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Brobdingnagian Bards Tales

The latest music news, stories, and events of The Original Celtic Renaissance music group, the Brobdingnagian Bards. CELTIC GEEK at its Best! Find out more from the Nagians page.

After three years and two months of playing at the University of Texas South Mall, we decided to finally call it quits. No more lunch time music with the Brobdingnagian Bards. But I want to thank everyone who came out to see us every week. We had some really wonderful and dedicated people that really made our weekly performances a joy and a pleasure.

It really is hard to believe that it's been three years. I remember our first year, when Andrew was literally terrified of standing up in front of people. But they either loved or hated us. We had a funny comic strip written in the Daily Texan during our first season out there that featured us fighting a bunch of Ninjas (it took three of them to take out just two bards...who'd have thought?). I canít even begin to imagine how many people took photographs of us on an almost daily basis. Video too. Our photo appeared in the Daily Texan a couple times too, but you know, none of the media ever mentioned a about those strange people, playing stranger instruments in an odd styling of Celtic music at UT nearly daily.

But our gigs did get us on TV. There's that horrible performance we did on The Ben Stroud Power Hour. They stopped airing it fortunately, were not big on paying blackmail. If you were unlucky enough to see it, you would've seen Andrew as a bleach blonde, and us really pushing the limits of what is defined as "risque'".

Then that summer...oof. We played daily through 110-degree weather. I snapped a lot of strings back then, but the Fall was incredible. School started back, and we had a good hundred people gathered at our feet singing along in the shade of the trees. It brought back stories of Janis Joplin in the 60s. It was in that first year when we made some of our best, long-lasting friendships, and thatís when we made some of our most dedicated fans...and to think they still enjoy our music!

But you know, it wasn't until May 2000, that we stopped performing daily. Yeah, we were playing out there for five days a week! And it wore us down. We thought about stopping entirely after that. Instead we took the summer off. Then we went back refreshed and started playing just on Fridays. That worked out great too, because in April, Peanut Butter Friday started, soon followed by the dreaded Peanut Butter Friday Song. Peanut Butter Friday was an event put on by the University Methodist Church. They gave out free PBJs and lemonade. So students had twice the reasons to come out and hear us play.

This past year, we moved up off the lawn up by the infamous statue of George Washington. I'm sure the U.T. staff was happy. At the end of every semester, the grass where we played was worn down to dirt.

But right now, we still get emails from people who saw us perform on the grass saying, "Hey do you still play on the South Mall? I saw you there a few years back." That'll soon be people talking about G.W. no doubt, but I guess the response will at long last be, "No. It is finished."

Today was a great ending to our three-year journey and virtual U.T. tradition. Many of our long-time friends and Nagians came out to see us play. But oddly, we attracted greater attention than usual. A huge crowd gathered with each song. A photographer was out there requesting Freebird and taking a lot of pictures. We had a woman with a video camera briefly shooting the performance. And get this...there was even an ape out there! We played Do Virgins Taste Better Medley while some guy dressed up in an ape outfit danced a jig in front of us and the growing audience.

Oh! And lets not forget that today is No Pants Day! So we had several fans, including pantless organizer and member of the Knighthood of Buh, Cha Che, wearing their boxers and briefs.

Then oddly, a pantless DJ from KVRX Student Radio asked us to be on his comedy show. I tried emailing KVRX to get our music on the staiton, but never heard a word. But during our last performance on the South Mall, someone shows up???

But the highlight for me was to have our friend and Nagian, Linda, giving away free cookies to our large audience in lieu of the Peanut Butter Friday people who didn't make it out this week.

Whew! So is that it? I don't think so.

It may be the end of our weekly excusions to the South Mall at the University of Texas, but this is just the end of the first phase of our musical career. We have many more gigs coming up around Austin, including one on May 15th at Cafť Mundi, and we're starting to plan our first official tour to Atlanta, Georgia when we will perform at Dragon*Con, America's largest Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention.

This is just the end of a wonderful period of our life, when we were able to bring smiles to a few thousand faces over the course of three years. Now, we hope to bring smiles to a few hundred thousand faces over the course of our lives.

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Friday, May 03, 2002


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