Alan Doyle and his band play the Port Theatre on May 9. (Photo courtesy Shehab Illyas)

Alan Doyle brings Newfoundland kitchen party to the Port Theatre next week

Former Great Big Sea singer presents new solo album, ‘A Week at the Warehouse’

More than a year ago Alan Doyle kicked off his Come Out With Me tour on the Pacific coast and this month he makes his return to perform songs from his latest album in Nanaimo for the first time.

“I’ve been loving that place since my first visit over a decade ago,” he said of the Harbour City, via e-mail. “Feels like one of the rummy sailor towns of home. Perfect for me.”

The former singer for Newfoundland folk rock group Great Big Sea released his third solo album, A Week at the Warehouse, in late 2017. He said the goal heading into the album was to capture the feeling of a live band.

“The songs are almost all based on a take from start to finish with everybody playing together. I can hear the fun and camaraderie in every song,” he said.

He said the response to the record has been “brilliant.” He recently returned from the European leg of the album tour where he said fans “came out in droves” in Germany and Denmark.

He said his show at the Port Theatre on May 9 will be composed of songs from A Week at the Warehouse as well as a variety Great Big Sea tunes and Newfoundland traditionals, “all designed to bring the best kitchen party ever.”

With more than 25 years past since Doyle’s first album with Great Big Sea was released, he’s now looking back on his life and career. Last year Doyle’s book A Newfoundlander in Canada: Always Going Somewhere, Always Coming Home was released on paperback. The memoir is a continuation of Where I Belong: Small Town to Great Big Sea, which covered Doyle’s formative years growing up in Petty Harbour, N.L.

He said the idea to chronicle his history came from his publisher, Random House.

“I started telling stories about growing up in my wonderfully odd little fishing town and we went from there,” he said.

Doyle said he’s enjoyed recalling and recording the events that lead him to where he is today. He said it’s been humbling.

“Certainly gives you some perspective to remind yourself you used to drive and sleep in a rental station wagon from Toronto to Victoria and back, long before you had a tour bus with a driver and bunks,” he said.

While his books look backwards, Doyle said looking forward his major goal is to just keep the kitchen party alive.

“I never had a bucket list or anything. I don’t like the idea of them. What if you don’t get to do everything on there? Or worse again, what if you do?” he asked. “I’m happy playing concerts and giving people a great night out. If I could do that for the rest of my life, I figure I’d be the luckiest fella to have ever lived.”

WHAT’S ON … Alan Doyle performs at the Port Theatre on May 9 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $54.50 to $74.50. Available online, by phone at 250-754-8550 or at the box office.

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