The Good Ship
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The Good Ship

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia | INDIE

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia | INDIE
Band Folk Country


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Good Ship - Push to Fire"

The first time I heard about The Good Ship they and Kira Puru were supporting an old favourite, Gay Paris at the
Vanguard. Although they were not an obvious choice and considering my affinity for the beer bottle molesting antics
of Gay Paris, these guys were the highlight of the evening, shitting all over the cookie monster from a great height.
That was over a year ago, but finally we have a full-length release.
Now you may wonder how long a band dedicated to ocean and sailing themed songs will actually last. This question
disheartened me until I thought about The Beards who have a far more pedestrian theme and have lasted for three
(count ‘em, three) studio albums with interest waning only slightly. There’s a hell of a lot more to sing about in and
on the sea than facial hair, so I think they’ll be fine. Besides, they don’t always sing about the ocean, but granted,
they do most of the time.
“What I’m Trying to Say”, is the best example of the non-maritime diversions on this album, with a lyrical platter
sure to appeal to the culturally savvy at the same time as making the prude extend a wavering arm toward his nappies.
“If you were Azaria/ I’d be the Dingo/ If you were John, Paul and George/ I would be Ringo”, and “If you were KFed/
I would be Brittney/If you were Chris Brown you’d probably hit me” are the sedate, G rated examples when
compared to the nastier ones that include a coat hanger and a foetus. So sentimental! Well at least the melody is. It’s a
lovely piece of debauchery indeed.
O’ Exquisite Corpse is another album that demonstrates why opening tracks are opening tracks. Because they - Push to Fire

"Album Review"

Ration My Rum! Something of a Post Office Box mix up courtesy of the local Postmaster meant this CD didn’t land in my hands much sooner, but I’m happy it did.
The Good Ship are no doubt Australia’s newest exponents of maritime Indie Folk. More fun than keel-hauling Angus & Julia Stone under the hull of a heavily barnacled clipper – maybe with the Able Seaman Nick Cave releasing the rope of one side, and Bosun Shane McGowan pulling up the rope on the other under the watchful eye of the Captain Eugene Hütz.
Avast! Wretched Sea is subtitled as a work of Undulating tales of woe and intrigue. Indeed they are. After many months at sea, we approach port with A Harbour Fair, a rousing anthem to gambling, grog and loose women. Frantic fiddles and homebound hollering set the pace in this slick shanty. Spanish horns and straight vocal delivery subtlety mask the true bawdiness of A Few of My Favourite Flings, showing that one can still have a girl in every port. The demonic domains of Davy Jones Locker are captured in the rocking three-step Sea Monster, over the skeletal jangle of dancing castanets. 6000 Cocks is a tragic ‘working girls’ lament with a catchy sing-along tune, though you may want to be careful where you sing it. Public transport is not a good idea. Cougar culture and the tragedy of mutton-dressed-as-lamb is pondered in a country-ballad-like 18 When You’re 44. Lock up your mothers… You’ll have a tea-bagging good time with Don’t Kiss Me With Your Lips, and a pick up line guaranteed to either get you laid or arrested. The waltzing Tavern Song is a rollicking good folk tune that is a wonderful musical advocate for extended trading hours down at your local. Slow and wistful, No Shortage of Company opens the bloodied and broken heart of the rejected. Misery indeed loves company. The previous tune is almost a segue into Bury Me, a tune dressed with moments of rousing spiritual gospel, with counterpoints of delta blues fatalism. These lads and lasses of Good Ship must be sailors because the next song, I Can Make Her Laugh– full of beautiful melodies and harmonies, is also replete with sodomy and pearl necklaces. You heard me. Cut Off My is a psychopathically sordid love tale with wailing violin and sinister military snare, no doubt deserving of a Tarantino film clip of its own. Being stuck in the middle is easy with no limbs. Last Song of the Night brings our journey to an end, the thankless job of a musician in front of an uncaring audience, disappearing slowly into their beer glasses in melancholy and indifference. Whatever happened to the Piano Man?
- Absinthe

"Album Review"

