History of the Roaring Trowmen
The original genesis of the Roaring Trowmen was a result of two men, Jim and Bryn (who had never met) responding to a post on a forum about shanties. They decided to meet up in a pub and shout a few of the songs they had been discussing. There followed several evenings getting funny looks and unexpected laughs singing shanties in the Lansdown Pub in Clifton, Bristol.
In the following months they invited friends along and occasionally dragging strangers into their world of music. And so there formed the Bristol Shanty Collective. But a few wanted to take things a little further, to actually start performing, writing our own songs and taking the rich history of this music seriously. So six of us separated and formed 'the Roaring Trowmen'. The name comes from the trowmen who used to pilot the flat bottomed barges that carried cargo up the Severn. They were known as a fairly rambunctious lot. Hard drinking, fighting, singing, and extreme skill in piloting and sailing were their hallmarks, so we decided it would be a decent fit for us! You should see some of the names we rejected....
Originally six, then a four voice group, they continued to sing in pubs, growing their reputation and audience sizes to halls, then festivals, delighting crowds with their raw power, melting harmonies and comedic story telling. They released their first album 'Testing....' in 2014. This brought them to the attention of an Italian PC game developer, who used Trowmen songs in the soundtrack of their game 'Nantucket', which went on to sell 30,000+ copies worldwide and brough the Trowmen a truly global fanbase!
Another album, 'All Tiller, No Filler' was released in 2016 to very positive reviews from a growing national and international audience, and the demand increased for the Trowmen to play bigger venues at bigger festivals. (see the 'Photos' page for some of the places they've performed.)
But in 2017, for a variety of personal reasons, 3 of the 4 left the group. Dave was left holding the baby and was determined not to let it all go to waste. He auditioned many candidates, but the spirit of the original Trowmen was impossible to recreate. So in early 2020, after a one-off (well paid!) gig which drew the old members back together, there were rumblings of a potential reunion. But then coronavirus hit....... Nuff said.
So despite the very low-key 'relaunch' in 2020 which never really happened, the sea shanty revival (hey, they never really went away) driven via TikTok ensured a considerable increase in Trowmen exposure and interest. So by mid 2021, with almost zero active effort, their booking calendar began filling up. So begins a new chapter....... :-)