The record company wanted me to include liner notes for all the songs on this recording, when the song was written, why it was written, all the other artists who have recorded it etc, etc … I can't remember yesterday all that well, so I'm pretty hazy about when I wrote the songs, and I reckon it's not important anyway. The fact that it was written is the important thing, not when. As to why I wrote the songs, if the reason is not self-evident in the song itself, then I've pretty much failed as a songwriter. And as to which other artists have recorded my songs, well, quite a few have, and that's nice, but that's not why I wrote the songs in the first place.
To those of you who have bought this recording, I hope you enjoy it, and thanks. To those of you just idly reading the blurb and song list on the CD sleeve and who have no intention of buying it, please stand aside and let a paying customer through.
Eric Bogle sounds different live, well, certainly better than he'd sound dead. Eric and I worked together making and marketing recordings for over 20 years and we still seem destined to continue the occasional musical adventure, if for nothing else than the sake of it. I always pushed for live albums but, like most artists, Eric usually bucked. I think he suspected my lousy cash flow to be the reason but it wasn't true. Sure the budgets were lower but I still believe a great artist can capture special magic in a live recording. Then there's the fact that Eric Bogle and some of his crew are also natural comedians. The music industry is so superficial these days that even the live recording, including the song introductions and the iokes, sound like they have sung and spoken a thousand times, and in some cases they have. Eric Bogle has never fallen into this trap and that makes his live performances and, in this case, this live album, all the more enjoyable. You might know story of the song but that's about as far as you'll get on the predictability scale.
What an amazing career this man has had; and I'm not talking about his career as an accounts auditor. As a songwriter Eric has been acknowledged by some of the best Billy Bragg, REM, Tony Blair (well, he did admit to liking a particular song), Mary Black, Slim Dusty, Jeannie Lewis, The Bushwackers. June Tabor, The Furies, Tommy Makem & The Clancy Brothers, The Pogues, John Williamson — just to name a handful. A quick search on Google will reveal a heck of a lot more. His performance career has also been a real journey with regular tours of Europe, America the Brave, Canada, Kiwiland and even his native Scotland. He is a giant of the Peebles music industry! These tours have given him the lifestyle he now enjoys including hot and cold water, a bathroom, kitchen with mod cons and a late model car. Of late his passion has become a shack on the mighty Murray River, in South Australia.
The songs on this collection come from a variety of concerts and studio appearances and our sincere thanks to all those who made their precious recordings so freely available. This could not have been done without you. Enjoy the songs, enjoy the humour and enjoy Eric Bogle as if he was singing in your own lounge room.
My thanks to all the many people involved in recording and collating this live collection of songs, and especially to those who supplied long-forgotten (by me at any rate) tapes of the concerts. They are too numerous to list here individually, but they know who they are. Do I know who they are? Well, no, not all of them …
We have deliberately separated Eric's introductions from his songs. That way, if you get bored with his blah, blah, blah, you can jump straight to the songs. If you get bored with his songs then you can go straight to his blah, blah, blah. It's a no lose situation!