Boney M songstress Maizie Williams relives the band’s greatest hits.
Boney M is still fondly remembered by millions of fans worldwide.
Their insanely catchy songs mixed with the glitz and glamour of the disco era gave them an incredible run of chart success here in Australia and around the world. Their hits include Daddy Cool, Ma Baker, Mary Boy’s Child and their most famous offering Rivers Of Babylon. Boney M have sold over 159 million CDs worldwide, garnering 18 Platinum and 15 Gold Albums and over 200 Gold and Platinum Singles. We spoke with original band member Maizie Williams ahead of the group’s Australian greatest hits tour about what Brisbane audiences can expect from the show.
You’ve performed in Australia many times before, what do you love about Australian audiences?
Brisbane audiences are very special, we were last in Brisbane about seven years ago. Australian audiences are always full of life and energy. Every generation can relate to our music, it’s music you can dance to and sing along to. Everybody in Australia dances with us.
Which Boney M songs do audiences want to hear over and over again?
I like all of our songs and I think audiences do too, they are all dramatic in their own way. But the one that everybody waits for throughout every show is Rivers of Babylon. The whole audience just goes wild for it; it’s always the icing on the cake.
How did Rivers of Babylon come about?
The Rivers of Babylon is based on a biblical story so it’s taken from the Bible. The melody is a Caribbean style that made it very easy to listen to and it has a real gospel sound to it. It’s also got a disco feel so everybody can relate to it. It really led the charge for weeks, we went up to number one with that song and knocked ABBA out of that place. It’s the song that got us in the Guinness Book of World Records.
What’s it like to perform for fans who have followed your music for decades?
It’s lovely when audience members and fans come up to you and say that you play their favourite songs. Even if our music has something special to it it could not really not have achieved what it has achieved without the public behind it. We’re very grateful for the loyalty of our fans over the years.We try to make our shows very visually pleasing, which is about the costumes and the music and bringing it all together on stage to create that energy. People pay money to come and see you on stage so you have to make the effort and bring to life what they are expecting to see, which is a great show.
What’s the rehearsal schedule like before you head out on tour?
We don’t have time to rehearse that much at all, mainly because we are always on tour! If you are touring all the time then you’ve got the show going. If we have to add new songs or extra songs in then we have to work on them.
How do you cope with such a hectic international touring schedule?
That is the tiring part of the whole thing, the traveling. We rest in between shows and I try to eat healthy and conserve myself and my energy for the stage. We drink a lot of water and sleep. It’s not glamorous, not at all!
What’s the most common question you get asked by fans on tour?
Fans ask a lot of questions but the main thing they always ask us is when we are going to bring out a new album and new songs. But that’s not going to happen because it wouldn’t work in this time, because for us to bring something out as Boney M we would have to change our style to fit into today’s industry. It’s not a good thing to damage what you’ve already done. That’s what the people want anyway, they just want all the old hits, so we’ll leave it at that.
Boney M will play the Eatons Hill Hotel on Saturday 21 June. For more information see www.eatonshillhotel.com.au