Live at The Esquire was recorded in 1995 after a short tour through Quebec and Ontario where the band played to its largest audiences up to that point.
Who doesn’t love a little history, especially when that history involves one of New Brunswick’s most important bands? After sitting on a shelf or perhaps in a box of memorabilia for more than twenty years, Eric’s Trip co-founder Rick White has made available a live recording of the band playing before a hometown crowd at Moncton’s Esquire Tavern. Recorded on May 21, 1995, Live at The Esquire captures the band in fine form following a short tour through Quebec and Ontario.
In the recording’s liner notes, White explains a bit about the origins of the recording and its initial purpose writing, “The last months of 1994 were slow for us even though we just released our second full album on SUBPOP called, Forever Again. Julie had her first baby in December and we couldn’t do many shows. We made a lot of plans for 1995 though and by the spring we were rehearsing a bunch and getting pumped up again. We did a fun tour of Quebec and Ontario in May and our audiences were bigger than ever. This Moncton show represents us at the end of that tour, a bit wore out but tight and peppy and still excited for the future. Also already doing four new songs that would only be released the next year on our Purple Blue album.”
The recording falls perfectly in line with the group’s established low-fi identity, shaped from years of home recording. Like practically everything Eric’s Trip ever released, Live at The Esquire was captured using a multi-track cassette recorder with White handling the controls from the stage during the performance.
“I used three mics on stage for three of the tracks, and the forth getting a direct feed from the P.A. which was just used for vocals,” said White. “Our stage set up, as you can see in the cover photo, was purposeful to help the recording style I wanted. I hoped it would capture the stereo close up live sound in a field recording type way.”
Eric’s Trip’s impact on the East Coast music scene and beyond during the 1990s cannot be overstated. From 1990 to 1996 the band gained an international following and have since achieved cult status, further fueled by occasional reunions, numerous solo and side projects, an unofficial biography and sharing previously unreleased recordings such as this.