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Swinging the Lead: Danger


2015 album by the Kent-based sea shanty crew


P&P: £2 UK/Isle of Man/Channel Islands; £4.50 Europe; £6 RotW

Taking its title and subtitle, Intense Sound Signal Operates Without Warning, from the sign on the light ship LV21 moored at Gravesend on the River Thames, the album was recorded at Roger Cotton’s Roundel Studios in Horton Kirby in 2015 save for the two bonus tracks recorded live at Dartford Folk Club.

The Swinging the Lead crew were joined by Ellen Care on fiddle from Kent folk-rock band Green Diesel and the Cabin Boy guested on harmonica.

A number of the songs are self-penned, ranging from Pete Brooker’s New World Calls – specially written for Harwich Shanty Festival’s Mayflower celebration project – to Dave Webb’s jaunty Woolwich Ferry and evocative Pop Pirates which have remained firm favourites with audiences.

We have also borrowed from other songwriters including Archie Fisher for Final Trawl, Kieran Halpin for Nothing To Show For It All and our local songwriter Allan Richardson for his marvellous Air Shanty – still the only one we are aware of.

Traditional sea shanties are not forgotten, including two from the Dutch tradition: Haal ’Em Maar Mee – sung in Dutch by Colin Turner – and Jan Rebeck. Solid favourites such as Load ’Em and Stack ’Em, Old Maui, Paddy Lay Back and Roll Alabama Roll complete a good mix of maritime songs appealing to a wide range of tastes.

Track listing

  1. Nothing To Show For It All
  2. The New World Calls
  3. Load ’Em And Stack ’Em
  4. Haul Away Joe (A brief history of the British Isles)
  5. Woolwich Ferry (A hundred times a day)
  6. Long Time Ago
  7. Final Trawl
  8. Sally Free And Easy
  9. Old Maui
  10. Jan Rebeck
  11. Pop Pirates
  12. Haal ’Em Maar Me
  13. Paddy Lay Back
  14. Homeward Bound
  15. Air Shanty
  16. Roll Alabama Roll