Music Spotlight: Michael English

By: Krystyn Decker

Michael English and has band are heading to Holy Heart Theatre this December to play some classic Irish tunes, as well as some Christmas classics.


It’s no secret that Newfoundlanders love Irish music, with so many people in the province being of Irish descent. The Irish in Newfoundland Festival with Michael English last year was a huge success, and he’s back again this year.

Coming to NL

Michael English will be coming to Newfoundland and Labrador all the way from Ireland, along with his band, and you can expect to hear lots of accordion, guitar and fiddle during his performances at the Sheila NaGeira Theatre and Holy Heart Theatre in December.

What did the Irishman have to say about a place so similar in culture?

“We perform here in Ireland, and the UK and travel to Spain, and Portugal, and America, and different places like that. But, last year was our first visit to Newfoundland and we enjoyed it so much, and we hope the people enjoyed it. That’s why we’re heading back over again in December and we’re very much looking forward to it. The whole lot of us, the band and even the crew, they had a great time last year.”

Michael himself admits there are definitely some similarities between the two places. From the food, the people, to the music, there’s no shortage of resemblances. 

“When we arrived last year, when we got off the coach, I forget the name of the bar we stopped outside, but then when we went in, the food was very similar to our food, the music was something like Irish songs. There was two guys on the stage playing Irish music. We actually went back there the next night after the show, there was a bigger band playing, and they were playing all Irish music.”

They’ll be performing some of their own Irish music, as well as some Christmas tunes including classics like Silver Bells, Silent Night, and more. The concerts will take place on December 12 and December 13.

“Hopefully people will come that like Irish music first and foremost, and then we’ve got a good bit of Christmas music in the show. It’s a good variety. It’s a good night out, and it’s fairly energetic as well. It’s not a very relaxed show, you know we try to have a good time up on stage, and we want the audience to have a good time as well. It’s one big party.”

Holiday Traditions

With the concerts being so close to the holidays, and Newfoundland not being the only stop along the way, it’ll be cutting it close for returning to Ireland in time to celebrate Christmas.

“We don’t finish up ’til the 23, I go home on the 24, and then I’m back touring on the 26. So, I’m only home for two days. My family is use to it, they’re use to me being away. It’s just Christmas is our busy time so when Christmas is over I have 10 days holidays so I’ll get to see everybody a lot then.”

Speaking of Christmastime, I asked Michael about his family and their holiday traditions over that way, one can only assume we’d have similar traditions as well.  “Our Christmas, I suppose, is just like everybody else’s Christmas. All the family comes together, and I go home to my home place where my parents live and I was born. I have two sisters who are married and they have their kids. We get together on the 24, and we normally walk to mass, we go to mass on Christmas Eve. We go to – well it’s called midnight mass, but it’s actually at 9 pm”, Michael shares with a laugh.

“So we’d walk to mass, I suppose it’s about a mile maybe, into the village and I sing at mass. They have a lovely choir there in the village, and I use to play for them, in the choir, when I was growing up. So I go back, and I sing with them. We always go to the pub after midnight mass for one drink, maybe two, because that’s what we do” he laughs, “we bring everybody from the pub back home to our house and we have a bit of a party.”

Don’t miss out on this energetic Christmas concert, December 12 at Sheila NaGeira Theatre and December 13 at Holy Heart Theatre. “We’re coming to Newfoundland and we’re very much looking forward to it.”

For info on the event visit and purchase your tickets today. 

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