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Swinging The Lead






‘Swinging the Lead’ have over fifteen years’ experience of singing Shanties and Maritime Folk songs and sing an entertaining mix of traditional and contemporary songs, including those written by members of the band.



We are regulars on the Shanty Festivals scene and perform at folk clubs and theatres around the UK, singing acapella and with a variety of musical instruments including mandolin, guitar, fiddle and percussion.





— Meet the Band —




Simon: Banjo, Fiddle, Guitar, Mandolin & Vocals

Andy R: Percussion & Vocals

Pete: Mandolin, Percussion, & Vocals


Paul: Guitar & Vocals

Andy TC: Accordion & Vocals

(Left to right)



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— Contact Us —

Swinging The Lead are available for hire, most gigs considered, festivals and private events, subject to general terms and conditions and availability.




— Email Us —


— Call Us —

Pete Brooker

Tel: 07767 365 640

Contact Us

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TunWells May 2023 (3)
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Harwich 2022
Thurrock Yacht Club (1)
Christmas 2022 (23)
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— The Cutty Sark —


Swinging The Lead are the resident shanty singers on the world famous Cutty Sark in Greenwich, London.


We make regular appearances bringing the ship ‘alive’ by singing working sea shanties.



— Swinging The Lead —

The original meaning



Before the days of sonar, ships would determine the depth of the water by posting a sailor at the front of the ship with a lead weight attached to a long rope.

The rope would have a knot in every fathom (6 feet).


The sailor's job was to swing the weight forward into the water and, when the ship passed directly over the weight, determine the depth of the water.


As retrieving the lead weight was hard work, a lazy sailor would swing the lead as if he were about to release it.

He would keep swinging it until such time as he thought he was being watched and only then release it into the water.


Therefore, a sailor who was swinging the lead was being lazy.





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