One of our most popular and most requested guests, Nordet are back to sing at our big 2020 Festival. They perform with energy and enthusiasm, taking their audiences with them as they sing in French, Breton or English, accompanied by melodeon, bouzouki or guitar.



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.

Tyburn Road

Dave and Ian sing mainly maritime sets together as Tyburn Road and have become a regular fixture at HISF. With fine singing voices and often accompanied by the concertina they will entertain you with an unusual selection of songs and tunes.

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.

Charlotte & Spong

Tireless supporters of the Festival, Charlotte and Spong will be entertaining us over the weekend with their beautiful arrangements of sea songs and shanties, plus their very popular “Shanty Karaoke” on Saturday afternoon.

Malcolm Ward & Pete Stockwell

Singing sometimes unaccompanied, sometimes with banjo or concertina, regular guests Malc and Pete deliver a varied selection of traditional and contemporary sea songs and shanties. For 2020 Malc will be singing his own Mayflower song in the special concert

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.

Harwich Shanty Crew

Formed from a workshop at our Festival back in 2010, Harwich Shanty Crew are now much in demand locally and perform regularly throughout the year at a number of local events. And they will of course be representing Harwich at our special Mayflower 400 concert

Naze Shanty Crew

Naze Shanty Crew founded the Harwich International Shanty Festival after casting envious glances across the bay from Walton-on-the-Naze. Now none of them live in Walton, but they keep the name and keep the Festival, sometimes at the expense of their sanity!

Alan Whitbread

We’re always pleased to welcome Alan back to Harwich. His performances are lively, inclusive and entertaining and make the shanties come alive. Singing sometimes unaccompanied, sometimes with concertina, Alan will transport you back to the great days of sail.

Stork Ejlaender

Danish Shanty Crew Stork Ejlaender come from the island of Fano off the Danish coast. They call themselves after the storks which return to the island for the winter, just as the sailors did in days gone by. Their style of singing is as authentic as possible to the shanty singers of the past.

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.


Tom Lewis

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.  


Kernow Buoys

Back to entertain us again, Gideon and Nigel will be making the long trek from the West Country to sing songs of the sea, both Cornish and otherwise. Kernow Buoys are one of our most popular acts. Watch them at one of their many appearances and you’ll find out why.

Vagrants Crew

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.


Brasy on VictorBrasy, 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.

London Lubbers

London Lubbers Logo 2Trapped 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.

Blakeney Old Wild Rovers

Old Wild Rovers

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

John Connolly


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.

Gaye Anthony

gaye anthony


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.


Colchester based Shanticleer have been singing together for about two years. They focus on sea songs that give them the opportunity sing in in a wide range of acapella harmonies.

Pete Stockwell

Pete Stockwell

A stalwart supporter of the festival we look forward to welcoming Pete for another year. His love of shanties, sea songs and all things nautical shine through all his performances. Often performing in tandem with Malcolm Ward. Look out for Pete in 2014.

Malcolm Ward



Another regular at this festival and others, Malcolm has a melodious voice, plays sensitive concertina and together with partner in crime, Pete Stockwell, will be entertaining audiences throughout Harwich.


Kerry & Mandy Hearn with Stuart Pendrill are Quidnunc. They play and sing a wide range of maritime songs, both traditional and self penned. Veterans of many other clubs and festivals, Quidnunc deliver a lively set guaranteed to engage with their audience.

Quidnunc have played at many festivals around the country, Deal maritime festival, Hastings shanty festival,  Elsmere port festival Liverpool, to name a few. They like to involve the audience and have fun. Oh and by the way, Quidnunc is Latin for what now, but also means  a gossip!