Tyburn Road

Ian and Dave bring to the stage a wealth of experience performing, touring and researching traditional songs & music. With voices and concertina, they offer a delightful repertoire of unusual songs and tunes. Their comfortable and relaxed style of presentation makes the perfect setting for their commitment to the material and their consummate musicianship.

Two Bitts

Pete Stockwell and Dave Ellis, one time Double Trouble and Forebitter (for those with long memories) have reformed as 2 Bitts. They’ll sing and play anything that’s remotely connected with the water!

Swinging the Lead

Swinging the Lead began singing shanties and maritime folk songs in 2010 and are based in North West Kent on the banks of the tidal River Thames. They have been the resident Shanty Singers on the famous tea clipper ‘Cutty Sark’ at her dry berth in Greenwich since 2011 and regularly perform at festivals in the UK and overseas. The band have their own unique style and their songs are performed with an upbeat, foot-tapping twist. Most of the members have sea going experience including on tall ships and all have a keen interest in the sea and maritime matters.

Sloop Groggy Dogs

Sloop Groggy Dogs sing traditional shanties with high energy and a passion that connects with audiences of all ages. Their shows are both engaging and memorable, raising many thousands of pounds for the RNLI and other charities.

Shotley Wailers

Since their debut at Harwich International Shanty Festival last year, Shotley Wailers have been developing their repertoire of singalong, shanty and war songs.  Now accompanied by bass, melodeon, penny whistle, guitar, harmonica, and percussion, they can still be heard wailing across the waters from Shotley Sailing Club adjacent to the old Ganges on Monday nights.

Shantykoor Blankenberge

This Flemish choir dress in typical sailor’s attire from their home town on the Belgian coast and, led by their indomitable female conductor, they sing songs of the hard life on board ship in the great days of sail. The crew has been performing together for over 20 years now at festivals at home and abroad, but this is a first trip to the U.K. for many of them.

ShantyFolk

A landlocked a capella shanty and folk crew from Lavenham in Suffolk, ShantyFolk have been entertaining audiences at home and abroad since 2014. Audiences enjoy both their blended voices and harmonies and their stories about the songs of the sea. Be sure to catch them on Saturday 12th.

SeaFeaver

The three members of SeaFeaver have all previously made their mark in the seasong/ shanty world with different shanty groups, but have now come together to form SeaFeaver, an innovative group with a very special sound. Tonny, Hans and Jan sing and play a variety of instruments including Hurdy Gurdy,  Nyckelharpa , Violin, Guitar, Concertina, Bones and One Row melodeon . 

Rusty Tubs

The Rusty Tubs are a raucous musical act that sweeps you away on a journey across the high seas with rowdy shanties, wistful songs of the sea, and spirited traditional folk tunes. Singing tales of drunken revelry, lost loves, and the wide expanse of the ocean, audiences are invited to join in a celebration of maritime history and the timeless allure of the water. Get ready to hoist yer tankards!

Rattlin’ Winches

If you look hard, you might spot the three members of Rattlin’ Winches singing in other guises over the festival weekend. Another home-grown Harwich shanty group the Winches deliver spirited renditions of popular sea songs and shanties.

Quaynotes

Quaynotes play a mix of sea themed songs and tunes from haunting Celtic harp tunes to ballads of sea longing, partings and sailing life. The three Quaynotes are all sailors mainly based on the River Deben although Claudia’s voyaging has taken her around Cape Horn. Their sets tell stories of women in maritime history – sea wives and herring girls, women waiting at home and those who dressed as men and went to sea. All delivered with rich harmonies and a great sense of fun.

Pot of Gold

Now in their eight year, Pot of Gold have performed at many clubs and festivals and have gained an enviable reputation for singing both traditional and contemporary sea songs and shanties in their own unique style. Expect inclusive, laid back and entertaining sessions, with great harmonies, musicianship and audience participation.

Motley Crew

Long, long ago a group of like-minded chaps hit on the idea of singing sea shanties for fun. Despite it being a late night at the Yacht Club, most of them remembered the idea the next day and thus the Motley Crew was born. Now in their 25th year the crew have sung at barge matches, regattas, weddings, parties, fetes and festivals, often raising money for charities in particular the RNLI.

Mains’l Haul

Mains’l Haul specialise in singing sea shanties, which were work songs designed for the hard and strenuous physical exertion required to sail ships in the late eighteenth early nineteenth century. Some of Mains’l Haul have experience of seafaring but now avoid any form of strenuous physical exertion with a passion. Only one of the crew remembers the late nineteenth century!

