The Shanties at Port Fairy

“Shanties at the Wharf with Danny Spooner” has been embedded in and integral to the Port Fairy Folk Festival experience almost since its inception in 1977. Jamie McKew first encountered Danny’s “full performance mode” in Geelong in 1976, and, in Jamie’s words, experienced “a wall of sound blasting from a very happy face below a dazzling coronet of curls”. Danny suggested incorporating the sea theme into the festival and so the shanty sessions were born.

Numerous singers have stood proudly with Danny at the Wharf over the years swelling this “wall of sound” in an enthusiastic celebration of song, and encouraging audiences to sing along loudly and joyously.

Danny passed away just before midnight on March 3rd, but the shanties will go ahead this year in his honour. Led by long-time singing and recording partner and friend Duncan Brown, together with the Warrnambool Sheddies and the Southern Ocean Band, many of those who have sung with Danny over the years will gather to share shanties at the Surf Club on Saturday between 4pm and 5pm.  The Surf Club may have to repair the roof after this one!! See you there.

Jeanette Gillespie.