Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Fisherman's Friends


A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to meet the Fisherman's Friends, noted for their new album of sea shanties which is the first folk CD ever to make the Top Ten. Being a singer myself, I was keen to see them in person, and on a beautiful evening Himself and I drove up to Port Isaac, through sun dappled lanes, under Wedgewood blue skies: North Cornwall couldn't have looked better.

When I attended the launch and signing of their CD in Truro with my sister in law, we discovered that one of them was wearing a brooch made of Cornish tin. I lent over and said, “My husband designed that – and made it.”
“That's my brother!” added Shelagh.

Two weeks later, Himself and I turned up on Port Isaac quay and were met by two of the Johns (several of them are called John but I won't list their names here as it gets too confusing). Himself handed over a bag of Cardinham Cross brooches – one for each of them - that he'd made back in the days when they ran the Cornish tin jewellery business (all made from tin from the last working tin mine in Cornwall, South Crofty).

The Johns looked astonished. “Thanks, Mr Sue,” they said, and insisted on buying us a pint in the nearby pub.

The next hour was fascinating (“You'll treat us gently, won't you, Sue?”). I've never interviewed 6 people at a time (not an easy thing to do), but it was clear from their quick banter how close these men are, and what fun they have together.

What became clear is that it's not just the quality of their catchy singing that has caught the imagination of the public (though their singing is fabulous). It's also that these 10 men, ranging in age from 50-76, have been friends since they met at Port Isaac primary school.

In an age where celebrities tend to be young, self centred and obsessed with fame and fortune, it was particularly refreshing to meet these men whose lives aren't ruled by money: they are all self employed, and appreciate the beautiful place they live in. They are also proud to live in a small community where friends and family are all important. They have a sense of proportion about life.

So here's three cheers for the Fisherman's Friends, whose single No Hopers, Jokers and Rogues, is out on May 31st.

They sing most Fridays at Port Isaac at 8pm (check website for details of other gigs) and if you get to see them, have a look on their smocks – if you catch a glimpse of silver, it's a Cardinham Cross tin brooch.

Cornish good luck for very special Cornish boys.

33 comments:

Vermont Designs said...

Got the whole album on the 'puter and in the mp3 player. Songs running in my head ALL the time. love, SIL.

Flowerpot said...

They're great aren't they?!

Akelamalu said...

What a great interview FP. :)

Chris Stovell said...

That's going to be the basis of a wonderful novel! Good luck to them and well done Himself.

Flowerpot said...

Ak - that wasn't the interview! But it was fun!

Flowerpot said...

Chris - plenty of fodder for fiction there, yes!

Flowerpot said...

Chris - PS Actually they're going to make a film of the FF story. Watch out next year!

Debs said...

I keep seeing adverts for their CD on tv and they sound really good too.

Elaine said...

I'd really love to see them...I'll definitely make a point of looking them up next time I'm down your way.
I have their album on Spotify.

One of my son's friend's is in a very sucessful band called Pyrates. It's folk, with a very pyraty undertone. (Actually, I should have said overtone, lol.) Sea shanty music is fantastic. Love it!

Becky said...

They sound like a great bunch of guys, really genuine and down to Earth. What a lovely memory for you ,doing this interview.

Flowerpot said...

Debs - do get the CD - you won't be disappointed.

Flowerpot said...

Elaine - they're singing most Fridays and on June 20th they'll be in Falmouth for the sea shanty festival which should be great fun!

Alcoholic Daze (ADDY) said...

Good luck to them. I don't see why the charts should be dominated by outlandishly rich twenty-somethings!

Mopsa said...

How nice to take them gifts - did they sing for you?

Flowerpot said...

Becy - it certainly was!

Flowerpot said...

Addy - quite right. One of them mentioned 'old fogies like us' and I said (being the same age) - 'we're not OLD!' And we aren't!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

I saw these guys singing on This Morning and jolly good they were too. How great you got to interview them. Lovely to see these kinds of groups getting a break. Talent will out!

Flowerpot said...

Mopsa - no theyhad to go on to another meeting after me, but I will hear them in Falmouth in June.

Flowerpot said...

MOB - yes and it's good to see older people (not old, notice) getting a break through. Yay for us older lot!

Trubes said...

We had a lovely holiday in Port Isaac a few years ago but didn't know of 'The Fisherman's Friends'.
We're probably having a holiday down that way, in September so, will look out for them.
I hav'nt found a suitable place to stay yet, as, we need a place that is 'flatish', because of my mobility difficulties.

Di.xx

Flowerpot said...

Trubes - oh do look out for them on Friday nights. You won't be disappointed! And enjoy your holiday - Port Isaac is a lovely place.

Liane Spicer said...

Your corner of Cornwall sounds sooooo utterly idyllic right now. Best of luck to the FFs on their release!

Pat Posner said...

Great interview as usual, Flowerpot!
Hope all is well with you and yours

xxPat

Flowerpot said...

Liane - well we have the same problems as everyone else plus huge unemployment and very little affordable housing as there are so many second homes. But apart from that it is very very lovely and I am so glad to be fortunate enough to live here.

Flowerpot said...

Thanks Pat. We're OK here - how are you and your lovely dogs?

JesseniaT_Or怡臻ndorf said...
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JJ Beattie said...

When you were talking about Fisherman's Friends on FB, I though of those lozenges! Ooops. I stand corrected.

Flowerpot said...

JJ - well they came first!

Ellee Seymour said...

Lucky you, I wish I had heard them too. I think they are fantastic.
Let's hope they visit the Norfolk coast during the summer.

Manchester Lass, Now and Then said...

Oh how I wish I could go to Port Isaac to see Fisherman's Friends in person. We had many wonderful holidays in Cornwall. Looks like I may be purchasing their CD from ebay:) Love your blog♥ Linda Gold Coast Australia

清民 said...
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Flowerpot said...

Ellee - they're pretty busy at the moment but who knows? Well worth listening to the CD!

Flowerpot said...

Linda - good to meet you and do enjoy their CD!