Groups & Venues

The Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival is held at multiple venues throughout the town but the main stages are Custom House Quay, Events Sq (Discovery Quay) and The Moor. We also have a variety of venues such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, King Charles the Martyr church and many others.


A big thank you to all the group sponsors supporting the event and the individual groups. 

To find information about the wide selection of groups performing at this years festival see below:

Aggie Boys Choir

The aggie boys choir are a loosely formed rag tag bunch of young upstarts from all over Cornwall, singing of Cornish traits and performing almost entirely original material based on their lives as Cornishmen!

So hold on to your reels as these boys spin their yarn and take you down quay for a good ol’ shantying!!!

Alan Whitbread

I’ve been around a bit and I’ve been known to go a long way for my singing. For instance, in 2007 I sang at the Canterbury Folk Festival in Christchurch, New Zealand and in 2013 I sang shanties & sea songs at the National Folk Festival in Canberra, Australia. Brill!

My particular joy is singing sea songs & shanties. This has led me to sing solo at numerous maritime/shanty festivals, eg at Falmouth, Harwich, Hull, Scarborough & Whitby and at Enkhuizen in the Netherlands. In addition, I was a member of the now-defunked Shellback Chorus and, along with three other shantymen, I have set up a crew called “Sharp As Razors”. As a result, I have sung at folk & maritime festivals all over the UK, as far apart as Edinburgh, Lancaster, Ellesmere Port, Great Yarmouth, Upton-upon-Severn, Bude & Portsmouth, as well as in the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and the USA.

The English concertinas I play are my pride and joy, being a Lachenal extended treble Edeophone with metal ends dated c1920 and a Wheatstone Baritone with wooden ends dated c1903.

Baldrick's Plan

Peter Wray, George Chippendale and Steve Lavington are Baldrick's Plan, an unaccompanied harmony trio specialising in traditional and more recent folk song, mainly English but with a nod and a wink to Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Based in Newlyn, their repertoire includes a fine range of fishing songs, along with a good peppering of maritime and naval songs, and the odd shanty. Their combination of stunning harmonies, exciting arrangements and relaxed good humour makes them a delight for audiences wherever they perform.

They have been labelled “Penwith’s best-kept secret”…. come and share in it!

Bone Idol

One Friday night after a gig race in the Isles of Scilly, the then “Bonnet” crew had consumed the exact amount of beer needed to feel that singing might be a good idea! Accompanied by the former members of 'Mebyon Syllan' (St. Mary’s male voice choir) who lent a guiding ear and some disapproving glances when things got too “authentic”, a nameless group were formed.

Bone Idol’s sound is as natural as it gets. No group leader, no musical director and certainly no practicing (hence the name!). Our 3 or 4 part harmonies are a result of the right people in the right place at the right time.

Our song choices are generally selected on how they sound or how enjoyable they are to sing, rather than factual accuracy or heartfelt lyrics. Our repertoire ranges from sea shanties to tongue twisters, traditional standards to barbershop, plus a few random selections difficult to categorise!

Bosun's Call  (This is last year’s text – confirmation of text for this year still to come)

Bosun’s Call are Ken Stephens and Sophie Wright.  Their repertoire is made up of songs, tunes, shanties and self-penned material accompanied on melodeon, concertina and guitar.  Each has a wealth of experience as solo artists and in groups; as Bosun’s Call recent bookings have included HMS Warrior, RNLI and as festival guests in Holland.

Cadgwith Singers

The Cadgwith Singers started many years ago in the Pub at Cadgwith with Buller and Hartley. The singing has changed over the years and many of the original singers are now gone, sadly missed, and their voices too. Their parts have been passed on to others who keep the traditional songs going. The songs are also changing a little. What has not changed is the Friday night gathering to sing -well-anything and everything really but always in the same unrehearsed and unique style. Long may this tradition continue.

These days the Cadgwith Singers are to be found singing in clubs, pubs, theatres and rugby matches all over Cornwall, wherever there is a convivial atmosphere and an audience that enjoys the unique, full blooded style of singing that never fails to please. Further afield there have been tours to various S.W. Counties, London, Ireland, France, and the Czech Republic.

All this from a group of people who just get together for the pure enjoyment of singing, and as their leader David Muirhead has said “You must remember we’re not a choir, we’re just a group of friends who just get together to sing the songs we love to sing”

Cape Cornwall Singers

Cape Cornwall singers were formed early in 1997 in an attempt to resurrect the singing tradition in the local pubs around St Just. A very familiar sound at weekends and especially during St Just Feast, singing in the town had declined in recent years due mainly to the closure of our local tin mines.

The first of many public appearances came in April 1997, followed by a guest appearance at the Tall Ships concert at Falmouth Castle in July and the Cornish Gorsedd in September of 1998. Brief television appearances, the release of our first CD/cassette tape “Our Beautiful Land” followed by our 2nd CD “Men of Cornwall” in 2000 and the local radio exposure have kept Cape Singers in the public eye. Much of our success is due to the efforts of singer songwriter Harry Glasson who continues to write many of our most popular songs about Cornwall, our People and our traditions.

