The original ‘buoy band’, bound together by lifelong friendship and shared experience, for 30 years the Fisherman’s Friends have met on the Platt on the harbour in their native Port Isaac to sing the songs of the sea.
A decade ago they were persuaded to sign the record deal that saw their album Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends go Gold as they became the first ever traditional folk act to land a UK top ten album.
The incredible true story of how that happened is told in the hit feel good movie of the year Fisherman’s Friends, starring Daniel Mays, James Purefoy, Tuppence Middleton and Noel Clarke with cameo appearances from the group whose voices also appear on the soundtrack.
What’s more, in an incredible twist of fate, Pete Hicks who appears in the on-screen Fisherman’s Friends has now joined the actual line up and will be out on tour with the boys this autumn.
“Singing live is what we’re all about, it’s why we started the group in the first place,” says MC and bass man Jon Cleave, instantly recognisable from his extravagant moustaches.
“The film has been a wonderful and is something we can all be very proud of, but we’re itching to get back on the road, renew some old friendships and make lots of new ones as well.”
Released alongside the Fisherman’s Friends film, the group’s latest album Keep Hauling album features 17 sea shanties – some old, some new and some slighty blue.
Cornwall’s best-known musical export, the Fisherman’s Friends have also been the subject of an ITV documentary, released the hit albums One and All (2013), Proper Job (2015) and Sole Mates (2018) and every year play to tens of thousands of fans at home and abroad.
In a career of many highlights, they sang for HM The Queen at her Diamond Jubilee celebrations, played Glastonbury festival in 2011 and were honoured with the Good Tradition Award at the prestigious BBC Radio
2 Folk Awards.
The Fisherman’s Friends are: fisher brothers John and Jeremy Brown; writer/shopkeeper Jon Cleave; smallholder and engineer John ‘Lefty’ Lethbridge; builder John McDonnell (a Yorkshireman who visited Port Isaac more than 30 years ago and never left); Padstow fisherman Jason Nicholas; film maker Toby Lobb and the new boy, former ambulance driver Pete Hicks.