Manic Monday in Cranbrook

Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Gypsies and the Bare Naked Ladies suspend time at Western Financial Place

Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Gypsies

Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Gypsies

Barry Coulter

It is, so far and without question, the greatest shout-out to a restaurant in Cranbrook’s history. But more about that later. First, we got to deal with this weird time thing.

Monday was temporarily suspended in Cranbrook, on Oct. 26, by decree of Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Gypsies. Doyle (known for his Great Big Sea affiliations) and the Gypsies, followed by the Bare Naked Ladies, were expanding the weekend in a house-rocking double bill concert at Western Financial Place.

“Ain’t no Monday here today,” Doyle exclaimed to an enthusiastic crowd. “Feels like the longest weekend ever. When you got a rink full of people on a Monday night you know you’re in Cranbrook.”

Doyle and the Beautiful Gypsies played a pulsating rock set with an East Coast backbone. Doyle was joined by a five-piece band — Corey Tetford on guitar, Todd Lumley on keys and accordion, Kris MacFarlane on drums, Shehab Illyas on bass, and Kendal Carson playing a fabulous fiddle. And along with the songs from Doyle’s two solo albums, they made sure to intersperse lots of Newfoundland spice —  Great Big Sea’s “When I’m Up, I Can’t Get Down,” the traditional “Lukey’s Boat,” the heartbreaking “Laying Down to Perish.”

The very personable Doyle and the Gypsies set the bar high for the evening, but the Bare Naked Ladies (BNL) were up to the openers’ challenge with a high octane set of their own.

The town of Cranbrook was a recurrent theme in the stage chatter. Doyle talked about jogging to the point of exhaustion, looking for the Cranbrook arches so he could take a selfie. BNL bassist Jim Creeggan going for a jog himself, in the Community Forest, warned in advance of the bears and urban deer.

But the greatest local reference was BNL singer Ed Robertson’s praise of the Cottage Restaurant’s meatloaf sandwich and beef barley soup. Robertson’s menu-related testifying seguéd into a great rap (“Meatloaf sandwich and beef barley soup make me a happy man!”), that Robertson urged be adopted as the Chamber of Commerce telephone hold music. To which the Townsman says, Yes Please!

The Bare Naked Ladies — Robertson, Creeggan, Tyler Stewart on drums and Kevin Hearn on keyboards — ran through a revue of their pop evergreen songs: “Brian Wilson,” “One Week,” “The Big Bang Theory” theme song … Doyle came back on stage for “Lovers in a Dangerous Time,” the Bruce Cockburn cover BNL made into a hit of their own. Tetford and Carson joined them for an Appalachian flavoured “For You.” They finished with a pop medley, including a cover of “Let It Go” that brought the house down. Both bands came out to participate in “If I had A Million Dollars.”

All in all, we say, if this is Monday, let is always be Monday.