Category: Artists for 2016
Ever popular Charlotte & Spong are back to entertain us with their delightful arrangements of sea songs, accompanied by violin, mandolin and concertina. They will also be running the popular Shanty Karaoke session on Saturday afternoon.
All the way from the other side of the Orwell, the Felix Stowaways are fast gaining in popularity, performing at many local Suffolk venues. 2017 also saw them performing in the Netherlands. This year will be their fourth visit to our Festival. Be sure to catch them.
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.
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.
The Hog Eye Men have a large and varied repertoire of sea songs and shanties which they sing in authentic style. They like to sing shanties as they used to be sung – simply, loudly and boldly. In addition to attending many other maritime events, Hog Eye Men run a regular shanty session in London and will be running some sing-around events for us here in Harwich.
From just along the Essex coast in Maldon, Mains’l Haul are a group of experienced singers and musicians who perform regularly at local maritime events. Since their inception in 2014 they have been regular attendees at the Harwich International Shanty Festival.
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.
Popular local group, Motley Crew, from Brightlingsea are much in demand locally, performing at many events including fêtes, festivals, regattas, yacht clubs and barge matches. They are regular and valued supporters of the Harwich International Shanty Festival and we warmly welcome them back.
Founders of the Harwich International Shanty Festival (yes it’s all their fault!) Naze Shanty Crew have been through several different incarnations to reach the line up you see today. Enthusiastic exponents of the maritime tradition the crew have attended several other shanty festivals both at home and abroad, but Harwich of course remains their favourite.
Salt Water and Beer were formed about twenty years ago and used to sing for beer on Maldon Quay. Nowadays they sing mainly shanties and other songs remembering days of sail. You can find them performing at the many regattas and country shows around Maldon and the River Blackwater.
With some ten years of singing shanties and songs of the sea behind them, plus two well received CDs, Joe, Pete, Colin and Dave join us again this year from the shores of the tidal Thames in North West Kent.
‘Swinging the Lead’ are the resident shanty crew on the famous Cutty Sark in Greenwich, keeping alive the music and traditions of the great days of sail. They sing an entertaining mix of traditional shanties, contemporary songs, including those written by members of the crew, either acapella or with instrument accompaniment!
All have sailing or sea going experience including in Pete’s case Tall Ships, Colin was an electronics engineer on Radio Caroline and Dave is a regular on the Woolwich Ferry.
We are delighted to welcome Grietje Sprot back to the festival after they made such an impression last year. Coming from Hindeloopen, an ancient harbour town in Friesland, Netherlands, members of this group all love fish and all love singing and so became Grietje Sprot, the Fishwives Choir. They always perform in their distinctive traditional costumes, typical of Dutch fishwives of the 1920s. Their repertoire includes ballads and songs in Friesian and Dutch, all about fish, the sea, sailors, love and tragedy.
Inner State are now a familiar sight at our festivals.
This year Andy and Christine will be Inner State as Hilda and Erik, Viking Invaders, up at the Redoubt Fort on Saturday. Come and see their 30 minute Street Theatre or watch as they stroll, via a Viking Longship, along the Quayside all day Sunday.
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.
A loyal supporter of the festival, Chris has also been known to sing the odd shanty or two! He is also a genuine sailor and for 2016 has agreed to give an illustrated talk on real experiences of Rounding Cape Horn.
Our first group from Belgium, Corsaires de la Vesdre are named after the River where they live, close to the borders with Germany and Holland. Their aim is to share their music with as wide an audience as possible and they love to sing outdoors in an authentic maritime setting. Catch them around the town this year.
This will be Derek’s second visit to Harwich International Shanty Festival. Last time he came as part of the trio “Three Sheets to the Wind”, but in 2016 he appears in his own right. Derek has many years’ experience of singing folk and sea songs, has toured extensively and written several songs, some of which are so well absorbed into the folk tradition that others attribute them to that well known writer Anon.
From that well know seafaring county of Wiltshire, Friggitt have been performing maritime songs together since 2007. They entertain with a range of instruments and have appeared at a variety of sea and riverside events.
One of the diminishing numbers of survivors from WW2, Jim worked on the Naval Wartime Rescue Tug Service, based in Harwich.
An accomplished singer and performer, Jim will be hosting a “Meet the Artist” session, talking, singing and answering questions on this local subject, dear to the hearts of many.
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.
Poland has a long and proud association with the sea and boasts a large and enthusiastic following for Shanties and sea songs. This year we are delighted that North Cape will be joining us with their acapella band singing shanties in up to 8 different languages. The group has been performing together for over twenty years and won numerous awards both at home and abroad. They have appeared at numerous festival throughout the world and in 2016 we welcome them to Harwich!
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.
Shep Woolley has been entertaining the crowds since performing at the local working men’s club as a young boy. Through Country & Western, Jazz, Skiffle and Rock’n’Roll he progressed to stand up comedy and a spell in the Royal Navy lent a nautical slant to his material. A professional musician of many years standing, Shep now combines an entertaining mix of comedy, monologues, sea songs and shanties for his maritime bookings. Don’t miss him!
Another fine group from East Anglia, Sound Tradition is an acapella foursome singing in glorious harmony. With material that is both carefully chosen and arranged they have become very active on the festival circuit within the U.K. They join us in Harwich with their Maritime set.
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
Our first group from Finland, Tidens Brus in fact hail from the Aland Islands, between Finland and Sweden. Roughly translated “Aland” means “Land of Water” so it is hardly surprising that there is a tradition of singing songs of the sea. The four members of the group sing in harmony, sometimes accompanied by guitar, whistle and percussion.