Fisherman's Friends' incredible year
Our guest blogger this week is Jon Cleave from the Fisherman's Friends. Jon writes:
"Getting a telephone call one Sunday morning from a record producer must be the stuff of dreams for many an aspiring pop star, but not for me. I was trying to drink a mug of tea and take in the football results when Rupert Christie rang, and his promises of global stardom and riches beyond the dreams of avarice were greeted with a faintly dismissive grunt. ‘Well,’ I said, ‘you’d better come down and meet the boys then.’ Frankly, I didn’t fancy his chances too much.
"A recording contract with Universal and a couple of recording sessions later, suddenly on one surreal and freezing morning in Port Isaac we were unleashed onto an unsuspecting public. TV and radio crews and telephone interviews from as far afield as Australia, Hong Kong and the States seemed to be taking an interest in our ‘million pound recording deal’ (clue here – none of us have given up our day jobs yet!).
"But, what a year we’ve had! Our album, Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends, went straight into the top 10, and not long ago went gold (my disc is hanging on the kitchen wall). We’ve performed on TV and radio and in front of vast audiences at festivals all over the country, and our bawdy, brawny blend of shanties, seaside salaciousness and nautical naughtiness seemed to hit the spot with people. And we still managed to fulfil our regular spots by the harbour in Port Isaac on Fridays, and raised around £10,000 for charity to boot.
"I think the most emotional moments of our incredible year were walking out on stages at Glastonbury and Cambridge and seeing the St. Piran’s flags waving in front of us – for Cornishmen, that was priceless. Our brand of harmony singing has never died out in Cornwall, where ‘the voice’ has always held sway, and we undertake our role as Cornish cultural attaches with pride!
Fisherman's Friends at the Beautiful Days festival. That's me, far left.
"And, if our nerves can take it, what exciting prospects lie ahead of us. A book, a documentary, a movie (!*?*!), an ad campaign, another album, the Celtic Connections Festival, more TV, several gigs before Christmas, and then another summer of festivals...
"We’d love to see you at our shows, we know you’d have a good time, and we’d love you to join in with some of the songs... only not too loud, we wouldn’t want you to spoil them after all!"