Queen guitarist Brian May performs Wellerman sea shanty – ‘This song was too good to miss’

Nathan Evans discusses his popular TikTok sea shanties

Last year Brian May keep Queen fan spirits high by performing micro-concerts on his Instagram page throughout the first lockdown. Now in the UK’s third, the 73-year-old has brought them back by starting off with the Wellerman sea shanty, made popular in recent weeks by Nathan Evans and The Longest Johns. The rock legend wrote on his new video: “OK ! MicroConcerts are back ! This song was too good to miss.”

May continued: “I’ll leave it to you guys to do the guitar harmonies (cos I don’t have any tech here) and sing along !

“Thanks Talia [Dean] for turning my little heart on to this great toon. Rock on folks !”

The 73-year-old was using his Pinkest of all Pinks BMG Special guitar used for last year’s WOMAN music video.

The Queen legend added that he’ll be auctioning off the instrument next month for women’s health charities.

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At the start of his Wellerman cover, May said: “Hey folks, I hope you’re well out there. I hope you’re keeping your spirits up.

“I find a guitar helps y’know. But every now and then something comes along that’s great.

“There’s this guy called Nathan Evans who does these fantastic sea shanty things and I got myself a little basic simple drum box, not quite right but it’ll do. So with your permission…”

The Queen guitarist then kicked off the popular sea shanty before closing the video with a couple more comments.


May added: “See the nice thing is it doesn’t matter if you make mistakes as long as you keep up.

“That’s really important when learning to play with your mates. You can’t kind of stop and say, ‘Ooo I’d better do that again’, you’ve got to keep going.

“You learn to play through your mistakes as I do and pretend that you meant to do that. God bless you all and take care. And especially God bless Nathan Evans!”

Soon May the Wellerman Come originates from around the 1860s and was first published in a 1973 book of New Zealand folks songs.

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In 2020 and this year, both The Longest Johns and Nathan Evans made Wellerman a TikTok hit.

Evans’ version has been remixed and reached No 3 in the UK singles chart and No 1 in the UK dance chart.

Meanwhile, May hopes to continue touring with Queen and Adam Lambert this summer after been forced to postpone their UK and European leg last year.

The set of concerts will include a 10-night residency at London’s The O2 and two shows apiece in Birmingham and Manchester.

In the meantime, Queen and Adam Lambert have released charity single You Are The Champions.

Plus their first album together in Live Around The World, featuring live highlights over the last decade.

This includes last year’s sensational Fire Fight Australia concert in Sydney, in which the band performed Queen’s iconic Live Aid set from 1985.

A film version of the concert highlights is now available to rent or download on streaming platforms here.

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