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2004
 
Great Big Sea Plan Something Beautiful
Tuesday January 27, 2004
By:
ChartAttack.com Staff

Just picture it: Canadas best-known Celtic rockers are playing in front of a small crowd at your local pub and youre so close to the stage that you can practically reach out and tap beer mugs with the lead singer.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, if you happen to be a fan of Newfoundlands greatest musical export, Great Big Sea, keep your fingers crossed they might be putting in some quality stage time at an intimate venue in your city.

In honour of their newest album, Something Beautiful, set to be released February 24 in Canada, Alan Doyle and the boys will be putting on five small-scale shows in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax. Just which venues Great Big Sea will be gracing with their unique blend of Celtic folk-rock have yet to be announced.

But one thing is for certain lucky fans who manage to score tickets will get a glimpse of what Great Big Sea was all about back in the early 90s when they played kitchen parties and jam sessions in the small fishing village of Petty Harbour. Currently enjoying domestic and international success, the members of Great Big Sea have been mostly playing large-scale venues of late, so this is an opportunity not to be missed.

As for the specifics for when and where, apparently a limited number of tickets will be made available for purchase. And while the performances are sure to sell out fast, fans will also be given the chance to win tickets through various contests.

Something Beautiful is Great Big Seas sixth album proper. The follow-up to the hugely successful 2002 release, Sea Of No Cares, Something Beautiful is being preceded by the single "When I Am King," which is already getting solid airplay across the country.

Planning a trip south of the border? Along with the newly announced Canadian tour Great Big Sea will also be playing across the U.S. during all of March and early April. The U.S. release for Something Beautiful is set for March 9.

Karolina Rous

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2003
 
Great Big Sea floats new tour dates as live DVD surfaces

by Jon Zahlaway
liveDaily Staff Writer
 
December 17, 2003 - Canadian outfit Great Big Sea follows its current break from the road with a late-winter/early-spring U.S. tour.
 
The Celtic Rockers plan to kick things off in the Northeast in early March, and dates so far are scheduled into April. The group is also slated to give a Dec. 27 performance in its native Newfoundland.

Last month, the band released a new DVD titled "Great Big DVD," which features about 80 minutes of concert footage, as well as 13 music videos, three Karaoke tracks, a tour documentary, home movies and a band timeline, according to the group's website.

Great Big Sea's most-recent audio release is last year's "Sea of No Cares," which debuted at No. 1 on the Canadian charts.

The group spent much of 2003 on the road in support of the set during the band's first outing without founding bassist Darrell Power, who announced at the beginning of the year that he was retiring from the group in order to spend more time with his family.

Founding members Alan Doyle, Bob Hallett and Sean McCann have charged ahead with new bassist Murray Foster, formerly of Moxy Fruvious.

Multi-instrumentalist Hallet, in the band's label biography, describes Great Big Sea as "a really aggressive folk band that marries traditional Celtic music with modern rhythms.

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July 18, 2003
In fair and foul weather

By Rob Antle - The Telegram

The first time Sam Roberts played a gig in Newfoundland, he almost didnt make it here. Roberts and his bandmates had to navigate their van through a February ice storm just to make it to the airport in Halifax and their waiting flight.

But when they did finally arrive on the Rock, the perilous journey the freezing sleet, the ice the treacherous highway were all forgotten.

Roberts had a a couple of lubricating pints with some buddies of a good friend from Newfoundland, then hit the stage at Club One not long after midnight.

This was the best show weve ever played, Roberts wrote afterwards in his online journal. Like Halifax, all sense of inhibition had been thrown out the window, and it forced us to raise the bar.

This weekend, he will be back in Newfoundland to raise the bar again and maybe raise a couple in the bar. On Saturday, the Sam Roberts Band will be one of the headline acts for this years Splash 2003 concert at the Exploits Valley Salmon Festival.

Its a welcome return to these parts for the Montreal-based musician; he still counts that February show in St. Johns as among his best ever.

It came out better than good, he said in a mid-week telephone interview from somewhere on the road in Ontario. On a personal level, Id been waiting to come out to Newfoundland for a long time. Ive got Jeremy Charles (his friend from Newfoundland whom he met in Montreal) feeding me stories about the Rock every few seconds, basically getting my imagination working and (generating) a hunger to see the place. On one level, there was that that was almost as important as the fact that we were there for a show.

And the show?

The show itself was unbelievable, he said. We never expected that much of a welcome.

The months following the bands midwinter appearance on George Street have been a whirlwind. There was the release of a critically praised CD (We Were Born in a Flame), the taping of TV appearances south of the border, and recent news that the band would be sharing a stage with The Rolling Stones at the SARS relief concert in Toronto later this month.

Roberts says he is looking forward to this weekends show, and has designs to return to this side of the overpass later in the year. Its too bad we dont get to come back to St. Johns right away, but we have plans already to do that at some point soon.

This trip will be another flying visit to Newfoundland something he regrets, but acknowledges is part of the business.

Its the blessing and the curse of being in a band, Roberts said. On the one hand, you do what you love every day, but at the same time you never really get to become too attached to a place because by the time you even feel remotely comfortable in a place, youre back on the road again. Thats why youve got to come back and keep going back and keep going back, and every time you do you learn a little bit more.

