FolkWorld #44 03/2011
© Chris Ricketts

Singing Along

This weekend saw the return to Poland and performing at the Port Piesni Pracy Festival in Tychy, Poland. What an incredible festival full of extraordinary people, all sharing a similar interest in songs of the sea and the shanty tradition.

Banana Boat, ft. Chris Ricketts |

I opened the first set with Stan Rogers’ Northwest Passage, a song that the Polish are not used to hearing in English, I was even asked to sing it again on the second night of the festival! This was certainly a memory that will stick with me for a long time.

A certain Highlight of the weekend included singing with the incredible Banana Boat, the well known song Stavangar by incredible wordsmith Pawel Jedrzejko. This was a wonderful experience and hopefully one that can be repeated soon at shanties 2011 in the centre of Krakow.

The late night session in the Tyskie brewery (a lovely lager!) saw the return of a selected number of the festival audience. I had a great time singing with members from Mechanicy Shanty and Maciej Jedrzejko of Banana Boat. The audience were fantastic, singing along and generally absorbing the shanty festival atmosphere. This was a concert that I will certainly never forget and one that will stay with me forever. Leaving the stage to the audience singing Drunken Sailor was truly an experience that will linger and never be forgotten.

Thank you to all the organisers of Port Piesni Pracy for making my experience and visit to Poland so enjoyable. I felt really honored to be a part of it and thank you to audiences for such a warm reception and general acceptance of my form of shanty. BUZKA!

Photo Credits: (1) Banana Boat, ft. Chris Ricketts (from website).

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