The Singers have been on many “tours”, the first being the Isles of Scilly in April 1998. In October 1999, we sailed from Swansea to Cork and on to Listowel for 3 days, then on to Kenmare. On our return to Cornwall we had a request to sing at the Kernewek Lowender (world’s largest Cornish) festival in South Australia, so in May 2001 26 singers with their wives and friends set off for Australia.

We followed up our 1999 Irish trip with a long weekend in Dublin in the autumn of 2002. 2003 saw the release of our third CD “Along the Shore” featuring, once again, a stunning title track by Harry Glasson. In the autumn of that year we travelled to Brittany to sample some French culture. 2004 saw a successful trip to Maesteg in South Wales in October.

In 2014 we were invited to Allihies in the southwest of Ireland where we represented Cornwall and Cornish mining at an Ireland-wide tourism initiative called 'The Gathering'.

Dutch Uncle

Hans Weehuizen has performed four times at the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival, twice with his group Dutch Courage and twice as Dutch Uncle.

Hans started performing sea songs and shanties 21 years ago in a big shanty choir called The Compagnie Zangers. He formed the group Dutch Courage 10 years later. During the last 6 years he has also been active in the group Enkhuizen 4+1.

The Dutch and English songs will be varied with tunes on the one row squeezebox.

Hans will also be running his workshop “How to Play the Bones”. The Bones are the oldest instruments that were used on board the Tall Ships, during the singing. Generally they were made of whale bones. The workshops are great fun to do and very informative. Look for the time and place in the Festival programme.   

Exmouth Shanty Men

Devon’s “original buoy band”, The Exmouth Shanty Men, formed in 2007 to breathe new life into the rich maritime heritage of their home port.They have since ventured further afield, bedecked in the garb of early C19th merchantmen to put borrowed songs back on to a tall ship’s deck or a dockside tavern. Their repertoire splices together shanties sung with gusto and forebitters , delivered with pathos.

The Exmouth buoys are increasingly in demand at home and abroad and have played the main stage at such folk music festivals as Sidmouth, Warwick, Banbury and Wadebridge, as well as many a village hall.

The Exmouth Shanty Men played at the 2011 Tall Ships in Ireland and the 2012 Olympics at Weymouth. They have visited France, Belgium, Holland and Poland, where they were recently awarded the Stan Hugill Trophy for the “most authentic shanties”. They have appeared on national television and radio both here and in Europe but can still be found with a song and a pint most Tuesdays in an Exmouth harbourside pub.

They have four albums to their name.

Falmouth Shout

A group of friends who started singing together for fun 11 years ago.  Now 11 years on much to our surprise we have sung in France, Ireland, England and the biggest surprise of all Truro Cathederal.  Most of our singing has been for the RNLI, who many of us have links with.  Indeed we performed at The Lighthouse Centre in Poole last year for the retireing RNLI Diretor of Operations.  We have also been very proud to sing for The Mission to Fishermen, Seafarers UK and The Parachute Regiment Association.  Last Christmas most of the Shout helped out with the first RNLI Carols in the Square at Events Square which was a success. It has been good to think that we have helped these organisations and what fantastic fun we have had doing so.

Fishermans Friends

A big ‘Thank You’ from the Fisherman’s Friends.


The Fisherman’s Friends, from up on the north Cornish coast in the tiny village of  Port Isaac, are just what it says on the can. Formed over twenty years ago, they are lifelong friends, three of whom are still lobster fishermen, and the others either all ex-fishermen, lifeboatmen and auxiliary coastguards. They have taken part in the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival from its first year, and relish the atmosphere and chance to join in with others and meet up with old friends from around the country.


There’s has been a remarkable story; they were discovered by the music industry in 2009 and awarded a ‘million pound’ recording contract with Universal Records. Their first album, Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends, sold nearly 200,000 copies and was awarded a gold disc as the highest selling folk CD of all time. They received a ‘Best Tradition’ Award at the 2011 Radio 2 Folk Awards, and amongst other engagements have appeared at the Festival Hall, at the Queen’s Jubilee River Pageant and on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury Festival, as well as numerous TV and radio slots. There has been a book, a documentary and a movie is in the offing.


2014 marks a comeback for the group, who were beset with a terrible tragedy in early 2013 when they lost founder member and old friend Trevor Grills and tour manager Paul McMullen in a freak accident whilst away on tour. They did not perform for a year whilst coming to terms with their shock and grief. The Fisherman’s Friends were extremely thankful for all the support and love they received during what for them has been a very dark time.


Their re-appearance was in the Albert Hall earlier this year when they received an emotional standing ovation from a packed house. Their unique and powerful sound is back, and they are delighted to be singing weekly down by the harbour in Port Isaac, taking in the odd festival, and most especially to be back with all their friends in Falmouth.


Thank you ‘One and All’.

Flash Jack

Since starting to perform as Flash Jack, we have been privileged to be invited to this great shanty festival for three years running.

Last year saw the launch of our first CD during the festival and we still have some left to sell, so we had to come back to the 2014 festival again this year!

This year we will once again be encouraging audience participation in singing along with our songs and dancing to our tunes, whilst we continue to present our ever expanding repertoire of shanties and ballads, old and new, ranging from the comic and outrageous to the tragic. Songs and tunes associated with the coast and seafaring from both home and further afield, songs from a woman’s perspective, plus a good sprinkling of those songs that we choose to call: “Songs of love, lust and loose living”!

