18 August 2016

Entertainment too

But there were more than the shows. Every ship has a dance band or two. Dawn Princess had The Solutions, a quintet out of Guyana. I liked this band. The first time I caught them was in the Wheelhouse bar and the sound was good and they were playing hot and tight. Then a few other outings, but the location or sound was not quite so satisfying. They play the pop-covers-60s repertoire, perhaps more modern. I was amused to hear a set-long medley of Motown and R&B hits for one outing. Nice. No names other than 5-stringer Sherwin (bass). There were regular mini-concerts from piano man Oleksandr Varyukhin (vocals/piano) and classical/contemporary melodies from the Acoustic Rush Duo (violin/guitar) and dancing from the Alphard Duo (female vocals/male vocals, guitar with midi accompaniment). There was a changeover in Bali and I think I missed virtually all the new performers: I only caught Kevin Philip (guitar/vocal) as a walk on in a stage show, the same with Donna Campbell and here Dolly Parton tribute show, I heard just a little of crooner-styled French Canadian Claude Eric (vocals) and I totally missed Pearson & Harvey, a straight man/funny man variety routine for whom I heard rave reviews. P&H were members of the Four Kinsmen, a '60s male vocal quartet ("one of Australia's most highly awarded groups, stacking up a remarkable 27 Mo Awards including a Gold Mo for Variety Performers of the Year and four ACE Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award" / YouTube). I did catch Jane Cho (violin) a few times and I liked her: classically trained from a Korean tiger Mum who found rock and pop and e-violins. Beven Addinsall (vocals) interested me less, but maybe because I'd not seen his Young Talent Time debut film until this night. Otherwise there were the dancers but they were mostly nameless and two singers, Laura Parks and Darrél Dexter. Darrél was newly on board to replace a recent injury and he was really good: classically trained in Washington DC and a convincing stage singer (tenor/baritone). His demo on YouTube doesn't do him justice. As for names, the stage band was Matt Joseph & the Dawn Princess Orchestra and the others were simply the Dawn Princess singers and dancers. Ivan (bass) played a Warwick 6-string with the DPO.

A few final pleasures were in store at our second port of call, Semarang. Firstly, a welcoming band on the dock comprising perhaps 100 military performers in various uniforms with a few leaders in dragon outfits. Including what seemed like some tough commandos amongst the combined bands: amusing for them and us. Then a nifty quintet playing in the reception/Internet hall. The space was hard and reflective; all instruments seemed to be going through the PA (including miked drums and DI keys and bass) which had copious reverb of its own. Just Beatles and the like, but some nicely minimal drums, effective bass elaborations, nice voice and a lovely understated melodious alto made for a pleasant, if loud, interlude.

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