An inveterate entertainer and stalwart of the festival, we are more than pleased to be able to confirm Alan’s appearance at the festival again this year. Along with his beloved concertinas Alan will be performing at venues throughout the town.
Billy Teare & Kathleen O’Sullivan
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, 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.
Burning Glass are well-known local multi-instrumentalists Mick & Penny Verrier, accompanied by family and friends.
Charlotte & Spong
We are more than pleased to welcome back the duo “Charlotte & Spong” who this year will be running “Family Shanty” workshops as well as entertaining in pubs and sessions around the town.
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.
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.
The Felix Stowaways hail from just across the harbour in Felixstowe. The group only formed in November 2014, and are already making their mark in the local folk scene, performing at charity events around the town. They are also the resident shanty band at the monthly Folk and Roots night at the Half Moon pub in Walton High Street. This will be their first festival appearance.
Popular local band, The Golden Rivets will be performing at the festival again this year, singing shanties and sea songs in pubs and sessions around the town. Entertaining and talented singers and musicians, they always deliver a lively set.
From Kent and Sussex, Liz, Derek and Roger sing shanties and songs of the sea sometimes accompanied by whistle and accordion. Together they run the Sovereign Seas Festival in Eastbourne. At the Harwich Shanty Festival Liz will once again be running her popular “Singing in Public” workshops.
Harwich Shanty Crew
Formed from the 2010 Shanty Crew workshops and still going strong, Harwich Shanty Crew now boast upwards of 20 members and perform locally all through the year. They are enthusiastic supporters of Harwich International Shanty Festival and will be singing at venues throughout Harwich over the festival weekend.
Hog Eye Men
Great traditional singing, this London based Crew always do us proud with professional performances and good humour. Check them out in 2015.
Inner State are now a familiar sight at our festivals. It cannot have escaped your notice that 2015 is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Whilst not noted for it’s sea battles, Waterloo is set to be celebrated at the festival by Inner State and the Duke of Wellington is likely to arrive on horseback. Keep an eye out for both!
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 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 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.
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.
True Cornish lads who have been singing shanties for as long as they can remember and were a great hit at last years festival. Both sing with other Cornish crews, Gideon in Flash Jack and Nigel in Rum and Shrub. Their paths crossed at so many shanty festivals over the years that they became real mates and building on this, Kernow Buoys was born, singing songs of the sea that are often loud and raucous, and sometimes soft and sentimental .
Trapped 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.
Mains’l Haul are a newly formed group of experienced singers and musicians based in Maldon. They sing a mixture of sea shanties, forebitters and traditional and contemporary songs of the sea.
Like many a Shanty Crew, this one grew out of late night revelry at a yacht club and has gone from strength to strength. Motley Crew are local to the festival, from Brightlingsea, just along the coast.Now regulars at local fetes, regattas, concerts and yacht club events, many of their appearances are to raise money for the RNLI.
Naze Shanty Crew
Founder members of the Harwich International Shanty Festival the Naze Shanty Crew are from Walton-on-the-Naze, just along the coast. Keen drinkers, singers and sailors, not necessarily in that order, they have recently recorded a new CD available at this year’s festival. Come and see them on the Saturday of the Festival.
Patrick and Miguel
Patrick & Miguel are unable to attend this year due to illness, it’s hoped they can be with us in 2016 instead.
Pete Stockwell and Malcolm Ward
Both Shanty singers in their own right Pete and Malc are nevertheless mostly to be seen together over the festival weekend. With a wide and varied repertoire of shanties and sea songs, sometimes accompanied by banjo or concertina, they make for an entertaining and knowledgeable duo.
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.
“The Roaring Trowmen are a group of four hearty men from Bristol who sing sea shanties and folk songs and drink beer.” So they’ll fit in well at the Harwich International Shanty Festival! With great voices and harmonies Roaring Trowmen are an act not to miss.
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.
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.
Swinging the Lead
With a full calendar of events, including regular spots on board Thames Sailing Barge “Edith May” and the famous “Cutty Sark”, Swinging the Lead are one of the busiest Shanty Crews around. We are very pleased to welcome them back to Harwich in 2015.