Les Brouilleurs d’Écoutes

From La Rochelle in France, Les Brouilleurs d’Ecoutes sing and play an energetic mix of Shanties and Sea Songs in both French and English with a hint of Scottish and Irish influence. Extremely popular on their last visit here we are pleased to welcome them back.

Kimbers Men

We couldn’t do without Kimber’s Men at our extended Mayflower 400 Festival! The top UK Shanty Crew, popular all over the world and one of our most requested groups. And as true Yorkshire men they will be representing Austerfield, Doncaster in our Mayflower concert.

Tyburn Road

Dave and Ian sing mainly maritime sets together as Tyburn Road and have become a regular fixture at HISF. With fine singing voices and often accompanied by the concertina they will entertain you with an unusual selection of songs and tunes.

Hans Weehuizen

Hans is a regular performer at our Festival now and in addition to singing and playing concertina/melodeon he will be running his popular How to Play the Bones workshops again.

Ken Stephens

Singer, concertina player and author of several contemporary shanties often mistaken for traditional, Ken is a relaxed entertaining and knowledgeable performer, veteran of many maritime events. For 2020 he is representing his home town of Southampton at our Mayflower 400 concert

Hog Eye Men

The Hog Eye Men join us once again from London to sing authentic shanties in a traditional manner. All members of the Crew have long experience of traditional folk, particularly maritime, music and song.

Swinging the Lead

One of our popular regulars, Swinging the Lead join us once again, having now expanded into a six-piece band. Their repertoire includes both traditional, contemporary and self-penned songs and for 2020 they will be representing Rotherhithe at our Mayflower 400 concert.

Charlotte & Spong

Tireless supporters of the Festival, Charlotte and Spong will be entertaining us over the weekend with their beautiful arrangements of sea songs and shanties, plus their very popular “Shanty Karaoke” on Saturday afternoon.

Impressed

Sea songs and shanties, both acapella and accompanied, make up Impressed’s repertoire. They specialise in rousing choruses and audience participation. And in addition Liz will be running workshops for aspiring new singers.

Malcolm Ward & Pete Stockwell

Singing sometimes unaccompanied, sometimes with banjo or concertina, regular guests Malc and Pete deliver a varied selection of traditional and contemporary sea songs and shanties. For 2020 Malc will be singing his own Mayflower song in the special concert

Salt Water & Beer

Another Essex crew from Maldon, Salt Water and Beer have been singing together for a number of years. They have performed at Harwich International Shanty Festival on several occasions and they return again for our 2020 celebrations.

Felix Stowaways

Visiting again from across the seas, well the Orwell, are popular local group Felix Stowaways, who are blessed with the catchiest group name that could be bestowed upon a crew by virtue of their home town.

 

Shötley Crüe

Another crew formed directly as a result of the Harwich Shanty Festival, Shötley Crüe have now been singing together for nearly 6 years and have performed at a number of Festivals and clubs around the country. They are now resident band at a monthly Folk club in South London.

Motley Crew

From just along the Essex coast in Brightlingsea, Motley Crew are a very popular local group whose performances are always lively and robust. They perform at many local events and successfully raise thousands of pounds for the RNLI.

Harwich Shanty Crew

Formed from a workshop at our Festival back in 2010, Harwich Shanty Crew are now much in demand locally and perform regularly throughout the year at a number of local events. And they will of course be representing Harwich at our special Mayflower 400 concert

Rattlin’ Winches

Local Buoys, sorry boys, Ben, Len and Roy must be the hardest working shanty singers at the Festival this year as they perform with 3 other shanty groups as well. Harwich International Shanty Festival has obviously gone to their heads. Long may it last!

Naze Shanty Crew

Naze Shanty Crew founded the Harwich International Shanty Festival after casting envious glances across the bay from Walton-on-the-Naze. Now none of them live in Walton, but they keep the name and keep the Festival, sometimes at the expense of their sanity!

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.

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.

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.

Bob Walser

Musician, scholar and educator Bob Walser’s  musical career spans decades and continents. In the early 1980s he made his living as a shantyman at Mystic Seaport, one of the largest maritime museums in the USA. Since then he has presented folk music and dance programmes in schools across the USA, and performed as a singer, dance leader and musician around the world.

