© Matthew Crampton 2016

Written and presented by Matthew Crampton, with Chris Hayes and Jan North, aka The London Lubbers, this words-and-music concert combines storytelling with close harmony singing.

Using folk song and story, the show traces paths through slavery, emigration, the Highland Clearances and convict transportation.

We’ve performed Human Cargo on big stages like the Manor Pavilion at Sidmouth and the Canopy Stage at Greenbelt, plus small acoustic venues like the church at FolkEast - or large acoustic venues like the magnificent Heath Street Baptist Church in London.

The full show is 2 x 50 minutes. We also have a one hour festival version, and Matthew performs a one hour solo show.

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‘Human Cargo is a brilliant concept, combining the great voices of the London Lubbers, singing solo and in unison, as the narrator Matthew Crampton tells the story of people in transit over the centuries, whether as slaves, emigrants, asylum seekers or, most strikingly today, as refugees. I was entranced, as clearly was everyone at the Walthamstow Folk Club, which was packed to the rafters (with many people unable to get in). It was a privilege to see this wonderful performance, using folk songs from different cultures, sea shanties and other musical forms to dramatise one of the worst stains on human history. I can't recommend Human Cargo highly enough.’ Robin Beste

‘Beautifully done, gorgeous venue,

soulful singing.’ John Landor

‘I was captivated from start to finish by your

powerful storytelling, and the exquisite blend of

your voices together.’  Olivia Dobbs

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The London Lubbers perform Human Cargo at Sidmouth’s Manor Pavilion during 2016 FolkWeek.

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The London Lubbers singing under sail, aboard the Victor barge during the 2015 Harwich Shanty Festival.

Performing Human Cargo at the wonderful Heath Street Baptist Church in Hampstead, London on 9th November 2015.

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Walthamstow Folk Club 31st January 2016.

Previous Dates

Cutty Sark, Greenwich, London

Sat 24th Sept 2016 The London Lubbers perform Human Cargo at the Nest Collective’s Shanty Sessions

SE London Folklore Society

Thu 15 Sept, 8pm, The Old King’s Head, 45 Borough High St, SE1 1LZ Solo show by Matthew Crampton

London Folk Festival

Sat 3 Sept, Cecil Sharp House

The London Lubbers run a session

Greenbelt Festival

Sat 27 Aug, 5pm

The London Lubbers perform Human Cargo

FolkEast Festival

Sun 21 Aug, Suffolk

The London Lubbers perform Human Cargo

Sidmouth FolkWeek

Mon 1 Aug, 3pm, Manor Pavilion

The London Lubbers perform Human Cargo.

Wed 3 Aug, 6.15pm, Winstone’s Bookshop, 10 High St, Sidmouth. Book signing. Shanties and fun.

Brockley Max Festival

Sat 28 May 3.30pm, London SE23 1PL. Solo appearance by Matthew Crampton to talk & sing about Human Cargo.

Heath Street Baptist Church

13 & 14 May 7.30pm, London NW3

The London Lubbers perform Human Cargo.

Walthamstow Folk Club

Sun 31 Jan, 7.30pm, London

The London Lubbers perform Human Cargo.

Heath Street Baptist Church

Mon 9 Nov 2015 7.30pm, London NW3

The London Lubbers perform Human Cargo.

Harwich Shanty Festival

Fri 9 Oct 2015, 7.30pm, Essex

Premiere of Human Cargo

In the church at FolkEast August 2016

‘Incredibly insightful, deeply moving and ultimately inspirational.’  The Young’uns

Human Cargo - the show

Concert Dates

We’ve been touring Human Cargo all summer. Now we’ve visited the studio and we hope to bring out a CD of the show soon.

2017 dates for Human Cargo will be available soon.

HUMAN CARGO is available for bookings at folk clubs, literary evenings, political events and festivals. Enquire.

‘Matthew Crampton is an accomplished folk singer and live performer; if you get a chance to see his story-and-song ‘Human Cargo’ show, do not miss it.’

Nigel Williamson, Songlines Magazine.


Here’s a TV interview I did straight after performing on the Cutty Sark in London on 24th September.

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The audience at Greenbelt 2016 for Human Cargo.


To launch Human Cargo in Scotland, I’m performing a couple of solo gigs of stories & songs.

Lighthouse Bookshop, Edinburgh

home of Wordpower Books

Tue 27 June, 7.30pm. Free, but book in advance.

Taigh Chearsabhagh

Mon 26 June, 7.30pm, North Uist