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ROCK THE BOAT Tour Diary, Day 6: Already? It’s Gone Too Quick!

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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 6: Already? It’s Gone Too Quick!

After about a 12-hour nana nap, I finally manage to rise. Well, kinda, it took a little while to stretch out and get the legs working, and I sat around for a little while waiting for Krispy and Squirty to stir, but they were both snoring like chainsaws, so I decided to head off upstairs and grab some breakfast.

I was planning to have some pancakes, bacon, and maple syrup but after walking around in circles a couple of times and not finding the pancakes I decided to just make some bacon and egg muffins. And then I spotted the pancakes. Not the first time this happened, by the way, because they keep moving them. Always something else to fill guts with, though, so I can’t complain. But you know damn straight that I will!

I get disturbed once again in the dining room with an announcement that the Jimmy Barnes show tonight will be switched out with Jon Stevens and that the Barnsey show will now be the grand finale for tomorrow night. I’m guessing this has been done in order to make way for some rehearsals with all the Aussie rock legends onboard.

I get back to the cabin after breakfast to find Krispy in the shower, but I have no idea where the hell Squirty has got to. When Krispy gets out, I find out that Squirty has gone to set up the interview room. That’s right, we are here to do some interviews. I guess Krispy and I better get some questions ready for our first ever cover band interview. And after all that, and might I add some of our best work yet, our guests didn’t even show up.

What did happen, though, is that I learned from a couple of early Pool players that the Pool Tables move to counteract the rocking of the boat. Poor bastards have been working hard this time around. And yeah, that’s right, this ship has Pool Tables and as I also just found out, it also has Chess tables. Not that I know how to play chess, or have even seen anyone playing chess, but it has chess tables.

I run into Tatiana who was running around trying to sort out a million things for the Barnsey tribute but still taking time to catch up with us and try and hunt artists down for interviews.

With everyone now getting ready for the tribute and some very late notice rehearsals being arranged, we agreed that these may not be top priority any more. We hold the fort though and wait for our third possible visit from Sarah McLeod, but that’s getting as likely as my hat ever showing up again. After another look at Lost and Found it still hasn’t shown up, so I head back to the cabin where I find Krispy and Squirty asleep again.

We may or may not have gone a little too hard on those first few days but at some point today, we are gonna have to get up and watch some tunes. I did stop for about 3 minutes after another buffet lunch to catch the end of the Dirty Deeds set, where the show’s Bon grabbed a lucky disabled girl from her wheelchair and lifted her up on stage with mic in hand to sing along to the final track. That was a nice touch to what appeared to be a rocking show. The punters were bloody excited, I can tell ya that.

At some point, everyone managed to get out of bed, and we headed back to the Pacifica Theatre to watch Jon Stevens. As I sit here wondering if the noise would work the stage went black and soon after some pink lights start glowing as the band kicked into Touch. The phones all come out and people start filming. It’s the first time I’ve seen this happen on the cruise, so I guess it’s not just the millennials to blame this time around.

Apparently, Jon is stuffed after one day, and he doesn’t know how we’ve all survived 6 of them. Neither do I Jon, neither do I, but next up is New Sensation. The 5-piece backing band is rocking hard, and lucky the keyboardist also has a sax for that sneaky little sax bit mid-song. The 3 layers of vocal harmonies from the 2 guitarists and bass player help to thicken up the choruses.

I’ve got idea what this next one is, but it has a guitar solo, so I’ll let the fact I don’t know it slide. Jon says Burning Feeling a fair few times, so it could be called that. I definitely know the guitar riff at the start of this next one, so when I figure it out, I’ll let you all know. Oh, it’s that INXS song Devil Inside. I almost forgot this bloke jumped in as the singer for INXS for some kind of rebirth at some point.

The stand-up crowd at the front of the stage is the biggest I’ve seen so far, and it won’t get bigger cause there is absolutely no room left. I think this next one could be called la, da da, da dat da. Probably not, but until I figure it out, that’s gonna have to do. It might have been called Feel It cause Jon was carrying on about that at the end of the song. You’ll have to figure that out for yourself, though.

What You Need is to tell me the names of the songs Jon, but please don’t, because I hate when bands do that for every song. It had a sax solo mid-song, so I might google that later if I can be stuffed.

With two sets tonight, Jon lets us know this is the sober one … kind of. Funnily enough, the next song gets announced, and it’s called Love Somebody. Jon must have heard me bitching over the front of house hum. Someone should really fix that, and Jon tells them so.

The guitarist gets his shred on during this song. Apparently, the blokes name is Tommy Hayward or something like that. Bloke can play. Oh, I know this little keyboard part, now I just gotta remember what the songs called. I even know the lyrics but still can’t figure it out. Something about and a White Boy and a Black Girl.

Original Sin maybe? Okay, I might have quickly googled that. And then there was a mid-song sax solo, which actually, turns out was the end of the song. Ooft!

Voice Of Reason is up next, and I only know that cause Jon just told us. Lucky, though, because I don’t think I’ve ever heard this song. By the sounds of it, though, it’s a Noiseworks song. And it is, it came out when I was 9. I was probably too busy watching Boris’s Breakfast Club back then to even care.

There’s another very familiar key part. And as Jon gets everyone standing up, he wails out “They Can Never Tear Us Apart”. Yeah, you know the name of this one. Actually, I think that’s it, well at least the last 4 words of it. Did someone say more sax?

The band follows up with No Lies and then Need You Tonight, but we bailed out a touch early to get a head start on dinner, so I can’t tell you that last song. The group bets were on Hot Chilli Woman being the clincher though, but I’ll guess we’ll never know unless someone else confirms with us.

On the menu tonight in the buffet was Indian, and it wasn’t too shabby. Just not looking forward to the lack of oxygen in the cabin tomorrow. We may need to enforce a no-shitting in the tour bus rule and risk some gastro in the public toilets. Na din case you were wondering about the buffet, yeah, it’s open for lunch and dinner too, so there is always plenty to eat!

I can’t even remember which movie we watched last night as the boat rocked us all to sleep, so it must have been a good one. Oh, Cheaper by the Dozen, which I think these cruises may also be if you book in group packages. Look into the group packages!

Check back in tomorrow for Day 7: Can’t there be 11?

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