The Good Ship - “avast! wretched sea”
Sometimes, something original comes along that stands out of the pack of the endless stream of music that at times can sound a bit the same. The Good Ship stand out like a lighthouse in the dark guiding the listener into a seedy world of sex, debauchery and ruggered good times. Yes, this is the soundtrack to pirates and sea men. And it’s about bloody time!!!! These are songs for big men, with big beards, with big thirsts for beer, rum and whisky and penchant for telling sea shanty tales. The music is foot stomping, swing your gal around, celtic laced with gang vocals, fiddles and percussion. The themes are at times a touch blue with the likes of ‘6000 Cocks’ which tells the tale of a prostitute guesstimating at how many men have paid for her services or ‘These Are A Few Of My Favourite Flings’ which recounts some of their sexual encounters. The nautical theme is present with the track ‘Sea Monster’ and drinking gets a good mention in lead single ‘A Harbour Fair’ and ‘Tavern Song’, but in the end it all comes back to sex and women, ‘I Can Make Her Laugh’ being the classic example with the chorus “i can make her laugh but i can’t make her come.”
The Good Ship flow effortlessly through Celtic/Irish folk to classical Spanish to country and back again in the space of a couple of tracks. What The Good Ship have done is create a unique sounding album, full of good songs that make it hard to not tap a foot too or bop your head along too. There’s a dark underlying humour that makes this a enjoyable listen.(see track ‘Don’t Kiss Me With Your Lips’) Being so heavily themed in sex it would be easy to cross the line of good taste, but the band manage to push that line without exceeding it. The Good Ship is just a good old fashioned fun, playing in the corner of a dingy pub, getting everyone to sing along kind of band. If your willingly to try something differently musically, seek out The Good Ship.
- DeathToYourSpeakers

"Album Review"

Avast! Wretched Sea
(Autumn Recordings)
If nothing else – which certainly isn’t the case; there’s a lot to digest of The Good Ship’s debut – Avast! Wretched Sea is an album and sound entirely unto itself. Aiming with considerable aptitude – longitude, latitude, sextant – for seedy subversiveness; for a dark and amusingly frank take on the nature of living with our transgressions, the band have crafted an odd series of scorbutic jaunts which are probably destined to divide listeners far more than they will console.
At their most salt-encrusted of wooden peg-hearts, they’re a folk band. Sea-shanty folk, at that. Think hoedowns in the back-room of a cliff-side brothel, on a dark and stormy night. Lyrically, Avast! more than regularly borders on the utterly profane. So sexually explicit in parts, they could make even the saltiest of sea-dogs blush. It’s a fascinating, bare-bones humanity they’re ultimately aiming for with this frankness, however – a message that, deep down, you can relate to because of its unabashed nakedness. “Yes,” you’ll easily find yourself thinking throughout the track ‘6000 Cocks’, “I really do fear for the future of this down-and-out prostitute.” For some, understandably, this kind of content will be hard to swallow.
What may sit difficultly with the undecided listener is the expectation that something of their lyrical irony be a little more present in their arrangements. Instead, they’re rather like Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds without the edge, Man Man without the manic, and don’t approach folk with enough invention to sit comfortably port or aft of The Decemberists. Still, there’s a deep and intractable lived-in sadness to their sound. One that’s utterly belied at the same time as it’s rather ironically confirmed by the band’s very distinctive attire. They’re frontier storytellers; pirates afloat in mainstream jangle-folk, but with a weighty darkness that drags at you, much like the fabled pull of a sinking ship. 3½ Sam Hobson - Timeoff

"Album Review"

THE GOOD SHIP – Avast! Wretched Sea
Tuesday, 06 July 2010
(Autumn Recordings)

First full-length from Brisbane’s own Pirate Ship Octet

Chiefly known for their rousing live shows and penchant for lyrical salaciousness, The Good Ship are far from being a mere bunch of thirty-something blokes (and one sheila) in pirate get-up. Seafaring through mostly the same poetic and musical ocean as Weddings, Parties, Anything, The Pogues and The Decemberists, Avast! Wretched Sea collects “12 Undulating Tales of Woe and Intrigue”, delivered by singers/guitarists Daz Gray and John Meyer with much gusto and fervour. The opening track and first single A Harbour Fair hits you quicker than you can growl “Arr, shiver me timbers!” “We’ll find a buxom harlot for each knee,” sings Meyer, backed by loping guitars, scything fiddle and swirling accordion. Like any self-respecting merry crew, The Good Ship love profanity. The sordid ex-prostitute tale 6000 Cocks (“...and I hate to think how many down south”), Don’t Kiss Me With Your Lips, 18 When You’re 44 (“and your skirt’s getting shorter the older you get”) and the jaunty, yet supremely debauched I Can Make Her Laugh (“...but I can’t make her come”) mix choice filth and dirty humour with unsavoury life truths. Gray’s strident caterwauling – especially on the macabre Cut Off My (eyes, ears, etc) – is a treat while Ben Drozdowskii’s violin, Brett Harris’ accordion and Geoff Wilson’s mandola add to the LP’s soulful, booze-friendly vibe. As they say themselves, The Good Ship are a very bad ship – and all the more fun for it.

