Welcome

Forty Degrees South

The Forties are (L-R): Tom Hanson, Don Brian, Margaret Walters and Chris Maltby.

Formed in 1988, Forty Degrees South have 30 years of robust singing under their belts. First known as The Roaring Forties, in 2018 they became Forty Degrees South (40°S or “forties” for short).

Powerful individual singers the group has a formidable repertoire of traditional and trad-style contemporary songs. They have a lengthy list of themes: sea shanties, whaling songs, forebitters, work songs, mining songs, union songs, bush songs, songs of Australian history, protest songs, humorous songs, god-bothering songs, drinking songs – you name it!

They are regulars on the Australian folk festival circuit and have toured in the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, New Zealand and Norfolk Island.

The Forties are always reinventing themselves, but some things remain constant – the enjoyment they get from singing harmonies and encouraging audience participation.

[They] sing songs of maritime and mayhem, maidens fair and sporty
Old hymns and worksongs and the like, [they] are the Roaring Forties!

More information about Forties recordings and presentations here.

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A new name – “Forty Degrees South”

40degrees-south-logo-transparentWhat was “The Roaring Forties” is now “Forty Degrees South”.

For various reasons we’re changing our name – but we’re not changing anything else. Keep an eye out for us at festivals over the coming season…

PS. We’ve got a new domain name too – 40degrees-south.com, but the old one will keep on working too.

Devil Dodgin’ on the High Seas

We sang for the newly established James Craig Music Club on the 10th May.

20180510-JamesCraig-DevilDodgin

Click image for video of “Wreckers’ Prayer”.

USA tour – June 2017 – New England

The Roaring Forties are touring the North East of the USA during June 2017. The details of our activities are on our gigs page.

2017 National Folk Festival highlights

2017 National Folk Festival

Although the Forties weren’t booked at the 2107 National, the Southern Cross Trawlers (Margaret, Don and Chris) were on the programme – opening the festival with a song session in the Bohemia Bar on the Thursday night and the Saturday night session too, presenting the Cabbage Tree Hat story, and a concert on the final day.

It was a privilege to sing in the big tribute to Danny Spooner in the main venue. Margaret sang “Tolpuddle Man” with Ruth Hazelton and Kerrie Maguire, and with Chris in the finale of John Tams’ “Rolling Home”.

Ruth, Margaret and Kerrie

Ruth Hazelton, Margaret Walters and Kerrie Maguire – “Tolpuddle Man”

Danny Spooner tribute finale

Danny Spooner tribute finale – photo Rosemary Saul

Vale Danny Spooner – 1936-2017

Sad news is the passing of Danny Spooner on 3rd March. Danny was an inspiration to us all and brought a number of John‘s songs to the audiences around the world.

The video below is from a special performance organised for Danny in early February held in the Daylesford Town Hall – John is leading “Bring Out The Banners” supported by many of the other musicians who contributed to the event.

Danny’s last performance was at Cobargo Folk Festival on 26th February, singing songs of the Watersons with his wife Gael and Margaret. It was a triumph.

We will miss him – he has left a vast body of work and huge space in the folk music world.

Danny’s obituary in The Age/Sydney Morning Herald.

Danny Spooner - 1936-2017

Danny Spooner – photo Rob Gunstone