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Waterlooville Music Festival

11th to 19th June

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Daytime Evening at 7.30pm


thursday 14th June

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dance floor

licensed real ale, wine & Pimm’s bar

interval drink included

LUNCHES SERVED from 12noon

12.30pm at St George’s Church:


St George’s Church, Waterlooville, licensed bar opens 7pm. Late finish - 10pm


Folk and Ale Night


 one of the UK’s finest shanty crews, from the Country’s greatest naval city,
Portsmouth Shantymen have appeared at virtually every shanty festival in Britain,
some shanty festivals overseas, and on Radio 2. Power-harmony singing at its best.

Portsmouth Shantymen

The Portsmouth Shantymen were originally formed in 1978, at the request of the organisers of Christchurch Folk Festival. In those dim and distant days, most festivals ran shanty singarounds as part of the pub session scene and that year the group booked to host the Christchurch sessions had to pull out at very short notice. Rather than cancel the sessions outright, the organisers contacted club organisers in Portsmouth, reasoning (falsely as it turned out) that as the South Coast's premier Naval base, the city would have a strong tradition of shanty singing. The word was quickly passed around the Portsmouth clubs and various resident singers asked to help out in return for a free festival ticket. Thus it was that a motley crew, including Sooty Broughton, Tom Lewis, Bernard Potter, Brian Dennett, Nick Gough and Brian Ingham arrived in Christchurch on a sunny Friday evening to find themselves billed as The Portsmouth Shanty Men.

The rest of the weekend's memories tend to be blurred in an alcoholic haze, but we remember that we had a good time and no-one actually threw anything at us!

And that was that. We all went our separate ways and thought nothing further of it. That lasted only a couple of years until the advent of the late lamented Folk Afloat festival. The folk world had started to take a renewed interest in shanties, with artists such as Johnny Collins and Jim Mageean leading the way, so it seemed natural to set a concert of maritime music aboard ship, in this case the hulk of H.M.S. Foudrouyant in Portsmouth Harbour. The Portsmouth Shantymen were asked to re-form to provide 'interval' music as people arrived aboard and during the beer breaks. By this time Tom Lewis and Bernard Potter had moved on to richer pastures and Brian Dennett was deeply involved in the organisation of Folk Afloat. Peter Watkinson was invited to join us and for the next couple of years we carried on in this fashion, meeting up once a year to perform on Foudrouyant. Then someone took a rather large gamble and actually offered us a spot during the main concert. We quickly co-opted Pete Luscombe to join us and never looked back.

As our repertoire increased, we started performing in folk clubs, still singing shanties almost exclusively. This continued until the Australian Bi-Centennial celebrations in 1987, when we were asked by Portsmouth City Council to record music for an audio-visual display in the Round Tower in Old Portsmouth.

This music was also released as an EP. About this time, Pete Watkinson moved away from Portsmouth and left the Shantymen. We spent a fair bit of that summer singing aboard the various ships that were forming the replica First Fleet, including a very early morning spot on Radio 2's Derek Jameson's Breakfast Show.

Since that time, Britain seems to have woken up to its proud Maritime Heritage and shanty singing is now seen as an integral part of any Maritime, as well as Folk Festival. We have appeared at Liverpool, Bristol, Swansea, Lancaster, Hull, Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland and Brest in Brittany as well as many folk festivals, folk clubs, conferences, book launches for Douglas Reeman, sessions on HMS Victory/Warrior, the Speakers House in the House of Commons, and many more events, too various to mention here. We have also extended our range and although we are still known as The Portsmouth Shantymen we by no means restrict ourselves solely to shanties and songs of the sea. We have a wide variety of land based songs in our repertoire; if it can be harmonised we'll give it a go!

Pete Luscombe - Born in South Devon, he resided there and in Cornwall until going to university. At university, he developed a healthy interest in folk music and was involved with the running and compering of two folk clubs. He moved to Portsmouth in 1977, continuing his interests in folk music by supporting various local clubs in the area and also joining the local morris side. He was 'pressed' into the Shantymen about 1984.

