13 October 2017
Princessing the bars
Bars are a centre of life on a cruise ship. People sit at bars; they talk at bars; they listen at bars and read there. There's like on deck too, especially when it's warm, and the bar scene expands there then, but this wasn't particularly warm and most were inside. Our bar was by the Lobby, central, with the best coffee and perhaps the most passing traffic. A string of performers appeared in the Lobby, on one little stage or on its twin with a grand piano. The Angelic String duo were a favourite of mine. Two Eastern Europeans (it seems all the classical players on ships are Eastern European), Kateryna Radchencko and Syrofenko Luibov, both playing electric violins. Like my NS EUB, the instruments were talked about. They played pop and pop classics with backing tracks and they played with skill. They share the melody line, improvise the counterpoint. Very neat and very capable. They also appeared with the DP Orchestra for some stage shows. Polish pianist Jowita Tabasczewska played popular melodies with easy classically-influenced chordal improvisations at the Lobby Bar but mostly at the Crooners Bar. It's the main spot for piano/vocalists. Pianist singer Chris May also mostly played the Crooners, but would appear later in the New Orleans show with the DP Orchestra. He tended more to jazz improvs and commonly sang. Numerous other appeared at bars, sometimes just in port or for one stage of the cruise. Tui and Maile Letuli were on unexpected choice, he playing Hawaiian guitar and singing, she sometimes singing or playing mandolin, but mostly dancing with lei and hula dress. Perhaps it was the Japan/Hawaii connection. And one I found amusing, like a throw back to long hair and screaming guitars (but quite well done none-the-less), the Italian Luca Cervo, playing rock hits on solo Strat (sometimes singing) with midi backing. One thing to note for the working musos, these guys have repertoire. The theme of rock continued in Korsakov, Russia; more on that later. There were others around the bars that I never heard: Maridor Duo was an enigma, and DJ Kiki unheard.