Shore Leave — The Roaring Forties Canberra Times 18/7/97

Shore Leave

Shore Leave

This is a group of five Sydney-based singers who started out, as their name suggests. singing sea shanties. Shanties are work songs used on sailing ships to assist in raising the anchors and sails, usually sung unaccompanied, in a call-and-response style.

While still including sea shanties on this recording, the group has expanded its repertoire to other songs that fit their close five-part harmony style, including several hymns and songs from a wide variety of writers.

There are songs from Rudyard Kipling, James Keelaghan, and a variety of lesser known Britons and Americans. All are strong, powerful songs, chosen carefully to suit the style of singing, full-throated and strong.

All six singers get a chance to take the lead on various songs, with the others adding finely worked-out harmonies. It’s a recording full of energy, and they sing with verve and gusto.

It is perhaps not a record to suit all tastes, but there is plenty of enjoyment for fans of unaccompanied singing. One can only wonder why they had to tell us that no animals were harmed in the making of the record. A private joke, one imagines.

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