As always we look forward to meeting old friends and making new ones and contributing to the best shanty festival around.

Hobson’s Choice

Ahoy there me hearty’s! Back by popular demand and recently off remand, the buoys from Herefordshire are 'bobbing' back to town. Hobson’s Choice probably the most Inland Sea Shanty Group have been sent down Falmouth bound for a third stretch and the call of auditions for 'The Voice’ safely avoided for another year! 

Armed with nothing but beers in hand they will be marauding south for the rich pickings of Falmouth’s Sea Shanty Fest with tales to share. The buoys have had another raucous winter, safely inland entertaining village halls packed with innocent bystanders with a mix of newly learned shanties and a bucketful of laughs. A memorable new singing genre was created with the never to be seen again ‘Shanty meets Burns’ night where haggis, tatties and neaps combined to raise nearly £3k for local hospices!

Closer to home, some money raised by the group for the local Air Ambulance was unexpectedly  used to fly shantyman ‘Barnstormer Black’ for successful treatment at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital after a farming accident.  What was that song about the roof and petunias? All is well he’s now back on the Black stuff - the Guiness!

Ladies don’t miss these buoys they are the eye candy of the fest!

Check out the witty admirable ‘Admiral Amos’ , Chris beer ‘Spiller’, ‘Mike The Voice’, our own ‘Doc Martin’, Captain Kipper and ‘Pirate Pete’ to name a few.

Find out what drives ‘L Trev’? Which Member has itches, and why Derek has the gravel voice!

Why Captain Markey has a dress shop phobia and David wears tight pants? Listen to JT’s young man’s guide to courtship and contraception! Hobson’s Choice yet again will be ‘Putting some Buoyancy into Shanty’!

Miss this at your peril!

Kanerian Trouzel

Kanerien Trozoul was formed in 1991. The crew is based in Trébeurden, a lovely little port of the north coast of Brittany.

For more than 20 years, Kanerien Trozoul has performed about 150 times, on stage or in the street, from Brest to Paimpol and Caen. They have also performed in Wales, Italy and Belgium.

Our repertoire consists mainly of French songs but we love singing in English as well as in other languages like Breton, Italian and Russian. Shanties and ballads are performed either a capella or with instruments.

Kanerien Trozoul is often requested by charity organisations, and when available, all singers enjoy performing. Once again, in Falmouth, we’ll be proud to share some French songs, some pints of Cornish beer and our psychological support with new friends.

La Bordée

After our first participation in 2012 and remembering the great time we had there, everyone in the group La Bordée is eagerly waiting to come to Falmouth for the next Festival. La Bordée is a male voice group of 30 singers and five musicians.

Friendship, a will to share with the public their passion for beautiful music, a tribute to the maritime world surrounding them, they gave their first concert in 1998. They have laid anchor in the small harbour of Trévignon in Trégunc, their home town in Brittany, with its well known beaches and houses built in standing stones.

In 14 years of existence, regulated by their weekly rehearsals, La Bordée managed to master a vast repertoire of more than 90 songs, from famous sea shanties in French, English, Breton, two, three or four part harmony, to many creations by members of the group. They have given concerts everywhere in France with remarked participations to international festivals in Brittany and Ireland.

They have also regularly participated to charitable manifestations like SNSM (our local RNLI), Red Cross, League against cancer, etc...

Every year they organize meetings with other choirs from different parts of France and they have, up to now, recorded 4 CDs which give a good panorama on the different sea songs in their repertoire.

Many a Mickle

When four singers are four close friends, then their singing makes a very special sound. We are four singers - two English men and two Scots women - and good friends, who live in Brittany, France.  In 2010 we formed Many a Mickle, between us bringing together more that ninety years of singing traditional songs, to sing songs of the sea.

We sing acapella in close harmony. No instruments, just the power and variety of four voices singing in harmonies that may surprise you.  We mostly sing in English, but we also sing in French.

We sing the songs of the sea - not just the shanties that were used to set the rhythm of work on board a sailing ship, but also the forebitters, those songs sung by sailors in their off-watch time.  Songs of lost love, of complaint about life on board, sometimes nostalgic, sometimes cynical.  And we also sing the songs of those left on shore, songs of fear for those gone away, songs of seduction, songs of celebration for a naval victory, songs of love, life and loss. 

And we sing French songs from Brittany, Quebec, Louisana...

Hear Many a Mickle on their CD, ‘What Fortunes Guide a Sailor?’ available at the festival.

Mariners Away

Mariners Away were initially brought together in November 200 7 and their first performance was for a Sail Cruising Association meeting at the Kings arms, Devon the following January. This hostelry is situated at the midpoint of the Mariners Way, a long distance coast to coast path that connected the important ports of Bideford and Dartmouth in the 18th and 19th centuries, and, no doubt, the Inn offered hospitality to sailors using the path. It became the home port of Mariners Away.

The Group sing shanties and songs of the sea derived from most sea going traditions. They meet every Thursday at their home port and sing at 'away ports' on some alternate Thursdays and during many weekends through the year.

