Meet the Crew Sloop Groggy Dogs

 

We are a sea shanty group rejoicing in the wonderful title of Sloop Groggy Dogs!  A bit like when a new star is formed in the cosmos, about 12 years ago a bunch of hot, volatile gases came together and solidified as the group you see today.  From very small beginnings, the group has prospered and we now number some 14 members who are drawn from all walks of life.

Iain Clapham our Musical Director is a bit of a genius when it comes to rounding us up and getting the best sound from us. Some of the traditional Shanties have been customised by him to keep the original feel with an added Sloopness to make them more entertaining, engaging and sounding great, he can also turn his hand to most instruments.

The one thing we all have in common is a profound love of the tradition of singing about life at sea – be it in the Royal Navy, the Merchant Navy, Fishing or as Pirates!  The last two centuries have given us a wonderful collection of songs to dip into and new songs are thankfully being added all the time.

In addition to the ‘traditional’ shanties we also perform other, more contemporary ‘crowd pleasers’ just to show we know how to party too!

As well as some very fine voices, our performances are accompanied by some great instrumentation.  Variously, you will hear guitars, a bouzouki, ukuleles, penny whistles, recorders, a cajon, Bodhran, tambourine, concertina with new instruments being added all the time.

Although it might occasionally appear that we are just a bunch of guys having a really great time on stage, it requires a great deal of practice to look this informal…!  Our weekly practice sessions are the highlight of our week and much effort goes in to creating a well-rounded and harmonious offering.

We select our songs with great care so as not to offend anyone however the very nature of ‘Jolly Jack Tar’ is such that a great deal of his waking day was filled with thoughts about booze, women, grub, women, sleep, booze and women…..oh and did I mention booze?

(Historical note: Pirate sang a lot about gold purely because they were invariably ugly and couldn’t get women! #justsaying)

Why do we Sing shanties today….?  Simply put, because they are bloody marvellous and a joy to sing.  If you go to a shanty festival in places such as Falmouth, Teignmouth, Brancaster, Harwich or Gloucester you will find pubs packed with people having a great time…..pubs packed with people who didn’t realise they knew so many shanties learnt at school….pubs packed with good-natured, patient people who are happy to wait for ages for their drinks because they are 10 deep at the bar as folk enjoy the performances……pubs packed with people of all ages, social background, religious beliefs and sexual persuasion…..we regularly sing for the LBGTQIARNLI ….Shanties bring people together.

Let’s keep singing…..together!

 

The Plague Ship Sessions

Right on the cusp of the 2020 lockdown we headed into a recording studio. This was a first time experience for most of us and we look forward to repeating it sometime soon. James, one of our singers was the sound engineer for the day.

The 'Dogs out on the road

We love to perform its the whole reason we do this. Its great seeing the audience joining in with the moves and singing along.
Corporate Gigs, Pubs Clubs, Private Parties, Fund Raisers and Festival's. Wherever we go everyone can see how much we enjoy ourselves and get the audience participating.