We are a group of amateur singers who are slightly out of the ordinary in as much that all our members are based in the beautiful area of France known as the Languedoc in the deep south-
How did we start?
A chance conversation in the summer of 2010 eventually bore fruit a year later when five men keen on singing got together with the intention of forming a group to sing shanties and other songs relating to the sea. It so happened that all the characters involved had chosen to live in France, the majority having the good fortune to be retired. Though our initial intention was simply to sing for our own amusement and pleasure, we were overheard in practice and invited to sing in friends’ houses on special occasions. From there it was a short step to entertaining in cafés, bars and at outdoor events which figure prominently in this part of the world during the summer months
Introducing The AudeShantyMen
The present members of the band are Barry Barcock, aka “Greybeard” who lives at Villelongue D’Aude, and who sings bass. He has the distinction of being the only genuine seaman among us, having served as an Artificer in the Royal Navy. Alongside him in the deeper vocal reaches is one of the original members, Gerard Slawson, from Montréal. The youngest amongst us at the time we were founded, he was always our “Powder Monkey”. The last man who has been in it “from the start” is Ian Murphy, a baritone, from Bellegarde-
It was only a matter of time before Philip Glasson was signed on as a new hand since he sang with a French choir in Alaigne alongside Greybeard and Magellan. A baritone/bass, we mistakenly called him “Chris” for the first few rehearsals : so “Columbus” it had to be! A chance meeting with Magellan in a local watering hole led to Tony Fletcher “the Mutineer” coming aboard. Originally in the area to house-
Barry (Greybeard) Barcock
Ian (Magellan) Murphy
Gerard (Powder Monkey) Slawson
Phil (Columbus) Glasson
Tony (Mutineer) Fletcher
Kevin (Janner) Penny
Martin (Bosun) Wilcock
Toby (Juggins) Locke
During the formative stages of the band’s development we were fortunate that the Fisherman’s Friends from Port Isaac had come to national prominence. They set a benchmark and unashamedly we cut our musical teeth on parts of their repertoire which most suited our style at the time. We hope to thank them in person one day for the inspiration they have unwittingly given us.
We were always certain that our strengths lay in using our voices as instruments and in singing a cappella. We have worked hard to master the full range of harmonies in songs which lend themselves to this type of musical arrangement. The blend of our voices is something which singles us out. Additionally, every AudeShantyMan is more than capable of leading a song. We try to encompass a wide range of shanties and other songs of the sea at each performance. Always having a multi-
From an early stage we felt it appropriate to donate funds we raised from our concerts to worthy sea-
We long to be able to get the whole band over to the UK where it will be a special treat for us to sing to folk who speak our native tongue! We are aiming to make the trip to the Shanty UK Festival at Easter 2015. If there are any venues out there in the vicinity of Ellesmere Port who would care to host us around that time, please be in touch. See you there!