The present line-up of the Roaring Forties includes (L-R): Margaret Walters, John Warner, Chris Maltby, Tom Hanson, Robin Connaughton and Don Brian (not pictured).

In 2013 the Roaring Forties celebrated 25 years of robust singing – revelling in the splendid songs on their latest CD We Made the Steel – but never forgetting their first love – sea shanties and other maritime songs.

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 they can sing about: 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!

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.

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2014 Top Half Folk Festival

The Roaring Forties (all six) are looking forward to this year’s Top Half Folk Festival on the June long weekend (6th-9th June) at Mary River in the Northern Territory (south-east of Darwin).

Top Half Programme

2014 Top Half Folk Festival Programme

We’ve got quite a few performances over the three days.

See also http://www.darwincommunityarts.org.au/FolkFestival

Trad & Now reviews “We Made the Steel”

We’re delighted with the reviewTrad & Now - June 2014 in the June 2014 edition of Trad & Now of We Made the Steel. Thanks Graham!

Norfolk ‘n’ Good – James Craig Shanty Session – May 2014

James Craig

James Craig

The May 2014 James Craig Shanty Session will feature “Norfolk ‘n’ Good” aka Don & Sue Brian.

Don and Sue Brian have recently returned from 5 years of self-imposed exile in this fascinating gem of the southern ocean. Diligent researchers, they have immersed themselves in its history, particularly the log books and other historical records of whaling vessels that called in to the island and the songs that the whalers brought with them. Don and Sue will share some of the fruits of their research, conveying their enthusiasm and insights in a most engaging manner. This will be a really special night. As always, there will be plenty of opportunities to participate.

This session was originally scheduled for March 2014, but has been postponed due to circumstances beyond the control of the organisers. There will be a regular session on Thursday, 13th March at 7:30pm. Read the rest of this entry

Valé Len Neary (1947-2013)

We mark the passing of a former member of the Roaring Forties, Len Neary on Tuesday, 24th September 2013. The obituary below was compiled by Margaret Walters and was published in the South Sydney Herald.

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The Roaring Forties in New Zealand

Sunday 13th October – 1pm

The Roaring Forties will be joining Bob Large and the rest of the Auckland Maritime Crew for a an hour or so of singing shanties and other sea songs at the Voyager Maritime Museum, Viaduct Harbour, on the corner of Quay and Hobson Streets, Auckland.

Sunday 13th October – 8pm

Devonport Folk Music Club meets at the historic command post, “The Bunker” on Mt Victoria, Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand.
Book early for concerts, as space is limited – add your details to the form below:
Bookings/queries: info@devonportfolkmusic.co.nz
Devonport Folk Music Club on Facebook

Sunday 20th October – 7:30pm

House concert at 4 Rangatira Road, Tawa.
Hosts: Dave and Jan Barnes david.barnes@xtra.co.nz
Phone: 04 232 7231 or 027 472 5148.

Wednesday 23rd October – 7:30pm

House concert 303 Waitohu Valley Road, Otaki – north of Wellington
Hosts: Cavan and Penelope Haines
Email: chaines@pocd.co.nz
Phone 06 364 8991 or 027 464 8991

Friday 25th – Monday 28th October

Wellington Folk Festival
The festival is held at the Brookfield Outdoor Education Centre in Moore’s Valley Road which is beyond Wainuiomata – about 40 minutes drive from central Wellington. comprehensive map with driving instructions.

Formal commitments are below but we also hope to be contributing to ballad sessions etc.:

Time Venue Event
Saturday 26th
12.30pm – 1.30pm
Maire Hall We Made The Steel” – songs from the latest Roaring Forties CD on the steel industry in NSW.
Humour, gritty realism, pathos and great choruses.
Sunday 27th
3.15pm – 4.15pm
Marquee Roaring Forties in concert – mix of our favourite songs.
Sunday 27th
7.30pm – 11.00pm
Contribution in the Final Concert.

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