4 stars


- Rave

"Live Review - Murder Ballads Chapter Two"

The second instalment of the Judith Wright’s Murder Ballads concert series, tonight’s proceedings start strongly with the introduction of costumed host Bertie Page. An experienced and consistently brilliant performer, Page brings a twisted sense of humour and appropriate sense of the theatrical to the night that elevates the event from a standard concert into something more explosive and open with poetry readings, humour, audience interaction and introductions.
Texas Tea are the first musical act of the evening but, while undoubtedly one of the most obvious choices for tonight’s line-up, the duo’s set falls short of their typical standard of excellence. The pair’s voices remain fantastic on numbers like ‘Winner Makes The Graves’ but the band seem intent on playing altogether too fast tonight – somewhat tainting the drama of devastating numbers like ‘The Daredevil’s Lament’.
Silver Sircus also present a frustrating experience – though on the basis of different factors. Opening with Kurt Weill’s dissonant ‘Pirate Jenny’, the outfit reveal a heavy cabaret influence for the proceedings and, as such, spend their set navigating a particularly complicated balance between twisted theatricality and overwrought delivery. For the most part, however, the band succeeds – the Cave-penned Ute Lemper number ‘Little Water Song’ alone is a masterpiece of delivery.
Kristy Apps is the first artist of the night to deliver a truly comprehensive experience. Somewhat lacking in ambition in comparison to her forebears, App’s unpretentious folk-rock nevertheless proves exceptional. The Doors’ ‘Riders On The Storm’, similarly, is somewhat of an obvious choice but benefits from exceptional delivery. Apps’ own ‘I Don’t Want To Know’, meanwhile, is just an evocative and well-written piece of music.
The Blackwater Fever build upon the strong foundation of Apps’ performance to transform the night’s atmosphere from exceptional to amazing. The soulful blues-rockers present some of the most chilling originals of the night – suicide lament ‘If You Only Knew’ is harrowing – while Shane Hicks’ vocal performance of Leadbelly’s ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night?’ is nothing short of magnificent.
The Good Ship, closing the event’s first night, unsurprisingly take proceedings to their logical conclusion – appearing on stage in costume and delivering an absolutely blinding set of performances. The outfit’s self-styled country-porno-seashanty-folk was tailor made for tonight’s requirements and the group do not disappoint – delivering brilliant originals in the form of ‘The Ballad of Mary Lou’ and stand-out covers from Ween and Nick Cave.
...And that was just the first night.
MATT O’NEILL - Timeoff

"Live Review: Skipping Girl Vinegar with The Good Ship @ The Troubadour, 18th July 2009."

By: Will Alexander

Support band The Good Ship are, as their name suggests, a pirate themed band with a sense of humour.

On stage from left to right there’s an accordionist in a puffy white shirt reminiscent of a Seinfeld episode, a violinist with eye patch, admiral’s cap and a fake bird teetering halfway down his back, 3 guitarists, a bassist, a drummer and the one female member doing back-up vocals. Yes, if ever a band looked like a bunch of pirates with a few ounces of fashion sense, or a group of extras from a pirate’s of the Caribbean set, this was it.

The music was fun, melodic in layers and full of vocal harmonies. The energy from the stage easily transferred itself into the crowd. As the end of the set approached, the band played ‘The Last song of the Night’ (second last) and one of the guitarists picked up a mandolin and stalked into the crowd, reaching as far back as the bar and giving the whole tune a R.E.M. sort of feel – blending old world accordion, a traditional Irish-like violin sound and that timeless aussie shearing-shed kind of sing along music from the guitars and drums. This soulful and complex sound culminated in the final track ‘Don’t kiss me with your lips, use your penis’ which lyrically was about as funny as its title suggests. This track, as promised by the lead singer definitely had a Rockabilly hoe-down drive, which coupled with the onstage antics ended up feeling quite genuine. - LifeMusicMedia

"Live Review - Murder Ballads Chapter One"