Since the 2013 Falmouth Festival they have again been busy on the pub and festival circuit including RM Stonehouse Barracks, Brixham Pirate Festival, Dartmouth Shanty Festival, weddings and pub beer festivals. Among the charities they have supported have been the RNLI, Hospice Care and Devon Air Ambulance.

Mariners Away completed their first CD early last year and is now available via the website or at performances. Later this year they hope to attend the Portmagee Shanty Festival in Co. Kerry, Ireland. www.marinersaway

Nankersey Male Choir

Musical Director: Elaine Tangye
Accompanist: George Smith

The Nankersey Male Choir celebrated its 60th Anniversary in 2010. Founded mostly from men of Flushing near Falmouth. Numbering sixty members the choir now hails from various towns and villages in West Cornwall.

Today Nankersey is one of the best known and respected choirs in Cornwall and beyond. This reputation is presently being enhanced by the” dream team” of Elaine Tangye (MD ) and George (Accompanist)

The choir’s motto is “To sing for and to give pleasure” and whilst doing so, several thousands of pounds have been raised over the years to benefit local and national charities, organisations and projects.

History highlights include “Songs of Praise”;”Highway”, Hampton Court Flower Show, Royal Albert Hall ( with massed Cornish choirs); the biennial Cornwall International Choral Festival; the Royal Cornwall Show and the Fal River Festival.

For more information, please visit the choir’s web site:

Naze Shanty Crew

Fresh from the recording studio, Naze Shanty Crew are coming back to Falmouth to launch their new CD onto an unsuspecting world!

The line up of the Crew has evolved since its formation in 2000, and this year we welcome Sarah to our membership.  As you can see from our photograph, we are still relaxed and happy in our work – look at our Musical Director!

As well as retaining some old favourites, we have introduced some new songs to our set lists for this season which we hope the friendly Falmouth audiences will enjoy.

The Crew are looking forward to the pasties and Betty Stogs’ beer, as well as meeting up with old friends, and making new ones in the welcoming atmosphere of this wonderful Festival.

Don’t forget you can see us in action again, at the 9th Harwich International Shanty Festival – this year taking place from 10th to 12th October, in the historical seaport of Harwich, in Essex!  See you there!


20 years of musical strolling on the seven seas and in many ports of the world, from Lorient (port of registry) to New York, from Paimpol to Liverpool or from Hoorn to Douarnenez

4 crew men used to big stages, cabarets, pubs and villages parties, their humour, enthusiasm, energy, voices and instruments attack you like in a high gale.
4 voices tuned to offer you a cappella traditional or contemporary shanties, in French, English, Breton and American.
4 voices in harmony with the accordion, the bouzouki and the guitar to make you dance and sing but also to move you to tears.
4 CDs to take with you, to brighten up your path with some sea spray!
20 years of meetings and exchanges with the audience and also with the best talents of the sea shanty world.

This will be the third year that Nordet have performed at the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival.

Press Gang

The Press Gang was formed in June 2012 when a group of friends in the St Austell Bay area, many of them members of a popular male voice choir, discovered a mutual passion for traditional Cornish pub singing and shanties. Just two years on, we have already performed approaching 50 gigs, including our maiden appearance at the Falmouth Shanty Festival in 2013.

We have been invited to sing at various Beer and Fish Festivals, the Bedruthan Steps, Trenython and Fowey Hotels, and pubs and clubs from Bodmin to the Roseland Peninsula – as well as aboard the Greenpeace ship ‘Arctic Sunrise’ while anchored in Fowey Harbour! 

Our songs and shanties, all telling tales of Cornwall and the sea, are performed with humour, passion and engaging harmonies – and occasional help from our audiences! The Press Gang aim is simple: to have fun; to entertain; and to help preserve the songs and singing traditions of Cornwall.

Rum & Shrub

We are a group of traditional singers from Cornwall renowned for lively singing of shanties, songs of the sea and a wide range of folk songs. We have been singing together since 1990 and are equally at home on a concert stage, on a boat or quay, or in a bar- we just like singing so listen out for us, join in and enjoy.

The name Rum and Shrub is taken from one of Cornwall’s best kept secrets and is our favourite throat ‘medicine’ – Shrub being an alcoholic cordial reputed to have been enjoyed by smugglers to disguise the salty taste of their contraband - Rum being rum. It is taken 50:50 in careful quantities to ensure clarity of voice - if not head!

We have performed at many events in Wales, Brittany, Germany and the USA such as: Llangollen International Eisteddfod, Brest, Vegesack, New York and Mystic Seaport.   We also have sung at many major English festivals as well as appearing at just about every festival and show in Cornwall, including Falmouth’s very own International Sea Shanty Festival where we were delighted to be invited to open the very first festival by singing on the foredeck of the Falmouth Lifeboat which was moored in Custom House Quay Basin – an amazing evening.

So, enjoy the wide variety of singing styles and material and remember – we’re all here to support our lifeboats so please give generously!


Scheepsfolk is a Dutch maritime folk group, formed in early 1995. The name Scheepsfolk is an old Dutch word and it means shipcrew

As a starting group at that time, we decided to perform for small audiences only. Shortly after this decision, the group received an invitation from Germany, Jork, where we were confronted with 1500 people sitting and waiting in a huge tent. What a beginning!

