Take a sneak peak at who has performed at the festival before.
With performances from over 70 groups across 25 venues in previous years, Falmouth is filled with songs of the sea for our three-day festival. Take a look at who has performed in previous years, from UK groups as well as from Brittany, Holland, Spain, Canada and Ireland. Information on who will be performing for 2021 to be announced in due course.
5 Men Not Called Matt
Five Men Not Called Matt were formed before time began to introduce the therapeutic effects of singing good chorus songs.
From being the first all-female group to appear at Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival in 2013, we have now diversified and got ourselves a man! Dave the Drum brings a new dimension to our A Capella sound, which consists of sea shanties, folk, blues, gospel and, of course Cornish songs, as well as some original numbers written by ourselves . Some songs have been “Moonshined”, that is, re-worked by us to make them local or relevant from the woman’s point of view!
Our repertoire varies from serious story-telling to songs which bring out our sense of fun, and our current line-up showcases a group of committed and experienced close harmony singers hailing from around the world and from Sussex, as well as more local ladies! Most of us live in South Cornwall and a few boat dwellers and sailors amongst us provide authenticity in our sea-faring songs.
This year, expect to hear songs from our CD “Guide Me Home”, along with new material. As ever, we are excited to be part of this amazing Festival. It is the highlight of our year!
Aggie Boys Choir
The Aggie Boys Choir formed beneath a low beamed ceiling in Goonbell in 2012. Originally describe themselves as a rag tag bunch of upstarts from all across Cornwall.
Rag tag can be roughly translated in Cornish as in need of choking, the irony of this does not escape the Aggie Boys who generally tend to offend and entertain their audiences in equal measure at home and across seas.
‘Anchors Aweigh’ is a loose formation of old friends and acquaintances from the Mortehoe and Woolacombe area of North Devon. The group drifted together on a tide of expectation in the hope of finding enjoyment with our love of singing shanties, songs of the sea and traditional folksongs. We regularly raise funds for ‘local’ charities, which have included, Devon Air Ambulance, R.N.L.I. and North Devon Hospital Chemotherapy Unit, as well as many smaller charities Up to the end of January this year we have contributed over £15,000 to these worthy causes. The past year has been our busiest yet with visits to Falmouth, Teignmouth, Ilfracombe and Lynmouth festivals as well as numerous appearances at local events.
Our performance at Falmouth in 2018 was the highlight of our year and we look forward to our return visit where we know we will be met with a traditional Cornish welcome.
Armstrong’s Patent are a five-man group, who perform an eclectic mix of folk and sea songs. They deliver a professional yet lighthearted a capella songs that keep everyone entertained. They have performed all over Europe
Back Beach Boyz
“Drinkers with a singing problem.”
Teignmouth’s Back Beach Boyz shanty crew were formed 1st February 2013, named after our famous “Back Beach”where everyone meets to watch the sunsets and socialise. The Hawaiian shirts inspired by the 60’s group the Beach Boys.
Practise nights have moved to Tuesdays in the Devon Arms, by kind permission of Ian and Jackie, when anyone can pop in for a drink and listen to a shanty or few.
We believe in having fun whilst we are singing and this is helping us raisemoney for charities, by performing at charity events for free, but requesting a donation to designated charities (e.g. RNLI, DAAT, and Coastwatch) at beer festivals and pub nights. Also our 1st album “Good Libations” raised £1000 for Macmillan.
Two local charities run by members in our crew also benefitted from our fund raising,
We had a fantastic time at Falmouth Sea Shanty Festivals since our first appearance in 2014, are delighted to have been invited back this year, and wish everyone a “Shantastic” time.
Peter Wray, Jinks Jenkin and Steve Lavington are Baldrick’s Plan, a trio who sing strong harmonies. Most material is a cappella, but they also use Peter’s guitar for a few songs that they feel need accompaniment.
Based in Penzance, they sing a range of interesting ‘songs of the sea’ along with the odd shanty or two. Over the last few years they have been asked to sing at clubs and festivals all over Cornwall – and further afield, including Teignmouth, Chippenham and Saltburn Folk Festivals. Later this year they will be performing at Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival and at Hartlepool Folk Festival.
This is their fifth appearance at Falmouth and the first with their new man Jinks. Their combination of stunning harmonies, exciting arrangements and relaxed good humour makes them a delight for audiences wherever they perform. Put them on your ‘to see’ list for Saturday.
Bamaluz Bootleggers is an enthusiastic mixed voice group from St Ives, formed in 2015 to resurrect the pub singing scene in their town. Although named after the smallest of the town’s beaches, their sound is big and they bring an energetic and fresh approach to Sea Shanties and Cornish songs.
As well as performing regularly in their home town, they love supporting Cornwall’s Shanty community singing at local Shouts and charity events. In November 2019 they will host groups from near and far at their 4th St Ives Annual Shout for a great weekend of singing (and beer!). They’re excited to be invited to the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival again this year.
Barnacle Buoys countdown to the Festival
Eight of us will be making our annual pilgrimage from North Somerset to Falmouth, along with our supporting crew. We have been looking forward to this since the day we left last year.
Seven reasons to go to the Festival: great company, wonderful singing, superb venues, appreciative audiences, cool ale, the occasional hot pasty and the even hotter Betty Stogs.
Six years on the trot, now; all that practising at the Old Inn must be paying off!
Five pounds will be given to the RNLI for every CD sold at the Festival.
Four attempts at starting any shanty in the correct key will be our self-imposed limit. However, we hope that failing to recall the lyrics, usually caused by SMOG (Senior Moments or Grog), will be tolerated.
Three days is never enough but we suppose all good things must come to an end.
