Christ­mas in Peter­bor­ough with the Barra MacNeils

The Peterborough Examiner - - Arts & Life - JES­SICA NYZNIK Ex­am­iner Staff Writer Jes­[email protected]­ter­bor­ough­

The Barra MacNeils have been known to ig­nite the Christ­mas spirit.

At least that’s what they’ve been told, any­way.

Kyle MacNeil said he’s of­ten told au­di­ence mem­bers say they weren’t in the hol­i­day spirit un­til they saw An East Coast Christ­mas.

“‘I’m right in the swing of things now,’” MacNeil said he hears af­ter con­certs.

The Barra MacNeils will be in Peter­bor­ough Wed­nes­day to help fans get into the hol­i­day groove.

They’re play­ing at Show­place Per­for­mance Cen­tre at 7:30 p.m. Tick­ets are $57.50.

The group mainly con­sists of MacNeil sib­lings, al­though they did let one out­sider into the mix, bassist Jamie Gatti.

Lucy, Boyd, Ste­wart, Kyle and Sheumas MacNeil make up the rest of the band, with only one sib­ling miss­ing on stage, a brother who now lives in South Africa.

As kids who grew up with in­stru­ments in their hands, it’s no won­der they all went on to study mu­sic in univer­sity.

When they’d go home for the hol­i­days dur­ing their stud­ies, they’d play a Christ­mas concert at a lo­cal pub.

That concert lead to oth­ers, and their Christ­mas tour grew and grew.

For the last 19 years, the Barra MacNeils have toured the coun­try for the hol­i­days, spend­ing five weeks a year on the road.

An East Coast Christ­mas com­bines mu­sic from their three Christ­mas al­bums, with mu­sic from their lat­est al­bum, too. On the Bright Side has a Celtic feel and came out ear­lier this year.

“It gets tougher and tougher ev­ery year to get all the ma­te­rial in,” said MacNeil of the concert set list.

He de­scribes the show as lively, with lots of fid­dle mu­sic, danc­ing and fa­mil­iar car­ols. “It’s a very fes­tive show.”

It’s even more fes­tive for the MacNeils, who per­form it for weeks on end lead­ing up to Christ­mas.

“It’s five weeks of Christ­mas with your fam­ily ev­ery day,” MacNeil said with a chuckle.

NOTE: Tick­ets are avail­able at the Show­place box of­fice or on­line at­


The Barra MacNeils per­form at Show­place in Peter­bor­ough Wed­nes­day at 7:30 p.m. Tick­ets are $57.50.

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