You can’t have a parade without music and preferably live music not canned. Not everyone likes bagpipes but I do. I’ve liked them ever since mum first played me a recording of a pipe band when I was a child. I also like the colours of the clan tartans so seeing a pipe band is a treat for me.
I enjoy the sound of a brass band too especially playing marching music.
Buskers in Salamanca and singers at a protest rally.
Buskers in Salamanca Square
My Favourite Music
Of course that is not the only music I like. Naomi and I went to many rock concerts when we were young and in the early days before there were mobile phones and everyone took pictures at concerts I used to occasionally sneak my camera into a show to take photos. It was forbidden but Thebarton Theatre in Adelaide where we often went was not large and if I didn’t use flash they didn’t notice although I kept waiting for the hand on my shoulder and confiscation of my film. Most of the pictures were not great but I got one set of New Zealand band Split Enz that I was very pleased with and I still think I didn’t do a bad job all these years later. I think that I had a used Yashica SLR then, the first one we had and used 400 ASA film which was push processed at the shop. David told me about this method so that I would not need to use flash. These photos were taken in 1982.
Tim Finn c1982
Neil Finn, right, and the late Paul Hester
Neil Finn in his Split Enz days at Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide c1982
The Finn brothers
Vinyl albums are making a comeback although they are hideously expensive. I’m old enough to have seen the rise and fall of cassette tapes and CD’s imagine that! We do still get people coming to the Op Shop to look for pre recorded cassettes which surprised me. We usually have some, as well as vinyl albums and CD’s.
I always liked the artwork on album covers and all the bits and pieces you’d get with them, lyrics, photos, band bios. Sometimes you’d get an album with fancy coloured vinyl. You are never going to get a poster inside a CD cover and those things always break. Naomi and I still have our vinyl albums. Here are some of mine.
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
A couple of these were David’s Yardbirds, Small Faces, Led Zeppelin, Status Quo
Midnight Oil, Australian Crawl, Skyhooks, Mental As Anything , Cold Chisel
In this post we’ll talk about some of the entertainment venues we visited on Ovation of the Seas. We don’t tend to spend a lot of time in bars as we are not big drinkers nor did we want to go to all of the themed nights and entertainments but there were plenty of choices for those that did from game show type entertainments, to theatre performances, live bands and movies.
We did not take a lot of photos in the entertainment venues while performances were on but on our walks round the ship by day we were able to get a few so we can give you some idea how they look.
The Music Hall
On our first night at sea Naomi and I were keen to find something to do after dark. The ship’s newsletter had a list of what entertainment was on and we were pleased to see that there was an INXS cover band playing in the Music Hall, a small theatre/dance venue, so we decided that we would go and see them.
The band was excellent, they really sounded like INXS and we enjoyed them. Naomi has a story about this band so I will leave her to tell it. During the course of the voyage there was also a Queen cover band and an Elton John show but we did not see either of these.
While we were at the airport in Sydney getting our luggage Vanda met a friend of hers and they started chatting. I was watching all the other passengers as I usually do. I wonder where they are going or where they have been. I even make up stories about them in my head sometimes to pass the time away. Airports can be boring if you have a long wait for your flight. While we were at the Hobart airport I saw a married couple obviously going on holiday. The man had on one of the best Hawaiian shirts I have ever seen plus the straw hat etc. I half expected to see him turn up on the ship but he didn’t. Back to Sydney and I noticed some young guys collecting a large amount of luggage. I was sure they had musical instruments. I could see what looked like keyboards and guitars as well as sound equipment. One guy had long curly hair and sunglasses. He was standing back a bit and looked really cool. They must be a rock band I said to Vanda when she introduced her friend. Look at them I said they have got guitars and stuff. I wondered where they were heading and then said as a joke. Wouldn’t it be funny if they were on the ship? I didn’t expect they would be as you usually get some pretty ordinary entertainment and nothing like them. Well I was very surprised to see that we were going to have an INXS tribute band on board so I said let’s go see what they are like. We can leave if we don’t like them. We had to sit in the upstairs part as it was very crowded. We could not see the band from where we were on the second level. I said to Vanda I really have to go and see if it’s that band from the airport. I looked over the balcony and thought the singer looked like the cool guy at the airport but he was a bit far away to see properly. I said to Vanda “It looks like those guys but I am not 100% sure.” Well, half way through a song during the instrumental break up comes this guy and sits down at the table right next to us. He spoke to us too but I was too surprised to answer him. I got my answer though. It was the same band. Who would have thought and how cool was that. Sadly they got off at Darwin but they were really really good.