Since then Scheepsfolk performs regularly at folk festivals, Sails and other nautical events in France, Germany, Belgium, Ireland and UK and of course in The Netherlands as well.

In Belgium last year we had the honour to perform for His Majesty King Albert and Her Majesty Queen Paola. Of course we like to play in a pub as well!

Our enthusiastic crew, full of energy, plays several instruments such as accordion, guitar, banjo, accordion, harmonica, squeezebox, bohdran and upright bass. We also write our own music.

Scheepsfolk sings sea songs in English, Dutch and French and sings shanties and ballads. Our music is influenced by currents from various countries, and it is always about oceans, sailors, seas, fishermen, lakes and even about swamps.

And.... you always taste the salty flavor of folk! You also can hear instrumentals like whipping scottishes or swirling polkas.

The crew: Jan Buijs, Philip Bos, Catharina Buijs and Remco Heemskerk.

This is the third year Scheepsfolk will attend Falmouth and we are looking forward to be with you all again!

Shake A Leg

Shake-a-Leg perform purely for enjoyment, theirs and the audiences!  For seven years they have been delighting people across the West Country with their varied mix of traditional and contemporary maritime songs, musical hall songs and sea shanties.  You never know what to expect next during their performance; one minute a beautiful a’capella harmony, the next the driving rhythms of hurdy-gurdy, bodhran, guitar and banjo powering along “The Bonny Ship the Diamond”!   At last count there were 10 different instruments on stage, and we are still working on the harp/banjo duet!  Who else would choose Northumbrian small pipes to accompany a humorous tale of female emancipation? 

So if you want some fun, with some great music and superb songs alongside fresh arrangements to old favourites then come and join Shake-a-Leg, purely for enjoyment, of course!

Sheringham Shantymen

The Sheringham Shantymen started in 1990 and still enjoy performing their ‘songs of the sea’ more than ever. They continue to support the RNLI in a myriad of ways performing at lifeboat stations around the United Kingdom and Ireland. The Shantymen purchased a 'D' Class Lifeboat for the RNLI at Wicklow in 2007 named 'The Sheringham Shantymen'.  They have travelled travel widely throughout the UK; France, Germany, Virginia USA, Ireland & Holland.  They have entertained at Maritime Festivals at Bristol, Lincoln, Ipswich, Southampton and Portsmouth as well as the International Boat Show at Earl's Court, The Big Breakfast Show, Children in Need, & Blue Peter for which they have 'the Badge'. The Shantymen were invited to sing on the BBC's the One Show in 2010, Ade In Britain in 2011 and on the BBC Country file in September 2012.

Since 1990 the group has completed over 1,000 public performances, made three videos and recorded 6 CD's, the most recent one being recorded in March 2014, the sales of which have enabled them to donate many thousands of pounds split between the RNLI and local charities.

Inevitably they confess to enjoy performing to the wonderful audiences at the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival. The Shantymen have attended this festival since its inception and feel privileged to be invited to perform again in 2014.

Short Drag Roger

Short Drag Roger are a group of Dons from Oxford who sing traditional sea songs and shanties. We are - Don - no where I am, Don - know my name, Don - know why I’m here ... I’m sure you get the drift. 

We perform locally around Oxfordshire as well as farther afield travelling to sea and folk festivals around the country, educating as many people as possible about the tradition of the singing of sea shanties and songs aboard merchant sailing ships. We pride ourselves in our capability to sing a-cappella adding harmonies that are ‘different’.

This is our second year visiting Falmouth and we are looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible who come along and listen.

Stamp & Go

Stamp and Go have been singing together for about six years.Their reluctance to leave the fire at the Watering Hole Perranporth and walk home across the cold dark beach after weekly singing sessions with The Perraners was the starting point for this well known shanty group.

They have sung from Orkney to The Minack, twice at the Lorient Celtic Festival, and underwater for a photographic exhibition in aid of The Shipwrecked Mariners Society. They enjoyed being part of the crew and resident shanty group on a Tall Ship, and singing for The Princess Royal, Princess Anne at a private party. Stamp and Go were delighted to be asked in 2013 to sing on HMS Warrior in Portsmouth and are pleased to be invited again to the 2014 Falmouth International Shanty Festival

They organise' The Shout,' a sea song and shanty festival in Perranporth, each year in April.

Their latest CD 'Prussia Tracks' was released in January.

Swinging the Lead

Hailing from Kent, ‘Swinging the Lead’ are making their first appearance at Falmouth this year. Resident shanty singers on the Cutty Sark at Greenwich, the Thames Sailing Barge ‘Edith May’ and regular performers at Harwich and Deal Maritime Festivals.

Swinging the Lead performed at the Tall Ships regatta last year and plan to return this year to perform at the finish of The Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta in September 2014.

The lads consisting of Dave, Stephen, Pete, Joe, and Colin all have a passion for Maritime Music, Historic Ships and sailing. Some of the band members have Tall Ship sailing experience and some are regulars on the Woolwich Ferry!

‘Swinging The Lead’ will be running their own competition during the festival and invite you to comment on their Facebook page by completing the following phrase:

‘The best place for a Shanty singer is…………………………………………………………’

Tavy Tars

Now in their second decade of singing together, the Tavy Tars have been venturing further afield with their rollicking shanties and songs of the sea. But still the Falmouth Shanty Festival is the highlight of the year, and they are please to be back for the seventh time.