Nick Gough - Born in Jersey, Nick first became involved with folk music in the early '70's whilst a student at Portsmouth Polytechnic. Nick is a founder member of the Shantymen, has a healthy knowledge of a large repertoire of sea and land based songs and as well as having a good singing voice, he also plays fiddle, viola and mandoline. He used to be a member of the local morris side.

Pete Watkinson - Pete re-joined the group in 2004. Pete has been singing in Folk Clubs, either solo or in various duo's and groups, since 1973. He is a much respected M.C. formerly at the Railway Folk Club in Portsmouth where he was a resident for many of the last 20 years. His roots are firmly in English Traditional song, from the close harmony groups ‘Long Felt Want’ (with Tom Lewis) and ‘The Portsmouth Shantymen’ and then ‘Cantoris’, contributing throughout the range but most distinctively in the warm harmonies at the high end. He collaborated with Portsmouth Shantymen to produce, ‘Mutiny 1797 - Songs from the Spithead & Nore Mutinies’ for the 100th anniversary exhibition at Portsmouth’s City Museum. He was selected by Johnny Collins for his ‘Shanties and Songs of the Sea’ album where he provided a contrast by leading the softer and more reflective songs.

John Lansley -aka "Long John" - is a more recent recruit to The Portsmouth Shantymen, but far from being "pressed" is a willing volunteer. His association with Portsmouth goes back to the late 60's when he studied Electrical Engineering at Portsmouth Polytechnic and was actively involved in Portsmouth Folk Clubs. At that time his lusty singing was also on the Polytechnic Rugby Club coach on away matches, but more recently, has won singing prizes in the Chichester Festival - winning the opera novice section and shocking the classical judges with two shanties in the "traditional"section !

Oliver Alsford - Portsmouth Shantymen’s newest member, a fine young singer who single-handedly has reduced the group’s average age by about 10%! Ollie is also part of the Portsmouth folk and indie band “Day of the Rabblement”.

dance floor

licensed real ale, wine & Pimm’s bar

cabaret setting

Eight of the finest folk, jazz & classical musicians in Hampshire let loose in the world of folk dance music…
An all out musical bombardment!

Threepenny Bit

Threepenny Bit are an example of how traditional dance tunes and contemporary sounds can be blended into a fresh interpretation of folk music. This dynamic eight-piece band combines a group of diehard folkies with some of the finest young jazz and classical musicians in the south. They play bold arrangements of traditional and original tunes with infectious stage energy.

After founding and running the Southampton University folk society in 2011 they formed a busking band to take folk music to the streets for a summer holiday. Seven years, three albums and a host of successful concert, ceilidh, folk club and festival performances later the band are still going strong! 2014 saw the release of their third album ‘Pantomime Cannon’ to critical acclaim.

Threepenny Bit were a smash hit at Waterlooville Music Festival 2013, since when they have become firmly established as one of the South of England’s leading folk groups; their return to the festival is something we have been trying to achieve for a long time!

Jason Beaumont, Flute, Bass Guitar. Jason grew up in Egham and began learning the flute at the age of 6, and although he began his music degree specialising in piano, graduated with a Masters degree in classical flute performance in 2011. He also plays the bass guitar, and is greatly in demand for performance with musical theatre shows in Southampton. An impatient soul, Jason quickly becomes bored with just 'playing the tune' when performing with Threepenny Bit, and his incessant improvisation has become integral to the band's sound. He also has a passion for catering and enjoys playing the perfect hostess, providing everyone with hot beverages. Despite his variety of talents, however, Jason has proven himself to be most proficient in the art of putting his foot in his mouth.

Ruth Burrows, Alto Saxophone. Ruth grew up near Bristol, in a household where the learning of musical instruments was strongly encouraged. She discovered classical alto saxophone at the age of 10 and has gone on to graduate with a BA in music from the University of Southampton just over ten years later. Ruth's love of folk music was initially influenced by the music her Dad used to play in the car, such as Fairport Convention, Lindisfarne, June Tabor and Oysterband, but it was the discovery of Bellowhead via Mike Harding's Folk Show that propelled this into a desire for a career in the field. Now living in Southampton, Ruth also has a keen interest in Killer Sudoku puzzles, Chinese historical fiction, and daytime television.

