Fans of Renaissance and Annie Haslam
Queensryche is reportedly the incarnation without Geoff Tate (which most fans, myself included, considers a good thing.)
Sound of Contact is Phil Collins' son's band.
John Hawken will be there too as he rejoins the Strawbs (source FB):
I'm delighted to say that I'm re-joining the Strawbs for the Moody Blues & Yes cruises in April. Leaving from Miami (in a ship large enough to have its own area code !) we'll be stopping off at Nassau, Grand Turk Island & other fine ports of call. Each cruise lasts for 5 days - plenty of time for some great music, jollity, frivolity & general fun in the sun. I'm really looking forward to playing with Dave & the lads again & also to re-connecting with those of you who are joining us on these cruises.
Amid all the confusion with the outdoor stage acts being canceled, Renaissance was scheduled to play in the main theater, so I made my way there. When I went into the theater the sky outside was still bright and a little overcast and the ship was beginning to move a little bit more noticeably under our feet. But as soon as Annie Haslam and Renaissance came out to start their set the motion of the ship tackling the large wave swells began to become much more obvious. Annie joked about it a bit between the third and forth songs saying “We're really moving around up here and I may end up hitting some notes I've never hit before” then added “and I may also disappear onto my own bum” which got a laugh from the audience. Their set was very good, Annie's vocals were strong and beautiful and her remarks between the songs made the music more meaningful. At one point she talked about their guardian angel watching down on them, their “guiding light” the late Michael Dunford (guitarist) who suddenly died in 2012 and dedicated a song to him. She also mentioned that their latest album project which had been created by fans who donated to a kickstart program originally, had just been picked up by a distributor allowing it to become available worldwide and it is called Symphony of Light. They played “Ocean Gypsy” and at the close of the song she laughed and said “I never thought in a million years, we'd ever play that on a cruise ship.”
The band's second performance was early Thursday evening, just after the ship left port in Cozumel, Mexico, outdoors on the upper deck 'pool stage'. It quickly became apparent the band would be dealing with strong swirling winds during the show. Annie showed up for sound check in her normal long flowing black stage dress, but soon left the stage and came back just before the performance started, having changed into black jeans. With the constant wind in her face, Annie needed to hang on to a weighted down microphone stand with one hand, and the other hand clamped to the top of her head so as to not lose a baseball type cap she wore, with her hair braided through the back of the cap. Richard had a very difficult time keeping his music pages on the stand in front of him, utilizing several large plastic clamps to do so.
With all that, the band sounded great, doing the exact same set as the first show: Prologue, Carpet Of The Sun, Running Hard, Ocean Gypsy, Symphony Of Light, Mystic And The Muse, Mother Russia.
I wound up sitting next to Claire Dunford and her 2 sons, and spoke to her briefly after the show. She mentioned that there is still a backlog of Michael's material which may be used for future recordings. We heard a similar comment from Annie during a Q & A session onboard.
Both shows were outstanding - Annie sounds great as always, and the band performed flawlessly under trying conditions (storm tossed ship and high winds).
Correction on the above post: the "Richard" I referred to is, of course, Ryche Chlandra. My apologies.
Great news.. wonderful show and Annie's stage presence was great, as the ship hit rough seas...very funny. Hope to see her and the band next year.