Bristol sea shanty group land record deal after viral TikTok success

The Longest Johns, a sea shanty group from Bristol, have landed a record deal after going viral online. Credit: The Longest Johns

A Bristol sea shanty group has landed a record deal after enjoying viral success on social media.

The Longest Johns have been signed by Decca Records, which is part of the Universal Music Group (UMG).

It comes after millions of people around the world discovered their sea shanty singles on social media platforms like TikTok and Twitter.

One of the tracks called Wellerman - which was first written and performed by a New Zealand whaler in the 19th century - has had more than 12 million plays on Spotify and has since sailed into the UK’s official charts.

It is the first entirely a capella sea shanty track to ever make the UK’s Official Chart Top 40.

Their success has now resulted in a deal with London-based Decca Records, who also represent The Lumineers and Gregory Porter.

The band, who formed in 2012 and have released three albums, have also signed with live agents UTA, which supports the likes of The Jonas Brothers, Post Malone and Christine & The Queens.

The Longest Johns are Jonathan “JD” Darley, Andy Yates, Robbie Sattin and Dave Robinson.

Since launching, the band has gone from singing sea shanties in a kitchen to international folk festivals, tours, TV appearances and has gained a huge online following - with over 200,000 subscribers on their YouTube channel.

The band are due to announce UK and Ireland tour dates in the coming weeks.

Read more: