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Friday, 29 August 2014

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Luke thrills the cruise liner crowds

A WHITEHAVEN musician describes his latest Caribbean cruise work as “fast paced, fun, stimulating and eye-opening!”

By Sarah Robinson

Luke Yates has returned to his home town after a 10-week stint on Liberty of the Seas, one of the world’s biggest cruise liners.

The 23-year-old will be staying in Whitehaven for a short time and hopes to meet up with fellow musicians, teach guitar lessons and perform locally.

He has spoken to The Whitehaven News about his latest voyage and his hopes for the future.

During his Royal Caribbean cruise, Luke travelled around Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico and the Caribbean.

He said: “The ship was far bigger than I anticipated. I went ice-skating, rock climbing, and surfing on it. There was so many things to do.”

He was a guest entertainer on the ship which he says was a “privileged position” as he was treated as a guest and was paid to entertain.

He said: “Americans are mental! It’s just been insane. There was one guy who was a millionaire and he paid me $100 to play Sweet Caroline. It’s my best paid song.

“Billy Joel’s Piano Man and Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline are like cat nip for the Americans,” he added.

Highlights of the voyage included performing for a newly-married Irish couple’s first dance and speaking to a guests about their life experiences.

He also formed a close bond with a room service employee as he ordered late night snacks after evening performances.

The woman shared with him about her struggles and problems, which Luke was able to listen to and encourage her.

For Luke, the voyage was an opportunity to improve his skills. “I’ve got better as a musician,” he said. “Americans like a lot of banter, so this last contract has made me more quick-witted.”

He said: “I’m really lucky to have had a lot of opportunities but at the same time it means there is a multitude of paths I can take. If there is some fate in life, I hope whichever path I take, I get to the same destination.

“At a young age, when you get opportunities, older people say you have to make the most of the time. I’m learning to stop and enjoy every moment.”

Future plans include performing on a Disney Cruse Line in March 2015.

While Luke is staying in Whitehaven he wants to learn new skills including speaking Italian, playing the violin and reading music.

He is looking for talented musicians to contact him about performing together. He also plans to teach guitar to budding musicians.

Contact Luke on Facebook or at www.pianovocalist.com.

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