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.

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

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.

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.


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.

Slow Loris

We are delighted to welcome Slow Loris back to the Festival again (2018). Always extremely popular in our music venues, Slow Loris will also be performing the Friday night show on board Sailing Barge Victor. Full details in our programme. Don’t miss them.

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.

Roaring Trowmen

Roaring Trowmen were a huge success at last year’s Harwich Shanty Festival and have been making waves at other festivals and events throughout the U.K. so we had to have them back. They mix musical excellence with on stage humour and personality and are an act not to be missed.

Burning Glass


Burning Glass are well-known local multi-instrumentalists Mick & Penny Verrier, accompanied by family and friends.

Billy Teare & Kathleen O’Sullivan

Billy Teare

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.

Enkhuizen 4+1

Enkhuizen 4 plus 1

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.

Hard Pressed

Hard Pressed

Three voices (Liz Randall, Roger Resch and Derek Seed) sing all manner of sea songs to accordion, whistle, concertina & autoharp, with plenty of choruses. At the Harwich Shanty Festival Liz will once again be running her popular “Singing in Public” workshops.

Jim Radford

Jim Radford

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, 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

Kaap Hoorn 2

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.

Keith Kendrick


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.

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.

Press Gang

Press Gang

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.

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.