Judith Wright Centre - Sat Oct 10

Death and murder-themed night equal a full house at The Judy. MCed by the inimitable (and occasionally idiosyncratic) Everett True, Murder Ballads: Chapter One kicks off with Lucy Star Satellite’s atmospheric set, singer Deb Suckling tearing through Nick Cave’s Stagger Lee with a fire-and-brimstone fervour. Next, "local polariser" Edward Guglielmino plus sidekicks Matt Redlich and Nicoletta Panebianco fitfully recite Where Did You Sleep Last Night, I Hung My Head and Henry Lee – all excellent, but the show soon gets even better. Red and black-clad in accordance to the theme, Roz Pappalardo & The Wayward Gentlemen deliver perhaps the most riveting set of the night, masterfully jamming it up and culminating with an impassioned On The Banks Of The Ohio. Things take a low-key acoustic turn as Screamfeeder luminary Kellie Lloyd throws in an old Afghan Wigs number and (a rather cute) Misfits chestnut Die Die Die My Darling; plugging in afterwards, Brisbane alt-country staples Mexico City do justice to Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues, Elvis Costello’s Watching The Detectives, Neil Young’s Ohio and own Ghetto – however real excitement is reserved for the seven gentlemen and two ladies of The Good Ship. Sans usual pirate attire, the merry crew rip it up on The Decemberists’ Rake Song, Violent Femmes’ Country Death Song and Gunners’ rabble-rousing I Used To Love Her. Murderously good.


"Live Review - Skipping Girl Vinegar / The Good Ship / Euan Gray, The Troubadour - Sat Jul 18"

Euan Gray and his acoustic guitar begin the evening with gentle bluesy melodies and smooth vocals. His soft, soulful folk tunes are a pleasant introduction setting the tone for the evenings entertainment.

Next up The Good Ship are also nestled within the folk genre, but from the complete opposite end of the spectrum; blending old-style alternative country and folk their tunes are metered out at a lively pace, and when mixed with accordion, violin and a loud burly chorus of men’s voices it sounds very much like something ole’ sea dogs might sing out at ocean. The stage is decorated with an assortment of nautical objects and the ‘crew’ themselves are dressed the part, with the violinist decked out in scarf, eye patch and parrot. These rollicking tunes are great for a dance and a laugh, but be warned, these are true sea shanties, complete with coarse and crude lyrics that sometimes tiptoe very closely to the offensive.

The Troubadour is by now thick with people and Skipping Girl Vinegar seem delighted (and perhaps a little surprised) by the large crowd. Performing with joy and energy, their melodies are gentle and uplifting, complemented by sweet lyricism. Another group with props, the set is adorned with fairy lights, lamps and cut-outs of penguins, foxes and polar bears. However, the most appreciated aspect of the stage set-up is that each performer (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass and drummer) sits alongside each other, in a line across the stage, and it is pleasing to see each bright face equally. Momentum is not lost for the entire show and the audience does not stop clapping, dancing, singing and smiling until the final song sends us off into the night, doing just that.


"Interview - Eleanor Angel (The Good Ship) - Murder Ballads"

Brisbane talents performing Johnny Cash, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey and Bob Dylan songs in pirate costumes? An intrigued DENIS SEMCHENKO speaks to a Murder Ballads participant – acoustic songstress ELEANOR ANGEL.

Hear ye Brisbanites! Murder Ballads: Chapter One, an all-singing, all-playing, all-costumed extravaganza cometh to the Judith Wright Centre in Fortitude Valley this Saturday 10th of October (insert big, booming voice and bell chime here)! ... Erm, I’m going to save the town crier-related business for my other story. On the phone to Rave, Brisbane-based acoustic circle darling Eleanor Angel is keen to talk about the event promising a fair number of cult song renditions as well as appropriately-themed originals – but she wouldn’t reveal all about it.

“I think it was an idea between John [Meyer, The Good Ship], Deb Suckling and a couple other people,” she says. “They decided it would be fun to write some songs about murder and mayhem [laughs].”

So what numbers will the fair-haired songstress be lending her vocals to? “We’re doing a couple songs – one of them’s called … um …” Eleanor hesitates. “I’ve learned all the lyrics, but I don’t remember the titles – this is really embarrassing!”

In order to fend off the “you’re-expanding-your-phone-bill” awkward silence, I revert the topic to a locally notorious, pirate outfit-clad collective that has played a pivotal role in putting the Murder Ballads together – the merry ol’ Good Ship, who are by all accounts absolutely raucous in a live setting (not forgetting to mention the signature eye patches, tri-cone hats and shoulder-perched parrots). Arr!