The Tavy Tars have developed strong links with the RNLI, enjoying raising funds for them across Devon and Cornwall, and are donating 50% of the proceeds of their new CD to the organisation.

The 5 Men not called Matt

The puzzling thing about the five men not called matt is there are at

Least 6 of them, and on occasions there are 7 and one of them is a woman. No we don’t mean Betty Stogs, lovely as she is, we mean Michelle Welborn, a singer of some repute in the Milton Keynes district. The five Men plus or minus Michelle can be seen in the many venues around town, raising glasses and funds for deserving causes such as the RNLI. Look out for us at the Shout.

Mines a pint of Skinners please.

The Back Beach Boyz

The Back Beach Boyz shanty crew were formed 1st February 2013, named after Teignmouth’s famous Back Beach where everyone meets to watch the sunsets and socialise, with Hawaiian shirts inspired by the 60's group the Beach Boys.

Our ancestral home is The Workshop at The Red Rock Micro Brewery, Bishopsteignton, where we rehearse on alternate Fridays nights and check on the quality of the local spring water! Intervening Fridays you'll find us performing at other local hostelries and venues.

Our crew motto is "We are drinkers with a singing problem", having fun and raising money for charity. We do this by performing at charity events, beer festivals and pub nights for free and we pass around buckets with the money going to the designated charity on the evening. Those benefiting this year have been Ride On - Cycling For All ( and Support4co (Support for Children's Oncology), the RNLI and CLIC.

We are delighted to be part of this year’s festival.

The Barnacle Buoys

The Barnacle Buoys are made up a group of people who have known each other for many years but did not know they all had something in common, the appreciation of shanty music.  After making the discovery the buoys got together in February last year and shared a pint or two in the Old Inn at Clevedon, where they are now based, and experimented with a few shanties and away they went.

The Barnies have their own unique style pleasing the audiences with their strong delivery. They look forward to being in the company of the other performers at this prestigious festival.

They have become very popular in the North Somerset area and have performed in aid of numerous charities including the RNLI, Children’s Hospice South West, National Trust, Motor Neurone Research, Princes Trust, Philippines Rescue Appeal and Cancer Research.

The Barnies have lots of things planned for the rest of this year and beyond, but the pinnacle of their short ‘career’ is definitely performing at this year’s Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival.

The Bluebelle Line

The Bluebelle Line is a group of ‘girls’ that have been meeting weekly to sing for more than 15 years. We sing unaccompanied, a variety of music predominantly world folk music and shanty’s.

We do not classify ourselves in any way as formally as a ‘choir’ or ‘chorus’ but as a group of women who love to sing and as a sum of our parts. Albeit a small group we have a big heart!

The Bluebelle line prides itself in singing in unusual places as well as the more conventional singing establishments; we love to find new qualities of acoustics, which add to our harmonies. A favourite is beneath the Prince of Wales Pier in Falmouth when the tide is out!!

We hope your enjoy our songs as much as we enjoy singing them.

The Falmouth Fish 

The Falmouth Fish first took to the waves in 2009. From humble beginnings in the pubs of Falmouth, the Fish took their music far and wide, performing in pubs and festivals both in Britain and abroad.

Their mix of heart-thumping sea songs, soulful ballads of loss and love, and the occasional comedy song has always been well-received, and this year sees their much-anticipated return to the Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival, with a small change in crew, but the same unique blend of singing styles. As happy singing in mystical boulder-strewn valleys as they are on the stage, the Falmouth Fish are back to sing, drink ale, and sing while drinking ale. They are still waiting for the day any of them set foot on a proper boat.

The Longest Johns

The Longest Johns is a four-man, a capella folk music band, born out of a mutual love of traditional folk songs and shanties. Formed in the early summer of 2012 and hailing from the Bristol area, they purvey popular maritime songs alongside more unusual and less traditional folk tunes.

Their debut EP, ‘Bones in the Ocean’ containing 5 self-penned originals, was released in spring 2013 to widespread acclaim from the folk community. In the live sphere, the chaps continue to make a name for themselves and their performances on the local scene and beyond, having entertained crowds at the Perranporth SHOUT, Falmouth International Shanty Festival, Bristol Harbour Festival and the London 2012 Olympic Park, played gigs at The Fleece and The Louisiana in Bristol and supported Duke Special in Thornbury.

As they continue to hone their craft of blending traditional harmonies with cutting edge songwriting and storytelling, a steady stream of originals in their own distinctive style are appearing. The future looks bright for this 4-piece, whose simple aim is to entertain and maintain a history of classic folk music from the British Isles and beyond.

The Nauti Buoys

We are a Dartmouth based shanty band who have been described as being four old fools and a drink problem!  We combine traditional sea songs and humour with high energy performances probably quite dangerous in people of our age!

Since being formed in 2008 the band has gone from strength to strength and  in February Alister, Richard and Mike were joined by Michel Lemoigne, an amazing percussionist from Brittany who has travelled the world following the weird and the wonderful in music (oh, he's also a pretty accomplished traditional shipwright as well). We were also joined in March by violinist Theresa Hinks who’s playing lends both haunting and dynamic aspects to our performances.