We also visited the Royal Casino which was on the same deck as the theatre. We do enjoy playing the “pokies” but we are sensible about it and always have a budget. The ones on Royal Caribbean ships are different from the ones we play on at home. American style machines are harder to win on, you have fewer choices in how you play and of course they are in US currency so we had to be mindful of the exchange rate. I did OK though. I had a few small wins, enough to keep playing for some time without going over my limit. Winning money is great of course but I don’t gamble expecting to win. I just enjoy setting off the feature on the machine to see what it does. For me what I spend is the price of entertainment the same as for a movie or some other event.
I love casinos and having a bit of a gamble. I don’t go to the tables as I am not so good at cards so I stick to the slot machines. I love to play on the slots so I couldn’t wait to visit Ovation’s casino. It was nice and big and there were plenty of machines. I was pleased to find plenty of Aussie machines there as I prefer the pay lines on them to that of the American machines. I think the Aussie ones are easier to win on although I know everything is to chance here. I met some nice people while I was playing to chat with. One older gentleman had won over $500 bucks while I was chatting with him. I ended up losing but I won it all back later in Singapore at the casino there. That was way cool as I was able to blow it at the shops.
This was the largest entertainment venue, a theatre that spanned two levels. It is used for both live performances and movies.
One night we decided to go and see “The Greatest Showman”, a film supposedly about P.T Barnum. We thought this might be OK as it was a period film but it turned out to be not our sort of thing at all. We probably should have realised that it was a musical. I don’t mind musicals but I felt that in this case the music swamped the story, what there was of it. I did not like the way the scenes jumped around and while I do accept artistic licence in a film I had been expecting it to be a biographical film and this was anything but. Both of us felt that the music and costumes were not appropriate to the era the film was set in. Had we been at home I would have googled the reviews of the film before we went and tried to watch a trailer. As it is we were trapped in a very crowded venue in the dark so we didn’t feel we could comfortably leave. We would have if we could have.
Most of the movies being shown were fairly recent ones so I’m sure other people enjoyed them. I probably would have watched “The Darkest Hour” at home on TV but not on the pool deck, it didn’t seem quite the place to be watching a film about Dunkirk.
If you are a fan of the PT Barnum picture or the music you will not like what I have to say about it. It had to be one of the worst pictures I have ever seen. I am not a fan of musicals and I would not have gone if I had realised that. While I had been taking some film of the ship I met two men who had told me they were going to go and see it. They thought it would be quite good. I suggested to Vanda that we go too. I couldn’t stand the music to be honest. Much too millennial for me. I soon recognised it as the awful music they played every single day in Windjammers. Why does everyone have to sound as if they were churned out of the Idol machine? They all have such dreadful whiney voices. The film was very obviously not shot on location either. The scenery was all very computerised looking. No one looked like they were really where they were. Last of all the fire scene and resulting injuries to the man who went back to save his girlfriend! How farfetched was that? They hardly had any burns and as for smoke inhalation? Give me a break! They could all still sing! The worst picture I have seen in a long time.
I did like the idea of the big screen outside and if you want a top spot to relax at night by the pool grab a deck chair lay back and enjoy a movie and a drink from the pool bar.
This is a multipurpose room which we’ll talk more about later. We saw a show there called “Pixels” which was quite clever technically although dance is not really my thing. The show combined singers, dancers and aerialists against a background of computer graphics
I did like this area. It was nicely decorated and very spacious. This is very good venue for all sorts of entertainment. I think they could have given up some space for the poor library. Maybe they could have had more books and games then. We had a lot of trouble finding a place where we could sit with a game or something. Vanda wanted to write and I wanted to draw and colour. I had to go to Windjammers to find a table where I could use my pencils or play a game of Scattergories. I was very thankful for Windjammers and the fact I had taken my own stuff for my entertainment. The ship does not supply much at all by the way of games, books or things like that. You really must take your own along. The 270 Lounge got used for quiz games, lectures and shows. I didn’t go to see much of it as it didn’t interest me very much. I am not into lectures or docos. I spent much of my time just enjoying the ocean. I will say that the entertainment areas were all nicely decorated, comfortable and easy to get around. There is also the robotic bar that I really loved. Two robots serve you your drinks. They looked a bit like funny animals and they were very clever. I enjoyed watching them. We’ll probably talk about them later but to me they were entertainment also.
So there are just a few things you can do on a cruise ship in the evening. In another post we’ll share photos of the bars including the Robot Bar which we both thought was a lot of fun .
