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Sunday, April 23, 2023

Sailors press-gang audience into evening of salty fun

* The Old Time Sailors embark on an unforgettable evening at St Collen's.

St Collen's Church resounded to a tidal wave of wild shanties and jigs when a motley crew of musicians known as The Old Time Sailors tied up for a gig to help kick off this year's Llangollen Fringe Festival in style last night (Saturday).  

Theirs is a unique flashmob-style musical show designed to press-gang the willing audience on an unforgettable trip back to the 19th century.

What ensues is a couple of hours and more of foot-tapping fun when people can't resist singing and dancing along to the fiddly-diddly rhythms of numbers from the far-off days when sails had to be hauled at sea or jack tars sang of the old Emerald Isle as their ships were bound for America or Australia.    

Members of the audience receive a copy of the Sunday Sailor, the group's own newspaper-shaped programme which includes the lyrics to all their songs so they can join in.

Beards, bowlers and period clothing abound as the 20-odd-strong band of matelots and matelettes, who look liked they've stepped right out of a novel by Herman Melville, make sure you have a whale of a time with numbers ranging from The Mermaid and Haul Away Joe to McAlpines Fusiliers and Galway Girl.

By the time the Sailors set sail on their final set of the night the whole thing takes on an air of controlled mayhem as the audience are swept out to sea by songs like Wild Rover, Whiskey in the Jar and the timeless Black Velvet Band.   

Those who have seen the Sailors and joined in with their amazing act will never forget the experience.

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