London Sea Shanty Collective

A community choir who sing shanties and maritime songs with one eye to the tradition and the other to the future, the London Sea Shanty Collective perform regularly in London and across the UK and Ireland and have sung in community spaces, theatres, pubs, bars, care homes, ships’ decks, piers, the British Museum and the British Library. Expect an exhilarating and vibrant performance.

Landlubbers

United by a passion for music and grog, the Landlubbers plough their own furrow under a banner they call ‘Industrial Chant’.  Self-penned songs depicting our industrial heritage and inspiring landscapes, coupled with traditional songs of the sea, make for an energetic and entertaining live experience. An experience with the Landlubbers is guaranteed to leave you smiling.

Kimber’s Men

Audiences everywhere rave over the harmonies of Kimber’s Men. And none more so than in Harwich where the group remain one of our top favourites. They are regular performers at festivals all over the world, have starred on several TV shows and for many years have crewed on the tall ship Stavros S Niarchos as deckhands and shantymen. We are thrilled to welcome them back to Harwich.

Just Voices

Just Voices from Hamburg, Germany are regular Harwich-visitors and supporters of the festival. Renate and Jan have performed together for over twenty years and have a large repertoire of country, folk, pop and rock classics, all presented in their own special acoustic way, focussed on two-part vocals and driven by a powerful but melodic rhythm guitar. For the Shanty-Festival they come alongside with a bucket full of songs from harbours, rivers and the sea.

Jolly Grogsters

The Jolly Grogsters are Bristol’s answer to all things shanty/folk with a twist of pirate. They can rival any shanty band with their watery tales and drinking tunes. If you want to dance and sing along this is the band for you.

Jack Tars

The Jack Tars are an energetic Yorkshire-based Shanty band specialising in traditional seafaring songs and British/Irish folk staples. The Tars are ready to transport audiences back in time to the ale-soaked taverns of old. After making port for the first time in Harwich last year they have gone on to play at other European Shanty Festivals and are excited to be returning from stranger tides to play again at Harwich, this time armed with their début album ‘All Hands’! You can expect rousing vocal harmonies, crisp fiddle lines and a foot-stompingly good time with The Jack Tars at the helm!

Impressed

Impressed perform sea songs and shanties both traditional and contemporary. They sing a capella and accompanied by a variety of instruments and are noted for their rousing choruses, inviting audience participation.

Hoy Boy

An enthusiastic sea shanty singer with a love of maritime and folk music, Pete Purnell specialises in rousing shanties and ensures an entertaining performance wherever he goes. Pete is also a prolific performer, notching up appearances all over the U.K. and further afield.

Hoolies

Hailing from nearby Wivenhoe, The Hoolies sing an entertaining mix of traditional shanties and songs of the sea with lively musical accompaniment. They combine a love of shanty singing with fund raising for good causes, all on the high seas of Essex and beyond.

HogEye Men

The HogEye Men have almost 20 years’ history of shanty singing in the traditional unaccompanied style, and feature regularly at events in London and further afield. Proud to be the resident shanty crew on board ‘Cutty Sark’ in Greenwich, the HogEye Men are faithful to the old shanty traditions while still engaging and involving their audiences.  The crew also hosts a free monthly pub singaround in London, where all are welcome.

Harwich Sing Tendring Voices

Harwich Sing are an all-inclusive Community Choir for kids, teens and adults in the Tendring area. They keep on growing in size and popularity and are a huge draw at any local event. For the Shanty Festival their repertoire will be all with a sea theme and plenty of harmonies.

Harwich Shanty Crew

Another “home grown” group, Harwich Shanty Crew evolved from a Shanty Workshop held at one of our early Festivals. The members of the crew all enjoy singing together and perform at various local sea related events on a regular basis.

Goldhanger Shanty Crew

Based unsurprisingly in the Blackwater estuary village of Goldhanger, the Goldhanger Shanty Crew evolved out of the local choir following a sea themed concert in 2017. They have been rantin’ and roarin’ in the Chequers Pub ever since.

Golden Rivets

One of the many “home grown” Harwich groups, Golden Rivets have been singing upbeat songs of the sea for a number of years. They may prefer to keep that number secret! A popular and lively band, they always command a good turnout wherever they perform.

Grietje Sprot

Return of the fabulous Grietje Sprot who wowed us all back in 2016 and 2017 with their engaging performances. They are a traditional Fishwives Choir from Hindeloopen in the Netherlands and base their outfits on the traditional costumes worn there around 1920. Their repertoire consists of a wide range of Frisian and Dutch songs about the sea, sailors, fisherman and fishermen’s wives.

