Alan Doyle, former front man for Great Big Sea and more recent solo artist, entertained current fans and newcomers to his music at the Royal Theatre last night. File photo

REVIEW: Soaring vocals, rousing beats bring Alan Doyle audience to its feet

Newfoundland musician thrills fans at Royal Theatre

By Jennifer Blyth

Monday Magazine contributor

With a generous serving of traditional East Coast tunes and rock-infused favourites, paired with plenty of heartfelt stories and good humour, Tuesday’s Royal Theatre audience savoured the ingredients for the finest kitchen party Victoria has seen for awhile.

Maybe since the last time Alan Doyle was in town!

“We’ve been looking forward to this for a very long time,” the former Great Big Sea frontman told the cheering crowd.

Backed by his Beautiful, Beautiful Band – including Kendal Carson, a fiddler with deep Victoria connections – Doyle promised possibly “the greatest kitchen party in the history of British Columbia.”

What followed were rousing renditions of traditional, sing-along tunes like “Captain Kidd,” “Lukey’s Boat” and “Old Back Rum plus songs from last year’s Week at the Warehouse release, previous solo albums and Great Big Sea favourites.

READ MORE: Western waterfront calls to Alan Doyle

Local folk duo Ocie ElliottJon Middleton and Sierra Lundy – opened the evening with a set of original songs, including several from their recent release: the title track “We Fall In and the second single from the album, “Run to You.”

The pair’s heartfelt harmonies were a good lead-in to Doyle’s powerful vocals.

Sharing stories of growing up in the small Newfoundland town of Petty Harbour, where the Doyles were the minstrels of the town, the engaging entertainer continued the tradition.

From the bluesy “Testify that got people to their feet to the powerful a capella song “Dream of Home that concluded the extended encore, Doyle rewarded longtime fans and likely won any newcomers in the audiences.

Additional performance dates follow in Nanaimo and Campbell River, but Doyle encouraged audiences to invite him back to Victoria – or to visit Newfoundland (Canada’s Hawaii, he jokes).

From the enthusiastic response, there’s a good chance local audiences will accommodate.

Live music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

From Nanoose Bay to the bookshelf, Howard the Gnome now a children’s book

Vancouver Island author explores Howard’s move down-Island

Nanaimo country singer releases new music video

‘Adrenaline’ is the second single from Joel Lee’s upcoming debut EP

Vancouver Island dance school pirouettes into full-fledged education institution

Steps Ahead studio will provide assistance with distance learning, as well as artistic classes

Maclure house on tap in Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s virtual tour

Inaugural virtual House Tour features an online tour of a beautiful 1916 Samuel Maclure

Resident Alien returns to Ladysmith for filming in early October

New SyFy series back after spring filming interrupted by COVID-19

Island author launches literary podcast with Canada Council for the Arts grant

Shelley Leedhal will air 10 episodes of “Something Like Love” over 10 weeks

Nanaimo’s Cinefest film festival to be held online this year due to COVID-19

CineCentral Filmmakers Society’s annual festival to feature films made in 48 hours

Indigenous artists showcase extreme sport-themed art at Nanaimo Art Gallery

Touring exhibition ‘Boarder X’ features work inspired by skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing

Indigenous artist restores 20-year-old sculpture in downtown Victoria

Four Winds sculpture located near Tug Eatery encourages climate action

Gabriola theatre group live-streaming two new pandemic-themed plays

Gabriola Players to broadcast ‘All and Nothing’ and ‘Syd’s Cosmic Slump’ using Zoom

Kingcome artist wins contest at Museum of Anthropology

Coral Shaughnessy-Moon’s design will be sold on t-shirts at the museum and online

Most Read