Based in the Burnhams, birth place of England’s greatest seaman, Lord Horatio Nelson, Nelson’s Shantymen are a diverse group of enthusiasts, driven in equal measure by a love of singing and a desire to keep the tradition of the authentic sea-shanty alive. True to the original spirit of the shanty, a major emphasis is placed on the voice and while instrumental accompaniment, in the form of accordion, banjo, bodhran, guitar and harmonica, is an integral part of performance, this is always secondary to the natural sound of men singing to ease the burden of their work at sea..
Since their formation in March 2010, Nelson’s Shantymen have performed to acclaim in a wide range of venues throughout Norfolk, appearing at a number of festivals including the prestigious international Harwich Sea Shanty Festival of 2013. The group sang at the launch of the new Hunstanton lifeboat 'Spirit of West Norfolk' in 2011, performed on the main deck of SS Gotheborg as part of the Mayor's Reception to close 2015's Maritime Festival in Great Yarmouth and have secured a regular New Year’s Eve slot at Sculthorpe Mill.
Nelson’s Shantymen is a non-profit-making group which aims to raise money for charitable causes. To date they have raised over £18,000 for a range of charities including the RNLI, Help for Heroes, Children in Need, Comic Relief, Wells Community Hospital, Tapping House, Campaign Care 94, Nelson’s Journey, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, the Jubilee Sailing Trust, The Bridge for Heroes, Hillside Animal Sanctuary and Kings Lynn Hospital’s League of Friends.
In addition to their large store of traditional shanties, the group’s repertoire includes a number of songs which celebrate the achievements of Lord Nelson, together with a range of lyrics recording the hardships of the fisherman’s way of life.
In 2012, the group released their first CD, ‘Singing for Victory’, and their second CD followed in 2014. Our third CD England Expects is now on sale. The group can currently be heard in rehearsal most Monday evenings at The Jolly Sailors, Brancaster Staithe, between 7.30pm and 9.00pm.