Isle ‘ave a Shanty win festival competition with uplifting sea shanty

Isle ‘ave a Shanty are Elliott C. Spray, Able Seaman Andrew Newton, Lee ‘Kiss Me’ Harvey, ‘Sea Sick’ Stuart Green, ‘Long...

Ely-based Isle ‘ave a Shanty's song about lifting people’s spirits throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has won them a music competition. Isle ‘ave a Shanty are Elliott C. Spray, Able Seaman Andrew Newton, Lee ‘Kiss Me’ Harvey, ‘Sea Sick’ Stuart Green, ‘Long John’ Tony Calladine and Captain Kevin King. - Credit: STUART GREEN

An Ely-based sea shanty group’s song about lifting people’s spirits throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has won them a festival competition.  

It’s been a tough year for every singer and band with the coronavirus putting a stop to gigs and live audiences, but Isle ‘ave a Shanty found a way to keep the adrenaline going.  

The group entered the virtual 2021 North Northamptonshire Music Festival, which invited acts to send in videos of a performance filmed during or in-between the lockdowns.  

The group decided to share their video of a relatively recent shanty called ‘A Sailor Aint a Sailor (or The Last Shanty)’.  

Isle ‘ave a Shanty group members

Ely-based Isle ‘ave a Shanty's song about lifting people’s spirits throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has won them a music competition. Isle ‘ave a Shanty are Elliott C. Spray, Able Seaman Andrew Newton, Lee ‘Kiss Me’ Harvey, ‘Sea Sick’ Stuart Green, ‘Long John’ Tony Calladine and Captain Kevin King. - Credit: STUART GREEN

Crew member ‘Sea Sick’ Stu said: “We had a choice of a few songs that we have recorded this year but we went with this because it contains actions. 


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“When you see and hear it its difficult not to join in, it’s a real feel-good song and one that goes down really well when we perform it live!” 

The contest was shared on Facebook and went to a public vote throughout February.  

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It included a variety of acts including choirs, rock bands and solo performers of all ages.  

In the end, Isle ‘ave a Shanty won comprehensively, totting up more votes than the second and third acts combined.  

Isle ‘ave a Shanty group members

Ely-based Isle ‘ave a Shanty's song about lifting people’s spirits throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has won them a music competition. Isle ‘ave a Shanty are Elliott C. Spray, Able Seaman Andrew Newton, Lee ‘Kiss Me’ Harvey, ‘Sea Sick’ Stuart Green, ‘Long John’ Tony Calladine and Captain Kevin King. - Credit: STUART GREEN

‘Sea Sick’ Stu added: “We are delighted and so grateful to everybody who voted, its been a real community effort. 

“We did it for the Isle of Ely, for the shanty crews and the folk music world, and we were also grateful for this opportunity in what’s been a very difficult year for everybody”.  

The group will now go on to be the closing act at next year’s North Northamptonshire Festival Gala Concert, as well as winning a large trophy for the Captain’s Cabin. 

With an award safely tucked under their belt, the group is looking forward to performing live again very soon.  

“We have lots in the diary for 2021 and hope they will all go ahead, ‘Sea Sick’ Stu added.  

These include Ely Aquafest and Ely Folk Club, and “to cap it all we are making plans to record our first album in the autumn.”  

Isle ‘ave a Shanty are Elliott C. Spray, Able Seaman Andrew Newton, Lee ‘Kiss Me’ Harvey, ‘Sea Sick’ Stuart Green, ‘Long John’ Tony Calladine and Captain Kevin King.  

For more information visit www.isleaveashanty.com  

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