Thank you for docking at our quayside friend, you are welcome aboard our craft to take stock of our manifest.


The Shanty Crew are one of a kind, a mainly unison group of shanty and sea song singers, specialists of the genre, who have been singing and researching the songs, life and traditions of the sailor since at least 1976 when they sang as the first booked performers of shanties at the then Greenwich Clipper Week Celebrations at Greenwich, London, England, where the world famous CUTTY SARK built in 1869 and the worlds only restored tea clipper is preserved in a dry dock, purpose built for her in 1954. It is the proud boast of the Shanty Crew, to be the world’s only shanty group to have a regular gig aboard a genuine tea clipper.


The Shanty Crew is recognised internationally as among the finest interpreters of the shanty style of unaccompanied singing, of which it has been said, `is the closest to the way that these much abused work songs were sung at sea'.


The Shanty Crew have performed from the Atlantic to the Baltic, in Brittany, France, The Netherlands, Germany and Poland among other places, not forgetting every corner of the British Isles. Where there is salt water, the Shanty Crew have been there. The Shanty Crews leader and founder member, Chris Roche, has shantied on five continents an is a square rigged Cape Horner. The groups style is best described as mainly unison with some natural harmony and lots of commitment, guts, and power. Harmony is not planned; the sailor never did that.


(Stan Hugill, in Spin magazine, Vol.3 No.2, on page 13, states: ‘Harmony was never used at sea, unless some natural harmoniser did a little.’ And the old sea dog Captain Whall, in Sea Songs & Shanties, states: ‘I never harmonised the shanties for they never were'.)


The Shanty Crew will hear a song or shanty sung in the oral tradition or folk idiom, but they will then track it back as far as possible to the historical source. Alternatively, a song might come from an old collection, from a book or manuscript, and again the researches will go to the oldest known source.



á Turn about to the shanty crew deck plan