“John is a singer-songwriter and he’s actually in a serious band as well, but he told me he was missing being in a pirate band, so I was pretty excited about mixing with them – I asked him if I could be the ship cat, and this silly idea came to fruition,” she laughs. “They’re really awesome and funny – you better come to the show!”

An established artist in her own right with a second album on the way (a follow-up to 2008’s lovely Rain On The Street), Eleanor’s bell-toned vocals and fingerpicked nylon-string guitar are steadily resonating outside Brisbane – especially in the beautiful Sunshine Coast hinterland.

“I’ve been to places like Maleny and I’ve done a couple nights in Melbourne with Emma Dean, which was really cool,” she says. “I love playing in Maleny – the audience are awesome, the organisers are really lovely and I just like the whole concept of The Upfront Club in that it’s a community-run venue co-owned by a hundred different people and apparently they’ve got a 100-year lease. It’s one of those venues that are completely dedicated to music and everyone who goes there, they pay attention to the music; my music works better in the sort of quiet venues where people are paying attention, so it’s always great up there.”

Having virtually travelled one hundred kilometres up the coast, I speed back to Brissy with a question on Eleanor’s progress rate for her sophomore full-length.

“It’s finished – it’s all been done apart from the printing and I was going to launch it at [the recent Sunday afternoon gig at] The Powerhouse, but I’ve decided do postpone it because the mixing wasn’t quite finished,” she shoots back. “I’m really excited but it looks like I’m going to wait until next year to launch it because everything’s dead in November-December, so I’ll probably have to wait until February. I might do a gig with the Pioneers Of Flight before Christmas … we’ll see what happens”

MURDER BALLADS: CHAPTER ONE featuring ELEANOR ANGEL, The Good Ship, Mexico City, Roz Pappalardo And The Wayward Gentlemen and Edward Guglielmino takes place at The Judith Wright Centre from 6.30pm on Saturday Oct 10, tickets are available from $22-28. - Rave

"Single Review - A Harbour Fair"

THE GOOD SHIP – A Harbour Fair

(Autumn Recordings)

If you have a rabble that requires rousing, may I recommend Brisbane’s own 18th Century-themed seven-piece, the sea shanty troublemakers The Good Ship? With groups both large (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Drones) and upcoming (Sailors & Swine), sea shanties have made about as unexpected a comeback as could be imagined in recent years, but few groups have committed to the idea as steadfastly as The Good Ship, period costumes and all. A Harbour Fair is the first song to arrive home from their debut album, and deals, as one might expect, with the dreams of sailors who have spent 30 days on a ship, have “had their fill of salt and sea” and can’t wait to reach land. All this passionate missing and longing for lubbing the land sounds potentially romantic, doesn’t it. Forget it – The Good Ship are far more Jack Sparrow than *forgets the name of the poncey toss that Orlando Bloom played, and knows it isn’t even worth googling*. Let me put together a collage of their lyrics to explain what they have in mind upon hearing “Land ho!”: “May every man be rarely sober, with buxom harlots on each knee, in a pub full of cut-throats and thieves.” It’s essentially a cover of Hilltop Hoods’ What A Great Night. The sailor shtick mightn’t be a well thought out long-term career path, but that’s all the more reason to guzzle it while it’s still fresh. - Rave

"Interview - The Good Ship"

“I have always written songs with questionable lyrical content,” singer and guitarist Darryl Gray muses.
“My last band The Neurotransmitters had a song called ‘A Day In Yr Wife,’ so when John Meyer (Co-Captain) mentioned that he had just written a song called ‘Don’t Kiss Me With Your Lips Use Your Penis’ I knew that it was the perfect excuse to form a band. And since then we have added mandola, trumpet, bass, fiddle, drums, banjo, accordion and mandolin. We accumulate band members like a priest collects altar boys. We certainly have a rather bawdy, porno aspect to the band, with song titles like ‘6000 Cocks’ and ‘These Are A Few of My Favourite Flings.’ It’s a fair indication of what we are on about. There are also the darker death ballad side as well as the obligatory sea shanties and drinking songs. We like to think of our genre as porno/country/folk/cabaret, or POCOFOCA.”
Having recruited nine members to form the band, Gray says even the easy things such as organising rehearsal sessions can become a mountainous task.
“It’s definitely a bit like herding cats… getting at least three quarters of the band together at any one time. We are pretty relaxed though. John and I originally thought that the line up would be quite flexible, and that whoever could show up would be fine. But so far we have had all nine of us at nearly every show. The only other complication is fitting us and our gear on stage.”
As for an album in the works, Gray says the band has around 30 songs from which to choose.
“Our live shows have a really fun but intense atmosphere so I’d love to capture that for the first album. I wouldn’t be surprised if we get in a big room, hopefully some rural CWA hall and just record our set and drink ourselves silly and see what we get. It will either be dog shit or gold.” - Timeoff

