In a few short years the Longest Johns have gone from singing sea shanties in a kitchen to International folk festivals, tours and TV appearances and have gained a huge online following. Here at Harwich International Shanty Festival we are so pleased to welcome them back as guests, following their transition to stardom. With innovative interpretations of many well known shanties, interspersed with some lesser known gems they delight their many fans and those who are just discovering them.
This is a welcome return for Brasy after their last visit to our Festival in 2015. Singing close harmonies, acapella and accompanied shanties they are one of the most popular bands we have hosted. Poland has a proud history of singing songs of the sea and Brasy have performed at clubs and festivals globally.
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.
Malcolm and Pete, both well established figures on the Kent Folk scene, will be performing together at HISF with a wide range of maritime songs often accompanied by banjo or concertina. They both share a passion for songs of the sea and an in depth knowledge of their subject which they share with their audiences.
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.
If ever two voices were meant to go together it must be those of Tony and Lesley Petty, whose amazing two part a cappella harmony singing has been enchanting audiences at clubs and festivals since 1996. Their songs are a mixture of traditional and contemporary, delivered in a relaxed and witty style with audience participation always encouraged.
When Vagrants Crew first attended the festival they were an instant hit so we knew we would have to have them back. Their music is lively and their enthusiasm and enjoyment catching, making everyone want to join in. In addition to our own festival, they will also be attending the Baltic Shanty Festival which co-incidentally this year is held in the home town of our Finnish group, Tidens Brus.
A Shanty and Folk band from the North Norfolk coast, the Old Wild Rovers started life some years ago over a few pints in a local pub. Since then they have organised and performed at many charity fundraising events and can proudly boast in excess of £165,000 raised for various good causes. They attended the festival last year in an unofficial capacity and we are very pleased to welcome them onto the Guest List for 2014.
John Conolly found folk music, like a lot of people of his age at that time, through the skiffle route. He is another artist whose songs have been so far absorbed into the tradition that many refuse to believe John himself wrote them! Long time resident on the East Coast of England, many of John’s songs reflect the challenges presented on our treacherous shores.
Our first Shanty singer from Scotland, Gaye has sung on schooners, barges and in castles and has performed in concerts and festivals throughout the U.K., Brittany, Poland and the Netherlands. With a warm mature voice singing with guitar or unaccompanied, Gaye takes her audience on a musical journey at maritime and shanty festivals with songs of the sea and the fishing that include her own compositions, songs by other song-writers and traditional ones as well.