Two – both of our fans will be here this year (well, they’ve been invited)
ONE AND ALL will have a great time !
Facebook: Barnacle Buoys
Bergen Shantykor is a well-known choir in Norway. Their choir has 63 singers and at least 40 attend the shanty festival. In 2018 the choir became the second in “Norway’s GOT Talent” in competition with over 1600 participants.. The choir received the seaman’s award in 2019 for its contribution to making sailor songs known throughout the country. The choir has a large audience at home in Norway and holds many concerts each year.
Bryher’s Boys formed in 2017, having known each other for many years through singing together in local choirs. Since then they have sung in many festivals and events around West Cornwall such as St Piran’s Day in Perranporth, Porthleven RNLI Day, Main stage at Newlyn Fish Festival, Oxjam in Hayle, Helstonbury and various private functions.
During the 2017& 2018 summer seasons they had a regular slot entertaining holiday makers at Kenegie Manor near Penzance. Not only do they thoroughly enjoy themselves whilst singing but they have also raised money for local and national charities.
Some of their proudest achievements to date are consecutive performances at the 2017 & 2018 Falmouth International Sea Shanty festival together with performing alongside The Oggy Men each year for the main fundraiser events. They have bundles of zest and their enthusiasm and energy will have everyone clapping, stamping and singing along.
Being local boys they sing a selection of traditional Cornish Songs and a repertoire of Sea Shanties which are linked by an intriguing story. They don’t just sing, they tell a tale. So come along and listen to the Ballad of the boy Jacq.
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’.
Captain Cat and the Sailors
Formed as a one-off for a talent contest in late 2008, Captain Cat and the Sailors are a shanty loving folk band that just keep on going. Based in South Wales, they draw on a range of musical traditions including shanties, working songs, Welsh, Irish and American music to create immersive and engaging musical experiences with their audiences. If you like stories, singing along and sinking beers then they are the band for you.
Some of their music is available on iTunes and Spotify.
Cask is a Shanty daughter and father duo. Singing old traditional shanties and forbitters, more recent ones , plus sea songs, ballads and a smattering of folk.
Fun loving ‘mainly Cornish’ maids from St Austell By, coming together through mutual love of singing Cornish songs, shanties, reviving old folk songs and introducing a bit of ‘Blues and Barbershop’ al in their own unique harmony Acapella style.
Formed in 2016, since singing in the Tywardreath and Fowey RNLI Festivals plus many charity event. Proud to be invited to the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival.
Du Hag Owr
Formed over 10 years ago, Du Hag Owr has performed across the country from Land’s End to London. Venues ranging from the Minack Theatre at Porthcurno to Oxford Street, the Thames and beyond, but we like it when we’re close to home, especially when we can use our Passports and travel over the water to Falmouth! The original Seasalt Shantymen, we include shanties from the traditional to the new and throw in some of our own compositions when we can. We sing for our supper at all sorts of events throughout the County and raise funds for the Children’s Hospice at Little Harbour in St Austell.
Let’s look forward to another sunny weekend in Falmouth, have a great time and join us in a shanty when you can!!
Hans Weehuizen has performed eight times at the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival.
Twice with his group Dutch Courage and four times as “Dutch Uncle “ones with his group “Enkhuizen 4 “. Hans has also performed together with Ken Stephens, from Bosun’s Call for the last 4 years.
Hans started performing sea songs and shanties 26 years ago in a large shanty choir called
The Compagnie Zangers, forming Dutch Courage 10 years later, still active with his group Enkhuizen 3The Dutch and English songs Hans performs are varied and accompanied with his one row squeeze box, concertina or with his Bones. The Bones are a traditional percussion instrument found aboard sailing ships, originally made from animal bones, but these days made from wood.
To find out more about the Bones workshops see: www.howtoplaythebones.com
El Pony Pisador
After two years of long trips across the seven seas on board pirate ships, fierce duels with cowboys in the far west and solemn rituals with old druids in Irish lands, El Pony Pisador is ready to make you enjoy the rythms and melodies of our traditional Irish tunes, sea shanties, havaneres, tuvan throat singing, tarantellas, yodel and other fun music from around the world. This year we will perform live our debut album, Yarr’s i Trons! in which we mix all these influences.
El Pony Pisador is a folk band formed by 5 young boys from Barcelona. They began playing in 2013 and after a few line-up changes, they did their first concert in October 2014. At first they played irish folk tunes, but they began to experiment with other traditional music styles and started to mix all of them. That year they played more than 50 concerts in Catalunya and began to expand their music. In the end of summer 2015 they went on a trip to Ireland, to discover music and perform in the streets and pubs. In the city of Loughrea they won the first prize in a busking contest against other local bands. This year they are presenting their first album, “Yarr’s i trons!” which was released in June 2016, where all musical influences are mixed and presented in an original way.
Adrià Vila (Mandolin, Bodhran, Vocals)
Guillem Codern (Banjo, Harmonica, Vocals)
Miquel Pérez (Fiddle, Vocals)
Martí Selga (Flutes, Vocals)
Ramon Anglada (Guitar, Vocals)
Falmouth Fish Collective
The Falmouth Fish Sea Shanty Collective first took to the waves in 2009. From humble beginnings in the inns of Falmouth, the Fish have taken their music far and wide, performing in pubs and festivals both in Britain and abroad.
The Fish mix heart-thumping sea songs and soulful ballads of loss and love with songs of a less orthodox origin. The Fish provide a unique blend of singing styles and are as happy singing in mystical boulder-strewn Breton valleys as they are on the festival stage.
The Falmouth Fish exist to sing, drink ale and sing while drinking ale. Their seamanship skills are poorer than those of a thalassophobic’s cat.