Our music is the songs and tunes about the sea. As a band we live near it, we use it for our living and leisure and have our family history entwined with it. However we do try not to take ourselves too seriously! 

The Navy Larks

The Navy Larks are a raggle taggle group of land lubbers based in Salisbury, who get together to sing shanties in aid of anybody who asks us, but of late has been performing in aid of RNLI.  They have performed at the Beer Regatta for the last number of years.  Later this year they are performing at a wedding.  None of these handsome men have been auditioned for anything other than their good looks, the fact that they sing with licking gusto is a bonus!  They are directed by Fiona Evans who runs a number of choirs in the Salisbury area and East Devon.

The Oggymen 

We are a group of friends from Falmouth, on Cornwall’s south coast, and we delight in singing traditional Cornish songs in three part harmony.  These songs are part of our culture; a bridge to both the past and the future. 

As we grew up in Falmouth, we heard these songs regularly.  Fathers sung them in male voice choirs, friends sung them after Working Boat races, brothers sung them gig rowing, and we all tried to sing them down the pub…

The Pirates of St Piran

Ahoy there scurvy dogs and wanton wenches! The Pirates of St. Piran are an 18th Century Pirate re-enactment and living history group based in and around the St. Austell area. We also sing a wide range of Sea shanties and traditional Cornish folk songs, all done in our own inimitable piratical style, plus many of our own, ever popular, original songs and shanties.

We also perform dramatic presentations, sword fighting, canon and weapon displays as well as taking part in many educational school visits.

We are a non-profit making fundraising group and our main purpose is to raise money for local charities including the RNLI, Children’s Hospice Southwest and the Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust. We also have inordinately large amounts of fun doing it. 

This is our 5th year at The Falmouth International Shanty Festival which is one of our favourite weekends of the year. We always look forward to sharing a chat, a song and a beer with friends old and new.

We have just released or 4th CD entitled “The Pirates of St. Piran - Rock The Boat”. It is a double album (2 CDs) so come and see us if you want to purchase a copy. It is crammed full of shanties old and new mixed with our usual amusing interludes. Great fun for everyone and all profits go to our chosen charities.

To find out more, to book us for an event or to find out where we will be performing over the rest of the summer, please visit our website or follow us on Facebook and twitter. Or if you are ready to release your inner pirate we always have room on deck for a few more scurvy sea dogs and wanton wenches.

An them’s as dies ‘ll be the lucky ones.    Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrr!

The Old Gaffers

The Old Gaffers are pleased to be returning to Falmouth for the 11th International Sea Shanty Festival, for a weekend of fun and song and to meet up with friends both old and new.

The crew, based in South Devon, formed in 2010 from a group of likeminded guys who enjoy singing together with the odd pint.  With an extensive repertoire of shanties and sea songs we have performed at a variety of interesting events and venues, including open-air concerts, funerals, quaysides and churches.

In 2013 we released our second album, featured on local and national BBC radio and television, raised over £2000 for Prostate Cancer UK and over a £1000 for the RNLI and Devon Air Ambulance and …….. managed to fit in 57 gigs at 44 different venues, including 4 festivals. A great year!

2014 looks like it’s going to be another busy year too with bookings coming in thick and fast and dates already confirmed as far ahead as January 2015.  Check out our gigs page at and follow us on Facebook.

The Vagrants Crew

Once again, the Crew are delighted to have been invited to Falmouth this year. Everyone is looking forward to it immensely, not only to be taking part but for the opportunity to meet up with old friends and hopefully making new ones.

This year is already becoming quite busy with such events as Ellesmere Port at Easter, Rosslare Maritime Enthusiasts, Ireland in May, Fish Week and Seafair Haven, Milford Haven in June and many others.

With an average age that is classified information, the Crew have been and will continue to try and keep the heritage of traditional music alive and kicking, hopefully for the appreciation and enjoyment of future generations to come, a sentiment I’m sure we all share.

Our sincere thanks to all in Falmouth for their hard work and dedication, not only in organising such a fantastic event but in their much needed support for the RNLI.

Thraw'd Together

A curious set of circumstances found this curious set of lads, in the same place, at the same time, curiously enough, all wanting to make music. What more natural then, to describe them as you find them – just ‘Thraw’d Together’.

The urge to sing comes naturally to the Cornish, but singing in harmony needs discipline. These five Cornishmen found spontaneity in their singing but weren’t quite so good with the discipline.  Consequently they meet once a week in the Old Chapel in Porkellis to practice.

Their first requirement was to enjoy their singing, but they found to their surprise that others liked to listen. Adding those ingredients to raising funds for local charities and they found the perfect mix.

If you are still curious you can find ‘Thraw’d’ dressed in their Cornish tartan waistcoats, singing their eclectic melodious mix in Pubs, Clubs, Chapels and Quays all over Kernow.

Treverva Male Voice Choir

Musical Director – Roger Pinsent  
Accompanist – Ruth Bray

In a small Cornish village, just inland from the port of Falmouth, a few cottages cluster around a Methodist Chapel. The Chapel looks out over a beautiful panoramic partly wooded valley, an idyllic setting.