Hannah Gray, Flute, Low D Whistle. Devon-raised Hannah began learning the classical flute aged 8, going on to play in orchestras and ensembles, and taking up the tenor saxophone in her teenage years for a bit of variety. She grew up listening to the likes of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and only really discovered folk a little later on, an interest that was nurtured whilst playing with the University of Southampton Folk Society. In addition to her musical talents, Hannah is a qualified audiologist, and has undertaken the role of hearing-protection consultant to the other band members. She is based in Oxford, and also plays and sings with James Bell & the Half Moon All Stars.

Ross Gordon, Drums, Percussion. Ross grew up in Twickenham and tried his hand at many different instruments including piano, guitar, and violin before finding his love for the drums; he has also recently discovered a talent for playing the spoons at folk sessions! He graduated with a degree in maths and music from the University of Southampton, and manages a hectic life playing with The Sea Slugs (a 14 piece afrobeat extravaganza), The Madcap Ponderlings (a vaudevillian, macabre and carnivalesque rock band) and The Fraktions (a djentmetal ensemble), adding Threepenny Bit to his lengthy list of responsibilities in 2015. Ross also plays with various acclaimed London musicians and is house drummer for several jam nights. Somehow, he finds the time to do web design as well!

Chris Nichols, Violin, Viola. Born and raised in Cornwall, Chris began playing the fiddle when he was 10, and has performed with various Cornish dance groups including Ros Keltek and Hevva (of which he was a founding member). Whilst at university, he helped form the University of Southampton Folk Society, and graduated in 2012 with a BA in music. Chris spent his first year as a real grown-up living the life of the musician, busking and gigging to pay the rent. He missed the education system too much, however, and now works for the Southampton Music Service, teaching part-time in primary and secondary schools across the city.

Josh Robson-Hemmings, Acoustic Guitar. Josh was born in London, but spent his youth between Bristol and Oxfordshire. Inspired initially by nu-metal and funk music, he took up the electric guitar at the age of 12, and quickly became involved in the Bristolian alternative scene. This chapter of his musical life ended when he moved to Southampton to read physics at the university, and chose to spend his first student loan installment on an acoustic guitar - a decision for which he is still mocked by his former bandmates! He quickly became involved with the University of Southampton Folk Society, and the rest, as they say, is history. Josh graduated with a Masters degree in 2011 and now works as a research physicist for Sharp in Oxford. Somehow he has found the time to teach himself melodeon and mandolin, and to perform with James Bell & the Half Moon All Stars.

Steven Troughton, Accordion. Steve grew up in St Albans, and began his musical life dancing to Eric Clapton in his Grandma's living room, and endlessly hitting the 'demo' button on his Casio SA-1 keyboard (which plays an excellent version of Wham's 'Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go', for those interested). He started playing piano at age 7, picked up the trumpet in his first year of secondary school, then learnt the guitar upon discovery of his first real musical obsession - Led Zeppelin. After graduating with a BA in music from the University of Southampton in 2011, Steve began teaching himself the accordion as little more than a new hobby; subdued fingerstyle guitar was satiating most of his folk performance desires, but the appeal of the boisterously jolly accordion couldn't be quelled! Steve performs regularly with film noir style jazz band Fedora Cafe, and experimental pop project Freeze Puppy, amongst others.

Note for disabled ticket holders: Space will be at a premium for this performance, and so if you are attending in a wheelchair, we request that for your comfort and safety you let us know in advance, so that we can reserve space for you. You can email us at quoting your booking reference number.  Thank you for your understanding.

Note for group bookings: For bookings of 8 or more, we will reserve a table for you so that your party can sit together. To take advantage of this service, please email quoting your booking reference number. Please note that we cannot guarantee a table exclusively for your use.