Following their huge success earlier this year on TikTok and their UK Top 40 hit, Wellerman, authentic folk group The Longest Johns have attracted over 6,500 budding singers, fans, fishermen and friends to join them in the UK’s biggest music video for a sea shanty sing-a-long.
Premiering today at 7:30pm on The Longest John’s YouTube channel, The Wellerman Community Project music video accompanies their double EP of the single, which, alongside the 6,500+ strong virtual choir from around the world also features the strings of The London Symphony Orchestra.
The Wellerman Community Project put a call out to fans across social media to get as many videos as possible of shanty lovers virtually performing the hit over 10 days. The wonderful contributors range from young to old, pirates to puppets, animations to animals and brings together an ocean of characters performing the a capella hit from bedrooms, living rooms, mountains, ships and quays. Most participants are in character with nautical props and chunky Aran sweaters. It’s a treasure trove of community and collaboration, with plenty of fish to spot in this sea! The 6,500+ contributions were painstakingly edited together by videographer Abbie Darley.
Of the community project, the The Longest Johns said: “This music has an amazing ability to bring people together and we’re so proud that we could facilitate such a huge project. It’s amazing to see such enthusiasm from so many people all over the world and we’ve been blown away by everyone’s effort!”
The Longest Johns’ version ofThe Wellerman – a New Zealand whaler’s song written in the early 19th century – has been streamed more than 60 million times and sat comfortably at the top of the UK and Global Viral Charts earlier this year. The song’s chart position made it the first entirely a capella sea shanty to make the UK Official Chart Top 40 in its history!
Over the last decade, the Bristol-based group have re-invigorated the traditional genre of the sea shanty, using collaborative online platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, TikTok and more to digitally perform and engage with their global fanbase in a time when people have been unable to get together in person. The protagonist of Wellerman shares their hopes for better times ahead; something each one of us can no doubt relate to.
The band has recently announced a UK and Ireland tour and are expected to be seen topping festival bills once pandemic restrictions are lifted.
Watch the community video project at 7.30pm tonight at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQ2HbYnlc3s&feature=youtu.be
The Longest Johns’Wellerman EP is out now and available to stream at: https://thelongestjohns.lnk.to/WellermanPR