From the time I first knew the chap who many years later became my husband, he was a drummer. He drummed in every band you could think of, rock, panto, theatre, brass, jazz, pit, you name a type of music or group of musicians and he’d drummed it and drummed with them. He was never a Phil Collins, singing from his kit, and always said he’d been a chorister until his voice changed and that was that with singing. He had a significant birthday and of course spent most of the party with the band, drumming at the back – however, as it was a special occasion he actually sang – ‘Pink Cadillac’, a Springsteen song.
We moved to the west country, and he soon joined another band, and then surprisingly, in a way, a ukulele group. He’d always had a bass guitar which he played occasionally, soon he had a bass uke. The uke band, WUPS (Weston Ukulele Players) soon became a regular feature locally entertaining various groups, clubs and associations. Somehow or other, and now it is lost in the mists of time/beer, he and a few others joined a shanty band. Only one had any training or experience as a singer, the others had a lot of enthusiasm!
For various reasons which I won’t share here, they mutinied and eventually their own shanty band, the Beach’d Buoys was born. They have been going quite a few years, gained more members, lost some, found others, and not only do they have a great time singing, but they perform to raise money for an important charity, a hospice for poorly children. They sing in care homes, church groups, social clubs, schools – and recently on the See Monster, a massive art installation in Weston-super-Mare. Even more recently – this past weekend, they have been at the Mevagissey Shanty Festival, accompanied of course by their shwags (shanty wives and girlfriends)
Mevagissey is a village, fishing port n Cornwall, situated about five miles south of St Austell. The village nestles in a small valley and faces east to Mevagissey Bay. The inner and outer harbours are busy with a mixture of pleasure vessels and working fishing boats and is the second biggest fishing port in Cornwall. The village centre is a delight of narrow streets, the outer areas are on steeply sloping hillsides.
They had five gigs over the weekend, and had a great time of course. It was wonderful meeting up with the other shanty bands, performing in different venues, visiting pubs, bars and cafés, and just having a ball! They are booked in again for next year, and obviously the shwags will be with them!