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Great Big Seaに関する雑談、その他音楽、あるいはただの読書日記

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上の記事お薦めです。
なぜ公式、この写真を使わないのかと思うほど男前な3人。
これ見たら男前だと言わざるを得ない。
3人が3人ともすごく彼らだ。
SeanなんてまさにSeanだ! 正面見てるよりずっとSeanっぽい。
というわけで写真提供のWarnerさんに行ってきました。
写真どこにもございませんけど。
Sonic Entertainmentさんにも行ってきましたけれどやっぱりない。
公開しないの……? こんなにいい写真を? なんだかなぁ。


MONTREAL - Alan Doyle, one Great Big Sea’s singers and player of just about anything that can be plucked, burst out in a forceful guffaw when he realized what he had just said.

The conversation was about life on the road and whether it has begun to take its toll as the band looks toward its 20th anniversary of playing high-spirited Celtic folk-rock in a couple of short years. The group’s three core members – Doyle, Séan McCann and Bob Hallett – are now all in their early 40s.

During an interview to promote Great Big Sea’s three-hour show here tomorrow night, the subject turned to being able to keep up a reasonable diet while on tour, and Doyle said the group tries its best, given the restrictions of different places and times. “But we’re pretty good at eating right. It’s the kind of thing you just have to do if you want to be able to perform the way we like to perform, at our age,” he said.

Pause, followed by explosive laughter from the other end of the telephone line.

“Wow! That might be the first time in my professional life I’ve ever said ‘at our age.’ Mark it down, man! Oh, my God! The interview’s over,” he said, slowly regaining his composure.

The part about the interview being over was definitely a joke. Doyle, in fact, was just getting started, and any topic was up for grabs. So we went pretty much back to the beginning, to the small fishing village of Petty Harbor in Newfoundland, where he grew up in a musical family and was drawn in by the sounds of the Clancy Brothers and Newfoundland superstars The Wonderful Grand Band.

“Music was almost a given,” Doyle said. “I remember discovering that not everybody had a guitar in the house. It sounds crazy, but I really don’t remember learning to play.”

The sea, of course, was another constant. On the title song of Great Big Sea’s latest album Safe Upon the Shore, it makes a typically dramatic appearance in a grim ending to the tale of a woman awaiting the return of a lost lover.

It’s the kind of song that comes naturally to Maritimers, Doyle said. “Most bands and songwriters don’t have the bloodline that allows them to write tragic seafaring songs,” he said, laughing. “A lot of people who live on the Atlantic Ocean love to have this romantic, tragic relationship with the ocean, mostly because it’s true, that notion that the grand god of the ocean gives and takes when it feels like it, and the worst thing you can do is take it for granted or try to master it.

“I remember the first time I went to British Columbia. and saw the Pacific Ocean and I saw people boating on it and going out on the ocean in a recreational fashion. I was flabbergasted, man,” he said. “The ocean in Newfoundland is where you go to work and be killed.”

Before the federal government declared a moratorium on cod fishing in 1992, Petty Harbor was “a 24-hour town,” for eight or nine months of the year, Doyle said. “There was always someone awake. Fishermen were up at 2 a.m. It taught me a lot about how far ahead you could get if you were willing to work hard. I see it in my own work ethic, and in my music as well. I’ve always been fascinated by writing about possibility and how achievable things are. In my little town, it always felt like you could do anything, even though the world was a million miles away. Hard work could give you anything.”

Great Big Sea’s cover of the Kinks’ Have a Cuppa Tea, a song brought to the table by McCann, also underlines Sage Upon the Shore’s themes of love for family, home and tradition. “If there’s one big British holdover in Newfoundland, it’s tea,” Doyle said. “A cup of tea in Newfoundland, man, is as sacred as it is in Devon.”

The rootsy sound and plain-spoken lyrics that define Great Big Sea’s work have attracted not only heartland fans, but high-profile admirers as well. Actor Russell Crowe, who co-wrote the new disc’s shotgun-wedding rave-up Hit the Ground and Run with Doyle, has been a friend and fan since he first heard the group while working on the 1999 film Mystery, Alaska. Since then, he and Doyle have collaborated on some 20 songs, Doyle said. Most ended up on Crowe’s 2006 album My Hand, My Heart, which Doyle produced.

The crossover continued when Doyle played Allan A’Dayle in the Ridley Scott film Robin Hood, released this year, with Crowe in the title role.

“The most enjoyable part of the whole thing was being part of a massive artistic movement, like where I was just one of so many different, completely unrelated talents that come together to make every frame of a movie like that look convincing,” he said.

Doyle, however, was clear on where his priorities will remain as he finds longevity suiting the band. “Every day we stay together confirms the fact that this is what we’ve always wanted to do for a living – not for a weekend or for a summer, but for our lifetime,” he said.

“It’s a wonderful thing to always have the mother ship of Great Big Sea,” he said, “to go back to the clubhouse of Great Big Sea.”


bperusse@ montrealgazette.com

twitter.com/bernieperusse

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