Here we are again, another year gone by. For us a busy year with gigs at St Ives, Perranporth, Falmouth and many other venues.
This year we donated monies to the Falmouth Lifeboat appeal and The Mission to Fishermen. Two worthy causes. The year is already looking busy.
Who would have thought that the words, “Let’s have a shanty festival” would have led to this sixteen years on. It will be wonderful to meet up with old friends again and to meet some new. The festival has become a major event. It would be interesting to know how much money it has raised for the RNLI since it started. Long may it last.
Femmes de la Mer
Femmes de la Mer have grown in stature, experience and number since their creation for the 2014 shanty festival. They are all of a nanjizal fo’ shizzle with excitement about singing at this year’s festival!
This 14 strong crew hail from across Cornwall, from Heligan to Penzance and everywhere in between.
Singing traditional shanties and original material alongside some alternative takes on ballads of the sea, Femmes de la Mer’s narrative encompasses songs of love, loss and the feisty women of Cornwall.
Figurehead originally formed as a bit of fun around a kitchen table for 5 ladies that shared a love of sea songs and harmonies, little did they know how soon that scenario would get left behind! Encouragement from friends, old and new in the singing world soon ensured them ‘guest spots’ in different venues and they remain humbled by the support that they have received over the last few years. The kitchen table has been replaced with pubs, marquees and stages….
They have weathered the storms of 2018 successfully with a cracking new crew ready to share song and laughter with you, and they entered this year with new vision and energy whilst retaining their love of beautiful harmonies and stompin’ shanties….fortunately the love for the famous ‘Falmouth loo acoustic’ has continued and they have already shared songs together in there this year (on the way to other venues!!!!) ….
On March 15th 2019, a few years after the idea was first floated, the movie ‘Fisherman’s Friends’ was launched in 400 cinemas countrywide. Based around the remarkable true story of the Port Isaac buoys’ elevation to national fame, the film is in the vein of other popular feel good British movies of recent years, and ends at the point where the Fisherman’s Friends get signed by Universal Music and hit the charts with their first single. Much of the story concerns their real-life connections with the RNLI (a number are ex crew members of Port Isaac and Padstow lifeboats, and others former coastguards), and ever since they appeared at the very first Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival, the buoys have always loved coming along and helping support the event, and regard it as one of their favourite annual gigs.
Fishguard Folk Singers
The Fishguard Folk Singers are a group of friends who began singing together four years ago almost by accident. They all go to the regular folk club sessions which take place every Tuesday at the Royal Oak, but had not sung as a group until the RNLI asked the club if anyone could provide entertainment for their annual supper. They rehearsed some shanties and songs of the sea and went along to perform. Since then they have sung at many events to raise funds for the annual Fishguard Folk Festival which takes place over the late May bank holiday weekend, and to raise money for organisations such as the Welsh Air Ambulance and for local community causes. They have a varied repertoire including popular traditional shanties and sea songs, including some in Welsh and some self-penned. They bring a variety of old favourites and new additions for 2019, all sung with a joy of sharing their music with one another and their audiences.
Well, here we are again, older but no wiser and still putting too much energy into performing. Each year it takes us longer to recover from the festival!
We have had a cracking 2018 and were delighted to be invited to perform at the Whitby Seafest and the Captain Cook 250 Festival also in Whitby, and the Dartmoor Folk Festival where many of our old friends came to see us. The year also saw us singing and playing at many other events, both local and ‘up country’. This year promises to be just as busy and we are already booked at a couple of major festivals and various other events.
We hope to catch up with many more of our friends at this year’s Shanty Festival and make many new friends. So come see us and join us in singing and dancing and let’s make 2019 another memorable year
Hay Shantymen meet together weekly to sing songs of the sea and other songs that always get the crowd singing along! Originally based in Hay-on-Wye, they get together to rollick their way through shanties and other great songs.
Hughie Jones & Bob Conroy
Hughie Jones was a member of The Spinners who were a folk group from Liverpool, England, that formed in September 1958. Hughie continued to sing and write his well known sea songs and has performed in Europe and the USA at clubs and festivals. He has five maritime CDs to his name.
Bob Conroy is from New York and is recognized as one of the world’s best long neck banjo players. He has sung for many years with the band Stout who perform at sea festivals, club and on TV, and have made many recordings. Bob has appeared at clubs and festivals in the UK and the rest of Europe and plays on three of Hughie’s CDs.
The group was formed during the maritime festivals of Ploumanac’h in 1991 by a team of friends from Trébeurden and its suburbs.
It has performed more than three hundred times in Brittany (Paimpol, Douarnenez, Brest, Ploumanac’h) in France (Caen, Boulogne, Andernos) and abroad (Cornwall, Wales, Italy, Germany, Netherlands).
The great originality of Kanerien Trozoul is that there are also kanerezed. Yes, there are girls! Girls who sometimes accompany the guys in their lyrical flights of fancy, and sometimes also sing beautiful girls’ songs – bringing a little sweetness and poetry in this manly world, even macho, the sailors singing.
Ken Stephens performance is made up of songs, tunes, shanties and self-penned material accompanied on melodeon, concertina and guitar. Ken has a wealth of experience as both a solo artist and in a group called Bosun’s Call. Previous performances include HMS Warrior, RNLI and as festival guests in Holland.
Les Souillés de fond de cale
Les Souillés, pickled songs…
Since 1991 the band of five from The Côtes d’Armor have strolled along with their songs related to the sailing world from The North to the South, from Iceland to Italy , Quebec to Estonia, not to mention The British Isles, Poland, Switzerland, Belgium or The Netherlands.
