Thursday, October 24, 2013

Date Night

While we were on our holiday Down South, we missed Great Big Sea at the PNE.

Christine, intrepid ticket-woman that she is, found that GBS were playing in Bellingham on Oct 20. She bought tickets, and on the afternoon of the Sunday the 20th, we headed across the border.

We were plenty early, so we found a little place and had coffee (me) and a cocktail of apple and bourbon (Christine) accompanied by tapenade and bread.

It was an excellent restorative.

After that we wandered around for a while looking for a place to eat dinner. After traveling up and down about a 6 block area, we decided on the Cajun place we'd first seen.

I did not take a picture of our meals. My failure is palpable. However, the company was excellent and the table about perfectly located. We were at the railing overlooking the entrance and had the server station to our left, and so there was no lack of things to catch our attention.

Chris had catfish in pecans. I had a blackened steak which wasn't really blackened but hey, it was steak and it was good. The veggies were good and Chris had a raspberry mead while I had a local IPA.

After that we wanderered off to the Mount Baker Theatre, which is a fabulous thing built in the neo-Gothic Spanish-Moorish style during the Roaring 20's.  Over the top, and fabulous.

I love hearing modern music in these roccoco old places.

The band, if you don't know them, are a blend of traditional Newfoundland folk and modern rock - or, perhaps, Newfoundland folk updated. The musical heritage of Newfoundland is heavily Hebridean: Irish, Scots, Welsh and Cornish, coming out of the hardscrabble fishermen who left the coast of Great Britain for an even harder life on the northern coast of North America. (I lived in Labrador for 2 years when I was small, and I can assure you that when people apply the term 'a certain stark beauty' to that part of the world, the operative part is 'stark'. )

Great Big Sea are true to their roots. The music is by turns infectious and soulful. They performed one of my personal favourites: River Driver.

I'll eat when I am hungry and I'll drink when I am dry,
Get drunk whenever I'm ready, get sober by and by,
And if this river don't drown me, it's down I mean to roam,
For I'm a river driver and I'm far away from home.
Performed a capella, to the the steady slow thump-thump, thump-thump of the bodhran.

Here we are at half-time, catching our breath. 

And the stage:

I don't know about the other participant (actually I do) but I enjoyed myself immensely - the drive down in the MX-5, wandering around, dinner, the concert, and the drive back through the dark country roads.

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