The Castaways, Mundesley

The 17th Mundesley Festival opened with a tuneful programme by the local group The Castaways.

By KEITH CUTLER

The 17th Mundesley Festival opened on Sunday at with a tuneful programme by the local group The Castaways.

Founded in 1997 and now an established fundraiser for Norfolk charities, The Castaways is primarily a shanty and folk-song group, but the extension of their repertoire to include popular music of the last five decades and the inclusion of three guitars and an occasional melodeon or harmonica, lends colour to their singing and variety to their programme.

On Sunday, at the Coronation Hall, this included the well-known Drunken Sailor and The Wild Rover and less familiarly, The Working Man, the sentimental When You and I Were Young, Maggie, the racy A Smugglers Life For Me and the raunchy The Old Countaree.

In addition there was a country and western number, a rock-and-roll hit and Rod Stewart's Sailing, with many in the audience swaying to the tune.

An asset to the group is its female member Laura Owen, a genuine folk-singer , whose pleasant voice and diction was heard to advantage in the traditional Irish lullaby Connemara Cradle Song and the hymn tune Amazing Grace, with the rest of the group harmonising sweetly in the last verse. Nor should one forget another favourite, Hev Yew Gotta Loight Boy by the late Allan Smethurst, better known as The Singing Postman.

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In similar vein there was a spot for the local comedian Pat Nearney, telling a spate of Norfolk stories.

The concert was compered by Phil Drackett.

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