Motley Crew’s shanties storm pub

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The Rye Bay Crew singing for their supper

Rye Bay Crew had to add another evening of shanties as tickets for the first date sold out immediately. On the second night though, Saturday February 20, the performers showed no signs of fatigue and gave an appreciative audience a run through an eclectic selection of old and new shanties and songs of the sea.

That night the Crew consisted of Chris Fisher on guitar and octave mandola, Rebekah Gilbert on cello, and Jonathan Breeds and Andi Rivett on giant tambourines. All of them sang excellently as well.scallop and Queens Head

The capacity audience was invited to join in and some of the lyrics were printed out for our convenience. However, many of the songs were widely known and the number of people swaying from side to side while singing “I am Sailing” at the top of their voices narrowly avoided inducing a feeling of seasickness.

“Spanish ladies” was another hit, with many among the audience having learned it at school. We were invited to join in another song, “No-hopers, Jokers and Rogues”, having to self-identify as one of the categories. The rogues was by far the most popular choice.

The performance was accompanied by an excellent two course meal of scallops followed by fish pie. The musicians were on a tight schedule because the rock band Black Sheep was due to perform in the main part of the bar at 9pm. But when the Crew had finished the set, the audience refused to let go and two more songs were performed – one, Sloop John B, by popular demand. In the gaps between the notes, the strains of Black Sheep could be heard, losing the battle of the bands.

Rye Bay Crew will next be performing a classical repertoire on March 12 at Newenden.

Photos: Seana Lanigan

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