June 24, 2006

Great Big Sea, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, 23 May 2001

Posted in bootleg, mp3 at 4:38 pm by rgsc

Photo from Denver, (2 Feb 2001) by Celtic Connection.

Summer is my favourite time of year as it means I get to go fancy places for conferences. This week I am off to the “tropical isle” of Newfoundland for the big national conference. In celebration of my impending conference and the little vacation that will follow, I bring you the only band that I know from Newfoundland and Labrador (although St. John’s seems to have a booming scene, as seen on NewMusicCanada) and whom I just so happen to have a recording of, Great Big Sea.

I saw Great Big Sea near the end of my year long stint at the University of Glasgow in my third year of undergrad. I had a blast at this show – there was singin’ and dancin’ and a helluva lot o’ clappin’ going on. GBS were opening for Scottinh band Runrig, who were alright but nothing spectacular in my books (the Scots seemed to dig them, however, just not my cup of tea, I guess), and they out performed the headliners by a longshot. After their set the band hung around and signed CDs and talked to people.

This recording was made with a crappy mic on analogue tape. As a result the quality isn’t perfect – there is some tape hiss, in addition to some crowd noise, but I think the sound is pretty decent. You may wish to check out one track before downloading the whole thing. I should have my regularly scheduled post next weekend but it all depends on my being able to have access to the internet. It may have to wait until I get back to Ontario.

Great Big Sea, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, May 23, 2001

1) The Chemical Worker’s Song (Process Man).mp3 (2.46 MB)
2-3) Billy Peddle.mp3 (3.04 MB) [link fixed]
4) I Can’t Get Down.mp3 (3.69 MB)
5) The greatest Wednesday of our entirel lives talk.mp3 (1.18 MB)
6) Goin Up.mp3 (3.58 MB)
7) Attacking the pop charts talk & Boston and St.John’s intro.mp3 (1.1 MB)
8) Boston and St John’s.mp3 (3.91 MB)
9) Sean & Bob birthday talk.mp3 (0.8 MB)
10) The Night Pat Murphy Died.mp3 (3.23 MB)
11) An anthem of irresponsibility talk.mp3 (0.4 MB)
12) Consequence Free.mp3 (3.11 MB)
13) General Taylor.mp3 (3.19 MB)
14) Lukey.mp3 (3.84 MB)
15) thanks talk.mp3 (0.2 MB)
16) Ordinary Day.mp3 (3.53 MB)

Bonus MP3: Great Big Sea with Sarah Harmer, Captain Wedderburn.mp3 (3.53 MB, from “Road Rage” CD)
Sarah Harmer was in Glasgow a few days before the GBS show. Sadly she didn’t stick around to sing this song with them.

For more live Great Big Sea CDs, including the live disc “Road Rage”, visit their store.


  1. daniel said,

    great big sea? oh god…

  2. rgsc said,

    What? Not indie enough for you? I never claimed to have any “cred”.

  3. Craig said,

    Track 2 is actually part of “Billy Peddle”, so you’ll need to fire up Audacity or CoolEdit or whatever you use to edit MP3s, and suture Track 2 to the front of Track 3.

    I can’t claim pure indie cred either. I still listen to Spirit of the West, for heaven’s sake.

  4. rgsc said,

    Thanks very much Craig. I’ll put them together when I get back home.

  5. daniel said,

    why are all bloggers so hung up on “indie” vs. everything else? you people always mock anyone who has different taste than you by claiming that what you like must not be “indie” enough for them. the fact of the matter is, Great Big Sea is dreadful. plus, for someone who mocks “indie” music by putting it in quotation marks, you sure do seem to love the genre.

  6. rgsc said,

    hmm. not quite what i was aiming at there, daniel. In fact if you look at it, I am saying the exact opposite. Given that your initial critique of my musical selection was so very eloquent, I understood that you were taking issue with the fact that GBS is not a hot indie band. If you actually look at my response, and the fact that I posted something distinctly NOT INDIE in the first place you might realize that I am not mocking anyone’s taste in this post/response (although I reserve the right to mock whatever the fuck I want). I would hasten to add that IT IS YOU who is taking issue with someone who has different taste that you – you don’t like Great Big Sea, fine you won’t hurt my feelings by not downloading the tracks i freely make available. In the end it is a matter of taste. You say they are dreadful. Your opinion. I rather like them and want to post on them. My opinion. See how that works?

    Where exactly do I mock indie music? For that matter, where do I put the word in quotation marks? I put the word cred in quotes – as you will see if you take half a second to look at my response. I like indie a great deal and post almost exclusively about it but i am very open to music of many genres. Including celtic-folk, as seen by the fact that I posted this GBS set. How you took anything here as mocking indie or anything beyond your assinine comment is beyond me.

    In the blogging world it often seems that people take issue with mainstream, non-avant-garde, accessible music. Hopefully you might see that making a statement like “great big sea? oh god…” might be understood as being an arguement against playing something that isn’t in the top ten of Hype Machine. If I might make a generalizing statement to counter your rather broad position, we are hung up on indie v. everything else because we are invested in finding, supporting, and distributing music we believe is great but is not given adequate attention by the mainstream media. This does not mean that there are not certain mainstream things that grab our attention.

    I don’t ever think i have come across someone saying that we mock people with different tastes “by claiming that what you like must not be ‘indie’ enough for them” in the sense you mean. Usually that “not indie enough for you” argument is used, as I did, as a counter-argument when encountered with someone who takes issue with a musical choice that isn’t an obscure buzz band etc. – ie. “How can you like {insert generic radio-friendly band here}? They are so not cool”, to which the response is “What, are they not indie enough for you? You wannabe hipster asshole.”