"Live Review - JUKE BARITONE, THE GOOD SHIP - THE JOYNT: 17.10.09"

Getting out of the Valley for a live music dose is highly recommended once in a while. The isolated location of The Joynt doesn’t lessen the crowd, but it does mean there are less fucktards hanging around outside. And a couple inside, as I discover when some jackass knocks over a table of drinks. But I digress.
The evening opens with The Good Ship, who start their set as only a pair of dudes with guitars. Now, in all my years of paying attention to music I’ve seen and heard some interesting stuff. I’ve seen German techno-noise terrorists use a strobe light for their entire set. I’ve heard African desert blues that is heartbreaking, despite the language barrier. But I have not ever, before tonight, heard a song called ‘Six Thousand Cocks’. And never would I expect such a song to be performed with all the heart and soul of a loving ballad. The self described ‘porno pirate’ band grow fourfold in numbers after the first song, and launch, oddly, into some fairly straightforward folk pop. They whip out a decent sea shanty version of Guns N’ Roses’ ‘Used To Love Her’, but the rest of the set seesaws between decent catchy songs and stuff that would make Kevin Bloody Wilson blush.
Sideshow oddity Juke Baritone is playing with a pick up group of local musicians tonight, and though each song starts as a bit of a cacophony as the ringers find their feet, the songs quickly resolve into the stomping barroom jams that they should be, and the noise adds to the ramshackle nature of the music. Baritone starts his set alone with accordion before deciding it’s too quiet and switches to piano for ‘Shadrach’. The crowd gets fired up for singing along by the band’s spruiker, a slim blonde lady who marches up and down the floor shaking a tambourine and generally getting people excited. Juke’s, er, baritone growl shakes The Joynt’s foundations; he introduces his “first wife”, a skull, and dedicates beerhall rampage ‘You Said You Loved Me’ to her. Songs stretch out as the ringmaster digresses into conversing with the crowd, the call-and-response of ‘Old Joe’ –“Hey mate!”, “Mate!” –seems apt, as Baritone is on great terms with his new Brisbane friends both on and off stage. The general lubricated nature of the room fits the bill perfectly too; Juke Baritone creates perfect quaffing music.

"Interview - The Good Ship"

Pornographic, modern day sea-shanties anyone? Who ever would have predicted that this question would be responded to with a definite, resounding cry of ‘YES!’? Co-captain (or co-founder) of The Good Ship, Darryl ‘Daz’ Gray began plotting the band’s voyage just over 12 months ago with partner in crime John Meyer and it seems that their unique blend of sexualised folk, rock, country and pop was exactly what was missing from the nation’s music scene.

Delving into the somewhat seedier topics of humanity with their lyrics, The Good Ship explore something that has been relatively uncovered in times past. Yet, the crucial and defining element of the band is that they do so with a generous helping of pizzazz. Their controversial stories are complimented with infectious, pop-infused compositions and sing-along melodies that will have you chanting before you even realize exactly what you’re saying. And this is precisely why they’re winning people over throughout the country.

The question on everyone’s lips however, is what exactly causes musicians to write pirate-inspired, folk/rock/country/pop blended, pornographic tunes?

“John, as co-captain, he writes half of the songs, and he actually grew up on a boat for like the first ten years of his life. They lived on a yacht… as you do,” Captain Gray explains. “Then, I always wanted to write songs about what I actually know and what generally other people don't write about. So (we) made that connection with John's sort of sea-faring past; so to speak,” he grins.

“So, for some reason I plucked The Good Ship out of the air and it all fell into place. Because we play a lot of acoustic instruments like violin, accordion, trumpet, mandolin and stuff like that, it really resonated with that sea-shanty feel and before we knew it, we were a pirate-country-porno band,” he laughs.

Now, 12 months later, the band have evolved into a crew of eight (and sometimes nine) with a considerable following and a debut album signed, sealed and halfway delivered. The Good Ship are currently at the mid-point of their album launch tour and the LP Avast! Wretched Sea is officially released on July 5. Undoubtedly, The Good Ship are a band that move at a formidable pace.

