Roaring Jack Articles - Harbour Cruise 1987

‘Roaring Jack Album Launch’ by Jo Poidevin

Published in On the Street, 28 October 1987

To celebrate the release of their first mini-LP Street Celtabillity, Roaring Jack entertained their fans on a ferry cruise on Sydney Harbour. This is how the event was reported by Jo Poidevin. Enjoy! (AC)

They were a motley crew on board. A mixed array of seafaring music lovers – actors, bikers, musicians, blended amongst some up and coming mortgage victims (house, car, 1.5 kids supported by stressful job). The sun was shining and all the bent buccaneers appeared to be excited at the prospect of cruising the harbour, whilst the infamous Roaring Jack belted out sea shanties and ballads.

Here was a band that would set the mood to this perfect spring afternoon with their fast and furious folk/rock, music that was made for dancing and yahooing.

Throughout the afternoon, the cruise took us around the foreshores of this flamboyantly rich harbour city [Sydney]. Looking at the scene upon and beside the harbour tells it all. As Roaring Jack singer, Alistair Hulett gave some lessons in British and Australian class history and the plight of the working class, we floated past the sprawling mansions of Kirribilli, Neutral Bay and Middle Harbour., Occasionally, a suffering resident lying next to the swimming pool would raise their head to see where the racket was coming from.

Back on board, the party went on.

At some stage in the afternoon, we made a pit-stop at a beach and park somewhere past Parsley Bay, but nobody knew where we were. As ragged characters staggered from the ferry and wandered in a daze around this mystery park, families enjoying their polite Saturday afternoon BBQs looked aghast at the arrival of these rock and roll deviants.

On the return journey to Circular Quay, the dancefloor began to look unusually crowded. All the roof top dwellers had come down for the last hours dancing. Have you ever seen a hundred flies do kamikaze dives around a light bulb?

At the end of it all, the ferry pulled into Pier 6, but the raucous crew didn’t want to leave. After all, there’s nothing quite like a leisurely cruise around Sydney Harbour on a Saturday afternoon with Roaring Jack …

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