Treverva Male Voice Choir, “born” in 1936, traces its origins back to the Treverva Quartet. The late great Edgar Kessell (awarded the MBE in 1975 for his services to music) formed the choir and he directed them up until the outbreak of World War II. Throughout its 78 year history, the choir has been based at Treverva Chapel, using its facilities for both practices and concerts. Unfortunately the Chapel closed in July 2012 and the choir have since made a New Home at “The Space”, a hall for the community situated in the grounds of the Penryn Rugby Club.

The Choir have travelled widely in the British Isles, Europe, also America and has enjoyed many successes in County and National Music Festivals.  There has been a variety of venues and the Choir have performed in Truro Cathedral, St. Paul’s Cathedral, in the depths of Wheal Concorde and 35,000 feet up on route to America also some members have joined in the Mass Cornish Voices Concert in London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Trim Rig and a Doxy

Trim Rig and a Doxy are Derek and Julia Batters. Organisers of the Ellesmere Port Sea Shanty Festival and Hosts of the Liverpool Sea Shanty Session ‘Off the Starboard Bow’. Their love of folk music and the traditional songs of the sea has grown into a vibrant and harmonious relationship as a leading shanty duo.

The saucy nature of many shanties is enhanced by Derek’s timing and heart-felt delivery of the lyrics while Julia’s fluid and beautiful melodeon accompaniment results in performances that are warm, humorous and perfectly timed, as well as highly musical.

As traditional working songs of the sea, sea shanties can also be raucous and romantic and Trim Rig and a Doxy, ensure the original meaning comes across in each performance. If you love traditional music delivered with strength, clarity and simplicity, then Trim Rig and a Doxy are sure to delight you and your audiences.

Regulars on the European and UK shanty scenes, Trim Rig and a Doxy have performed at festivals including: Liverpool Maritime Festival, Liverpool, UK; Festival Maritm, Vegesack, Breman, Germany; Festival du chant de Marin, Paimpol, Brittany, France and Zuiderzee Museum, Enkuizen, The Netherlands.

Away from festivals, they are equally happy playing the main stage or the more intimate surroundings of a public house. Their enjoyment of the music is infectious and stands them in good stead whether they are performing in their own right, or hosting singarounds and shanty evenings.

Two Anchors

The 2 Anchors are a 5 piece shanty band from Gloucester and first formed as a 4-piece shanty crew singing songs of the sea and shanties in 2007.  Due to various circumstances this first incarnation of the group last sang together in 2009 and disbanded shortly thereafter.

The group re-formed with a completely different line-up behind two of the original members in 2012 and love to entertain crowds in large and small venues with their special brand of shantynanigans.  Since then they have entertained audiences in Bristol, Gloucester, and Swindon and have appeared at many folk festivals and clubs throughout the country.

Especially noted for the energy they put into their performances crowd participation is encouraged and a party atmosphere created with a skilful blend of harmonies and foot stomping action.  Expect singing with gusto and drive, percussive melodies and come wanting a good time!

You know when you've been 2 Anchored.

Viv Robertson 

Viv Robertson is a solo performer of many years standing. Involved in the 1960’s folk revival he played at the Count House, Botallack, Pipers Folk & Folk Cottage. He was a founder member of Carrick Folk Club – Falmouth’s first. Subsequently ran a club in Berkshire & has performed in clubs, restaurants, pubs & festivals in Cornwall, London, Berkshire, Yorkshire, France, Spain, Gibraltar, Balearics, Canaries & Bermuda.

A life-long sailor, he’s played at the Douarnenez Festival & sung with the legendary Stan Hugill.

These days he’s front man for local band Earth Connection as well as performing solo & running regular acoustic sessions at The Blue Anchor, Helston & Trengilly Wartha Inn.

He’s the resident MC for the Limekiln Stage at Porthleven Food Festival & will be performing there again in April. Other scheduled spots include Falmouth Folk & Cider Fayre, Holifair, Portscatho Regatta & Tall Ships.

He accompanies his powerful singing voice with 6 & 12 string acoustic guitars & harmonica plus occasional autoharp & bodhran. 

Wareham Whalers 

Seasoned stalwarts of the Falmouth Shanty Festival - The Whalers are back again this year with loads of new songs and a string of successful gigs under our belt.

Our main aims are to keep shanties alive and to take them to as wide an audience as possible. We raise money for our local Multiple Sclerosis branch and, during the year, we are also involved in a number of RNLI fundraisers.

Currently we are in and out of the studio recording a new album that will go on release towards the end of the year - so that's your Christmas present list sorted!

This year - we celebrate 10 years together and we will be celebrating - and we want you to be a part of our celebrations! - Watch out for details!

Whilst we get to some pretty amazing places during the year, our favourite always was, and always will be, this fantastic weekend in June and we are really looking forward to a great festival with all of you!

Wellington Wailers

The majority of us are leisure sailors from the Sussex Yacht Club in Shoreham-by-Sea. We started a monthly shanty night a couple of years ago which migrated to the Duke of Wellington where we became known as the Wellington Wailers. We have sung at local events including the opening of the new foot bridge over the Adur and a Festival at a local farm. We have been going from strength to strength and are in demand locally. We sing sea shanties and songs of the sea


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