Category: Featured Artists

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.

Dutch Uncle

Hans Weehuizen, aka Dutch Uncle, will be attending the festival again, offering workshops on how to play the bones and also sometimes singing alongside Ken Stephens. A veteran performer at Shanty Festivals worldwide, Hans sings an interesting selection of songs in both Dutch and English and plays concertina, melodeon and of course, bones!

 

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.

Ken Stephens

Ken is an experienced and accomplished performer and musician, whose own songs have passed into the tradition. He has appeared at maritime festivals worldwide, singing solo and with other performers. This will be his first visit to Harwich International Shanty Festival, but not to the town of Harwich, having worked on both Minewseepers and Thames Barges, during his youth.

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.

 

Men Overboard

“Za Bortom!” (Men Overboard!)

Comprised of one American and two British expatriates who now hail from the
historic Baltic port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia, this trio takes its name from the Russian sailors’ warning of a man overboard: “Chelovek za bortom!”, whimsically morphing it into “Men Overboard!” in English.

All veterans of the shanty choir of the Russian tall ship “MIR” , this crew sails in the wake of the legendary Stan Rogers, focusing on the “New Old Sea Songs” of
songwriter, Robert Palomo… songs that will remind you of your traditional favourites, but they’re as new and fresh as the sea breeze. What’s truly “overboard” is the fun you’ll have experiencing the music of “Za Bortom!”

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.

El Pony Pisador

A new five-strong folk group from Barcelona, El Pony Pisador, are currently making a name for themselves with shanties, sea songs, havaneres, tuvan throat singing, tarantellas and yodelling from around the world! An exciting live act with guts and gusto, they have already amassed a loyal following.

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!