The Dorset Wrecks

Songs of the sea and other historic songs

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The Dorset Wrecks

Alan, Gerry, Dave, Jerry, Jon, Selwyn, Nick, Piers, Jeff, Len, Tom, Robert, Grahame.

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A brief history
Dorset Wrecks sea shanty group were formed in the middle of 2013 whilst drinking in our local public house. The members consisted of Bob, Grahame, Selwyn and Jon. Jerry and the rest were conscripted later and after some practice sessions we started gigging in April 2014 at the Weymouth Pirates Festival. Later 2014 appearances included Weymouth :- Wessex Folk Festival, Fayre in the Square, Waterfest, Mayor of Weymouth Charity Fete, Wyke Fest and four nights at the Son et Lumiere at the Nothe Fort, and regular gigs at the Wyke Smugglers. Since then we have performed at various festivals including Weymouth & Lymington Sea Food, Camp Bestival, Teignmouth Festival, Seven Seas, Bridport Folk, as well as Fair In The Square, at weddings, Trafalgar nights, and supporting Lifeboat events, various charity events and performing in care homes. It may have been the beer talking but the upshot was the nucleus of the Wrecks. The rest of the band was basically press ganged into joining! Only two or three of us had ever done any performing in public before, the rest had no idea how to sing or indeed behave in front of an audience or anywhere else as it happens. Somehow we manage to sing generally in tune and to our surprise actually generate some harmonies on occasions. The performance is directly related to the amount of beer consumed, or at least we think it sounds better after a few wets. On a good night we can muster eleven crew members and make quite a lot of noise! There is some difficulty on the organisational front as all but the lad Piers, is over 60 and can be somewhat cantankerous. It has been likened to herding cats, and makes an interesting task for our “Musical Director”, Nick. It’s a strange thing that happens with a band like ours. We are all very different characters and mostly did not know each other until the group formed and yet when we are practising or performing it’s almost like we are brothers. We rip the micky out of each other mercilessly, share stories and troubles, consume lots of beer and cider together and then at the end of it we quietly drift back to our own worlds until the next time. We have a great time together and don’t take it too seriously and this album is a reflection of that.
The Album
I guess we have wanted to make an album since our immaculate conception some years ago. Bright Eyed and Stiff is our first album and we were determined that it would be as professionally produced as possible within a limited budget. So many CD’s produced by small local bands are just knocked out as copies on an old PC and the recording sounds like it’s been done inside an old water tank. This one has been mastered and professionally produced and we really hope you enjoy it. Shanties are not meant to be polished works of art and some were never written down, just passed from generation to generation, so there is not really anyone who can pull you up for singing the wrong lyric’s or tune. It’s hard to find two sets of lyrics the same so there is a lot of poetic license available and we certainly use it!
Bright Eyed and Stiff would not have been possible without the help of a number of key people. We owe a great debt of thanks to all members of The Dolmen ( who have supported us all the way, especially Tony and Josh. We have worked with them on stage as their backing singers during a performance of their “Crabchurch Conspiracy” album. They have encouraged us to make this album and provided all of the recording and production process required. Thanks guys for a great job. Semi Vine has done a fantastic job of creating the artwork and graphics for the album booklet and is just great to work with. Thanks Sem, it’s been fun. Other contributors are Graham Knot for his photography of Lyme Bay and Chessil and the assistance of The Old Town Hall (Weymouth) for recording and practise. Not least of all, credit should also go to our many loyal followers who turn out at our gigs. It’s always good to see you and thanks for your support.

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