Another of our most popular performers, Nordet join us again from Lorient in Brittany. They sing shanties and sea songs in French, Breton and English accompanied by guitar, melodeon and now, Uillean pipes. Twenty years of experience has seen them performing all over the world at venues from Village Halls to concert auditoriums. Come and capture some of their magic.



Les Brouilleurs d’Écoutes

From La Rochelle in France, Les Brouilleurs d’Écoutes describe themselves as a Franco-British group with an Irish flavour. Their upbeat multi-instrumental approach to shanties has earned them a strong following both in their home country and abroad. Les Brouilleurs d’Écoutes made a huge impression on their first visit to Harwich and we are pleased to welcome them back.

Monkey’s Fist

Monkey’s Fist, based in Yorkshire and named after the knot used to heave the first line ashore, is the trio of Steve Flude, Colin Devey and John Horsey. They sing powerful arrangements of sea shanties, forebitters and ballads with close harmonies and guitar, concertina, bodhran and harmonica accompaniment. They have performed at clubs and festivals across the UK, together with festivals in Ireland, Germany and Holland.

Johnson Girls

All the way from the USA, Johnson Girls are the foremost all woman acapella maritime group in the world and have been singing together for over 20 years now. Rousing work songs, sensitive ballads and soaring harmonies are all part of their repertoire and they join us this year not only to entertain with all of these but also representing Plymouth USA as part of our Mayflower 400 celebrations.


Powerful singing, innovative arrangements and unusual instrumentation all make up the unique sound of Doggerland who combine the traditions of England and Scandinavia in their shanties and ballads.

Act Of Mutiny

As part of HISF participation in and support for the Mayflower 400 Anniversary, we are very pleased to be inviting Sea Shanty groups from nearly all of the Mayflower towns. Act of Mutiny are from Leiden in Holland, representing that town as part of our very special concert, but also of course entertaining at other times throughout the weekend. We welcome them on their first visit to Harwich.

Kimbers Men

We couldn’t do without Kimber’s Men at our extended Mayflower 400 Festival! The top UK Shanty Crew, popular all over the world and one of our most requested groups. And as true Yorkshire men they will be representing Austerfield, Doncaster in our Mayflower concert.

Silver Darlings

Silver Darlings from Southend-on-Sea made a big impression at last year’s Festival and so we are very pleased to welcome them back for 2020. Their performances are lively and engaging and they are rapidly making a name for themselves both here in Essex and further afield. 

Shanty Jack

For the past 30 years or more, Shanty Jack (Pete Hayselden) has been a regular fixture at Shanty Festivals both in the UK and abroad. He spent a large part of his life working on Tugs in the Humber and was instrumental in establishing the Hull Sea Fever Festival. At HISF Pete will be singing and playing and proudly representing Boston/Immingham area as part of our Mayflower 400 celebrations


Old Gaffers

A performance from Old Gaffers from South Devon is always inclusive and engaging and delivered with their own brand of humour. During the 10 years of their existence they have performed widely in the West Country and further afield and return to Harwich this year in particular to represent Plymouth UK as part of our Mayflower 400 celebrations.

London Sea Shanty Collective

The London Sea Shanty Collective is a community choir who sing shanties and maritime songs with one eye to tradition and the other to the future. They perform regularly in London and across the UK and Ireland and have sung at festivals, pubs, bars, theatres, the British Museum the British Library and more.

Hog Eye Men

The Hog Eye Men join us once again from London to sing authentic shanties in a traditional manner. All members of the Crew have long experience of traditional folk, particularly maritime, music and song.

Swinging the Lead

One of our popular regulars, Swinging the Lead join us once again, having now expanded into a six-piece band. Their repertoire includes both traditional, contemporary and self-penned songs and for 2020 they will be representing Rotherhithe at our Mayflower 400 concert.

Rum Old Boys

Rum Old Boys are from Woodbridge, just a short boat ride away up the River Deben. During their relatively short existence as a shanty crew they have clocked up an impressive list of appearances, often collecting for charity.


Hoy Boy

Sailing in from Canvey Island in Essex, Hoy Boy (Peter Purnell) is a young enthusiastic acapella Sea Shanty Soloist with a passion for Maritime Folk Music. Specialising in rousing uplifting shanties from the golden age of sail that will have you joining in with gusto.

Salt Water & Beer

Another Essex crew from Maldon, Salt Water and Beer have been singing together for a number of years. They have performed at Harwich International Shanty Festival on several occasions and they return again for our 2020 celebrations.

The Hoolies

Formed only last year, following a request from the Mayor of Wivenhoe, the Hoolies are already making a name for themselves and already have a very busy schedule of appearances. This will be their second visit to Harwich Shanty Festival

Felix Stowaways

Visiting again from across the seas, well the Orwell, are popular local group Felix Stowaways, who are blessed with the catchiest group name that could be bestowed upon a crew by virtue of their home town.


Shötley Crüe

Another crew formed directly as a result of the Harwich Shanty Festival, Shötley Crüe have now been singing together for nearly 6 years and have performed at a number of Festivals and clubs around the country. They are now resident band at a monthly Folk club in South London.

Motley Crew

From just along the Essex coast in Brightlingsea, Motley Crew are a very popular local group whose performances are always lively and robust. They perform at many local events and successfully raise thousands of pounds for the RNLI.

Rattlin’ Winches

Local Buoys, sorry boys, Ben, Len and Roy must be the hardest working shanty singers at the Festival this year as they perform with 3 other shanty groups as well. Harwich International Shanty Festival has obviously gone to their heads. Long may it last!