Capstan Full Strength are a six strong vocal harmony group who have sung songs of the sea, land and work since 1998. Their powerful ‘broadside’ of sound has been welcomed at festivals in Europe, Scandinavia and the British Isles . ‘Capstan FS’ offer an incredibly broad repertoire of maritime songs enhanced with beautiful harmonies and arrangements that will leave you enchanted.
An engaging Nova Scotian performer with a glorious baritone voice, dextrous guitar work and intelligent, well-observed story-songs, Dan McKinnon’s performances bring alive the history and spirit of our collective past. He has appeared at Festivals and clubs throughout Canada and the USA, Great Britain and Australia.
Chris was a founder member of The Shanty Crew back in 1976 and has a wealth of experience, both in singing shanties and sailing traditional tall ships. He also sings from the experience of having known the late Stan Hugill, the last of the deep-water sailors to have sung as a shantyman and the world’s greatest collector of them.
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.
Four singers and musicians from France singing traditional songs of sea and river, Carapata combine the talents of Bérengère Le Cain, Emmanuel Pariselle, Séverin Valière and Miguel Biard (whom some of you might recognise from a previous incarnation!) Playing a variety of instruments including fiddle, accordion, guitar and concertina, Carapata combine their musical talents with superb voices and an in-depth knowledge of French maritime songs.
John and Sue Griffiths have been singing together for 30 years as a duo, a trio and as Mollyhawks, originally a nine piece outfit, since 1996. As well as organising the music for Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival, they have run folk clubs and sung at folk and maritime festivals, yacht clubs and for various events across the UK and Europe, including performing as shantymen on tall ships.
Largely singing acapella, they have a huge repertoire of folk songs and songs of the sea and relish sharing their music and knowledge with audiences anywhere
One of the most entertaining and original groups in British traditional music, the New Scorpion Band will be appearing at Harwich International Shanty Festival this year with one of their special maritime shows. The band take their name from the original Scorpion Band who played in the Dorset area around 1830 and New Scorpion Band performances feature a spectacular collection of historical instruments, rich vocal harmonies, sophisticated musical arrangements and virtuosic playing, covering a wide variety of musical styles. A performance not to be missed!
Baggyrinkle Swansea Shantymen have been singing together for 25 years now. Coming from all walks of life, the current line-up consists of up to 7 singing men and one female manager to keep them in line!
Performing all over Europe and the USA they sing traditional and contemporary songs of the sea in three part harmony. They have also gathered a fair number of folk songs including drinking and mining songs which they perform at suitable venues.
Brise-Glace (Icebreaker) is a band of 4 French Canadian musicians/singers playing accordion, banjo, guitar, bodhran and washboard. They sing maritime folk from Quebec, the Canadian Maritimes, Brittany and North America with passion and energy.
Like the crews of ships in centuries past, this crew come from a variety of different backgrounds and use rhythm and music from Europe, Canada, American folk, Manush and Cajun. Feel free to dance, sing and clap along!
Brise Glace have performed throughout Canada, Europe and the U.S and will also be appearing at Paimpol this August. Check out their international shanties podcast “Bordel de Mer”.
The Forebitter Men from Leeuwarden in the Netherlands will be making their second visit to the U.K. this year as they also performed at the Shantycafé in Felixstowe, back in April. They sing mainly acapella, occasionally accompanied by harmonica, bodhran or guitar and are veterans of several shanty festivals both at home and abroad.
Sheringham Shantymen have been singing together since 1990, still with some of the original personnel. During that time they have entertained over 1000 audiences both at home and abroad.
They support the RNLI as a main charity and are the only organisation outside the RNLI with permission to display that insignia within their badge, an honour of which they are rightly proud. This is their second visit to Harwich and they are delighted to be back.
Geoff Higginbottom has been singing Sea Shanties since the day he first went paddling at Blackpool.
As well as singing shanties, he has a vast amount of knowledge on the subject gleaned from his holiday job in 1975 working on Heaton Park boating lake.
Geoff sings very loudly, because he can and accompanies himself on guitar and mandola as well as singing unaccompanied. He becomes a duo when joined on stage by Woody the dancing doll (pictured) who is quite clearly the brains of the outfit.
Make sure you bring your singing voice to any of his concerts (and possibly ear defenders).
Also happening during the festival – Pirates, Soldiers, Street Theatre, Barge Cruises, Beer, Workshops, Music Trains, Concerts, Guided Tours and Music Sessions See the Programme for more details. See also the Other Events page