Chained. The song and set end with a sax vs guitar solo play-off, and I have no idea who won, but it was one hell of a good time.

As the crowd stands up for a standing ovation and a massive round of applause, the band switches gears and a slow blues/jazz jam takes.

After the show we grab another 3-course meal from Minstrel and then drift around the ship taking glimpses at performances by Bloom, Dirty Deeds and Bob Spencer who was joined onstage for jams with Lecia Louise & Jimmy James.

Day 4 is done, bring on Day 5!

Check back in tomorrow for Day 5: Stayin’ Alive

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