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ROCK THE BOAT Tour Diary Day 7: Can’t There Be 11?

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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!

ROCK THE BOAT Tour Diary Day 7: Can’t There Be 11?

I decided I was probably due for another shower this morning and decided to wash my hair, which was probably a bad idea with a day full of interviews ahead. Bad choices behind me, I finally managed to get myself some pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast, well, breakfast syrup, whatever that is.

I got back to the room and Krispy was still ripping out the snores. He reckons he’ll be up by 9:30 though, which will give him just enough to get ready for our Daryl Braithwaite interview. After thinking we’d been stood up again, Daryl dropped in on us at 10:30 and we got started.

After a bloody good chat with Daryl, Squirty took off quickly to the theatre, to watch Just Floyd the Pink Floyd tribute before he was rudely interrupted by James Morley who rocked up 40 minutes early for his interview. What kind of muso is ever early, this guy, it seems. Krispy flew solo on that one due to him being an old mate from way back.

Next up was Steve Edmonds, who I may have mentioned earlier is a bit of a guitar god. It was a fun chat, and it turns out that he has a bit of a metal background and some very close connections to people in the early days of Aussie death metal. Very interesting dude, just don’t ever ask him who he has played for because the answer to that one takes way too long.

And then, we got to sit down with Adam Thompson from Chocolate Starfish. And what an experience that was! After me asking him a whole heap of shitting questions, which he was proud to tell me were shitty questions, he then decided that he will be leaving me his gold and black tassels in his will, but let’s not spoil all the fun here, let’s leave it all for the interview.

Surprisingly, 4th time around, Sarah McLeod didn’t stand us up. In fact, this time around, she tried to hire me as her bodyguard before realising that the big bikie-looking bloke was the person about to interview her. And surprise, surprise, Krispy tells me I’m flying solo on this one and hands me his notes. Last time he handed me his notes, I couldn’t read em, and this time around neither could Sarah. She had a crack though, but all she came up with was something about Bob and his passport. It is safe to say that none of his questions had anything to do with Bob or his passport. We had a good chat though, which you’ll all see soon enough.

At some point after my chat with Sarah, we had our Second lunch, even though I don’t remember the first one. My notes don’t lie, though, or do they?

After our biggest day of interviews, we headed back to the cabin and watched a bit of the latest Die Hard movie before heading back to the Schooner Bar to get some pre-drinks in for the Barnsey tribute while listening to a bit more Haxan.

And here we are, the grand finale, the Jimmy Barnes Tribute, and the house is absolutely packed. More impressive, though, some waiter bloke just remembered about 15 separate drink orders and managed to bring ‘em all back to each individual seat. What a legend, but let’s turn our focus to the real legend here and the bunch of real legends who are about to rock out some of the biggest songs in Aussie pub rock history.

A screen drops down and Barnsey pops up from a hospital bed, apologising for being hospitalised with bacterial pneumonia. Seems like he was genuinely disappointed that he couldn’t make it to Rock the Boat but assured us that we are in good hands with his band and daughter Mahalia who shortly after appears onstage to kick off into Driving Wheels. It’s an absolute banger of an opener and the band, Mahalia and the sound were on point.

Second Prize was up next followed by I’d Die to Be with You Tonight with Tony Kopa who just happens to be one of Jon Stevens‘ guitarists, as well as his manager and also a key player at Headspace the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, so I just found out. What a top bloke!

Jon Steven’s himself then joins the stage next for Cheap Wine and stay’s up for Too Much Ain’t Enough Love with a little help from Nathan Cavaleri on guitar. Nathan rips a pretty mad solo mid-set like it was somehow planned. Pretty sure that was just an improv solo, though, much like most of them on this cruise.

Sarah McLeod is up next with some bloke called Tim, and they Lay Down Their (Your) Guns and Surrender. It was great to see Sarah perform without a guitar hanging off her. She absolutely killed it as she leaped and bounced around the stage with an unbelievable amount of energy.

The next bloke up was named Jason Vorherr, and none of us have any idea who he is. We also have no idea what this next song was called, but apparently, it’s from a recent Barnsey album. I might try googling it and find out, but I might not. Turns out it could have been It’s All For You which is actually a remake of an old Cold Chisel song.

Daryl Braithwaite is next up onstage to join Mahalia and the band onstage for (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher. Jon Stevens also sneaks back onstage into the backing vocals section before appearing front of stage for When Something is Wrong with My Baby.

Mahalia and Jon are both absolutely wailing in this one with fervor. Yeah, I learnt that word today. Mahalia’s vocal skills are absolutely mesmerising, and Jon doesn’t go too bad either.

Up next is Joe Camilleri with sax in hand for a cover of Shake, Rattle n Roll and obviously a mad Sax solo ensues, followed by a decent little guitar solo.

Dale Ryder and Kevin Bennet from The Flood join the stage for The Weight. James Van Cooper then jumps up to assist with vocal duties, & Dario Bortlin of the Baby Animals takes over on bass. I have no idea what the song was, and I can’t find it, but it was rocking and crazy. I Said Move It or something like that?

Jon Stevens then comes back onstage to take on some Cold Chisel songs, including You Got Nothing I Want, and Flame Trees. Next minute we all needed to piss after knocking down about 4 drinks pre-show.

Once we were done with that, we decided to head off again and beat the post-show rush. We reckon there was only one more song to go, and the money was on Working Class Man, but I guess we’ll never know.

What an absolutely amazing show though, and we were all glad we didn’t miss it! Another 3-course meal at Minstrel and we retire to the cabin to get our shit together to jump off the boat in the morning. At some point this needed to come to an end, and what a bloody end.

I guess I’ll check back in in the morning if there is any drama … which there usually is.

Editor’s Note: Big thanks to all of the staff and crew from Rock The Boat for having us onboard and taking a risk on some guys from HEAVY managing to engage with a bunch of Australian rock legends.

Rock The Boat 2024 is on sale now, featuring The Screaming Jets, Baby Animals, The Living End, Chocolate Starfish, Bon But Not Forgotten and more. Go to https://chooseyourcruise.com.au/cruises/rock-the-boat-2024/ for more information and tickets.

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