“We played about four or five really good shows, then we sort of just looked at each other and went ‘let’s go and record right now’,” recalls ‘Captain’ Gray. “We knew we were on to something and we really wanted to capture it straight away. (Plus), people were leaving so we had to make sure we got their parts before they went,” he grins.

“But, it turned out awesome. I love it. I don’t know if I can say that [though], because it’s my album,” he ruminates with a chuckle.

Although the material and the performance came with ease, putting together the album came with some difficulties – namely providing their work with a title. Gray equates the lengthy process of naming the album with that of naming a child.

“It’s like naming a kid, naming an album. It’s got to be a good reflection and we didn’t want it to be ‘punny’,” the singer relates. “We had this massive Facebook post for about four weeks trying to come up with album titles. Then our smart-arse accordion player – who did all the artwork for the album as well – sort of said, ‘How about Avast! Wretched Sea because you’re like yelling at it going “damn you sea”,’ and we all went, ‘Yeah, that’s pretty good’,” Gray laughs.

“I think it’s reflective of us choosing the album title; like, it was such a hard process, with so many people putting in their opinion. It was so funny that in the end someone came up with something that we all agreed on within like half an hour,” he grins.

But it should be noted that there’s far more to The Good Ship than simply good humour and pornography. Upon closer inspection it can be seen that under the surface lies a deeper meaning to the sex and controversy. 6000 Cocks, for example, examines the profession of prostitution from a new, interesting angle. So, does it bother the band if people misinterpret them?

“I think with the lyrics, people grab onto the surface of it initially, but I think that helps them eventually work out what’s going on,” Gray states. “I’d much prefer them to go ‘Oh, that’s all really porno’ and then six months later go ‘Oh, it’s a bit deep though,’ rather than just going ‘Oh yeah, whatever’ and not listening to it at all. I think having the controversial nature of the lyrics, and the sexualised lyrics, will help people eventually get to the deeper understanding of it.

“I’m pretty naïve and I just assume that everyone will get it eventually,” he laughs. “Whether they do or not, I don’t know.”

The scurvy dogs of The Good Ship head down to Melbourne for their album launch at The Grace Darling Bandroom this Saturday July 3. Avast! Wretched Sea is out on Monday July 5 through Autumn Recordings. - Beat (Melbourne)

"Single Review - A Harbour Fair"

The Good Ship - A Harbour Fair

WORDS BY: David Hennessy

The Good Ship are making waves around the country on the back of several months of well received – and according to all accounts, intensely piratey – live shows. Formed from a collection of Brisbane musicians outnumbered only by the variety instruments they’ve manage to incorporate into their sound, this release precedes their awesomely titled “forthcoming opus” Avast! Wretched Sea.

A Harbour Fair makes the nobly sleazy intentions of The Good Ship instantly clear. A guitar intro reminiscent of the Violent Femmes quickly gives way to nautical, mischief-themed lyrics, backed by the reliable pirate-rock combination of violin and accordion – among a multitude of other instruments. The influence of The Pogues is clear, and its pairing with this story of a bunch of seedy sailors hungry to indulge in drinking, gambling and women is one made sensibly. The chorus is geared to be a drunken singalong, with shouted backup vocals egging the song onward as the band stomp their way through the performance, a rousing central vocal hook swaggering over the top of it all. However the song’s strength lies in its widely varied sonic palette, with the post-chorus violin and accordion jaunt stealing the show.

The Good Ship have announced their arrival as best they could have. They’ve effectively captured their aesthetic within this track, and it’s no surprise that it’s already earned airplay on Triple J. How far the pirate theme can be stretched remains to be seen, but regardless, this release is solid and their live show is bound to be awesome. - Rave Review (Adelaide)

"Interview - The Good Ship"

The Good Ship Is A Very Bad Ship
By Jason Strange

June 28, 2010

The Good Ship Is A Very Bad Ship

The Good Ship, hailing from that musical playground that is Brisbane, are a unique musical experience. Dressing like pirates and delivering songs like they were old sea tales, the seven come nine piece have built a solid underground following. This year sees the band release their debut album Avast! Wretched Sea: Tales Of Woe And Intrigue.

Co-founder John Meyer describes the bands sound as a “porno country pirate folk pop rock cabaret extravaganza, writing songs about whores, cocks, vagabonds, losers and bad lovers. We recently got reviewed as an illiterate version of the Decemberists, which isn’t far off the mark. Some of the more obvious connections are folk like Nick Cave, Bruce Springsteen’s Seeger Sessions, Tom Waits and Weddings Parties Anything, but then we consumed a lot of sugary pop growing up so there’s hints of Stock, Aitken & Waterman under the surface if you dare lift the veil.”

