Entertainment

Irish Rovers return

THE LONG GOODBYE for the Irish Rovers begins Dec. 5 in Courtenay with their classic Christmas concert. - PHOTO SUBMITTED
THE LONG GOODBYE for the Irish Rovers begins Dec. 5 in Courtenay with their classic Christmas concert.
— image credit: PHOTO SUBMITTED

The Irish Rovers will return to Courtenay one last time to perform their classic Christmas concert at the Sid Williams Theatre.

This is the beginning of The Long Goodbye.

This tour marks the release of the Irish Rovers Christmas DVD, which they filmed on location in the pubs and ski hills of Banff National Park and on stage at Chatham Ontario's historic Capitol Theatre, with musical guests from Ireland, Morris Crum, Patrick Davey, Gerry O'Connor, with Canadian/Irish Tenor John McDermott and guitarist Jason Fowler.

The DVD and CD, Merry Merry Time of Year are heading into stores this month. While filming in Banff, the lads even dared to take to the slopes with Canadian ski legend and Crazy Canuck, Dave Irwin, which Rover George Millar calls “pretty ugly.”

The Irish Rovers, since their last appearance on Vancouver Island, have made international headlines, were featured in a documentary, and are again enjoying radio airplay, all due to their new album, Drunken Sailor and single, The Titanic.

On their recent sold-out concert tour, they garnered rave reviews, attracted the attention of a new younger audience, and were touted in the press as Internet sensations for their multi-million YouTube fans, revamping their website, uploading more videos to YouTube and becoming active on Facebook and Twitter.

For an Irish Canadian folk band from early-'60s Toronto, this seems like an unlikely scenario but the excitement around the Rovers these days confirms that their music is hitting a chord with Canadians of all ages. It’s a bit of a surprise for original Rover and songwriter George Millar.

"We're supposed to be retiring and I've never been so busy in my life! I came kicking and screaming into this digital age, but it really is an amazing tool," Millar says.

Internet or not, it’s the Rovers' particular brand of music that continues to bring in more fans every year, generation after generation. It’s all about having a good time. No pretense, no egos, just great tunes and a good sense of humour.

The musicianship onstage sometimes takes people by surprise, but their musical talent onstage it is also likely the reason for the young rockers in the audience. The band has sold millions of albums, but to really experience them you need to see them live, because as well as being able to deliver a heart-warming ballad or moving instrumental, these Rovers can rock.

The Irish Rovers will tour only two more years and aim to hit more than just Canada. The grand finale will be March 2015.

At the Christmas concert, fans can enjoy their Christmas favourites like Christmas in Killarney, Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, Bells Over Belfast, The Unicorn and many more.

Then meet the lads after the show. The DVD and other Rovers music will be available for Christmas shopping at the concert. In December watch for The Irish Rovers Christmas television special on PBS stations.

The Irish Rovers visit the Sid Williams Theatre on Dec. 5. For details, visit www.sidwilliamstheatre.com or phone 250-338-2430.

— Sid Williams Theatre

 

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