Tonight I went to an arty event called “The Crossing” Churches from Launceston to Hobart were lit up for the event while inside organ music was played. Now this was no ordinary music. people expecting to hear Onward Christian Soldiers were in for a shock as one or two elderly residents were. There were no brightly coloured lights to illuminate the church either. Instead there were blueish lights which made the church look rather eerie. Red shone through the lovely stained glassed windows. The music on the organ which was some sort of keyboard was high-pitched or deep sounding. It was a bit Pink Floyd meets Science Fiction. Some elderly residents left early. For myself I got bored after a while and went outside and had some free soup and damper the minister had made. I found the music shrill and high pitched and it hurt my ears. A kid next to me said it was creepy and you couldn’t dance to it and he or she did not want to dance. I joked that it was nothing like The Bee Gees and didn’t blame them. At the end the artists did get a big round of applause for their efforts. I think most people liked it a lot. I have to say I found it monotonous and no way did I have any peaceful thoughts while I was in there. I have no way of introducing you to the sounds I heard but here are a few photos I took. There is a link for those wishing to know more about Dark Mofo and The Crossing.
Here are a bunch of photos taken at various times over the past few years. I tried to choose the ones that had the most contrasting colours. I’m quite pleased with the one of the women’s marching band as in colour it was rather a poor photo I thought. Changing it to black and white and increasing the contrast has improved it I think.
Looking ahead to this topic last week I was wondering how this challenge was supposed to work. I don’t see a lot of people playing musical chairs these days, except perhaps Australian politicians who always seem to be swapping chairs amongst themselves as one or another wants to be PM. However, I do have pictures of musical instruments and musicians and I do have pictures of chairs so I’m good to go.
A musician from one of the brass bands that takes part in the Hobart Christmas Parade.
Some might say that the sound of bagpipes is not very musical but when they are played well I think they are.
Many years ago I went to see Split Enz in concert and sneaked in a camera to take some photos. I went unnoticed by security because I did not use a flash, just the fastest film that I could find. David explained to me the concept of “pushing” film when it was developed so when I took it to the shop to be processed I asked for that to be done and obtained several photos that I still look at and can’t believe they are mine. This is one that I scanned and tidied up a bit. In this photo Neil Finn and the late Paul Hester who was the drummer for Split Enz at the time are performing together. They later went on to form Crowded House. This photo would date from about 1980.
The Big Red Chair at Brooke St Pier.
These teddies were playing musical chairs but they cheated and all sat down on the last one. Chair and teddies both belong to Naomi, photographed at her house some years ago now.
Musical chairs on the bus but the passengers were removed instead of the chairs.
I like all kinds of music. I like some jazz and some classical music when I’m in the mood. I like songs from musicals but not opera particularly. I like big bands and I like rock and pop music although I don’t really like much music from the 90s onwards, getting old I guess. As my mum would say I think a lot of today’s pop music is “Not what I call music”. When I’m on my own though the music I like to listen to is nearly always the Australasian bands I loved in the 1980s. Here is a list of some of my favourite songs from that time. They are more or less representative of the bands as in most cases I like several of their songs and decided to pick just one from each. They are in no particular order and include a couple from either side of the eighties.
Telephone Booth – Ian Moss (Matchbook) 1989
I lied. This is my number one. I love this song so much I use it as my ringtone. I love the acoustic version too.
Rain – Dragon (Body and the Beat) 1983
I like a lot of Dragon’s songs but this was always my favourite and reminds me of a trip to Melbourne my sister and I took around the time it was first a hit. We played it many times on the video juke boxes which were in cafes and pubs back then.
Throw Your Arms Around Me – Hunters and Collectors (Human Frailty)1986
Again I love a lot of their songs but this one is my absolute favourite. I love the vocals.
Blue Sky Mine – Midnight Oil (Blue Sky Mine) 1990
It’s almost impossible for me to pick a favourite Midnight Oil song, there are so many I love. I was fortunate to see them play several times and if they went on the road again I’d be there in a heartbeat.
Bow River – Cold Chisel (Circus Animals) 1982
This is another one that was really hard to pick but I love to hear Ian Moss and Jimmy Barnes singing together.
I See Red – Split Enz (Frenzy) 1978
I was a huge fan of Split Enz in the 80s and although my favourite albums are Corroboree and Time and Tide this song from the earlier album Frenzy is my favourite. I was lucky enough to see the Enz a few times in Adelaide and once in Melbourne.
You’re So Strong – Mental As Anything (Fundamental) 1985
This song is sung by Andrew “Greedy” Smith and I always rather liked his songs although I think Martin Plaza has a great voice too.
Can’t Help Myself – Flowers (Icehouse) 1980
I’m old enough to remember when Icehouse was called Flowers! This was my favourite song from a great album. Of course the 80s was also the video era and they made some very elaborate videos for later songs but this one was just Iva Davies and a guitar. Which is all you need.
Down Under – Men At Work (Business As Usual)1980
I know this song has been somewhat discredited but law suits aside for me this song brings back happy memories of sitting up all night to watch Australia take the America’s Cup in 1983. You will still see a boxing kangaroo flag at most sporting events. Vegemite sandwich anyone?
So there are 10 songs, (including It’s A Long Way To The Top) that I’ll still listen to anytime. In fact this post was really just an excuse to listen to them all again.