    My mistake for not seeing what your initial comment meant. Next time you state your dislike for a band that someone posts about take four seconds and layout your reasons (even adding the word “dreadful” would help me undestand what you are going on about) rather than just adding “oh god…” to the band name. Otherwise you are wasting both your and my time.

  7. Steph said,

    BRAVO! Great Big Sea ROCKS!

  8. Chris said,

    I love your response rgsc, very articulate. It’s too bad that everything needs a title or genre though, even if it is “indie” ;-). My favourite genre of music is….. MUSIC. Anyone ever heard of it???

    I think Great Big Sea rocks,I have a great time when I listen to them live or on a CD but I am also a big fan of Runrig. Neither of these groups are mainstream but they aren’t indie either so …. I really don’t understand the indie mainstream arguement but maybe a missed a post.

    I thank you for your mp3’s I had a great time listening to them, I think the crowd in the background just adds a little flavour !!

  9. Chrystle said,

    Thanks for the files! It’s neat to get audio and video of concerts that you’re just not in the vicinity of (spelling?). I really appreciate it.

  10. rgsc said,

    Hey Steph, Chris & Chrystle,
    I’m glad you like the mp3s. Thanks for leaving a comment.

    Chris – I think you are right. Too much emphasis is put by people (especially those who write blogs and those who read them) on indie vs. mainstream. I think it is great when bands can get signed to labels so that they have the ability to produce music without worrying where the rent payment is going to come from as long as they can maintain their artistic integrity. In fact a wide range of bands that are considered “indie” are signed to labels that are subsidiaries of larger corporations or have distribution deals with those companies. Indie has become something of a catchall term to describe a particular musical ethos even if band is no longer actually independent. There is a huge difference between being signed and selling out. I think GBS remains authentic, not to mention quite a bit of fun, so as long as they are able to put out the albums they want to and I am able to see them live and get my hands on those albums I am not worried one bit what their label is. I happen to listen to a great deal of music that is not Top 40 or mainstream, whatever you want to call it. Nevertheless the fact that something is on the radio doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t like it. Feist is an example of an artist who has had stunning success in indie scene and in the world at large. Anyway, enough of my rambling. Glad you like the music.

  11. Faith said,

    “Indie”? That sounds so non-mainstream that it’s mainstream. No offense, but having not heard of it before and now reading these responses, that’s how I feel.

    Anyway… to people who slander Great Big Sea, I quote Séan…

    “You slanderous hairy person!”

    Man, I wish I’d been there for THAT remark. How can anyone who calls a fellow band member a “slanderous hairy person” be a part of a band that’s NOT cool? It just doesn’t add up! 😛

    Thanks for posting the files. I look forward to taking them and listening to them and then sharing them with a new Great Big Sea recruit.


  12. Marie said,

    Thanks for those links ! It’s cool. J’adore Great Big Sea, même ici en France, par delà l’Atlantique !

  13. Janet said,

    Great Big Sea is awesome! I’m glad to find a concert to listen too, I have enjoyed all of their concerts that I have been to, and I’m looking forward to the next one in 12 days!

    I like the thought of Music as a genre… though I’ll admit I’m partial to anything with a celtic feel to it!

  14. Paddy murphy said,

    Nice post, aweseome band… any chance you can repost the songs in better encoded quality? the quality is really poor, hard to listen to due to the low bitrate and the digital “shimmering” or “syblance” introducedby the low bitrate. Thanks in advance.

  15. rgsc said,

    Hi there Paddy,
    Were you able to access the files? They were hosted on my old ezarchive account and the links, I thought, have long been dead.
    Unfortunately I don’t think I will be able to increase the quality on these ones. They were recorded to analog tape with a fairly poor mic. If I can coax a better sound out of them I will repost the files. If not, I think this one is better to history.

  16. Paddy Murphy said,

    Hi 🙂

    Yep, I could access the files. No problem if you can’t increase the quality. It’s more caused by the low Kbps bitrate and the 22mhz sample rate.

    However, I know a lot of people encode like that to save server space, bandwidth, etc, so I understand. The main thing is that it’s nice to hear a show like this that I haven’t heard before, interesting to hear them over in the UK (I’ve only ever heard them here in Canada and one one show from Minnesota).

    Thanks again and all the best,

  17. rgsc said,

    Hey Paddy,
    Very strange that you can still access the files – it looks like they are a cached version. I always encode at higher bit & sample rates than that (usually 192kbs/44.1khz – and looking at the track you can access it is mono & should be stereo). I am fairly certain that the files, as I originally posted them, are at least *slightly* better. I will take a look for the original files, see if I can clean ’em up at all, and will post the link here (might take me a few days.

  18. Paddy Murphy said,

    Hi RGSC,

    Much obliged, but if you can’t find the files, or it’s too time-consuming and you have other things to do, no worries 🙂

  19. rgsc said,

    Here you go, Paddy –
    The sound is far from perfect but, hearing it again for the first time in a long time, it is still a fun listen (and it has to be better than the cached version). I hope you enjoy it.

  20. Paddy Murphy said,

    Hey RGSC – thank you soooooooooo much for the link to the stereo files, I really appreciate you taking time to zip them up and upload them.

    Definitely better sound. Haven’t had chance to listen to the whole show yet.. hoping to find some time this weekend, and if not, I hope to give it a spin on Monday while working.

    Thanks again and hope you have a great weekend 🙂

  21. Paddy Murphy said,

    Hi RGSC – listened to the whole show and it’s a great one, lots of fun and you should be proud of the recording, especially as it was done using analog tape.

    Thanks again for sharing and please check your Gmail account (the one you list on the “About” page in this blog) as I sent you an email today.

    All the best,
    Paddy 😉

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