Chantimor’s review of the year 2017

2017 has been another up and down sort of year for Chantimor.
You may remember that in 2016 we said goodbye to Ian, Anwyl & Dave and when we started 2017 we had no idea that we would lose another two members.
In May we said « au revoir » to Geoff, who moved back to the UK, and in October we said « au revoir » to Terry, who moved to Le Charente.

                                                                                             Terry & Geoff
At the same time, our Skipper, Mike, was pole-axed with a nasty bug which put him out of action on and off throughout the season.
Things were not looking good and it was touch and go if Chantimor would survive. We couldn’t commit to long term projects, not knowing if we would have enough shantymen & a musician to do a proper job.

BUT! Ta dah! To the rescue came Mel with her guitar and then, a few months later, Pierre-Henri with his melodion.

So Chantimor lives to sing another day!
If you follow our Facebook page: Chantimor56 you will have seen some of our exploits this year, but for those of you who don’t, here is a round-up of what we got up to this year:
MAY: We kicked off the year in Vannes at the Semaine du Golfe. We sang in the streets and at Paddy O’Dowd’s Irish bar at the Port. Geoff & Terry were still with us at this point. It was Mel’s first outing with us, and Pierre-Henri had not yet turned up.  






It was an unbelievably hot day in Vannes and we struggled to keep out of the sun by huddling under the awning at Paddy’s Bar.

After singing for several hours, we took ourselves off to the local Indian Restaurant and said goodbye to Geoff.

The Vannes line-up:   Mick, Mel, Mike, B, Martyn, Geoff & Terry

JUNE: Our friends at Les Mercredis Musicaux at Concarneau invited us to share their spot inside the city walls at La Fête de la Musique. It was a lovely warm evening.

Concarneau line-up: Mel, Tel, Martyn, B, Mick & Mike

JULY:  We were still six British ex-pats at the Pardon of Melrand 

Merand line-up: Mike, Terry, Mick, Mel, B, Martyn & Raffa

Pierre-Henri joins us for the first time.

Bieuzy line-up:  Bronwen, Mick, P-H, Mike, Martyn, Terry & Mel

AUGUST:  A second time at Bieuzy in the morning (they love us….. and we’re cheap!!) then a quick démontage of all the gear to hop over the county line to La Chèze for an afternoon concert.

A little reminder that we are in Brittany!






The new boy is getting the hang of it & is starting to look the part.

La Chèze summer line-up: Moi, Martyn, P-H, Mick, Mike, El Tel & Mel

Then came this year’s Pièce de Résistance: (The Cherry on the Cake seems a reasonable translation – the Main Event, the Show Stopper…) The Interceltic Festival in Lorient.

Interceltic Line-up: Bronwen, Martyn, P-H, Mick, Terry & Mel.                                             And a sound guy provided by the Kernow/Isle of Man stage. Brilliant.

We all had a great time!

Chantimor at the Interceltic Festival on YouTube. CLICK HERE!

SEPTEMBER: An unplugged gig at Lanvaudan.

                   Mike, Mick, B, P-H, Terry & Mel.                             This was Terry’s penultimate gig with us.
Then came the time to say goodbye to Terry Brenchley (aka Sir Terry to his other group, Hartigan’s and Scurvy Dog to his compatriotes in Chantimor.) Here he is, second from the left below, fiddling with Hartigan’s…

… and expounding on something or other with Chantimor.

We’ve done our bit, so Martyn, Bronwen & Pierre-Henri rehydrate while watching Hartigan’s perform.

Terry & Mike set up for Terry’s last hoorah with Chantimor.


Back to La Chèze for a chilly gig (and smelly – how were we to know that the brown stuff we set up in wasn’t mud?)

La Chèze winter line-up:  Mick, Mel, Bronwen, Martyn, Mike & honorary Brit : Pierre-Henri       

                                                                                                                                                                   Finally, the last performance of the year:  CHANTI -NOËL!                                                                                                      Leading the carol concert in the Chapel of Saint Mérec.



We had a Chanti-Fest at the local restaurant where we drank too much and sang long into the night.
We’d like to thank everyone who has followed and supported us this year, especially Jenny, Mike E. & Ricky. They know the songs as well as we do and give us the time and space to do our thing. 
Wishing you all a Healthy & Peaceful New Year.
Love from: Bronwen, Mike, Martyn, Mel, Mick and Pierre-Henri.

Together, we are CHANTIMOR.


Terres Fertiles 2017

The tiny village of Lanvaudan is situated deep in the Breton countryside. The road to the village winds its way through the woods and when you eventually get there you will find that there is no network for your mobile phone.

Once a year, in September, there is a two day music festival called « Les Terres Fertiles ». In theory this festival is « unplugged » – with no amplification allowed. Being British & playing by the rules, we have twice been caught out, bringing along nothing but our voices & an acoustic guitar and of course, we are the only group to do so – and therefore we find ourselves competing against other groups who are (loudly) wired for sound.

This year though, our pitch was in someone’s front garden so we were fairly well protected from the sounds of the other groups. But it isn’t easy singing outside with no sound system. We’ll be better prepared next year!


Mel can’t resist doing the Bunny Ears!

A small crowd gathered in the drive.

From the left: The Skipper, Mick, Bronwen, P-H, Terry & Mel

It’s always worth taking a tankard along – you get more beer & don’t have to drink from a plastic cup!

Mel gets friendly with a silly ass.

