Devon’s “original buoy band”, The Exmouth Shanty Men, formed in 2007 to breathe new life into the maritime heritage of their home port, but have since found themselves in ports across Northern Europe, including Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Poland. They have appeared on national television and radio in the UK and in Europe, but can still be found with a song and a pint most Tuesdays in a pub overlooking Exmouth dock.
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.
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.
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.
From another premier maritime town, Portsmouth Shanty Men have been singing together since the 1970s, although the line up has changed over the years. Much respected for their harmonies and arrangements the group have been in constant demand for the last 40 years, singing shanties and sea songs and flying the flag for Britain’s proud maritime heritage. We are extremely pleased to welcome them back to Harwich after a gap of a few years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Trim Rig and a Doxy have been performing together at Folk and Shanty Festivals for 15 years or more and this will be their 3rd appearance at Harwich Shanty Festival.
Julia’s distinctive melodeon style and Derek’s harmonious singing voice blend together to form a unique delivery with a warm and sometimes humorous slant. A popular duo, make sure you catch them over the festival weekend.
Kate Worsley is a local author whose first novel was published earlier this year. The action in the novel is centred around the old town of Harwich and together with Matthew Crampton, Chris Hayes, Jan North, Jenny Thompson and Sarah Madden, Kate will be presenting a highly original show featuring readings from the book, shanties and songs of the sea
Featuring original songs about the Golden Age of Piracy Roy Mette and Triangle are collectively known as ‘Captain Morgan’s Rum Do’. Their songs feature murder, death, plunder and rum in tales of pirates such as Blackbeard, Black Bart, Anne Bonney and Calico Jack Rackham. This performance will also include songs from the new album ‘Thames, Sails and Scallywags Tales’ concerning life in medieval London and introducing another range of scurvy, lice ridden characters.
Hold on to you rowlocks! This is a musical journey from which few return.
Also known as principals of the visual arts company, Hedingham Fair, Karen and Colin make a rare musical appearance at Harwich this year. As well as being one of the Folk world’s best artists and designers, Karen is a sweet singer, mean banjo frailer and crisp percussionist. Colin is known for his Melodeon and Anglo Concertina playing, but what is less well known is that he has written several folk songs, which many have assumed are traditional songs.
In the 18 months since their formation Hard Pressed has guested at Folk Clubs across the South East of England and started to make their mark in the International Maritime Festival scene – e.g. Shanty UK’s Easter Festival. They perform sea songs, shanties, more reflective or humorous songs, both from the tradition and contemporary sources, specialising in songs from the local area and America.
Hard Pressed is: Derek Seed, vocals, Liz Randall, vocals, accordion, whistle and concertina, Roger Resch, vocals and accordion.
Based at Burnham Thorpe, birthplace of Lord Nelson, theirs was an obvious choice of name. A diverse group of enthusiasts, they are united by their love of singing and desire to keep the shanty singing tradition alive. Singing mainly acapella in harmony, but with occasional musical accompaniement, Nelson’s Shantymen have been delighting audiences in their home county of Norfolk and further afield.
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. They are regular and popular supporters of the festival.