Category: Artists for 2017

Alan Whitbread

We’re always pleased to welcome Alan back to Harwich. His performances are lively, inclusive and entertaining and make the shanties come alive. Singing sometimes unaccompanied, sometimes with concertina, Alan will transport you back to the great days of sail.

Charlotte & Spong

  

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.

 

Dutch Uncle

Hans Weehuizen (aka Dutch Uncle) is a well known figure on the Shanty scene, both here and abroad, performing solo, as a duo or with the Dutch group Enkhuizen 4+1. For 2018 in Harwich Hans will be performing both solo and as part of a dynamic duo with Ken Stephens, another of our Festival guests. He will also be running his popular “Playing the Bones” workshops on both Saturday and Sunday.

 

Felix Stowaways

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.

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



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.

Impressed

Liz Randall and Roger Resch are “Impressed” and have been singing together for several years, performing at a variety of clubs and festivals. At this years Festival Liz will also be running her popular “Singing in Public” workshop for beginners, which will compliment the “Harmony Singing” workshops for more experienced singers.

Ken Stephens

An accomplished singer, musician and performer, Ken Stephens has been singing sea songs for more years than he cares to remember and has written many shanties which have passed into the tradition. He has appeared at maritime festivals all over the world, singing both solo and with other performers. Here in Harwich he will be performing on his own and as a duo with Dutch Uncle.

Mains’l Haul


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.

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.

Men Overboard

“Za Bortom!” (Men Overboard!)

Men Overboard, from St. Petersburg, Russia, made a big impression on their first visit to Harwich last year and so we are pleased to welcome them back in 2018. Their original performances combine a mixture of traditional sea songs and shanties, including some Russian versions and exciting new material written by one of the trio – Robert Palomo.

Motley Crew

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.

The Naze Shanty Crew

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.

El Pony Pisador

We just had to have these guys back again! El Pony Pisador from Barcelona, made such a huge impression on the Festival last year with their vibrant, exciting and varied performances. Sea songs and shanties mix with havaneres, tuvan throat singing, tarantellas and yodelling for one of the most original acts on the scene.

Rattlin’ Winches

This musical trio from Harwich perform locally at many clubs, pubs and events. It’s their second appearance at the Harwich International Shanty Festival where you can hear them perform a variety of sea songs and shanties.

Swinging the Lead

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.

Tyburn Road

Talented and popular regulars at the Festival, Tyburn Road will be entertaining us once again with superb voices and musical accompaniment. They have a wealth of experience performing, touring and researching traditional music and their love of sea songs and shanties, together with a repertoire of unusual songs and tunes makes them the perfect guests for the Festival.

The 2017 Festival

The 12th Harwich International Sea Shanty Festival was held from 13th to 15th October 2017 and featured the artists below.

Join us in Harwich 5th-7th October 2018 for the next Harwich International Sea Shanty Festival. Keep an eye on this site (or sign up for our newsletter) for details of the 2018 artists.

 

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Bob Walser

Musician, scholar and educator Bob Walser’s  musical career spans decades and continents. In the early 1980s he made his living as a shantyman at Mystic Seaport, one of the largest maritime museums in the USA. Since then he has presented folk music and dance programmes in schools across the USA, and performed as a singer, dance leader and musician around the world.

Since 2002 he has been working on the James Madison Carpenter folksong collection based at Aberdeen University and will be presenting a series of workshops at Harwich International Shanty Festival based upon this work. Expect an enlightening collection of previously unknown shanties and variations on some more familiar ones. In addition, he has three CDs to his credit as well as guest appearances on another dozen recordings in the US, France and England.

Les Brouilleurs d’Écoutes

Les Brouilleurs d’Écoutes, a Franco-British group, were founded late one June evening in Corrigan’s Irish Pub in La Rochelle back in 2005. They alternate between French and English performing traditional shanties and songs of the sea both French and British as well as their own self-penned material. The group usually plays around its home port of La Rochelle, but is also happy to undertake longer journeys to the festivals of Dunkerque, Paimpol, Brest, Vegesack-Bremen, Falmouth, Appingedam and even as far as Harwich !

Cathead

Four guys, Bob, Rob, Bob and Allan, who have been singing and drinking together for well over 20 years. The majority of our material is a capella but we do use instruments: melodeon, concertina and bouzouki. Like most shanty groups we like a good rousing song, and like most  shanty groups we have tried to keep our ears open for one or two songs that have not earned a well-trodden path on the shanty circuit. For anyone who wishes to take us home, we can offer a choice of two CDs, or we can simply all jump into your car! We look forward to singing with you, so cat the anchor and let’s get under way.

Dominic Dowsey-Magog

Dom was well known on the Shanty scene throughout the U.K. and abroad, both as a solo artist and as a member of The Shanty Crew. He joined us in 2017 as a solo artist when his encyclopaedic knowledge of the sea, shanties and his powerful voice made him a welcome addition to the festival.

Dom passed away in April 2018 and will be sorely missed.

 

Grietje Sprot

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 Theatre

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.

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.

 

la Morescha Nova

Our first ever Italian Shanty Crew! And la Morescha are rather special as they are the only group in Italy to be concentrating on Italian maritime heritage. Their repertoire covers songs from Roman times up to the present day and is accompanied by authentic baroque instruments. They will also be teaming up with Jack Coutts, a veteran shanty singer from Stormalong John, to sing a few English shanties as well. All in all, an experience not to be missed

Patrick Denain and Miguel Biard

Patrick & Miguel

No one in Harwich has stopped talking about Patrick and Miguel since they performed here several years ago. And so for 2017 we are delighted that they are able to visit us again. Hailing from Fécamp in Normandy, Patrick and Miguel perform with a symbiosis which can be felt as well as heard. Both superb singers in their own right, their voices compliment each other’s so completely and make for a magical performance.

The Rogues Shanty Chorus

The Rogues Shanty Chorus hail from Lowestoft and perform, revive and revitalise the music and heritage that the prominent industries of the town and its workers created.

The group sing working songs ranging from the Middle Ages to early-20th century, including sea shanties and arias about the sea as well as whaling songs, naval songs, Stevedores workers’ songs, foc’sle songs and romantic old-century tunes of ne’er-do-wells, which include refrains of seafarers, wreckers and smugglers and murder ballads.

Led under the musical direction of brothers Stephen and Paul Amer, the group are earning themselves a reputation for humorous, engaging and sometimes sentimental performances.