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Fisherman's Friends


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Port Isaac, Cornwall (1995 – present)

Fisherman’s Friends was the original name of an English 10-strong male singing group from Port Isaac, Cornwall. Singing sea shanties a cappella, they have been performing locally since 1995, and signed a record deal with Universal Music in March 2010 under the name Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends. At the 2011 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Fisherman’s Friends received The Good Tradition Award for keeping folk music alive and bringing it to new audiences

The members are: John Brown, Julian Brown, Jeremy Brown (these first three being brothers), Trevor Grills (died 11 February 2013), John Lethbridge, Billy Hawkins, Nigel Sherratt, Peter Rowe, John McDonnell and Jon Cleave. At 78, Peter Rowe is the oldest member, as of June 2012. Jon Cleave is the MC of the group.

All the members of the group “grew up within half a mile of Port Isaac harbour” except for John McDonnell who is a Yorkshireman. Three are fishermen, and the others are linked to the sea through service as coastguards or lifeboatmen.

The group performed at the 2010 Cornbury music festival in Oxfordshire, the Glastonbury Festival and the Cambridge Folk Festival. The group had released two CDs themselves before signing with Universal; their first album with Universal, Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends, was recorded in St Kew Parish Church, Cornwall, and released in April 2010.

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