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Swinging The Lead



— What we do —














‘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, percussion and harmonica.





— Meet the Band —

From left to right:

Simon, Joe, Andy R, Pete, Dave & Andy TC



Simon: Banjo, Fiddle, Guitar & Vocals

Joe: Guitar & Vocals

Andy R: Percussion & Vocals

Pete: Mandolin, Percussion, & Vocals

Dave: Guitar & Vocals

Andy TC: Accordion & Vocals

(Left to right)



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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.



— 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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Thurrock Yacht Club (1)
Nat Maritime Museum (1)
Recording 2019 6
Harwich 2022 New Bell
Harwich 2022
Harwich 2022 (4)
GBM 20
Falmouth 2019 1
CS Dec 18 3 (1)
GBM 10
Christmas 2022 (22)
Christmas 2022 (21)
Christmas 2022 (23)
Christmas 2022 (8)
Christmas 2022 (19)
Christmas 2021 1
Christmas 2022 (5)
Christmas 2022 (3) Meopham
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Christmas 2022 (2)
Betty Stogs 2
Christmas 2022 (3) Meopham
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— 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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