Formed in 1988, the Roaring Forties have almost 30 years of robust singing under their belts.
Powerful individual singers and 4-6 strong – the group has a formidable repertoire of traditional and trad-style contemporary songs. They have an lengthy list of themes: sea shanties, whaling songs, forebitters, work songs, mining songs, union songs, bush songs, songs of Australian history, protest songs, humorous songs, god-bothering songs, drinking songs – you name it!
Their most recent CD We Made the Steel tells of the working life in the Australian steel industry in the last third of the 20th century.
The Forties are always reinventing themselves, but some things remain constant – the enjoyment they get from singing harmonies and encouraging audience participation.
[They] sing songs of maritime and mayhem, maidens fair and sporty
Old hymns and worksongs and the like, [they] are the Roaring Forties!
More information about Roaring Forties recordings and presentations here.
The Roaring Forties are touring the North East of the USA during June 2017. The details of our activities are on our gigs page.
Although the Forties weren’t booked at the 2107 National, the Southern Cross Trawlers (Margaret, Don and Chris) were on the programme – opening the festival with a song session in the Bohemia Bar on the Thursday night and the Saturday night session too, presenting the Cabbage Tree Hat story, and a concert on the final day.
It was a privilege to sing in the big tribute to Danny Spooner in the main venue. Margaret sang “Tolpuddle Man” with Ruth Hazelton and Kerrie Maguire, and with Chris in the finale of John Tams’ “Rolling Home”.
The video below is from a special performance organised for Danny in early February held in the Daylesford Town Hall – John is leading “Bring Out The Banners” supported by many of the other musicians who contributed to the event.
We will miss him – he has left a vast body of work and huge space in the folk music world.
Danny’s obituary in The Age/Sydney Morning Herald.