Category: Artists for 2018

2018 Artists

Artists booked for 2018 are shown below in alphabetical order.

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.

Becky Graham

Becky is the daughter of festival stalwart Pete Stockwell and is proud to carry on the tradition of singing songs of the sea. She has performed all over the country with acapella quartet The Witches Of Elswick and now enjoys doing so as a solo performer. She will also be treating us to some nautical tunes on fiddle and melodeon

Capstan Full Strength

Capstan Full Strength have been singing songs of the sea, land and work since 1998.  They offer a powerful ‘broadside’ of sound coupled with amazing harmonies.  Expect a wide repertoire of traditional and contemporary songs.

Charlotte & Spong


Ever popular Charlotte & Spong are back to entertain us with their delightful arrangements of sea songs, accompanied by violin, mandolin and concertina. They will also be running the popular Shanty Karaoke session on Saturday afternoon.


Les Corsaires de la Vesdre

From Limbourg in Belgium, Les Corsaires are keen travellers and have appeared at maritime festivals throughout Europe. They sing in several different languages and believe it is important that both audience and singers should have fun.

Dick Miles

Dick Miles has been singing and playing music since he was 13 and lived for many years in East Anglia before moving to the Republic of Ireland. He particularly loves the English concertina as an accompaniment and has written 2 tutor books for this instrument. A regular at maritime and folk festivals this is Dick’s first visit to Harwich.

Dutch Uncle

Hans Weehuizen (aka Dutch Uncle) is a well known figure on the Shanty scene, both here and abroad, performing solo, as a duo or with the Dutch group Enkhuizen 4+1. For 2018 in Harwich Hans will be performing both solo and as part of a dynamic duo with Ken Stephens, another of our Festival guests. He will also be running his popular “Playing the Bones” workshops on both Saturday and Sunday.


Exmouth Shanty Men

Devon’s “original buoy band”, The Exmouth Shanty Men, formed in 2007 to breathe new life into the maritime heritage of their home port, but have since found themselves in ports across Northern Europe, including Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Poland. They have appeared on national television and radio in the UK and in Europe, but can still be found with a song and a pint most Tuesdays in a pub overlooking Exmouth dock.

Felix Stowaways

All the way from the other side of the Orwell, the Felix Stowaways are fast gaining in popularity, performing at many local Suffolk venues. 2017 also saw them performing in the Netherlands. This year will be their fourth visit to our Festival. Be sure to catch them.

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.


Harwich Shanty Crew

Famously formed from the 2010 Shanty Festival, Harwich Shanty Crew are now a busy and successful local group, performing at many local events. The Festival would not be the same without them.

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.

The Hoy Shanty Crew

The Hoy Shanty Crew sprung out of The Hoy at Anchor Folk Club, Southend area’s longest running Folk Club.

Singing rousing shanties together the group have performed extensively in Essex and beyond.


Liz Randall and Roger Resch are “Impressed” and have been singing together for several years, performing at a variety of clubs and festivals. At this years Festival Liz will also be running her popular “Singing in Public” workshop for beginners, which will compliment the “Harmony Singing” workshops for more experienced singers.

Ken Stephens

An accomplished singer, musician and performer, Ken Stephens has been singing sea songs for more years than he cares to remember and has written many shanties which have passed into the tradition. He has appeared at maritime festivals all over the world, singing both solo and with other performers. Here in Harwich he will be performing on his own and as a duo with Dutch Uncle.

London Sea Shanty Collective

The London Sea Shanty Collective formed after appearing at Hull Maritime Festival and UK Pride 2017. They have performed at London’s Canada Water Theatre, the Institute of Historical Research, and Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival. Members are from around the globe, singing shanties and maritime songs mainly in English but also in French, Swedish and Celtic languages.

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.

Malcolm Ward & Pete Stockwell

Malcolm Ward & Pete Stockwell

Two strong supporters of the festival Malc and Pete can be seen throughout the town singing a variety of shanties, traditional and modern. They both share extensive knowledge of their subject and deliver their shanties with passion and enthusiasm.

Men Overboard

“Za Bortom!” (Men Overboard!)

Men Overboard, from St. Petersburg, Russia, made a big impression on their first visit to Harwich last year and so we are pleased to welcome them back in 2018. Their original performances combine a mixture of traditional sea songs and shanties, including some Russian versions and exciting new material written by one of the trio – Robert Palomo.

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.

The 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.


Nordet made a big impression when they last visited Harwich in 2014 and we are very pleased to welcome them back. Coming from Lorient in Brittany, the group have been together for 25 years and have performed at most of the major maritime festivals in the world. Their energy, enthusiasm, humour and musical ability make them an act not to miss.

Norfolk Broads

The Norfolk Broads are a 4-piece female ensemble who enjoy singing low-pitched sea shanties and folk songs in close harmony. Born in Norfolk, formed in Cornwall, they live and sing in London but hold the East Anglian skies in their hearts and voices. This will be their first visit to Harwich and we look forward to hosting them.

Old Gaffers

From South Devon, The Old Gaffers have been rocking assorted boats and all sorts of other stages since 2010. With their own brand of humour, no nonsense, no gimmicks, sea shanties and sea songs they have entertained audiences at festivals and concerts the length and breadth of the country and can now add Harwich to their impressive list of appearances.

El Pony Pisador

We just had to have these guys back again! El Pony Pisador from Barcelona, made such a huge impression on the Festival last year with their vibrant, exciting and varied performances. Sea songs and shanties mix with havaneres, tuvan throat singing, tarantellas and yodelling for one of the most original acts on the scene.

Portsmouth Shanty Men

From another premier maritime town, Portsmouth Shanty Men have been singing together since the 1970s, although the line up has changed over the years. Much respected for their harmonies and arrangements the group have been in constant demand for the last 40 years, singing shanties and sea songs and flying the flag for Britain’s proud maritime heritage. We are extremely pleased to welcome them back to Harwich after a gap of a few years.

Rattlin’ Winches

This musical trio from Harwich perform locally at many clubs, pubs and events. It’s their second appearance at the Harwich International Shanty Festival where you can hear them perform a variety of sea songs and shanties.

Rogue Shanty Buoys

The Rogue Shanty Buoys are an energetic acapella sea shanties group.

They sing authentic sea shanties and songs, their own original songs and “shantyfied” versions of contemporary songs with a raucous, humorous and passionate delivery that will captivate, entertain and educate you.

The group hail from Lowestoft– a town boasting a rich cultural history in the tradition of seafarers; fishermen and sailors where men have earned a living (honest and otherwise) from the Sea since before the Middle Ages.

Following popular performances at last year’s festival, the group will be here for all three days this year – DON’T MISS THEM.

Salt Water & Beer

Salt Water and Beer were formed about twenty years ago and used to sing for beer on Maldon Quay. Nowadays they sing mainly shanties and other songs remembering days of sail. You can find them performing at the many regattas and country shows around Maldon and the River Blackwater.