Mariners Away (Folk Music)


Based in South Zeal, Mariners Away perform traditional sea shanties and other songs of the sea and are considered to be one of the leading and most popular sea shanty crews in the south west.

Formed in 2007, their name is derived from 'The Mariners' Way,' a fabled ancient route used by sailors who, seeking work, would travel between the ports of Bideford on the North Devon coast and Dartmouth on the south. The village of South Zeal lies en-route and the King’s Arms (where the crew rehearse) is believed to have been one of the inns where sea-faring nomads would rest.

Usually eight or nine strong, Mariners Away perform throughout the year at various events in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset (and occasionally further afield too). Alongside the many pub gigs and private functions, over the last two years the crew have also performed at most of the prominent shanty festivals and folk festivals including the Falmouth International Shanty Festival and the famed Sidmouth Folk Festival.

The stand-out event in October last year was a special fund-raising concert entitled ‘the Cream of Devon’ held in aid of Royal Devon & Exeter hospital at Exeter’s prestigious Corn Exchange. In collaboration with some close friends from the local music scene, the concert raised the remarkable sum of £2500.

To promote this musical extravaganza, Mariners Away also had the unique honour of appearing on BBC Spotlight, the early evening television news programme when they serenaded the South West TV audience as the regional airwaves were handed back to the national network.

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