Some of the groups travelled to Cuxhaven already on Friday and for the first time in history they started with an evening in the mess room of the Shanty-Chor Cuxhaven at the old harbour - an informal get-together in a Shanty-Café style, dominated by the real work songs all performed a capella and unplugged.
The overwhelming success induced the Shanty-Chor Cuxhaven as co-organizer of the Tag der Shanty-Chöre to stick to this event and make it an annual part of the Tag der Shanty-Chöre.
Following groups participated:
- Käpt′n Bligh (Nordenham)
- Chanting Lads (NL)
- Logger′s Men (Bremen)
- Ol′Hands Shanty-Men (NL)
- Shanty-Chor Cuxhaven
Conny Beckmann about the idea of a "Shanty-Café"
Conny Beckmann has been involved and committed to the shanty scene for decades. She wholeheartedly supports the preservation of maritime treasury of songs and especially the real work songs. Here, you can read about her idea of a Shanty-Café:
"In about 2002 the phrase "Shanty-Café" appeared in the shanty scene for the first time being a radio broadcast of Radio Noordenveld in Norg, a small town south of Groningen.
Originally - about 30 years ago when we did not yet have Internet - I had the idea of opening a Café somewhere at the coast, that should be a place for contacts and information in the shanty scene. With cute and maritime furniture it should have been a place for live performances of shanty choirs every weekend. For several reasons it remained just an idea.
In 2002 I talked to a friend in the Netherlands and told him about my former dream - and the fictive location "Shanty-Café" became a radio broadcast having the same name! Having my complete CD archive packed in a suitcase I travelled to the station in Norg and on December 24, 2002 we started with the first broadcast - at that time even 2 hours long. Since I could not speak a single word in Dutch those days, I was only in charge of choosing the choirs and songs. Unfortunately, the station existed for a short time only - so the broadcast ran out as well.
Almost at the same time Ad van Eyck started his broadcast "Trossen los" at Radio Ridderkerk, Rotterdam. A broadcast about shanties and seasongs with background information on the choirs, groups and songs as well as live performances in the studio. Promoting this broadcast here in Germany was big fun for me and inspired the German choirs with new ideas and information.
Maybe thus the phrase "Shanty-Café" finally found its way to some enthusiastic shanty singers in Rotterdam, who have taken this phrase as the name for their shanty afternoon which they host every third Sunday a month on a lightship in the old harbour for more than 6 years now. Considerable interest has been shown and among others the Ol′Hands Shantymen from Apeldoorn visited the Café and were so excited about this idea that they soon organized their own "Shanty-Café" with many shanty lovers, also from Germany. That means: I was a part of it, too and my long-standing wish seemed to come true for at least a single afternoon. My enthusiasm kind of infected Heiko Hillmer - my successor at the ISSA and singer and organizer at the Shantychor Oldenburg. He spontaneously arranged for the 1st German Shanty-Café in Oldenburg on November 10, 2012. It really made an impact and everbody said "This is something we're gonna have to do regularly."
In the Netherlands, where the word "Café" in fact means a location such as a pub or tavern, more and more shanty groups organize "Shanty-Cafés". In Germany so far only the group Käpt′n Bligh from Nordenham has organized some Shanty-Cafés. My hopes are now based on Cuxhaven since the Shanty-Café on last Friday - opening the 41. Tag der Shanty-Chöre - was a big success resulting in the wish to meet again very soon not only to sing but also to exchange experiences and keep shanties alive!
Since young people are hardly interested in shanty choirs with their almost not
changing repertoire of mainstream seasongs, the choirs suffer from a lack of new
blood. And so I think the future of shanties is in these small a cappella groups that mostly
come from the big choirs. The Shanty-Cafés offer an important platform for spreading the
authentic shanties usually sung in English. With their specific rhythm they also inspire a young
audience and so there is hope with good cause to keep the real shanties as an
immaterial cultural asset for following generations."
Conny Beckmann, June 2015