Chanti at the Festival Interceltique 2017

Rolling up, Rolling down,                                                                                                       We all get drunk in Tilbury town,                                                                                         Twenty-four hours to turn it round                                                                                     And go Rolling down the river

A sudden flurry of e-mails from Mel asking if we could do a performance at the Lorient Interceltic Festival made us spring into action. 
We had 24 hours to turn it round and appear on the Cornwall (Kernow) and Isle of Man stage. No time to rehearse. The Skipper was away. Time for Chanti to crank it up a gear, throw together a programme and give it our best shot.
The Festival Interceltique takes place in Lorient every year and lasts all week. There is Breton music, a funfair, Celtic music, street-food, dances, a book fayre, Rock music, clothes, bags, Punk music, jewellery, Shanties and yet more music. There are people playing harps and a variety of other instruments including air guitar.
This year’s festival was dedicated to Scotland. So as no-one in Chanti seemed to possess a kilt, it was on with the tartan corset and let’s go!


The festival takes place all around the town – it’s mostly free of charge, but there is one quay where entry costs 5€ for the week. (Get a badge & don’t lose it!) There are also headline acts on the principle stage which you do need to buy tickets in advance for.






Mel & Terry talk to the sound engineer.


It was a really fun evening. 

 Mmmmm – a real Cornish pasty.

We don’t usually eat before we sing – so we’re always starving afterwards. Once everyone had got the smell of mine, they couldn’t resist!      


The port of Lorient looked beautiful as the sun set. Then, as it got dark, weird and wonderful stuff started to happen.
It has been estimated that 750,000 people attended this year. If you were not one of them here are some photos to give you an idea & flavour of the festival. (Photos taken mid-week)

Taking it easy.


Bonjour! Hello, there!

Have you wondered where we are & what we’re doing? There have been some changes to the Chantimor line up, some comings & goings & a little bit of being under the weather & being busy in our professional lives – so we haven’t been doing as many summer gigs as we would usually do.

Geoff has returned to the UK – he did his last gig with us in May at La Semaine du Golfe.

New Girl, Mel has joined – with a lovely voice & the ability to play all sorts of instruments.

Oh, and we have made Martyn’s dog, Raffa, our mascot. (He has his own Chanti-scarf!)

We’ll be taking it easy for the rest of the month, but will be back in August.

So, take care & speak soon.

Introducing Raffa!



Terry, Martyn, Mick & Mel wait for the call.

Fête de la Musique 2017 Concarneau

Mel & Tel at Paddy O’Dowd’s Bar, Vannes

Vannes, La Semaine du Golfe, Geoff’s last gig.

Melrand July 2017

Friends around the world part 1

Hello! Bonjour! Hallo!
Chantimor has been taking a break recently as we are all either working, have gone abroad or are suffering from various aches and pains that are taking a while to go away, but we hope to be able to re-group again soon and start preparing for the summer season.
As you know, we have a Facebook page which allows us to be in contact with shanty groups from all over the place – and this gives us a sense of belonging to a wonderful community of musicians & singers.
One of the Shantymen that I am in contact with is André Baheux who has been newly appointed as President of « Les Vareuses Porteloises »
He has had the brilliant idea of grouping together a list of links to each others’ sites.
So, for those of you who do not have access to the Facebook page which is run by Bronwen & Terry, let me introduce you to some of our Shanty friends from around the world.
Starting with André’s group in the North of France:

Next, let’s go over to America, where I am in contact with one of the members of « Bounding Main » who will be doing a European tour in the summer.

Ok, so now let’s pop over to Holland, as I’d like to introduce you to « Easy & Free », who play Irish music as well as Shanties. They are based in the beautiful Dutch town of Giethoorn.

Staying in Holland, « Scheepsfolk » have built an international reputation and regularly play in France & the UK.

Then, a quick trip to the UK to meet « The Exmouth Shanty Men ».

Finally, I’ll finish off Part 1 with a quick mention of our mates down in the south of France: « The Aude Shanty Men », who we hope to catch up with in May.

I hope that you have discovered some new shanty groups.
Part 2 coming soon.

Sunday Singing / Chanter Dimanche

We were asked if we would sing at a local village Sunday market. They would be summer specials, one in July & one in August in Bieuzy-les-Eaux, Morbihan.

The bright & breezy members of Chanti (that’s all of them except me) were more than happy to turn up at 10am to set up the gear and start singing at 11 o’clock.

So here we are in Brittany in July, all dressed up in our winter costumes and under an awning to keep the fiddle dry. Oh, and no microphones – as electricity & mizzle don’t combine very well. You can’t really see the rain in the photos – but trust me – it was chilly & drizzly. But that’s Brittany for you. I have learnt to expect unseasonal weather all year round.




Then one month later…..

Same time & place in August, not a cloud in the sky, the sun is shining and it’s hot, hot, hot!

DSC_0178 DSC_0227







La Chèze, Troc et Puces 2016


Then it was a quick dash up to La Chèze in the Côtes-d’Armor for a hot performance in the afternoon.

(Thanks to Simon Davies for taking the photos at Bieuzy.)

A weekend at Port Anna (Fête des Voiles Rouges)

Saturday: 30 July

La fête des Voiles Rouges at Port Anna, Séné. (Possibly the best little nautical festival in the Morbihan!)



The André-Yvette – 80 years old!



everyone seemed to be enjoying the mussels


endless chipolatas and chips


Smiley, happy crêpe makers!


Golfe du Morbihan








Geoff, The Skipper, Terry


« We’re being filmed », I said, « Smile! And make sure no-one catches you picking your nose! »





















The festivities carried on late into the night.



Sunday 31st July


fun & games on the beach


Chantimor being bitten by insects. And it was hot too!

Les Soubas Résille




Beautiful stained windows in the chapel


DSCN4256Then Chantimor went home…and there was just me & a tambourine as the sun went down.
Many thanks & congratulations to Thierry for the organisation. To Anne-Christine for getting us involved. To Pixel for doing the sound engineering on Saturday, to the cooks in the tent for volunteers and all the lovely people we met at Port Anna this weekend.
We had a great time & hope you will invite us back in 2018.