Kings Pond Shantymen
Kings Pond Shantymen

The Men

None of us have musical qualifications and most don't read music.  Some would say we can't sing either, but that doesn't stop us.

Captain Mike. Has introduced much new material of unrivalled misery including 'Six Feet of Mud', 'Grey Funnel Line', 'Ellan Vannin', He's softened a bit these days and sings 'The Mermaid' which has a jolly tune but still features a drowned man. In his working life Mike has serviced marine diesel engines so large that he could walk around inside 'em.
Rear Vice Admiral John. Founded the Kings Pond Shantymen in 2001. He became a discharged seaman, with honours, in 2017 but still lends us his mighty voice on occasion.
Jolly Roger. Don't be fooled by the nickname, he hasn't been jolly since the tough time he had as cabin boy. Roger is chief cook and quartermaster. You'll never go hungry with Roger around - when he talks about food, it's as good as eating it. Leads on 'Go to Sea no More', 'Mingulay', 'Lower Lights', 'The High Barbary' and 'A Pint of Old Peculier'.
Desperate Don. Has a good ship, that is well used for memorable shanty forays across The Solent to terrorise the residents of the Isle of Wight. He knows where our treasure is buried so we keep a wary eye on him. Leads on 'Fiddler's Green', 'Cape Cod Girls', 'Essequibo River' and 'Fathom the Bowl'.
Net-mender Matthew. Earned his sea-legs on a calm crossing to the Isle of Wight in Don's boat. He's involved in a bit of ship building. Leads on 'Roll the Woodpile Down', 'The Good Ship Bess', 'Hog-Eye Man', 'The Bonny Ship the Diamond', 'Rattle Them Winches' and 'Old Maui'.
Gunner Nigel. Legendary pyromaniac and infamous raconteur. Keeps an extensive collection of old rope and other nautical junk in his shed. He's a very sound man indeed when it comes to amplification. Leads on 'Paddy Lay Back', 'Leave Her Johnny', 'Haul Away Joe', 'Trelawny' and 'The Long Drag Shanty'.
Old Nick. The divvle himself - he swings the lead in more ways than one. He loves sea fishing, sailing and scuba diving and has even been rescued by the RNLI. When he sings it brings people to tears. Leads on 'Maggie May', Chicken On A Raft', 'Ladies of Plymouth' and 'Captain of the Dredger', 'The Transports Shanty' and 'Hold Your Course'.
Zbys (pronounced 'spish'). We can't write his full name here as we'd run out of letters. Was lured away to the rum world of shanty from more formal choral singing. Quite a cunning linguist so he leads on 'Pique la Baleine', 'Le Capitaine de Saint Malo' and also 'Bullgine Run', 'Sugar in the Hold' and 'Whip Jamboree'.
Stormin' Norman. Was press ganged in 2012 and soon conquered the art of shanty. Used to be a lager and red-wine man but due to the training he lost his fear of the dark and now can be seen supping ale. Sings 'Don't Forget Your Old Shipmate', 'No Hopers and Rogues', 'When Johnny Comes Down to Hilo', 'A Sailor Ain't a Sailor' and 'South Australia'.
Handy Andy's talent was spotted in the throng at Hale where he accepted the shilling whilst quaffing a few pints. He stands head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd and has proved to be useful in lifting and stowing. He's singing out with 'Bully in the Alley' and 'A Drop of Nelson's Blood' these days.