We have performed at several festivals since we began. Mevagissey (twice), Port Isaac, Teign, Bristol as well as organising and performing at the inaugural
Weston-super-Mare Sea Shanty and Folk Music Festival
Steepholm, from which the band takes it's name is an island in the Bristol Channel visible from the beach at Weston-super-Mare. It is uninhabited and is a bird sanctuary.
As the group musical director and arranger, Nigel is by far the most important person in the group. Without him, we wouldn't have got anywhere, except perhaps for producing a somewhat unorganised dirge. Nigel has been singing in choirs and pub bands since he was 8 years old. He recorded for Radio 3 at the age of 11 and has sung as one of the basses in Bristol Rock Choir - with which he has sung with Russel Watson, G4 and Kiki Dee. He is also a classically trained pianist and oboeist
Dave is another Steepholmers stalwart. Musically skilled, Dave can arrange music for us and provides musical direction in the absence of Nigel. Outside of The Steepholmers, Dave is active in local and national politics, especially in the campaign for the rights of disabled people.
It was Robin who founded the group originally, after hearing shanties sung by characters in an Xbox 360 game called "Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag" and deciding he'd rather like to sing shanties for real. After discovering there wasn't a shanty group in Weston, he decided he'd form one instead, and thus The Steepholmers was born. Robin works from home as a freelance journalist, with all sorts of interests, including military and naval history.
Following a career in education - and having a background in folk music, choral singing and amateur operatics and drama, David is a keen bowler and Team Manager of Visually Impaired Bowls England. Having not had much of a musical element to his life in recent years, David eagerly grasped the opportunity to join The Steepholmers and has written an original shanty for the group entitled, appropriately, Steep Holm.
Richard Lawson is a retired GP and so is often comically and affectionally referred to as 'ship's doctor'. Outside of The Steepholmers, he is a keen musician generally and folk music enthusiast and is also an environmentalist and conservationist, a member of the Green Party who formerly held quite prominent positions in the party, including running for election on various occasions and serving as the party's Principal Speaker in 1992.
Thurstan is another passionate member of the group and is an experienced singer, having sung previously with the Great Western Chorus of Bristol.
Jodie has a great soprano voice. She has added a new dimensions to our sound and harmonies. A great assest to the band.
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