Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Beautiful Band return to Victoria for a gig at the Royal Theatre on Tuesday, May 7. Photo by Shehab Illyas

Western waterfront calls to Alan Doyle

Former Great Big Sea front man brings his maritimer’s mind and music to the city for May 7 concert

He’s familiar to many Victoria residents, having performed here various times as a solo act or with legendary party band Great Big Sea.

But lovable Newfoundlander Alan Doyle will no doubt win some new fans to his music when he plays the Royal Theatre on May 7. During a recent concert tour of Europe with the Beautiful Beautiful Band, he took some time to offer his thoughts on a variety of topics for Monday.

MM: What are some of your favourite things about coming to and playing in Victoria?

AD: I dearly love the wharf walk around Victoria Harbour. I suppose I am drawn to the ocean as I was practically born in it. I can’t think of a much nicer thing to do than stroll the apron in Victoria, hear the buskers, watch the seaplanes come and go and enjoy the tremendous variety of sights and sounds along that walk.

MM: What can the audience expect for this show?

AD: I released a record just over a year ago that me and the band recorded with legendary producer Bob Rock, A Week at The Warehouse. We’ll be doing some fun songs from that project as well as a mix of songs from my other solo albums, a bunch of Great Big Sea tunes, and favourites from the Newfoundland Traditional Music collection. All designed to make for a fun, interactive sing-along kind of night out.

MM: How much fun was it writing your latest book, A Newfoundlander in Canada?

AD: I don’t find writing books therapeutic at all! It takes too friggin’ long. But I do find that kind of writing to be a perfect companion to my touring life. I roll into town, exercise and eat and usually have a few hours to work on a book or a record or whatever. I don’t love the book writing mountain, but climbing it is a good thing for me to be doing while travelling or waiting in a dressing room for curtain call.

MM: What was it like playing for European audiences who may not have fully understood your lyrics?

AD: HA! I’m from Newfoundland. Almost no one knows what I’m saying. Even crowds with English as a first language! The chorus to one of the most popular songs in the set list is ‘Aha Me B’ys A Riddle Aye Day.’

MM: You posted last year about how tough it is to leave your wife and son to hit the road after being home for a while. Have you written anything recently for them or relating to family?

AD: I recently wrote a song about my dad and how we both had to leave our hometown of Petty Harbour to find work: him in a hospital in St. John’s and me on stages around the world. I think we both feel a bit guilty about not staying in our hometown harbour, and the song I wrote expresses something we both share.

MM: You show no signs of slowing down the touring and writing. Do you see a time when you’d like to cut back on your musical works?

AD: Playing concerts is still my favourite thing to do. I like recording and writing songs and books and getting the odd acting job, but honestly, I’d be content just playing concerts for the rest of my life if that was deemed necessary for one reason or another. I loved it as a kid and I still loves it.

Tickets for the Alan Doyle show are available at rmts.bc.ca or by phone at 250-386-6121.



editor@mondaymag.com

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