Category: Artists for 2014

Alan Whitbread


Stalwart Alan Whitbread sings, plays concertina and boasts a comprehensive maritime knowledge which makes his songs come alive. His performances are varied and entertaining, capturing the imagination.


Charlotte & Spong


The delightful Charlotte & Spong will once again be entertaining audiences in various venues throughout Harwich. Their distinctive arrangements, harmonious voices and variety of instruments make them a popular choice and last year’s Shanty Karaoke session was so well received that it is set to run again in 2017.


Golden Rivets

One of the most popular groups in the area, Golden Rivets are a firm favourite at the Festival, where they perform lively renditions of a variety of maritime songs, accompanied by guitar, banjo, violin, accordion and bodhran.


Harwich Shanty Crew

Famously formed from the 2010 Shanty Festival, Harwich Shanty Crew are now a busy and successful local group, performing at many local events. The Festival would not be the same without them.

Hog Eye Men

London based Hog Eye Men are back running singarounds and sessions at the festival as well as singing shanties and sea songs around the town. Great traditional singing with professional performances and good humour.

Kimbers Men

Always one of our most popular acts at the festival and deservedly so, Kimber’s Men delight and astound in equal measure. Fine voices and spine tingling harmonies coupled with an approachable easy style make their performances stand out.


The Longest Johns

Back by popular demand, Longest Johns have made a big name for themselves in a short time. Singing a cappella shanties and sea songs with great harmonies, their performances are fresh, engaging and entertaining.


Mains’l Haul

From just along the Essex coast in Maldon, Mains’l Haul have attended the Festival on several occasions and offer an entertaining mix of sea songs and shanties. They sing both unaccompanied and with a variety of instruments including guitar, whistles and concertina.


Malcolm Ward & Pete Stockwell

Malcolm Ward & Pete Stockwell

Two strong supporters of the festival Malc and Pete can be seen throughout the town singing a variety of shanties, traditional and modern. They both share extensive knowledge of their subject and deliver their shanties with passion and enthusiasm.

Motley Crew

Motley Crew

Motley Crew are from Brightlingsea, one of the ancient cinque ports. They perform regularly at fetes, regattas, concerts and yacht clubs and have become a firm favourite at the Festival. Their distinctive costume and professional performances stand out, gaining them a loyal following.

The Naze Shanty Crew

promo 1

Named after the town of Walton-on-the-Naze, just across the bay from Harwich, Naze Shanty Crew have undergone a number of incarnations since their inception some 20 years ago. Keen drinkers, singers and sailors, not necessarily in that order, they attend a number of maritime festivals each year, but Harwich, of course, remains their favourite

Swinging the Lead

Another Festival favourite, Swinging the Lead are one of the busiest Shanty Crews around, being resident shanty singers on the famous Cutty Sark at Greenwich and the Thames Sailing Barge ‘Edith May’ and also regular performers at several Maritime Festivals. They perform traditional shanties and a vast selection of songs of the sea, some of which are self-penned. Dave, Pete, Joe, and Colin all have a passion for maritime music, historic ships and sailing. Some of the band members have Tall Ship sailing experience and some are regulars on the Woolwich Ferry!

Tom Lewis

A charismatic and popular singer and musician, Tom has written a number of sea songs and shanties that many erroneously believe to be traditional. In addition to his own material, Tom draws on his naval experience to provide authenticity when singing traditional sea songs. His strong performances engage audiences with the spirit of the sea.


Tyburn Road

Dave Townsend and Ian Giles will be joining us again as Tyburn Road, with a new show entitled Topsails and Wordsmiths, a maritime music session on Sunday and much more. Expect a varied and talented performance encompassing concertina, melodeon and voice.



If ever two voices were meant to go together it must be those of Tony and Lesley Petty, whose amazing two part a cappella harmony singing has been enchanting audiences at clubs and festivals since 1996. Their songs are a mixture of traditional and contemporary, delivered in a relaxed and witty style with audience participation always encouraged.  


