Presented by Trad Academy

25th February to 26th February . From 1pm, see event listings below (coming soon) .
Tickets £10 - £16 (weekend passes available)

Following their sold out performances of Rime, the Trad Academy Sea Shanty Choir returns to Wilton's for a weekend of rumbustification at the heart of London’s historic dockside, celebrating traditional maritime work songs as well as contemporary songs of the sea.

We are thrilled to welcome back The Trad Academy as curators of this community-led festival of music, art and history, featuring many of the finest international performers of maritime music. The stirring programme includes Yesterday’s Men who performed for many years alongside the great Stan Hugill, as well as a return to performing by internationally renowned trio The Ballina Whalers. The festival will explore maritime cultures past and present through music, workshops, film, and artwork. Alongside this, panel discussions led by Professor Catherine Tackley of Liverpool University will provide an insight into the history of sailors working songs.

With classic seafood, nautical cocktails and Adnam’s fine range of marine-themed beers available, this promises to be a great weekend for one and all, from the tarry old salt to the seasick landlubber!

Download the Gatherers' special Sailortown menu.

Tickets and Passes
Day Ticket: £12 full price, £10 concessions
Night Ticket (Saturday only): £16 full price, £12.50 concessions
Weekend Pass (all events): £30 full price, £25 concessions
To buy the Weekend Pass click any buy tickets link. 

Click here to see the full timetable (PDF)
Please note that places on the Woodblock Print Making Workshop with Alex Booker are limited. Please email booker.alex@gmail.com to register your place.

Artists' Biographies

Trad Academy Sea Shanty Choir
The Trad Academy Sea Shanty Choir is a non-audition community choir based in London, celebrating traditional maritime work songs as well as contemporary songs of the sea. With a repertoire that ranges from tear-jerking ballads to bawdy bangers, capstan shanties to rowing songs, audience participation is always encouraged. With an inclusive ethos, choir members range in age from 18 to 75 and comprise many different nationalities. The choir hopes to inspire audiences and spread the joy of singing working maritime music through their exhilarating live performances. tradacademy.co.uk

Maria Lindström  
Maria Lindström is a Swedish musician and poet who is also devoted to traditional and literary folk. Our friendship with Maria began in the summer of 2015 at the Baltic shanty festival and we were happy to have her visiting Cornwall with us in October 2016, when she sang some dramatic songs by the Swedish iconic songwriter and adventurer Evert Taube, making us understand every word. Nearly. It is not hard to see that Maria Lindström has worked with theatre for many years - communication is her aim and her guitar playing convinces us of a deep love of the instrument! unclemary.nu 

Yesterday’s Men
Harry Lowrey and Arthur Garnett play concertinas and sing shanties, songs of the sea and traditional folk songs. Having appeared alongside legendary sailor and song collector Stan Hugill for many years as members of the legendary shanty band Stormalong John, they stand apart as two of the finest voices to have come out of the Liverpool. Their early recordings have shaped the repertoire and style in which maritime music is performed all over Europe and North America, and they continue to influence new generations of folk musicians. facebook.com/harry.arthur.752 

Two Sheets To The Wind
The duo “Two Sheets To The Wind” are Yves Graver and Manu Moreau; hailing from la Gaume, a small region in south Belgium famous for its ORVAL beer. Although they live hundreds of miles from any coastline, they get their kicks from adapting shanties and performing them with powerful enthusiasm, in English, French, Dutch or even Creole. They also play traditional Irish music and have toured across Europe with appearances in Norway, Germany, Holland, Belgium and France, as well as Tall Ships gatherings in the USA. Although the band is relatively young, they have been playing in other maritime and folk formations for several years. facebook.com/2sheets2thewind

The Ballina Whalers
The Ballina Whalers are Pete Truin, Jamie Doe and Sam Brookes - three musical barnacles clinging to the creaking hull of a musical tradition stretching back over hundreds of years. All accomplished songwriters and folk-singers in their own right, they came together to explore nautical ballads, shanties and contemporary seafaring songs that tell tales of whaling ships, lost loves, roaring storms and hardship out at sea. The Ballina Whalers took a break from performing in 2015 to spend time on other projects, with Sam and Jamie focusing on their busy solo careers and Pete’s shanty choir going from strength to strength. The band are making a hotly anticipated comeback appearance at the Sailortown Sea Shanty Festival! 

The Norfolk Broads
The Norfolk Broads are a 4-piece female ensemble who enjoy singing low-pitched folk songs about love, despair and dastardly boyfriends. Born in Norfolk, formed in Cornwall, they live and sing in London but hold the East Anglian skies in their hearts and voices. facebook.com/broadsbroadsbroads/  

Woven Gold
Woven Gold, the music group of the Helen Bamber Foundation, includes people from Algeria, Burma, Chechnya, Iran, Kurdistan, Pakistan, many African countries as well as professional musicians living in the UK. The group performs music from all over the world as well as composing new music together. The Helen Bamber Foundation is a specialist UK human rights charity with extensive experience working with people who have survived extreme physical, sexual and psychological violence. helenbamber.org/music-group/ 

Keith Kendrick and Sylvia Needham
Keith and Sylvia sing English traditional and contemporary folk songs and work extensively all over the UK, Europe and beyond. Both have a very wide ranging repertoire, strong voices and uncannily compatible and complimentary styles of delivery, affording an exciting enhancement in duo and between them produce a striking acapella harmony sound. With a formidable history of performing experience behind them, their recorded work is matched only by their live gigs which are always a vocal and musical revelation as well as a hoot! keithkendrick.com/sylvia.htm

Professor Catherine Tackley is currently Head of the Department of Music at the University of Liverpool. Catherine joined The Open University as Lecturer in Music in July 2008, was appointed Senior Lecturer in February 2011 and Professor in April 2016.  She was a principal researcher on the Research Networking project “Atlantic Sounds: Ships and Sailortowns”.  Catherine has carried out extensive research into 21st Century shanty singing, and has presented lectures and symposiums at some of Europe’s most prestigious maritime museums and festivals. open.ac.uk/arts/research/tackley-atlantic-sounds/

Salt in the Veins is an audio-visual journey into the musical tradition of sea shanties and its legacy. A sensorial experience which carries the viewer across symbolic rough waters and soft waves, rhythmic percussionist sounds and gentle ballads. It takes up an experimental form where the songs constitute the red thread of the narrative, rejecting a more conventional documentary voice - this film strives to explore the trance power of harmonies and the act of singing together. Shot over a period of two years between London, Liverpool and Mariehamn, it is a close collaboration between visual artist Vittoria Soddu and the Trad Academy Sea Shanty Choir. 
Duration: 25 minutes. It will be shown in the Champagne Charlie Room throughout the duration of the Festival 

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