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.

Charlotte & Spong

Charlotte & Spong are popular and accomplished musicians who will be singing their carefully arranged shanties and sea songs around Harwich Town over the weekend.

Don’t miss their regular “Shanty Karaoke” spot, featuring some of the best known sea shanties to sing along with.


Felix Stowaways

The Felix Stowaways are making the arduous crossing over the waters of Harwich Harbour once again, to take part in their favourite festival. Following on from their visit to The Netherlands last year to sing at a Dutch style ShantyCafe, they are bringing the format to the UK and hosting their own ShantyCafe in their hometown in April.


Harwich Shanty Crew

Harwich’s home grown shanty crew have been singing together now for 9 years following their inception at the 2010 Shanty Festival. A busy crew, much in demand at local events, they will be performing at several venues over the Festival weekend.


Motley Crew

Popular local group, Motley Crew, from Brightlingsea are much in demand locally, performing at many events including fêtes, festivals, regattas, yacht clubs and barge matches. They are regular and valued supporters of the Harwich International Shanty Festival and we warmly welcome them back.

Naze Shanty Crew

Founders of the Harwich International Shanty Festival (yes it’s all their fault!) Naze Shanty Crew have been through several different incarnations to reach the line up you see today. Enthusiastic exponents of the maritime tradition the crew have attended several other shanty festivals both at home and abroad, but Harwich of course remains their favourite.

Swinging the Lead

With some ten years of singing shanties and songs of the sea behind them, plus two well received CD’s, Joe, Andy, Pete, Colin, Dave and David join us again this year, from the shores of the tidal Thames in North West Kent.

They are the resident shanty crew on the famous Cutty Sark in Greenwich, keeping alive the music and traditions of the great days of sail.

All have sailing or sea going experience including in Pete’s case Tall Ships, Colin was the electronics engineer on Radio Caroline and Dave is a regular on the Woolwich Ferry!

Pictured in The Swan in 2018

Tyburn Road

Talented and popular regulars at the Festival, Tyburn Road will be entertaining us once again with superb voices and musical accompaniment. They have a wealth of experience performing, touring and researching traditional music and their love of sea songs and shanties, together with a repertoire of unusual songs and tunes makes them the perfect guests for the Festival.

Golden Rivets

One of the most popular groups in the area, Golden Rivets are a firm favourite at the Festival, where they perform lively renditions of a variety of maritime songs, accompanied by guitar, banjo, violin, accordion and bodhran.


Hog Eye Men

The Hog Eye Men have a large and varied repertoire of sea songs and shanties which they sing in authentic style. They like to sing shanties as they used to be sung – simply, loudly and boldly. In addition to attending many other maritime events, Hog Eye Men run a regular shanty session in London and will be running some sing-around events for us here in Harwich.

Mains’l Haul

From just along the Essex coast in Maldon, Mains’l Haul are a group of experienced singers and musicians who perform regularly at local maritime events. Since their inception in 2014 they have been regular attendees at the Harwich International Shanty Festival.

Slow Loris

We are delighted to welcome Slow Loris back to the Festival again. 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.


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.



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.

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.