Category Archives: General

Norfolk Island – “On the Middle Ground” – James Craig Shanty Session – May 2014

James Craig

James Craig

The May 2014 James Craig Shanty Session will feature “Norfolk Island – On the Middle Ground” with 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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Roaring Forties to tour Europe and England in August

The Roaring Forties are very excited to be heading off to the northern hemisphere to escape the Australian winter 🙂 in August. We’ll be performing at festivals in Brittany, The Netherlands and the UK and doing a few other gigs along the way. We’ll also be doing a small amount of sightseeing… Read the rest of this entry

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 http://www.shf.org.au/Application/Application.html

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.

Welcome

The Roaring Forties

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

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.

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