A year of living fantastically 

For Whistler's Skiitour, 2014 was when they became a headline act

click to enlarge PHOTO BY BLAKE JORGENSON FOR SKIITOUR - Simply the vest Dave Rollie and Tim Livingstone (left to right) have had a good year with SkiiTour, working on original music releases and touring at home and internationally.
  • Photo by Blake Jorgenson for Skiitour
  • Simply the vest Dave Rollie and Tim Livingstone (left to right) have had a good year with SkiiTour, working on original music releases and touring at home and internationally.

Eastbourne is a seaside town in the south of England, known for having a pretty nice pier and for being a summer escape for Londoners trying to avoid the crowds in nearby Brighton.

It was also the scene of arguably one of the most surreal gigs a Whistler group has performed in the past year.

A cold October night and a British pub filled to capacity with people in vintage (some might say appalling) ski equipment, 1980s stylings and old boots. It can only mean one thing, Whistler DJs SkiiTour have hit Blighty.

For SkiiTour's Dave Rollie and Tim Livingstone it was a bit of a highlight.

"It was our first show in the U.K. and we sold it out. The guy who brought us in wasn't even a promoter, he was just a fan, actually a superfan. He booked us so he could see us," says Livingstone.

"The whole bar was decorated with skis and they brought snow machines in. It was wild. Everyone was wearing weird goggles. It was like being at a gig here."

It was perhaps one of the more colourful moments of a pretty amazing year for SkiiTour.

Livingstone says 2014 was the year they turned into a headlining act.

Halfway through last winter they picked up an agent — the Wolfcastle Agency in Calgary, they released nine songs on Soundcloud with visitor hits on some of the tracks topping 30,000, they performed over 60 shows and festivals and they toured Europe for the first time.

"We've released nine songs, but we've written closer to 20 in the last year. There are songs that we keep for ourselves, just to play in our sets. So when people come to our shows they get something unique and exciting," Rollie says.

"We release them as singles because what we find is if we release some on a three- or four-track EP and they all come out at the same time, people only play one of your songs. The others get lost."

So they drip-feed their public, he adds, including some work with Vancouver's The Funk Hunters.

"We weren't too sure what we were going to do with it, because it was the first really good original song that we wrote and not a remix. It was our sound and we gave it to The Funk Hunters and they were going everywhere around the world, playing our song," Rollie says.

On a less celebratory note, Livingstone currently has a cast covering a torn arm muscle that he tries to blame on texting but quickly admits was due to a ski accident. He's mulling over whether to remove it earlier than he is meant to because, yes, there are other upcoming gigs.

Following a stretch of performances in Calgary, Edmonton and the B.C. Interior, SkiiTour will be headlining its second-ever show in Whistler, on Wednesday, Jan. 28 at the Garibaldi Lift Company. The arm should have mended by then.

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