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.

 

Hans Weehuizen

Once again Hans Weehuizen, also known as ‘Dutch Uncle’ will be joining us to sing, play concertina and melodeon and run his famous Bones Workshops. Performing sometimes solo and sometimes in conjunction with Ken Stephens, Hans has a broad repertoire of sea songs in both Dutch and English.

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Impressed

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.

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.

Nordet

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.