Monthly Archives: February 2013

National Folk Festival 2013

National Folk FestivalThe Roaring Forties are stoked to be singing in the Union Concert at this year’s National Folk Festival in Canberra. The festival has also scheduled our workshop on the steelmaking life, “We Made the Steel” with enough time for all the songs and Robin’s introductions and slides.

Besides concert spots on the Friday afternoon and Sunday evening, we’re also hosting the singing session on Friday night.

The full list of performances from the interim programme is:

Day Time Details
Friday 3:50pm Concert
Flute & Fiddle
Friday 10:00pm Singing Session
Song Room
Saturday 3:30pm Union Concert
Sunday 11:30am We Made the Steel
Sunday 9:50pm Concert

We’re working on an entry for the Infinite Song Competition and we’ll be found lending our voices to the singing session most nights too!

James Craig shanty sessions resume

James Craig

James Craig

The popular shanty singing sessions on the Barque “James Craig” will recommence in March 2013. The plan is to hold them on the first Thursday of each month, provided that the ship is available, starting around 7:30pm. The James Craig is a three masted, iron hulled bark, owned by Sydney Heritage Fleet.

The sessions on the Craig always leave room for everyone to participate. Aim to arrive from 7.30 and the singing will get underway by 8pm. There’s a break for supper and more singing until about 10.30pm. A great night for less than $10, less if you’re a member of the Sydney Heritage Fleet – see

The ship is moored at Wharf 7 (58 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont) between the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Foxtel Building. Walking or the light rail to Pyrmont Bay station are your best bet. Parking – sometimes possible at the Australian National Maritime Museum – is subject to availability. Email Margaret to be added to the email list or to confirm session details.

Illawarra Folk Festival 2013

2013 Illawarra Folk Festival - workshop

“We Made the Steel” presentation.
Photo: Peter O’Neill

The Roaring Forties had a grand time singing at the 2013 Illawarra Folk Festival. We presented songs from the latest CD, We Made the Steel in a Saturday workshop – with lots of interesting feedback from former Port Kembla steelworkers. We missed Tom Hanson who was ill.

We also had a concert spot on Sunday afternoon between the Combined Union Choirs and the tribute to Woody Guthrie. A good chance to do some of our industrial-strength songs.

Sunday concertPhoto: Christina Mimmocchi

Sunday concert
Photo: Christina Mimmocchi

It was good to sing a few Australian themed songs in the tribute concert for Alan Scott, and there was a fine singing session that went late on Saturday night in the horse stalls.

Thanks to all the organising team, the volunteers and the enthusiastic audiences for making it so much fun for us.


The Roaring Forties

The present line-up of the Roaring Forties includes (L-R): Tom Hanson, Don Brian, Margaret Walters and Chris Maltby.

Formed in 1988, the Roaring Forties have almost 30 years of robust singing under their belts.

Powerful individual singers the group has a formidable repertoire of traditional and trad-style contemporary songs. They have a 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!

They are regulars on the Australian folk festival circuit and have toured in the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, New Zealand and Norfolk Island.

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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