Menno von Brucken Fock reports on the 2022 edition of Cruise To The Edge in words and pictures. Check out the Pre-Party as well. Here is Day 1, with Claudio Simetti's Goblin, Nektar, and Martin Barre!
May 2, 2022, began with an awfully long time standing in several lines. Our "Silver VIP" ticket made no difference. It took about 3 hours before we got in the vicinity of the Mariner Of The Seas, our ship. Computers were down, so all the efforts the passengers took to fill in endless series of forms and health certificates were in vain, because everything had to be re-written on paper.
Because of this prolonged boarding procedure, the roster had to be rescheduled. Not only didn't everyone get on board in time, when there were technical problems, the chaos was complete. I doubt there was a single show that actually started on time on this first day.
There were about 22 events scheduled. We decided to find a good spot to see Claudio Simonetti's Goblin hailing from Italy in the Star Lounge, one of the smaller stages on the ship. Simonetti and his three much younger bandmates played a really nice selection of both Goblin songs as wel as of Simonetti solo songs.
Tracks like Suspiria or Profondo Rosso are classics in the genre and Simonetti, now 70 years old, proved he was still able to play his keyboards very well, and the rendition of all songs was superb. A big heads up for his bandmates Daniele Amador on guitars, Cecilia Nappo on the Rickenbacker bass and Federico Maragoni on drums. Especially bass player Cecilia Nappo proved to be a real eye-cathcher!
Setlist Claudio Simonetti's Goblin
Brain Zero One Demon (Claudio Simonetti song) Il Cartaio (Claudio Simonetti song) E Suono Rock (with band introduction) L' Alba Dei Morti Viventi Zombi (Goblin cover) Zaratozom (Goblin cover) Suspiria (Goblin cover) Tenebre (Goblin cover) Phenomena (Goblin cover) Profondo Rosso Mater Lacrimarum (Claudio Simonetti song)
Our next show to attend was Nektar, playing on the second-biggest stage called "Studio B" on deck 3. Nektar was the only "replacement act" in the definitive line-up for this cruise playing the kind of progressive rock as we like it.
The nucleus of the current line up consists of two founding members: bass player Derek "Mo" Moore and drummer Ron Howden, who recently recovered from cancer. These two musicians obviously had great pleasure playing the "old stuff" from the seventies once more.
The band was now fronted by guitarist/vocalist Ryche Chlanda, who had played with the band at a very young age in 1978. Furthermore, Randy Dembo (bass, bass-pedals, guitar) has also played with Nektar before, after the 2002 reunion in 2002, from 2003 until 2006. Kendall Scott is the new keyboard player.
Although Chlanda had some difficulties singing the older material, he seemed much more comfortable with the songs from the latest Nektar album The Other Side. I had goosebumps when Ron Howden took over lead vocal duties on one of the songs. his voice resembled the vocals of the late Roye Albrighton astonishingly!
Sometimes there were two Rickenbacker bass players at the same time on stage. "You can never have enough bass", according to Mo Moore. That was awesome! A really nice show by a group of highly experienced musicians, and it seemed to us that Nektar is not done yet!
Recycled, Part 2 Skywriter Drifting That's Life Show Me The Way Remember The Future, Part 1 Good Day
In the meantime¸ it was already as late as 11 PM when we chose to attend the show by former Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre and his band in the Royal Theater, the main stage on the ship. Playing for a "prog audience", Barre chose to play the Jethro Tull album Aqualung in its entirety for the last time.
Since Barre and Pain Of Salvation (Studio B) were scheduled around the same time we had to make a choice and much to my personal disappointment, I wasn't able to see the Swedes, who I hadn't seen playing for many, many years. Fortunately Barre, aged 75 now, and his bandmates, Alan Thomson on bass, and Dan Crisp on vocals and guitar, and Jason Smith on drums who was filling in for Darby Todd, played a very solid show.
Of course fans of the original Tull sound would notice the absence of the flute. On the other hand, the highly recognizable sound of Barre's guitar together with the vocals delivered by Crisp made up for this quite nicely. Crisp took over the vocal parts sung by Anderson in such a way that one would think he was actually singing those songs much better than Anderson in the past 15 years (or more).
We didn't make notes that evening, but as far as we can recall, the band played some of Barre's own songs besides the songs on Aqualung and one or two more Tull songs. All of them were powerful songs, they had a great sound, and Barre still on the top of his game. Although Barre didn't play a role in composing those Tull songs, he definitely helped to shape them when they were recorded, and obviously even more when they were played live with Jethro Tull.