The Souillés have already skimmed the stages of many famous sailing folk festivals in France or Europe.Coming from various and different musical backgrounds, the five members of the band succeeded in creating a group with its own identity full of friendship and complicity.
They play folk tonic songs and melodies flavoured with emotion, humour and laughter inevitably capturing their audience along.
Set the sails and weigh the anchors! The Souillés will take you along to a trip on the Coasts of Brittany, across the Channel and on a cruise across on the World’s seas!
Such a fine mix of traditional songs pickled with a very special Celtic sauce!
I doubt any of Bristol’s The Longest Johns ever imagined they would be able to get so far on just five voices. In a few short years they have gone from singing sea shanties in a kitchen to International folk festivals, tours, TV appearances and gained a huge online following. They work through a fantastic catalogue of sea songs, folk songs and their own foot-stomping creations, all hanging on their incredible harmonies and captivating stage shows.
Mariners Away were initially brought together in November 2007 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 Kings Arms offered hospitality to sailors using the way. 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. 2019 will be their 11th consecutive year singing at Falmouth.
Since last year’s festival they have again been busy on the pub and festival circuit including Plymouth Pirate and Shanty weekend, Gloucester Tall Ships and Shanty Festival, Dartmoor Folk Festival, Devonport Summer Fayre, Lyme Folk Weekend, Widecombe Fair, and both Teingmouth and St Ives Shanty Festivals. They have again supported fund raising for the RNLI and Devon Air Ambulance and Force at these events and other village and private functions.
The Mariners Away CD is available at performances or via the website.
Our Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/marinersaway/?ref=bookmarks
Monkeys Fist, based in Yorkshire and named after the knot used to heave the first line ashore, is the trio of Steve Flude, Colin Devey and John Horsey.
They sing powerful arrangements of sea shanties, forebitters and ballads with close harmonies and guitar, concertina, bodhran and harmonica accompaniment. Songs are interspersed with knowledgeable and sometimes even witty introductions.
They have performed at clubs and festivals across the UK, together with festivals in Ireland, Germany and Holland.
Look on YOUTUBE. Monkey’s Fist Medley
Nankersey Male Choir
Musical Director: Elaine Tangye
Accompanist: Michael Uren
The Choir was formed in 1950 by twelve members, including David Laity, who still sings with the choir today. Based at Flushing near Falmouth (ancient Cornish name: Nankersey) the Choir is flourishing under the musicianship of Elaine Tangye (who has led combined Cornish choirs on two Australasian tours and to Eastern Canada last year) and Michael Uren.
The Nankersey Choir’s activities have raised many thousands of pounds for charities and projects in Cornwall, England, Wales and Jersey. History highlights include Songs of Praise, Highway, Hampton Court Flower Show, Royal Albert Hall (with massed Cornish Choirs), and several Cornwall International Festivals.
Naze Shanty Crew
Like the Irishman’s new broom, Naze Shanty Crew have been in existence now for twenty years, but none of the fine young shanty singers you see pictured here were there at its inception! And not one of them now resides in Walton-on-the Naze in Essex. Time for a name change maybe? But meanwhile our enthusiastic current crew are smiling broadly on Harwich town’s Pier and dreaming of a fine season of fêtes and festivals, tall ships and regattas.
Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival is a firm favourite and one we never miss and in between, singing drinking and making merry we find time to do a bit of sailing ourselves and even organise our own International Shanty Festival in our now home port of Harwich. Come and visit!
More than 25 years of musical strolling on the seven seas and in the world’s ports, from Lorient (port of registry) to New York, from Paimpol to Liverpool or from Hoorn to Douarnenez and everywhere in between, Nordet have been performing to audiences with their humour, enthusiasm, energy, voices and instruments that attack like a high gale.
Three crew men who are used to big stages, cabarets, pubs and village parties. Three voices tuned to offer traditional cappella and contemporary sea shanties, in French, English and Breton. Harmonised with the accordion, the banjo and the guitar to make you dance and sing with one song and to move you to tears in the course of a lament.
See them performing in June at Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival 2019 for the ninth time with many new songs.
Oll An Gwella
Oll an Gwella consists of a bunch of beauties! All members of Newquay Male Voice Choir they are a rehearsed, a cappella, male chorus with a repertoire consisting of over 100 songs including Shanties, Cornish folk, 1960s classics, seasonal & sacred music, their 4-part harmony and infectious humour has brought them popularity as their repertoire and reputation have grown. Their two charity albums mix some good Cornish singing with a little culture and smiles – all the elements of an Oll an Gwella performance!
Combining their 4-part harmony with infectious humour, the group has earned wide acclaim for their extensive repertoire. Wherever they find themselves, Oll an Gwella’s mission is to spread their joy of singing amongst others and everyone is encouraged to participate – from pensioners to young pupils. The group’s reputation and popularity has grown steadily with their repertoire.
Whilst entertaining for pleasure, they have raised thousands of pounds for local charities and significant donations have been made to “The Cove” Cancer Centre in Truro and to the “RNLI”. “Cornwall Blood Bikes” (who in total have received more than £6000) are the group’s current charity.
