Cornwall’s merry shanty singers make a real catch

Fisherman's Friends. (s)
Fisherman's Friends. (s)
Share this article

Cornwall’s tightest band of brothers will be heading back on the road for a UK tour this spring.

The Fisherman’s Friends are an eight-piece group brewing up a delicious mix of hearty songs and tall tales from the high seas.

Fisherman's Friends. (s)

Fisherman's Friends. (s)

The merry musicians are set to play eleven dates in total, starting at Ilkley King’s Hall on February 16th and ending at Wimborne Tivoli Theatre on March 31st.

Their halfway leg will see them come to the hometown of the Clarets when they stop off at The Burnley Mechanics Theatre.

Jon Cleave, MC, bass player and a fan of flamboyant moustaches, said: “We can’t wait to get back to performing live – it’s the reason we started the Fisherman’s Friends in the first place.”

The tour ties in with the release of a new movie which tells the real-life tale of the band’s impressive rise to stardom.

This West Country group began life 30 years ago as a means to raise money for local charities by performing sea shanties on the beach in Port Isaac.

Chart-topping success later came when they landed a spot in the top 10 in 2010.

They also performed on Glastonbury’s legendary Pyramid Stage, the prestigious Royal Albert Hall and subsequently have toured all over the UK.

This heartfelt, poignant and at times hilarious narrative features 17 songs recorded by the group in their local church in St Kew; and the musicians will make cameo appearances.

It will hit cinema screens on Friday, March 15th along with an album of music from the film.

Making up the Fisherman’s Friends are: fisher brothers John and Jeremy Brown; writer and shopkeeper Jon Cleave; potter Billy Hawkins; smallholder and engineer John “Lefty” Lethbridge; Padstow fisherman Jason Nicholas; and film-maker Toby Lobb.

Last, but not least, there is builder John McDonnell, who hails from Yorkshire and visited Port Isaac more than 30 years ago but never left.

The gig will take place on Saturday, March 9th at 7-30pm.

Tickets: £23; box office, 01282 664400;