Do sea shanties have a voice in 2018? The coal mines, keel boats and whaling parties that brought them into being may be long gone, but Northeast England‘s shanty tradition has eternal qualities pulsing through it: folk memory, togetherness, oral tradition, protest and celebration, love and loss.
And stories: without these shanties, many of the Northeast’s stories would have long disappeared into the North Sea mist. In this episode of the Rough Guide to Everywhere, Neil McQuillian visits Newcastle to check out the captivating audio offerings at the Great Exhibition of the North – a summer-long programme of arts and culture – and ends up deep-diving into the wider region’s musical traditions, from the home of a sea shanty legend to Newcastle’s greatest folk club.
Subscribe to The Rough Guide to Everywhere now (iTunes; Soundcloud) to make sure you don’t miss any more of Series Three. And we’d love to hear from you – get in touch using #roughguidespod, and please do rate us on Apple Podcasts.
Thanks to our producers Femi Oriogun-Williams and Alannah Chance of Reduced Listening (reducedlistening.co.uk); to Jim Mageean and Benny Graham; to Martin Green and Jo Nockels; to Opera North and the Great Exhibition of the North (check out the hashtag #GetNorth2018 on Twitter and Instagram).
Top image: Newcastle © Michael Conrad / Shutterstock