Team GDW returned recently to Sellersville, PA, for another evening of music with Alan Doyle and The Beautiful Gypsies.  Having enjoyed seeing the band perform at the Sellersville Theater just last year, we quickly bought our tickets when Alan made the announcement of retuning to this venue as part of his current tour.  With a variety of friends accompanying him on this tour in different cities, we were very excited to learn that The Fortunate Ones would be the invitees for this particular event.  And so, on a recent Friday evening, we arrived at Sellersville ready to be entertained by some of our favorite Newfoundland artists.

Having just completed their second full-length album (“Hold Fast” – release date is imminent), The Fortunate Ones were more than happy to share some new music with their fans.  Introduced to the stage to commence the show, Andrew O’Brien and Catharine Allen were no strangers to many in the sold out venue, receiving whistles and cheers before starting their set.  Launching immediately into their popular hit “The Bliss,” The Fortunate Ones would share eight tracks, of which five were brand new tunes.  Along with new cuts “Northern Star” and “Hold Fast,” both Andrew and Catharine happily conversed with the audience in between songs.  Feeling the effects of such drastic weather changes, Cat informed all that they drove through a blizzard when leaving Newfoundland, prompting Andrew to roll up his sleeve and proudly show off his new suntan. “Getting a suntan in Newfoundland in April is as common as seeing a unicorn,” he joked.

The duo would share their most recent single, “Steady As She Goes,” co-written with friends Alan Doyle and Tim Baker (of Hey Rosetta fame), and a tribute to the devastating Fort McMurray wildfires of 2016.  “Somebody Like You” was also performed, another song co-written with Doyle, which opened the door for Andrew to announce it was “an absolute honor to have Alan Doyle close for us every night…it’s nice that we could help him write with us, and do what we can to give him his big break.”  Eliciting the laughter from the room, Andrew would also ask whether the room were more ‘Steelers’ or ‘Eagles,’ before telling Catharine that both are two of the finest badminton teams on the circuit.  With their stage time winding to a close, the duo would close with their great ‘bluesy’ number, “Lay Me Down,” and certainly earned their well deserved ovation as they exited the stage.

Fortunate Ones Set List:

  1. The Bliss
  2. Hold Fast
  3. Wherever You Go
  4. Before You
  5. Somebody Like You
  6. Northern Star
  7. Steady As She Goes
  8. Lay Me Down

 

Following the brief intermission, Alan Doyle and his band were introduced to the stage, much to the delight of their fans in the packed out room.  Promoting his most recent “A Week At The Warehouse” album, Alan launched immediately into the uptempo radio hit “Come Out With Me.”  Following the song, Alan took time to greet the lively room, informing everybody, “we’re gonna play some new [songs], some old, some Great Big Sea, some traditional Newfoundland shanties, and some covers…lots and lots of covers, we’ll do eight Taylor Swift songs [paused for effect] and even some Ed Sheeran.”  Thankfully he refrained from following through with the last two, but would treat the audience to his lively interpretation of John Mellencamp’s “Paper And Fire” later that evening.

Like ourselves, many of Doyle’s fans discovered him during those Great Big Sea years, thus making it impossible for him to deny his audience those cravings.  Not only were popular favorites “Lukey” and “The Old Black Rum” performed at this show, but the surprise addition of “Captain Kidd” was very well received (I don’t recall seeing him perform this since embarking on his solo career).  Earlier solo hits have already earned that same iconic status, making it a delight to hear the always amazing “Testify” and “Lay Me Down To Perish” later in the set.

As always, Alan Doyle would call upon his “Beautiful Band” (do not recall hearing “ The Beautiful Gypsies” this time around) to fully support his show; featuring Cory Tetford (guitar/ukulele/mandolin), Kendel Carson (fiddle/acoustic guitar), Kris MacFarlane (percussion), Todd Lumley (keyboards/accordian) and Shehab Illyas (bass).  Together, the band would make frequent returns to the brand new album, performing five tracks in total from this release.  Alan would take time to dedicate “Somewhere In A Song” to his parents, Tom and Regina Doyle; and prior to “Beautiful To Me” (co-written with Tawgs Salter in 2016 to combat rising discrimination of minorities), Alan would proudly announce, “I want everybody to feel comfortable and themselves…whatever your gender or sexual orientation or race….everybody is welcome in this room.”

Wrapping up the 15 song set list with the sing-along number “1 2 3 4,” the band would exit the stage for their temporary leave, before returning for an encore performance.  Opening the extra set with “Wave Over Wave” (an older GBS tune that I don’t think I’d heard live until now), Alan would follow up with “Shine On” before inviting The Fortunate Ones back onto the stage to collaborate on the always popular hit “Ordinary Day,” which saw him split lead vocals with both Andrew and Catharine.  Dialing the tempo to the max, the band(s) not only raised the roof, but brought it back down with a bang to finally close the show.

Taking their bows, and exiting the stage; the theater lights started to flicker back to life and people started heading for the exits.  And then came the biggest surprise of all; during the post-show commotion, not many people noticed Alan Doyle and his band sneaking back onto the stage.  With the sudden loss of lighting, Alan launched into “I’ve Seen A Little,” and smiled a little after this successful ‘stealth operation’ completely “punk’d” the audience at The Sellersville Theater.  Kudos to you, Alan, and the band, for the perfect execution of that maneuver.  Like Catharine, Doyle was also a little under the weather on this particular night, yet maintained his incredible work ethic and commitment to the performance all evening.  What a wonderful evening of live music in Sellersville with some of our favorite Newfoundland friends.

Alan Doyle Set List:

  1. Come Out With Me
  2. Captain Kidd
  3. Now Or Never
  4. Up
  5. Somewhere In A Song
  6. Sea Of No Cares
  7. Beautiful To Me
  8. Lukey
  9. Lay Me Down To Perish
  10. Bully Boys
  11. Old Black Rum
  12. Paper In Fire (John Mellencamp Cover)
  13. Run Runaway
  14. Testify
  15. 1 2 3 4

Encore:

  1. Wave Over Wave
  2. Shine On
  3. Ordinary Day (feat: The Fortunate Ones)

Surprise Encore:

  1. I’ve Seen A Little

~ M

Visit Alan Doyle’s website.

Listen to “A Week at the Warehouse” on Spotify.

Visit The Fortunate Ones’ website.

Listen to “Steady as She Goes” (the latest single from their forthcoming album) on Spotify.