Christmas by the pint

The Irish Rovers produce a new holiday album, television special

The Irish Rovers have a local connection: George Millar has lived in Nanoose Bay now for 19 years.

The Irish Rovers have a local connection: George Millar has lived in Nanoose Bay now for 19 years.

You won’t be seeing members of The Irish Rovers on the slopes of Mount Washington any time soon.

The band attempted skiing recently while filming a Christmas show in Banff Alberta and George Millar admitted it wasn’t pretty.

The vocalist and guitar player who calls Nanoose Bay home said growing up in Ireland didn’t provide many opportunities for skiing and at this point in life he’s too old to take up the sport. The musical ambassadors just wrapped filming of the television special which will be released in 2012. An Irish Rovers Christmas was filmed at some spectacular locations in Banff and Millar said it was a real eye opener.

Dave Irwin, one of the original Crazy Canucks gave the band ski lessons but Millar said they were all bad.

“It’s not easy. We were buffoons. I thought we were more athletic. People who recognized us said we were awful. We don’t have mountains in Ireland.”

He said they had fun doing the outdoor shots, but they were much better in the aprés ski pub scenes.

“That was more to our liking … when we were surrounded by pints of Guinness.”

This year the group celebrates 45 years as recording artists and to mark the achievement, the lads are back on the small screen with a PBS television special Home In Ireland, which was filmed entirely on location.

They are also releasing their first Christmas album in over a decade. Merry Merry Time of Year is already in high rotation at many radio stations in Canada and the U.S.

The up-tempo CD has a mix of traditional Christmas songs and their trademark rollicking Irish numbers including, Christmas In Killarney, Must Be Santa, Christ The King, Christmas At The Ale House, The Marvelous Toy, Down Among The Bushes Of Jerusalem, and Three Jolly Rogues.

Production duties were handled by Millar for Rover Records. The CD was recorded at Rick Salt’s Lois Lane Studios in Nanaimo and Wilcil McDowell Studio, in Northern Ireland.

Millar, who has written most of the Rovers’ original music over the years, was born and raised in Northern Ireland, but has lived in Nanoose Bay for 19 years.

He said he will be spending more time at his home here in Oceanside in about three years when the band retires after 50 years of making music.

“In 2015 we will call it a day. It takes a while to wind things down,” he said.

Millar said the logistics of touring have become overwhelming after 9-11 and the band is getting tired of being on the road.

“There are nine of us traveling and 28 pieces of equipment so it becomes tiring and expensive touring.”

The band has wrapped up its tour of Nova Scotia said the band is winding down their 2011 Christmas tour of Eastern Canada and the U.S. and Miller will be home for the holiday.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Adam Walker visits the VI Free Daily/PQB News studios. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Adam Walker eager to get to work as Parksville-Qualicum MLA

Podcast: Longtime Qualicum Beach resident discusses politics, much more

Ceramic artist Darrel Hancock working on a clay jug in his home studio in Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)
Qualicum Beach potter Darrel Hancock celebrates 40 years in business

‘It’s wonderful to do what you love and make a living at it’

(File photo)
Parksville Qualicum Beach crime report: Crooks hit businesses, vehicles

Oceanside RCMP received 288 complaints in one-week period

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Care home staff are diligent about wearing personal protective equipment when they are in contact with residents, but less so when they interact with other staff members, B.C. Seniors Advocate says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
More COVID-19 testing needed for senior home staff, B.C.’s advocate says

Employees mingling spotted as virus conductor in many workplaces

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Claudio Mastronardi, Toronto branch manager at Carmichael Engineering, is photographed at the company’s offices in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. As indoor air quality becomes a major concern in places of business, HVAC companies are struggling to keep up with demand for high quality filtration systems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Business is booming for HVAC companies as commercial buildings see pandemic upgrades

‘The demand right now is very high. People are putting their health and safety ahead of cost’

Bank of Montreal, located on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. (Google Maps)
Heiltsuk man files human rights complaint against Vancouver police, BMO after bank arrest

Pair remains distraught after employee falsely reports fraud in progress leading to their arrest

RCMP Cpl. Cory Lepine pictured at BC Livestock Producers Co. in Kamloops, Nov. 16. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Meet B.C.’s only cowboy cop; a voice for the livestock industry

Cpl. Cory Lepine serves as a bridge between the law and those who make a living off the land

BCHL
BCHL pushes back season start due to provincial health orders

The delay is minimal, just six days, for now. But the league is open to starting up after Christmas

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Most Read