GBS on the roster

Thousands of people are expected to descend on Grand Falls-Windsor this weekend to hear Roberts and a varied lineup of acts at Saturdays Splash 2003 concert. The show is the highlight of a weekend full of events.

Performers hitting the stage on Saturday include headline act Great Big Sea, singer-songwriter Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, hip-hop heroes Swollen Members, punk princess Bif Naked, and local acts Gearbox and Timber.

Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea will be playing at the festival, but even if he wasnt going to be on stage, he might have been there anyway.

Ive gone to the Salmon Festival twice when we didnt play To get everybody out of town for a weekend is such a blast, and to see all the other bands its such an excellent lineup. Im looking forward to it.

GBS is just back from a gig in Burlington, Vt. Summer holidays started (this week), and the Salmon Festival is a big part of the summer holidays, Doyle said.

Its nice to be home, he said. Any gig we do where the area code is still 709 is good by me.

After a couple of weeks off, the band will start recording tracks for their new CD; they hope to preview some of those new songs on Saturday, Doyle said.

Third time for Timber

Meanwhile, Timber is gearing up for a big weekend after a short spell off the road. The band spent much of June on a tour of the Atlantic provinces with 70s icon Dr. Hook. They played 11 nights out of 15, a hectic schedule that was interspersed with six- and seven-hour drives between gigs. In total, they put 9,000 kilometres on their van, lead singer Billy Hickey said. I think we crossed the ferry over to Nova Scotia four times.

After a little bit of time off, the bands batteries should be recharged, Hickey said. Ill tell you, one thing about playing almost 11 nights in a row is that by the end of it, we felt really good about the band, we were really tight. Hopefully the rust is not on it now with our little layoff.

This is the third year in a row Timber will be on the Salmon Festival bill. They will play a stadium show Friday night, then take the main stage on Saturday afternoon.

Were really looking forward to it Splash is such a great time anyway, Hickey said.

Local organizers are expecting more than 10,000 people at Saturdays show, according to Grand Falls-Windsor Coun. Mike Griffin. Advance sales were up 20 per cent over early-bird receipts last year, he noted.

Many concert-goers will be bunking out at a new campsite, called Red Cliff Rocks, which is open for the first time this year. The site can accommodate 5,000 people, Griffin says, and is fully booked.

This is the biggest event in Newfoundland, not just for us, Griffin said. It really is.

Meanwhile, the RCMP says it will be boosting patrols in central Newfoundland this weekend to coincide with the festival.

Patrol units will be travelling to and from Grand Falls-Windsor with concert-bound traffic, and checkpoints will be set up throughout the weekend, according the RCMPs Cpl. Peter Cornick.

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July 16, 2003
Band digs amenities, Vt. hospitality

By Sally Pollak - Free Press Staff Writer

"From an artist's perspective, it's absolutely top-notch," said Murray Foster, bass guitarist for Great Big Sea, a lively Celtic folk-rock band from Newfoundland.

Foster was talking Monday night at North Beach, after his group had played the second set of a three-band show. Nickel Creek, a bluegrass band from California, was onstage, swatting bugs and playing fiddle-and-mandolin tunes with complicated rhythms.

Foster was commenting on his surroundings, from catered food and concert hall to the beach where he had spent the afternoon.

"We even had a beautiful woman come up to us and say, 'I'm your hospitality maiden: You can't get your own drinks. I'll bring you towels,'" Foster recalled. "We were like, 'No problem.'"

Great Big Sea played Burlington's North Beach on the sixth date of a six-date tour. It was a "stunning" way to the end the road trip, he said.

"All of us thought it was spectacular," Foster said of the venue. "We had such a wonderful day, lying on the beach. It was phenomenal. You go from dingy concrete dressing room to dingy concrete dressing room. And you come to expect it."

The only thing missing Monday, he said, was a soccer ball

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Friday, January 10, 2003
Great Big Sea's Bassist To Pursue Future Off The Road

(St. John's, NL) -- After ten years of non-stop recording and touring, Great Big Sea's bassist Darrell Power has decided to conclude his affiliation with Great Big Sea.

"I have chosen to pursue interests, musical and otherwise, off the road and closer to home for the foreseeable future", says Power. "It was an amicable decision and the right one for me at this time." The remaining founders of the group, Alan Doyle, Bob Hallett, and Sean McCann will continue to perform and record. A replacement bass player will be hired for live appearances. "Darrell has been a great driving force in the band and will be missed," says Doyle. "But being in Great Big Sea is an all consuming job and we respect his decision to devote more time to his family," adds McCann.

Great Big Sea just completed a highly successful tour of Canada this Fall, visiting over 40 cities and performing for over 100,000 people in promotion of its fifth studio album Sea Of No Cares. The album debuted at #1 its first week of release at Canadian retail, garnering further critical acclaim and bringing Great Big Sea's total album sales to over one million units sold.

The group was recently nominated for seven 2003 East Coast Music Awards (ECMA), including Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year and Group of the Year. This past year, the band has also headlined over 100 concerts and festivals in major cities in the US and Europe.

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