Oll an Gwella have been delighted to accept invitations to sing at numerous shows and festivals. In 2016 they represented Cornwall at the “Festival Interceltique de Lorient”, Brittany, with 16 performances over a 19-day period, singing to many of the 700,000 visitors attending. Their community entertainment saw them rewarded with the 2017 Mayor’s “Award for Community Support” recognising their regular visits to memory cafes, nursing homes and the success of their school workshops encouraging children to sing. In a 12-week period in the summer of 2018 they showed their versatility with lyrics in Cornish, Welsh and French as they entertained at the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Show; organised a sea-shanty cruise down the river Fal; performed in Cornish at the Gorsedh Kernow cultural festival; auditioned for ‘Britain’s Got Talent’; performed at a charity concert in Pontypridd and opened the main stage at ‘Boardmasters’ Music Festival, singing a specially commissioned George Ezra number. They have exported their distinctive harmonies across England and Wales and invites to France saw other performances in St Malo, Dinard and Dinan. They have shown themselves to be equally at home performing on elaborate festival sound stages, on the deck of the “Cutty Sark”, in Salisbury Cathedral, or in retirement homes and nursing homes. They have broadcast live on BBC local radio and have been recorded by ‘Spotlight’ for BBC Television. They are also often engaged to perform at weddings, family celebrations and funerals where they offer ‘tailor-made programmes to suit the occasion.
Pirates of St Piran
The Pirates of St. Piran are a rocky sea shanty crew based in St. Austell, Cornwall. We perform traditional sea shanties, Cornish folk songs and our own original songs of the sea, all done in our own unique rumbustious and (quite literally) explosive way…….. We perform in full pirate attire (most of us don’t have anything else to wear) and yes we will be bringing our flintlocks and cannon along as usual.
Our shows not only have foot stomping music, but a generous helping of theatrics, humour and audience participation. So do join us on our riotous romp singing our way up and down the length and breadth of Falmouth.
We are a non-profit making charity fund raising group working for local charities including The RNLI, Children’s Hospice Southwest and the Cornwall Air Ambulance. In fact we have raised more than £60,000 for local charities in recent years.
As well as being a shanty crew we are also a pirate re-enactment and living history group performing dramatic presentations, sword, cannon and flintlock displays. We also provide educational school visits for those Cornish schools that have piracy on their curriculum.
This will be our 9th year at Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival and we always get a very warm welcome. We seemed to have gained a strong following, not to mention a healthy measure of notoriety……. so we are looking forward to sharing a song or two and a tankard of grog with our friends old and new.
An’ them’s as dies‘ll be the lucky ones.
If you want to know more, contact us at
The Portsmouth Shantymen have been described as a “power harmony group” who specialize in Sea Songs, but if it’s a good song they’ll give it a go anyway!
Portsmouth Shantymen have been in existence since 1978 when the Christchurch Festival unexpectedly found itself without a Shanty Crew. Nobody threw anything and they had a good time, so they have been doing it ever since. They have performed at Shanty Festivals, Folk festivals, historic sailing ships including HMS Victory and HMS Warrior, clubs, theme events, book launches, schools, charity and promotional events , the Speaker’s House in the House of Commons and many others too numerous to mention.
They have appeared at Festivals all over the UK, plus the near continent and the USA, and over 40 years on they are still going strong
Press Gang have been entertaining audiences and making friends around the county – and beyond – since 2012. People seem to like our relaxed and distinctive style, as well as the passion and humour in our performances, and the unique harmonies of our songs and shanties. Formed in 2012 by a group of friends from the St Austell Bay area we’ve sung in pubs, clubs and festivals all over Cornwall and at venues that have varied from a Greenpeace ship to Gatwick Airport to Bristol Balloon Fiesta! We have become regular guests at events such as the Falmouth Shanty Festival, Fowey Royal Regatta, Perranporth’s “Loudest Shout” and Lostwithiel’s ‘LostFest’. And we’ve crossed the Tamar to perform at Shanty Festivals as far afield as Harwich and Gloucester. Pirate FM’s St Piran’s Day clip of us singing ‘Cornwall my Home’ at Gatwick notched 250,000 hits on ‘YouTube’, and our launch of Cornwall’s 2016 Poppy Appeal aboard the “Phoenix” in Charlestown was captured by BBC TV’s ‘Spotlight’.
Our two CDs, ‘First Pressing’ and ‘The GangWay’ have been phenomenal successes, raising over £1,500 to date for the RNLI (£1 of the £5 price goes to the charity). We hope to have our third CD out in time for Falmouth so keep your eyes open at our venues and the Chantey Cabin! So come and be ‘PressGanged’ – you won’t be disappointed!
Red River Singers
The Red River Singers are based in Pool and named after the nearby river. They sing Cornish songs, including the well-known pub songs, carols, folksongs and those in the Cornish language. They have produced two songbooks, Dadn an Dor (mining songs) and War an Dowr looking at the rich tradition of Cornish maritime songs. They recorded these songs during the summer of 2018 at relevant locations such as Gwithian at sunset, on Marazion Causeway and the banks of the Tamar.
They have also performed at many Cornish festivals including Golowan, Port Eliot and Kernow in the City and have sung for the Man Engine performances.
This year they will be celebrating this publication at various waterside locations across Cornwall.
They are led by Hilary Coleman, Cornish bard and musician with the well-known Cornish band Dalla
River Notes are delighted to have been invited back to the Falmouth Shanty Festival 2019! They had a blast last year which was their first outing at this festival. They formed in summer 2016 as a group of friends who wanted to sing for the joy of it. The small numbers have grown into a mixed choir of about 35 members who rehearse once a week in term time in Falmouth. As well as Shanty and songs of the sea, they sing pop (can’t beat Abba), well-loved rock oldies, Cornish and other folk material and original compositions by local composers. Essentially anything that is cheering, rousing or toe tapping! As well as the Falmouth Shanty Festival the other exciting event for the choir this year, is that some of the members have been to sing in Bologna, Italy as part of a local choral festival.
