One of my sisters has lived in Quebec City for nearly 25 years now. I’ve visited her twice in that time — in October 1993, and November 1999. On the latter visit, I managed to catch two concerts. The second, a Monday night Tea Party gig at some restored theatre just outside the gates of Vieux-Quebec, was planned ahead of time with my sister. The first was a spur of the moment Sunday night show with my sister’s partner after he ended up with two spare tickets to Great Big Sea. So we saw them and Maritime musician Melanie Doane at a fairly big hall somewhere.
I wouldn’t describe myself as a big GBS fan, but I don’t mind some of their stuff. And performed live, in front of a crowd that included a healthy contingent of transplanted Newfoundlanders, it was pretty sweet. Afterwards, my sister’s partner and I went to a boites a chanson called Chez Son Pere in Vieux-Quebec where singer-songwiters perform. My sister’s partner is a musician himself, and Sunday at that bar was a jam night where singer-songwriters who were typically busy the rest of the week gathered and played. Two members of Great Big Sea (Alan Doyle and Sean McCann) showed up and performed. As it happened, a month or so earlier I’d done a phone interview for Prairie Dog with comic Mary Walsh who, like Doyle and McCann, hails from Newfoundland. Over beers we chatted a bit about my interview and some of the insights Walsh had given me about growing up on “the Rock”. So that was neat.
Tonight, Great Big Sea are playing a show at Brandt Centre. A good time, you can pretty much guarantee, will be had by all. To close, here’s video of a Montreal band I saw at a club with my sister and her partner on my first visit to Quebec City in ’93. They’re called Too Many Cooks, and the song is “Who”: