Irish Rovers come to Penticton to party

It was in 1963 when a group of Irish expatriates got together to form a new folk band, and the legend of the Irish Rovers began. Now, 45 years after their 1966 debut recording, The First of The Irish Rovers, the lads are celebrating with a television special and their 2011 Home in Ireland tour, including a stop in Penticton Cleland Theatre on Sept. 30.

It was in 1963 when a group of Irish expatriates got together to form a new folk band, and the legend of the Irish Rovers began. Now, 45 years after their 1966 debut recording, The First of The Irish Rovers, the lads are celebrating with a television special and their 2011 Home in Ireland tour, including a stop in Penticton Cleland Theatre on Sept. 30.

The story of The Irish Rovers is one for the big screen; three of their own award-winning international television series (including the top rated Irish Rovers Show), television specials, topping the music charts again and again and almost 50 years of touring their music around the world.

Though all the band members were originally from Ireland, the lads were personally asked by Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau to “please become Canadian” so they could represent Canada throughout the world. Since then, they have represented Canada at five world expos and received Canada’s ‘Harold Moon Award’ in recognition for a quarter century of contributions to the international music world.

It has been a incedible journey from their first to their 2010 release, Gracehill Fair, which garnered high praise from Celtic radio announcers from Belfast to Maui. The soon-to-be-released Drunken Sailor CD will contain the title track, as well as their new single, Whores and Hounds. The Rovers’ well-known recording of Drunken Sailor has gained over 3 million hits on YouTube.

On the tour, concertgoers will hear old favourites like Wasn’t That A Party, Drunken Sailor, and The Unicorn, plus new favorites The Dublin Pub Crawl, Boys of Belfast, Rambling Boys of Pleasure, and more, from their new television special, Home In Ireland.

Tickets are available at the Penticton Community Centre, 325 Power Street, Penticton, B.C or by phone at 250-490-2426.

The Rovers will begin their World Farewell Tour in 2012, so this may be one of the last chances to see them live.