The River Notes are conducted by Lucetta Radcliffe and accompanied by Nicki Tumbridge and perform in a variety of local settings and events. Please get in touch if you would like us to sing for you. We now have a Facebook page called River Notes Choir so we can be contacted via the page or alternatively please email firstname.lastname@example.org
New members are always welcome.
Rum & Shrub
We are a group of traditional singers from Cornwall with a worldwide reputation for lively singing of shanties, sea songs and folk songs. Performing together since 1991 from the Eastern seaboard of the USA to many places in Western Europe as well as national TV work and many more local events, we take our name from a well-known local drink reputed to have been enjoyed by smugglers and of course we are always delighted to allow you the opportunity to buy us a sample for you to try!
We always look forward to the International Sea Shanty Festival, it’s such a wonderful event and having performed at every single one there is always plenty of good singing to listen to with a terrific atmosphere and an opportunity to meet friends and colleagues old and new. We want you to enjoy our singing so find our venues for the weekend on the programme or festival website and come and watch the show or buy CD’s from the group and from record stores. We’ve even mastered the art of making our music available electronically!
We look forward to making new friends and hearing new songs wherever we go, and we very much hope that you enjoy our singing as much as we do. Just follow the contact links for enquiries and bookings.
There’s ten of them and they’ve never seen a whale, but that doesn’t stop The Severn Whalers having a great time on stage and entertaining audiences big and small.
Formed only two years ago in Almondsbury – a small village overlooking the River Severn – their proudest moment was not producing a CD supporting the Fisherman’s Mission or singing at the Bristol Balloon Festival but the production of their own label beer!
In the last 18 months they’ve sung at festivals in Bristol, St Ives, Teignmouth, and Tywardreath and as well as repeating those venues this year they are also appearing at Perranporth and Falmouth.
Back in Almondsbury, the Severn Whalers can be found every Thursday night honing their singing in the village hall and then later in The Bowl where they entertain the scouts and anyone who’ll buy them a round of drinks.
Reputedly the Severn Whalers put the shape in Ship Shape and the fashion in Bristol Fashion – for which they sincerely apologise.
The Sheringham Shantymen were launched in 1990 and in 2015 they celebrated their 25th Anniversary with a number of special concerts around Norfolk. 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 widely throughout the UK; France, Germany, Virginia USA, Ireland & Holland. They have entertained at Maritime Festivals at Great Yarmouth, Bristol, Lincoln, Ipswich, Southampton, Portsmouth, 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’, ‘Ade In Britain’ and the BBC’s ‘Country file’.
Since 1990 the group has completed over 1,000 public performances, made three videos and recorded 7 CD’s, the most recent being March 2016. The Shantymen have attended the Falmouth festival since its inception and feel privileged to be invited to perform once again in 2019.
Short Drag Roger
Hailing from the well-known fishing port of Oxford, we like nothing better than travelling the country and beyond, singing traditional and not so traditional sea shanties. We have been performing a-capella harmonies for the delectation of audiences for 17 years. We will sing to anyone, anywhere and at any time: corporate events, christenings, weddings, military and charity events and Folk Festivals as well as Women’s Institutes.
In 2017, as well as our regular events, we introduced our a-capella harmonies to the unsuspecting Germans in Travemunde on the Baltic coast at their annual International Sea Festival. We joined crews from Poland, Norway, Denmark and Finland and of course Germany itself.
Don’t miss the opportunity to hear our unique combination of voices as we perform around the town, just be careful not to ‘drop your hat’, or we will start singing at you!
Shötley Crüe are a 7-piece “pocket choir” who first tested the waters at the Harwich Sea Shanty Festival in 2014. Since then they have launched their own vessel with a cargo of characterful sea songs and shanties, and watery stuff in general. Never more than 70 miles from the sea, the Crüe have dropped anchor at various festivals, folk clubs and friendly ports around the country.
Sloop Groggy Dogs
The Sloop Groggy Dogs have been singing songs of adventure and the seas since 2011. Living in landlocked Milton Keynes, we do our best to bring a taste of more exciting times to land lubbers and the Real-Ale community.
With the passing of time we have grown in numbers, mass and years! Our repertoire has also grown and so have the variety of venues and musical styles. Last year we enjoyed our official debut at the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival and a bunch of other festivals, secret bases, Public Houses and outdoor events.
This year we have taken on the challenge of acting on stage (no real change to our regular performances) by supporting Willen Hospice in their production of “The Seafarer”.
We continue to support the good works of the R.N.L.I.
Stuns’ls Shanty Group
Stuns’ls – formed from Mevagissey and Charlestown Cornish Pilot Gig rowing clubs and named from one our earliest songs “Old Maui”. Stuns’ls sailors slang for Studding Sails an extra sail that can be haul out on a square-rigged vessels yardarm to run in light winds. A light-hearted bunch, who don’t take life to seriously and we intend to enjoy every minute of the journey.
The Suitcase Singers are a 50 strong community choir based in Penryn, led by Claire Ingleheart. They are looking forward to sharing their eclectic mix of traditional Cornish songs and shanties, including some brand new songs about women of Cornwall.
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. ‘Swinging the Lead’ are the resident shanty crew on the famous Cutty Sark in Greenwich, keeping alive the music and traditions of the great days of sail.
They sing an entertaining mix of traditional shanties, contemporary songs, including those written by members of the crew, either ‘Acapulco’ or with instrument accompaniment!
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.
“It is great to be back again in Falmouth to meet up with old friends and acquaintances”.
This year will be our 12th appearance at the Falmouth International Shanty Festival & we are looking forward to it as much as ever. Hopefully you can repeat last year’s sunshine, but whatever the weather it is sure to be a great event.
