Ten Minutes with Shane Mitchell of Dervish

Ten Minutes with Shane Mitchell of Dervish

Shane Mitchell is a founder member and accordion player with Sligo / Leitrim band Dervish. They’ll be appearing at the London Irish Centre in London on Saturday, May 27


What are you up to?

I'm enjoying a nice sunny evening in Dunlewey in Co. Donegal

What's on your smartphone at the minute?

I am listening to the great new album by Martin Hayes “Peggy’s Dream”

If you hadn't decided to follow music as a career, what other job would you have been good at?

Hard to say, something I am passionate about I suppose. When I was young I wanted to be a vet. I used to work in customer services and sales before becoming a professional musician in the early 1990s. I still say it was the best decision I ever made. I think it’s important to get out of bed in the morning and look forward to your day’s work. I am telling this to my teenage sons presently: work at something you’re passionate about.

Which piece of music always sends a shiver down your spine?

The Kesh Jig by The Bothy Band

Which musician has most influenced you?

Joe Burke

Have you a favourite all-time singer / band?

The Bothy Band

What’s your favourite film?

Into The West

What is your favourite place in Ireland?

Half Moon Bay, Hazelwood, Sligo

Which person do you most admire?

John Hume

Which trait in others do you most admire?


What books are on your bedside table at the minute?

Lean in 15 by Joe Wicks

In terms of inanimate objects, what is your most precious possession?

An accordion made for me by an ex-prisoner who used to listen to our music in prison

What’s the best thing about where you live?

Sligo has loads of music and magical scenery

. . . . and the worst?  

Negative local politics

What’s the greatest lesson life has taught you?

Something my father said to me once: “If you’re in a hole stop digging.”

What do you believe in?

Kindness and positivity

What do you consider the greatest work of art?

The cathedral in Palma in Mallorca where I visit a lot

Who are the greatest loves of your life?

My two sons Tiarnan and Lochrann, my partner Nuria and my sister Finnuala