Irish Rovers Concert Review - Rovers Roll Triumphantly Through Queen City
Posted on October 17th, 2012 at 2:43 pm
By Taron Cochrane
(Taron Cochrane is a freelance writer and Music Critic for several publications including Regina Leader Post Newspaper and Global TV.)
Fueled by passion, talent, history and song the musical legacy of The Irish Rovers continues to lead the way for many of today’s folk and Celtic musicians. Garnering mainstream success with such timeless songs as The Unicorn, Wasn’t That A Party and (most recently) The Drunken Sailor – the band are no strangers to fame but continue to play every show with the same heart and energy you would have found when they first hit the stage in the 60s.
Thanks to a recent insurgence of popularity and celebrity status on-line, the band has not only released a new album (aptly named) Drunken Sailor they are also touring across Canada on the Drunken Sailor Tour and for this voyage have packed a set-list of memories, their trademark humour and wit, unforgettable stories and some of the finest tour personnel around. Fittingly, these world travelers made a much needed stop in the Queen City – Regina, Saskatchewan on Friday, October 12th playing to a sold-out capacity crowd at the beautiful Casino Regina Show Lounge, once home to the Union Train Station of 1912.
Prior to the show starting it became apparent by the varying age and demographics of the crowd that The Irish Rovers (in some way, shape or form) have had a significant impact on more than just their own generation of fans. Not surprising for a band who has toured for 48 years of their lives and is currently enjoying their 58th year making music that appeals to every man, woman and child from all walks of life.
As expected, the Irish Rovers hit the stage to stunning applause and the show got under-way after George Millar grabbed his guitar and address the crowd with one simple question, “Are you ready to go? So we are we – play on!” The first song (of course) being the song that inspired their name the traditional classic, The Irish Rover.
From that point on the crowd was in the palm of their hands as The Irish Rovers delivered flawless music that spanned two sets and featured songs recognizable to the die-hard fan (yet also the perfect introduction to the new-comers), trademark Rovers hits and songs you can find on their latest album. From the memorable Rambling Boys of Pleasure and Whistling Gypsy Rover to their newest singles The Titanic and the iTunes censored, Whores and Hounds the evening had it all.
In true fashion, Ian and George Millar entertained the crowd between songs with hilarious stories and witty Irish words of wisdom and kept up to the positive and enjoyable atmosphere that flooded the room. While the audience joined in for a sing-along or two and tapped their toes to their favourites, it was when the band played their hits that the show reached its high points. Cheers and hollers echoed throughout the old train station when the band brought out Lily the Pink, Black Velvet Band and a song inspired by true stories and (in fact) written about the band, Wasn’t That A Party.
As The Irish Rovers continue to roll across the country, talent in tow and with the goal of playing the music they love to anyone who will listen it becomes apparent that this concert was different. We all weren’t just ticket holders who would hopefully buy the latest merchandise and help support the cause…we were all friends. Friends who all share a love for good music, good times and maybe even for some, a trust in the drink!