Over the last couple of years the Tars have been joined by 3 (slightly) younger members & their (relative) youth & energy is hopefully beginning to inspire us oldies.
For the past year we have enjoyed singing locally in Pubs, clubs & village halls in the Tamar Valley around our base in Bere Ferrers on the Tavy Estuary, although we have made the occasional foray into W Cornwall & E Devon, even making Dorset once. We continue to support the RNLI but recently have been contributing to more small local charities.
The 5 Men Not Called Matt
Somehow it wouldn’t be summer if we didn’t pay at least one visit to Cornwall and of course attend the brilliant and ever growing shanty festival at Falmouth. We think this is our 8th consecutive visit and we consider it a great privilege to take part, listen, sing, meet old mates and make new friends. The Shout and shanties are very dear to our hearts, so too are the local beer and pasties, which are superb! Well, we have had another great year together singing at various venues, raising funds for charity and have learned lots of new (old) songs. For those we don’t know us we live in Buckinghamshire but hail from far and wide, from Scotland, Hartlepool, Sheffield, Hull and Fareham. We have sung together for over 20 years and firmly believe shanty singing to be fun and very therapeutic. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and love to entertain. As anyone involved in any group activity will know in these busy times it’s sometimes hard to get together for practices but, we usually manage meet up in Stony Stratford, where lies the Vaults Bar, the scene of many a happy Sunday afternoon with good friends, singers and musicians aplenty. Maybe we might see you there one day, but we definitely do hope to see you all at the Shout for a rip roaring chorus or three….Mines a pint of Skinners please.
The Chantry Buoys
The Chantry Buoys hail from East Devon. We are a recreational drinking group with a singing problem…..
All of us are experienced seafaring men. We’ve all caught crabs in our youth. Last year at Falmouth some of us even got the ferry across to Flushing!
We are looking forward to our Falmouth trip. It will be our first international gig. We have never sung in a different country before.
We will bring you shanties and other sea related songs. We have just released our first CD- ‘Songs in the Quay of Sea’.
What’s all that noise? It’s the Chantry Buoys…..
It’s difficult to find a musical genre that would fully describe The Countrymen but Cornish Folk Rock Harmony is reasonably close.
Six seasoned musicians with four part harmonies and a token Cornishman. With a relaxed and light-hearted presentation style they take the audience on a journey through the history and culture of Cornwall featuring their own arrangements of both traditional and contemporary as well some original material. Interspersed with the occasional pop cover to lighten the mood when required, there is no mistaking that to a man, these guys love their county with a passion.
More information on the band can be found at www.thecountrymen.co.uk where you can also download/stream their music or buy their debut CD, “Trees On The Hill”.
The Culdrose Military Wives Choir
The Culdrose Military Wives Choir, attached to RNAS Culdrose in Helston Cornwall, is one of the longest standing in the international network that now comprises of 75 choirs in the UK and at bases abroad. Inspired by Gareth Malones success on TV series “The Choir” filmed at military bases in Devon, the Culdrose choir was formed in May 2012 and continues to go from strength to strength. Its membership of over 50 ladies has performed on Cornwall’s most eminent stages and many of the County’s major events. The Sing, Share, Support ethos of the choir is at the core of all they do, bringing together groups of women that help one another through the bad times, celebrate the good times and sing their way through it together.
In Summer 2018 a new Military Wives Choirs Album, ‘Remember’ was released. Reaching number 2 in the classical charts, it was a collaboration of all choirs across the network, including Culdrose, to commemorate the end of WW1.
The Hog Eye Men
Shanties were work songs of the age of sail. The Hog Eye Men sing them as they used to be sung; simply, boldly and loudly. The Hog Eye Men also sing songs about the sea, with harmony and instruments, in authentic and entertaining style. You will be excited by their sound.
The Jolly Strumpets
The Jolly Strumpets are a band of women singers hailing from Penryn, Falmouth and Redruth. Having enjoyed the Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival for many years, and attended various shouts across Cornwall, we thought we’d like to have a go ourselves. We sing songs about women, telling their stories. We sing about Cornish fishwives helping to bring in the pilchards before salting and pressing them for sale; bold women who took to the seas like Anne Bonny, one of the few women to be charged with piracy; what us women got up to when the men were off sailing, and drinking gin! We like to dress up a bit – think pirates, or strumpets, or strumpety pirates! – and have fun while we sing. We’ve got fun songs, naughty songs, and a bit of wistful romance. We’re thrilled to be part of this year’s festival and can’t wait to sing for you all!
The Lower Deckers
Traditional songs from a six person acapella sea shanting group.
We are delighted to be back in Falmouth for the fourth time. It has become the highlight of the year for us and we look forward to meeting up with our friends and the rest of the shanty community.
We were honoured to be asked to sing at the Falmouth Packet Shanty Concert Festival concert this year and we’re getting maritime-themed tuxedos specially made for this event!
For those seeing us for the first time, The Molgoggers are an eight-strong, a cappella, all-male group from the maritime town of Cobh, on Ireland’s south coast.
We sing a mixture of traditional sea shanties and contemporary maritime songs, all given the Molgogger treatment!
Coming up this year we will be at Portaferry in Northern Ireland, in June, for the Sails and Sounds Festival. We will also be at the Castletownbere Festival of theSea in August and The Wereldhavendagen Festival in Rotterdam in September.
Email: email@example.com (link sends e-mail)
The Navy Larks
We are a band of brothers from landlocked Salisbury who get a kick out of singing together, led by Kate Edgar, our music and performance director.
We sing shanties, songs of the sea and our own nautical compositions, to produce a lively, varied and hopefully amusing performance.