Friggitt

Friggitt are a shanty trio from Wiltshire who perform a variety of songs connected with the sea and sailors. Alongside well known traditional and contemporary songs they sing original compositions by the band members and songs written for them by others. Sometimes unaccompanied they also feature guitar, ukulele, bass and harmonica in their repertoire.

Freddie’s Barnet

Freddie’s Barnet are an acoustic band established in 2019. They are a fun and slightly different trio playing folk songs, shanties and singalongs. They are keen supporters of the RNLI and attend folk and shanty events around the country. 2024 is their second visit to Harwich.

Five Men Not Called Matt

Five Men Not Called Matt (FMNCM) is an a capella group based in Milton Keynes and Cornwall. The group has been singing together for 20 years (with some changes in personnel). All members are singers in their own right and come together to make a glorious, harmonious and powerful sound. They sing mainly shanties, as well as traditional and original songs of the sea.

Fire & Ice

All 5 members of this crew were students at the London Nautical School, several went to sea after leaving school and some have recently crewed together on tall ships. The LNS was created in 1915 after a report on the sinking of the Titanic and the group take their name from that infamous ship – Ice is obvious, but Fire comes from the suggestion that there was a bunker fire in one of the Titanic’s coal holds.

FelixStowaways

From just across the water, Felixstowe’s ultimate Buoy Band, the FelixStowaways join us once again. In their home county of Suffolk and much further afield, the crew have a busy schedule, attending clubs and festivals and holding their own Shanty Café annually in their home town.

Dovercourt Ukulele Club

This popular local group are in demand throughout the local area with a busy schedule of gigs and engagements. Here at the Shanty Festival they will be playing a lively selection of sea songs and forebitters.

Dazzle

Between them Dazzle have over 40 years’ experience singing and playing sea songs and shanties and have performed at festivals, folk gigs, grassroots venues and a variety of sailing vessels. Based in Kent and Essex and named after the DAZZLE camouflage used to disguise warships in World War Two their repertoire is wide ranging from traditional shanties sung acapella to self penned songs with maritime themes.

Columbines

Columbines have performed around the East Anglian folk scene for the past few years. An all-female trio known for their close harmony singing they perform a variety of their own original songs and arrangements of well known sea songs and shanties a cappella or accompanied on cello, guitar and Irish bouzouki.

Chris Roche

Chris Roche has been singing shanties for probably more years than he cares to remember being a founder member of The Shanty Crew on the Cutty Sark back in 1973. He has a huge love for the sea and shanty tradition and an extensive knowledge of the subject but is certainly not just an armchair shantyman having sailed many times on tall ships and been around Cape Horn several times. This year he will be giving a talk about tackling that particular challenge from the East.

Cask

Cask are a Shanty daughter and father duo from Teignmouth in Devon. Singing new and old shanties and forebitters, plus sea songs they have performed at various Pirate and Shanty Festivals from Falmouth to Gloucester. Dressed as a mermaid and pirate, they have a strikingly different look as well as beautifully blended harmonies.

Brise Glace

The members of Brise Glace pack a formidable sixty years of collective experience into their lively performances armed with guitar, banjo, accordion and four voices. Combining traditional and contemporary material, the result is a harmonious juxtaposition of nautical experience both lived and imagined. Based in Quebec, the group have performed at festivals around the world. This will be their second visit to Harwich.

Black Deep

Black Deep are a Harwich crew and take their name from a deep-water channel just offshore. They sing sea songs and shanties, mainly traditional, but with a few more modern songs thrown in. The crew have performed at events and festivals throughout the U.K. and abroad, but Harwich is of course their favourite.

2024 Festival

NEW: 2024 Artists listing is now available! https://harwichshantyfestival.co.uk/category/artists-2024/
We are excited to be planning this year’s Festival (11-13 October), and are looking for volunteer stewards to help us with the following tasks:
– checking or selling tickets on entry to our concerts, workshops and other events
– roving collecting on Ha’Penny Pier, our pubs, the Redoubt and Shanty Train
– assisting passengers arriving for shanty cruises on the SB Victor
– selling programmes and welcoming visitors at our car park
Other ad hoc tasks may come up, and extra support is always welcome.
In exchange for giving your time to support the Festival, we offer refreshments and a chance to see/hear the shanty singing, even (in most cases) when you are not on duty.If you are interested in helping, please email info@harwichshantyfestival.co.uk with your contact details and availability.
Thank you!