Category: Artists for 2015

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.


Felix Stowaways

Definitely from foreign shores (the other side of the Orwell) the Felix Stowaways will be joining the festival once again. Now venturing over the border into Norfolk as well, the group are gaining quite a following at home and abroad!

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.

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!

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.

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.

Roaring Trowmen

Roaring Trowmen were a huge success at last year’s Harwich Shanty Festival and have been making waves at other festivals and events throughout the U.K. so we had to have them back. They mix musical excellence with on stage humour and personality and are an act not to be missed.

Burning Glass


Burning Glass are well-known local multi-instrumentalists Mick & Penny Verrier, accompanied by family and friends.

Billy Teare & Kathleen O’Sullivan

Billy Teare

Billy & Kathleen are returning after an absence of a few years in order to enchant further audiences with amazing stories and to deliver a variety of workshops connected to our signalling theme for 2015. Be sure to attend the instructional Morse Code workshop, which will also help you to train your mind and listen out for Kathleen’s beguiling singing and artistry.


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.



Singing Shanties in as authentic a manner as possible, Crossjack come from Oldenburg in the North of Germany. They always sing acapella in the manner of the shantymen of old and mix pure entertainment with plenty of background knowledge during their performances.

Enkhuizen 4+1

Enkhuizen 4 plus 1

From Enkhuizen in the Netherlands these five singers  perform mainly Dutch and English Shanties, mostly acapella but occasionally accompanied by guitar, melodeon, concertina and bones. One of their members, Hans Weehuizen, will be running Bones Workshops during the weekend so pop along to find out how to play these traditional rhythm accompaniments.

Hard Pressed

Hard Pressed

Three voices (Liz Randall, Roger Resch and Derek Seed) sing all manner of sea songs to accordion, whistle, concertina & autoharp, with plenty of choruses. At the Harwich Shanty Festival Liz will once again be running her popular “Singing in Public” workshops.

Jim Radford

Jim Radford

Fresh from his triumphs at the Albert Hall for Remembrance Services, Jim, who is a regular at the Festival, will be hosting a special show with wartime reminiscences, interspersed with songs, some self penned. During the 2nd World War, Jim worked on the Rescue Tugs, which were based at Harwich and has previously hosted film shows about the Tug Service’s work.

Kaap Hoorn

Kaap Hoorn 2

Kaap Hoorn are old friends of ours and we are very pleased to be able to welcome them to the Harwich International Shanty Festival for the first time. 2015 sees them celebrating their 20th Anniversary and the trip to Harwich is part of their celebrations. The 30 strong choir sing in mainly 3 part harmony, accompanied by accordion, mandolin, guitar and violin. The choir come from the town of Hoorn in the Netherlands and of course the famous Cape Horn was named in 1616 by a Dutch explorer from their home town.

Keith Kendrick


We are very pleased that Keith has been able to step into the breach and help us out at such short notice, due to Patrick Denain’s illness.

Keith has of course performed at Harwich Shanty Festival previously as one third of the group “Three Sheets to the Wind”, but he is also a respected performer in his own right, of both folk and sea songs. He is also one of the finest concertina players in the U.K. and a worthy addition to our 2015 Guest List.

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.

Press Gang

Press Gang

All the way from  St. Austell and keen to preserve the heritage of their native county, Press Gang sing tales of Cornwall and the sea with humour, harmonies and fun. Apart from a memorable “flash mob” appearance at Gatwick Airport, they rarely perform east of the Tamar, so we are privileged to welcome them to Harwich this October.



Our first group from Norway! And we are very pleased to welcome Riggerloftets to the old town of Harwich. They come from the oldest town in Norway and sing both English and Norwegian Shanties. They have travelled extensively and performed at many festivals at home and abroad.

Shadows in the Shade


Jed Stone and Des Tighe are well known around the folk scene in their Suffolk homeland, but have also travelled extensively to venues around the British Isles and further abroad. They were the founder members of XXLsior, a shanty crew put together to support the sail training trawler Excelsior and have previously sung with a variety of other groups.

Slow Loris

Slow Loris

A well established popular and talented group of guys from Leigh on Sea area, Slow Loris are making their second appearance at the festival with some interesting shows planned. See the programme for full details.