We are regularly invited to sing at local charity events and with our growing reputation these are often sell-out gigs. We have raised over £16,000 for various charities over the last couple of years.
Last September we went international by singing in English and French at several gigs in Salisbury’s twin town, Saintes in South West France. As well as singing in a large theatre, we sang to the Mayor in the Town Hall, in the market square, in a cognac cellar, in a fast-food restaurant, outside a rope-making factory, on board an old sailing ship and even in a Roman amphitheater.
It is our intention to have a good time in Falmouth as we have done previously, to sing well, to drink beer, have a laugh and entertain our audience.
From Falmouth, The Oggymen have built a reputation for tight harmonies and inspiring performances that convey the rugged beauty of the Duchy of Cornwall. Entertaining both visitors and locals, with their unique arrangements of Cornish and contemporary folk songs, they have won recognition for the passion and pride they convey through their music. Their performances at this year’s shanty festival will feature some new musical arrangements, that will captivate the heart of every Cornishman or Cousin Jack.
The Old Gaffers
From South Devon, The Old Gaffers have been rocking assorted boats and all sorts of other stages since 2010. With our own brand of humour, no nonsense, no gimmicks, sea shanties and sea songs we have entertained audiences at festivals and concerts the length and breadth of the country. We’ve been on national and local TV and radio, recorded 3 CDs and featured on a couple of other people’s CD’s
We have morphed into the present crew of 10 with an average age of 48 (sorry that should be waist size) and a groupie fan base of well over one; we are going from strength to strength! We’re pleased to have raised thousands of pounds for charity including, but not exclusively, the RNLI, Devon Air Ambulance, Prostate Cancer UK, Children’s Hospice SW, Help for Heroes and had a great time doing it. Are you in need of some entertainment? Do you need a bit of a lift? Then put us on your must see list!
The Solent Shanty Buoys
The Solent Shanty Buoys formed two years ago when a band pulled out of our sailing club’s pre-season bash. We are five friends who enjoy sailing, singing and beer. We have performed at a lot of different events, always encouraging audience participation and often raising money for charity.
Andy & Steve formed Cornish duo Topgallant Jack in 2014 and have since performed to people at venues all over the country, even by special invitation from an Oscar winner! They endeavour to put their own stamp on the genre with fresh, new arrangements whilst remaining sympathetic to the original.
Treizhadenn is a Breton group (The crossing in English) coming from the Paris area.
It is composed of 6 musicians (vocals, chromatic accordion, guitar, flutes, saxophone, bombardes, bass and percussions). Treizhadenn is 10 years old. We perform throughout France but also abroad (Wales).
Our repertoire is exclusively composed of group creations (texts and music) it is dedicated to the sea, sailors and Brittany. All are dance tunes from different terroirs of Brittany.
We have recorded 3 CD. For more details you can visit our website, you will find videos and CD extracts.
An ever so slightly diminished Crew this year but with assuredly no less enthusiasm !! It is a great privilege to be invited, once again, to this fantastic event and as always we are looking forward to seeing you all again.
We are busy as always taking part in many events including Falmouth, Fishguard, Cobh & Rosslare in Ireland, Finland, The Netherlands & Harwich. See you in June (slightly battered
but never broken !!)
Vent de Noroise
Vent de Noroise is a group which livens up many parties, concerts and events based around the theme of the sea. Since 2001 this joyful group of musicians has toured concert halls, and festivals in France and abroad, sharing their passion for maritime culture and traditions, and their taste for fun, lively music.
The group is made up of singers and musicians who come from different regions of France, mostly from Brittany, but also Corsica, and North of France. This cultural diversity allows Vent de Noroise to sing traditional Breton shanties, but also to draw from other cultures. Their program also includes more and more songs they have written themselves, expressing their passion for the sea and the sailors.
The Wareham Whalers are Dorset’s premier shanty crew and have been entertaining audiences since 2004. They run a popular monthly folk night and host a regular shanty gig in their namesake and historic town of Wareham. They sing at shindigs and festivals through-out the year. You are also likely to see and hear them busking the rural and coastal towns of the picturesque Isle of Purbeck and the beautiful Jurassic Coast. Since they started some 14 years ago, they have raised £1000s for Wareham and Purbeck Multiple Sclerosis Society, initially for a minibus, then for the annual maintenance of it.
Why not come and listen to the Wareham Whalers? They have in their repertoire over 100 shanties and songs of the sea…and they remember the words to most of them! They also really enjoy what they do and that is evident to all that come and see them. So, look where the Whalers are in the programme, go and see and sing-along with them, and simply have a great time!
Once again, The Wellington Wailers will be returning to Falmouth in Cornwall, from their home port of Shoreham-by-Sea on the West Sussex coast. This will be our sixth consecutive appearance at the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival and has become the highlight of the ‘Wailers’ year; It’s a great opportunity to meet and sing along with other Shanty crews in the most hospitable setting of Falmouth and of course take advantage of the many and varied hostelry’s (Special thanks to Skinners Brewery).
We initially formed our crew in 2012, with a small group of likeminded ‘sea dogs’, who were interested in singing traditional sea shanties, which we still do. However, our repertoire has expanded to not only include a number of ‘fore-bitters’ (Songs of the Sea and Life Onshore), but also general entertainment.
We have a regular monthly booking at our home pub “The Duke of Wellington” on the third Thursday of most months, and also perform at a variety of charity functions, parties and concerts. When fully manned, the Wailers can muster sixteen men, who have developed a natural close harmony. There is nothing serious about the Wailers, the emphasis is on humour, but with a good rousing sound. Audiences are encouraged to join in the choruses and participate in any shenanigans that the Wailer’s flamboyant lead man may devise.
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