Since 2002 he has been working on the James Madison Carpenter folksong collection based at Aberdeen University and will be presenting a series of workshops at Harwich International Shanty Festival based upon this work. Expect an enlightening collection of previously unknown shanties and variations on some more familiar ones. In addition, he has three CDs to his credit as well as guest appearances on another dozen recordings in the US, France and England.

Cathead

Four guys, Bob, Rob, Bob and Allan, who have been singing and drinking together for well over 20 years. The majority of our material is a capella but we do use instruments: melodeon, concertina and bouzouki. Like most shanty groups we like a good rousing song, and like most  shanty groups we have tried to keep our ears open for one or two songs that have not earned a well-trodden path on the shanty circuit. For anyone who wishes to take us home, we can offer a choice of two CDs, or we can simply all jump into your car! We look forward to singing with you, so cat the anchor and let’s get under way.

Dominic Dowsey-Magog

Dom was well known on the Shanty scene throughout the U.K. and abroad, both as a solo artist and as a member of The Shanty Crew. He joined us in 2017 as a solo artist when his encyclopaedic knowledge of the sea, shanties and his powerful voice made him a welcome addition to the festival.

Dom passed away in April 2018 and will be sorely missed.

 

Grietje Sprot

We are delighted to welcome Grietje Sprot back to the festival after they made such an impression last year. Coming from Hindeloopen, an ancient harbour town in Friesland, Netherlands, members of this group all love fish and all love singing and so became Grietje Sprot, the Fishwives Choir. They always perform in their distinctive traditional costumes, typical of Dutch fishwives of the 1920s. Their repertoire includes ballads and songs in Friesian and Dutch, all about fish, the sea, sailors, love and tragedy.

Inner State Theatre

Inner State are now a familiar sight at our festivals.

This year Andy and Christine will be Inner State as Hilda and Erik, Viking Invaders, up at the Redoubt Fort on Saturday. Come and see their 30 minute Street Theatre or watch as they stroll, via a Viking Longship, along the Quayside all day Sunday.

The Longest Johns

Back by popular demand, Longest Johns have made a big name for themselves in a short time. Singing a cappella shanties and sea songs with great harmonies, their performances are fresh, engaging and entertaining.

 

la Morescha Nova

Our first ever Italian Shanty Crew! And la Morescha are rather special as they are the only group in Italy to be concentrating on Italian maritime heritage. Their repertoire covers songs from Roman times up to the present day and is accompanied by authentic baroque instruments. They will also be teaming up with Jack Coutts, a veteran shanty singer from Stormalong John, to sing a few English shanties as well. All in all, an experience not to be missed

Patrick Denain and Miguel Biard

Patrick & Miguel

No one in Harwich has stopped talking about Patrick and Miguel since they performed here several years ago. And so for 2017 we are delighted that they are able to visit us again. Hailing from Fécamp in Normandy, Patrick and Miguel perform with a symbiosis which can be felt as well as heard. Both superb singers in their own right, their voices compliment each other’s so completely and make for a magical performance.

The Rogues Shanty Chorus

The Rogues Shanty Chorus hail from Lowestoft and perform, revive and revitalise the music and heritage that the prominent industries of the town and its workers created.

The group sing working songs ranging from the Middle Ages to early-20th century, including sea shanties and arias about the sea as well as whaling songs, naval songs, Stevedores workers’ songs, foc’sle songs and romantic old-century tunes of ne’er-do-wells, which include refrains of seafarers, wreckers and smugglers and murder ballads.

Led under the musical direction of brothers Stephen and Paul Amer, the group are earning themselves a reputation for humorous, engaging and sometimes sentimental performances.

Stuart Pendrill

Stuart is a familiar face at our Festival, but this year, for the first time, he will be performing solo. A popular and lively entertainer Stuart has performed widely in the U.K. and worldwide. He currently lives in Holland, where he has joined a Dutch Shanty Crew, so his performance schedule has extended even further !