The songs themselves play out like old tales told in seedy seaside bars on a dark and stormy night where plenty of ale and whisky has been consumed. And while most of them are fictitious, there is a couple of tracks that come from real life accounts. “There’s true stories like ‘6000 Cocks’ which is about [co-founder Daz's] friend who‘s a former prostitute, and ‘18 When You’re 44' about his mum.”

When asked about The Good Ships’ live show, John himself isn’t sure what to expect: “we don’t even know what to expect from a Good Ship show and that’s half the beauty of it. With so many nut jobs on stage and a sort of revolving door of members we’re lucky to know who’s performing on any given night let alone how it’s gonna sound. If nothing else it’s always fun and anarchic, and sometimes we actually all play the same song at the same time!”

What The Good Ship do provide is something different to the majority of modern bands; clever crafted songs that border on black humour with toe tapping, thigh slapping fiddles and guitars.

The album Avast! Wretched Sea is available now. You can download the first single ‘Harbour Fair’ for free here. - MusicFeeds


O' Exquisite Corpse - Album - 2012
A Harbour Fair (The Good Ship) - single - 2010
Avast! Wretched Sea (The Good Ship) - album - 2010
These Are A Few Of My Favourite Flings - 2010
Bury Me/I Can Make Her Laugh - double A side - 2011



Salty, scruffy and a little salacious, The Good Ship is a very bad ship. Their folk-country-pop-rock sounds draw comparisons with the likes of Nick Cave, The Decemberists and The Pogues, and the carousing and chaotic eight piece line up features mandola, banjo, lagerphone, guitar, trumpet, accordion and drums, as well as a not so heavenly host of voices. The success of their 2010 debut album Avast! Wretched Sea and their rousing live shows have seen the band snag a legion of dedicated fans, play to packed houses around the country and perform at major festivals including Woodford and Brisbane Festival.

They've just completed their second album O' Exquisite Corpse, a work of dark, sweaty, heaving beauty, featuring The Good Ship's trademark blend of sweet melodies and debauched lyrics. The band have managed to create an album steeped in rich harmonies and lush instrumentation, all the while retaining the shambolic glory of their live show.

The album was produced by the band in conjunction with Neil Coombe at The White Room Studios, whose credits include DZ Deathrays, The Go Betweens and the John Steel Singers. It was a difficult and somewhat messy birth, with much of the recording done in loungerooms and bedrooms across Brisbane, before being masterfully brought together by Neil. The result is 11 songs that range from sugary pop to rollicking country to the darkest balladry. The overwhelmingly dark themes of death, murder, prostitution and the supernatural are tempered by snippets of humour and light.

O' Exquisite Corpse is out now through Autumn Recordings and MGM.

John Meyer – vocals, guitars, percussion
Daz Gray – vocals, guitars, mandolin, banjo
Brett Harris - vocals, guitars, mandolin
Geoff Wilson – mandola, mandolin, lagerphone, percussion
Janey Mac – bass, double bass
Kat Cooke – trumpet, percussion
Kat Ogilvie - Accordion, Vocals
James Lees - drums

Numerous shows in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Sunshine Coast, including at the Zoo, the Troubadour, Rics, the Joynt, the Soundlounge, the Grace Darling, the Bald Faced Stag, the Old Bar, The Sando, The Toff in Town, The Vanguard, Good God and more.

Woodford Folk Festival 2010, Illawarra Folk Festival 2011, Woodford Folk Festival 2012, Australasian World Music Festival 2012


O' Exquisite Corpse - Album 2012
A Harbour Fair – single – 2010
Avast! Wretched Sea – album – 2010
These Are A Few Of My Favourite Flings - 2010
Bury Me/I Can Make Her Laugh - double A side - 2011

Music Videos:

Powder Monkey - 2012 - produced by Davros El Davros -
Seven Seas - 2012 - produced by Davros El Davros -
A Harbour Fair – 2010 – produced by Nick Smith
These Are A Few Of My Favourite Flings - 2010 - produced by Mark Deere
Bury Me - 2011 - produced by Brett Harris
I Can Make Her Laugh - 2011 - produced by Nick Smith


Tim Price - Manager -
John Meyer or Darryl Gray
Ph: 0411 230 765