Behind The Album: “The Gipsy Hill” ep & “Look What You’ve Done…” (2002)

Words by Big D And The Kids Table front man David McWane

Good Luck had been officially released through Asianman records by Mike Park. Mike offered us the first and only generous act for Big D. He fronted us plane tickets to go on our first U.K./Europe Tour, booked by Ian at Hidden Talent Booking. Big D started writing music on tour and you can hear raw recordings of us doing just that on the Gipsy Hill EP. Gipsy Hill is in South London and it is where we stayed on the floor with our TM / Driver / Life Teacher Ben Corrigan. On these tours we made friends with people who we are still friends with today: Lightyear, P.O. Box, Sonic Boom Six, The Foamers, Mad Skat, 5 Knuckle, Random Hand (Marcia from The Skints), Hard Skin and more. We toured hard during these days – about 250 shows a year.

When we returned to the States we decided to record somewhere new, so we saved up all our touring profits (which wasn’t very much) and headed to The Outpost with Jim Siegel. Jim had recorded most of all the classic Boston hardcore bands and The Dropkick Murphy’s. This was the big time for Big D. We had written way too many new songs after Good Luck, so we decided to record an EP in order to free up ideas as well as capture sonically the special time in our lives in the U.K./Europe. STOMP records in Canada agreed to put out the Gipsy Hill EP and even helped us film with Rej our first music video for The Difference. We had a blast with Matt, Mike and all of the STOMP records family and of course with Rej from 123-Punk. These shows in Canada were explosive. We were at our wildest.

Along with the Gipsy Hill EP we recorded three different tracks for a split release with the U.K. band 5 Knuckle called Look What You’ve Done.… This split has the original recording of L.A.X, which wasn’t physically available to the States until our next full length release.

When I think about these times I feel that Good Luck represented touring the United States and the farmlets across it, while the Gipsy Hill EP / Look What You’ve Done represent, Canada, England, France, Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy and more. It represents cold squats, cigarette butt floors for sleeping, new friends, tasty big beers, yummy food, heartbreakingly beautiful hospitality, fist fights for being an American, a sprinter for a home, the birth of poetry for me and beautiful friendship.

The question I was often asked on these excursions of self discovery was – ‘American’s need more culture, why don’t more Americans come here?’ My answer then is what I still say today – ‘American’s can’t afford it, they’d loose their jobs and health care; Only fortunate Americans can afford culture’.

So I will leave you with this…

…if you are young or if you are old, own very little and go see Your World.

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Tune in next week for another Big D “Behind The Album” piece. They’ll continue weekly until all 34+ Big D albums have been covered!


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