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Sea Shanty Singalong Sessions

Story: Donna Roberts | Photo: Ben McShea
Jan 24, 2020
Shantyman and Friends is a collective of musicians and performers who will be bringing their international repertoire of sea shanties and sea songs to the local area.

Multi-instrumentalist and singer, Brendan Williams, is one of the creators of the event and is looking forward to bringing the unique sessions to the Peninsula.

“We will be starting off with a repertoire of about 20 sea shanties and sea songs,” Brendan said.

“Some of them we’ll be doing acapella, some with accompaniment.

“We’ve got some people who have sung shanties for a long time and others who are new to it.”

Audience participation is strongly encouraged during the sessions and the rotating lineup will involve members of different musical groups, who will be invited to come along and show off their individual and collective talents.

“People can come along and join in – either with just the choruses or they can try and lead the song,” Brendan said.

To the uninitiated, a sea shanty is a work song sometimes used to boost sailors’ morale or used in a practical way to assist the hauling of an anchor or sails on an older ship.

“When everything was mechanical, they had to haul ropes so you needed quite a few people to haul up anchors and pull the sails up,” Brendan said.

“When they sang the chorus, they would all pull the ropes on certain words so all the sea shanties have great rhythm.”

Born to an opera singer father, who also collected sea shanties, Brendan grew up in Ireland singing the songs of the sea.

He has preformed for audiences since the age of six, and he counts his career highlight as playing to a crowd of 15,000 at Woodford Folk Festival.

Come and enjoy the shanties while having a cheeky rum at the bar!

Shantyman and Friends
Third Sunday of each month, 5-7:30pm
Begins Sunday 16 February
Jumping Goats Bar
Oxley Ave, Margate