Fisherman's Friends performing at Port Isaac
|Origin||Port Isaac, Cornwall, UK|
|Genres||Sea shanties, Folk|
Fisherman's Friends are a male singing group from Port Isaac, Cornwall, who sing sea shanties. They have been performing locally since 1995, and signed a record deal with Universal Music in March 2010. Whilst essentially an a cappella group, their studio recordings and live performances now often include traditional simple instrumentation.
The members are: John & Jeremy Brown (brothers), John Lethbridge, Billy Hawkins, Jason Nicholas, Toby Lobb, John McDonnell and Jon Cleave.
In June 2014 Peter Rowe was the oldest member, at the age of 80.
In the original line-up, all of the members of the group "grew up within half a mile of Port Isaac harbour" except for John McDonnell who is a Yorkshireman. Three were fishermen, and the others are linked to the sea through service as coastguards or lifeboatmen.
They sing the chorus on Show of Hands' popular song Cousin Jack on Show of Hands' "best of" CD "Roots", as well as on the title track.
Their repertoire is extremely varied and includes both shanties and other nautical songs, some of which are fairly lewd. With the addition of Jason & Toby (accordion and guitar) the group have added more musical accompaniment to their set. Billy and Toby are both supported by Vintage Guitars and regularly use their instruments on stage.
They performed at the 2010 Cornbury music festival in Oxfordshire, the Glastonbury Festival and the Cambridge Folk Festival. They also often perform in Port Isaac, regularly singing on the beach in the Summer Holidays.
The group had released three CDs themselves before signing with Universal. In 2002, under the name Port Isaac's 'Fishermen's Friends', they recorded an album, primarily to raise funds for the RNLI, which was released on the Clovelly Label, Catalogue Number CLCD12702. The album, entitled Fishermen's Friends Are Home from the Sea, has 20 tracks and was recorded in St Peter's Church Port Isaac on the 26 and 27 April 2002. All the tracks are sung in the traditional a cappella style. The album was engineered by Bob Whitney and produced by John Perkins. Their first album with Universal, Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends, was recorded in St Kew Parish Church, Cornwall, and released in April 2010.
In 2010 they re-recorded their single, "No Hopers, Jokers or Rogues", with new lyrics, in support of England's World Cup campaign in South Africa.
In July 2015, the album Proper Job was released on the Sony Music label, in association with the St Austell Brewery, who brew a beer of the same name. This album also saw the first appearance of new member Toby Lobb.
On 9 February 2013 a heavy steel door fell while the G Live venue in Guildford was being prepared for a Fisherman's Friends show, killing their tour manager Paul McMullen. Singer Trevor Grills suffered serious head injuries, and died in hospital two days later.
|Album Title||Album details||Chart positions||Certification|
|Suck'em and Sea||
|Another Mouthful From ... The Fisherman's Friends||
|Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends||
|One and All||
"Home From the Sea", released 2002 on Clovelly record label CLCD12702.
Shanty singers Fisherman's Friends were rewarded for keeping folk music alive and bringing it to new audiences with an honorary prize, the Good Tradition award [at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards].
Fisherman's Friends chart history
PORT ISAAC'S FISHERMAN'S - PORT ISAAC'S FISHERMAN'S FRIENDS : Gold Certification (Album) Friday, 7 January 2011 : UNIVERSAL MUSIC (UNIVERSAL) : Released Monday, 26 April 2010(Search required)