TRIO: "Za Bortom!" (Men Overboard!)

Banner image The great singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell once said of her classic song The Circle Game, "This song isn't good with just one lonely voice." That's also very true of sea shanties and other maritime folk music. That's why, in late 2016 the "senior officers" of Saint Petersburg's Shanty Choir MIR decided to spin off a trio from the larger group to concentrate on the "new old sea songs" being written by singer-songwriter Robert Palomo.

What's with that name?

The trio are all long-time expatriate residents of Saint-Petersburg, Russia. The group's name comes from the Russian sailor's warning of a man overboard: Chelovek za bortom! For English speakers, the name Men Overboard! whimsically delivers the same basic idea. What's actually "overboard" is the fun people are having discovering the "new old sea songs" rendered by this trio.

Meet the "Za Bortom!" Crew

Photo of Peter DysonPETER DYSON (Vocals, Percussion) A Yorkshireman living in Saint-Petersburg and much taken with both, he "brexited" the UK 21 years ago to join Tishchenko's composition class in the Saint-Petersburg Conservatory.

A career civil servant in the British Home and Foreign Offices until early retirement, he is now leader of The English Element, (a madrigal group), Shanty-man of Tall Ship MIR, singer in Za Bortom! (trio), and Master of Ceremonies of The Club of Singing Diplomats (Moscow).

Photo of David HicksDAVID HICKS (Vocals)
David came to St. Petersburg in 1995 to work in the British Consulate and, in the words of a former colleague, "must have forgotten the way home".

He loves choral singing, and also performs with a local classical choir in addition to appearances with the Shanty Choir MIR. To "Za Bortom!" he adds his clear, quintessentially English tenor to the vocal mix, complete with authentic accent that helps link the group's original material with the tradition from which it stems.

Photo of Robert PalomoROBERT PALOMO (Guitar, Banjo, Vocals) A multi-instrumentalist with a conservatory degree, roots in the folk, rock, and country music of his native USA, and a passion for acoustic instruments and truly awful "island" shirts, Robert is the songwriting engine behind the Men's unique "new old sea songs", which he also records as a solo artist.

He moved to St. Petersburg in 1996, intending to spend one year and then return to the States. He’s now living proof that Burns was quite right about the plans of mice and men!

Streaming Audio

The trio recorded this original arrangement of a traditional favorite for the festival CD of the 2017 Harwich International Sea Shanty Festival. Enjoy!

How to Recruit this Crew

Za Bortom! is a great addition to any sea shanty or folk music festival. Besides being an entertaining act, they bring that elusive "something new and different" that make a festival truly memorable for its patrons. Now booking for the 2018 festival season. Please contact us here.