Kernow Buoys

Back to entertain us again, Gideon and Nigel will be making the long trek from the West Country to sing songs of the sea, both Cornish and otherwise. Kernow Buoys are one of our most popular acts. Watch them at one of their many appearances and you’ll find out why.

Stork Ejlaender

From Fano, off the coast of Denmark, Stork Ejlaender are proud of their island heritage and have been singing together for nearly twenty years now. With a shared interest in singing, sailing and the sea their shanties reflect a passion for the traditional island way of life. Popular previous guests at Harwich we have invited them back in 2016

Vagrants Crew

When Vagrants Crew first attended the festival they were an instant hit so we knew we would have to have them back. Their music is lively and their enthusiasm and enjoyment catching, making everyone want to join in. In addition to our own festival, they will also be attending the Baltic Shanty Festival which co-incidentally this year is held in the home town of our Finnish group, Tidens Brus.


Brasy on VictorBrasy, from Poland, were such a huge hit at our 2014 festival that we couldn’t not have them back! Superb musicians, soaring harmonies and wonderful entertainers. Don’t miss them this year.

London Lubbers

London Lubbers Logo 2Trapped in the capital, far from the sea, the London Lubbers inflict their love of shanties, sea-songs and questionable humour upon local folk clubs. A shifting (and somewhat shifty) crew, they are delighted to voyage up the A12 to Harwich once again.

Blakeney Old Wild Rovers

Old Wild Rovers

A Shanty and Folk band from the North Norfolk coast, the Old Wild Rovers started life some years ago over a few pints in a local pub. Since then they have organised and performed at many charity fundraising events and can proudly boast in excess of £165,000 raised for various good causes. They attended the festival last year in an unofficial capacity and we are very pleased to welcome them onto the Guest List for 2014.  




John Conolly

John Connolly


John Conolly found folk music, like a lot of people of his age at that time, through the skiffle route. He is another artist whose songs have been so far absorbed into the tradition that many refuse to believe John himself wrote them! Long time resident on the East Coast of England, many of John’s songs reflect the challenges presented on our treacherous shores.


Nordet 1

Singing together for over 20 years, Nordet hail from Lorient in Brittany, home to a rich tradition of songs from the sea. During those twenty years, Nordet have performed at venues all over the world and are equally at home on a festival stage or cosy pub. Acapella in harmony, or accompanied by accordion, guitar and bouzouki, Nordet deliver a wonderful Breton experience.  

Gaye Anthony

gaye anthony


Our first Shanty singer from Scotland, Gaye has sung on schooners, barges and in castles and has performed in concerts and festivals throughout the U.K., Brittany, Poland and the Netherlands. With a warm mature voice singing with guitar or unaccompanied, Gaye takes her audience on a musical journey at maritime and shanty festivals with songs of the sea and the fishing that include her own compositions,  songs by other song-writers and traditional ones as well.


Colchester based Shanticleer have been singing together for about two years. They focus on sea songs that give them the opportunity sing in in a wide range of acapella harmonies.

Pete Stockwell

Pete Stockwell

A stalwart supporter of the festival we look forward to welcoming Pete for another year. His love of shanties, sea songs and all things nautical shine through all his performances. Often performing in tandem with Malcolm Ward. Look out for Pete in 2014.

Malcolm Ward



Another regular at this festival and others, Malcolm has a melodious voice, plays sensitive concertina and together with partner in crime, Pete Stockwell, will be entertaining audiences throughout Harwich.




Kerry & Mandy Hearn with Stuart Pendrill are Quidnunc. They play and sing a wide range of maritime songs, both traditional and self penned. Veterans of many other clubs and festivals, Quidnunc deliver a lively set guaranteed to engage with their audience.

Quidnunc have played at many festivals around the country, Deal maritime festival, Hastings shanty festival,  Elsmere port festival Liverpool, to name a few. They like to involve the audience and have fun. Oh and by the way, Quidnunc is Latin for what now, but also means  a gossip!