They have nine albums to their name, two feature films, a stage musical, a book, a TV documentary, they’ve played for royalty and to tens of thousands of fans in sell-out tours year in year out… No, it’s not The Beatles, it’s not Slade, Take That or One Direction – it’s The Fisherman’s Friends!
“We can’t wait to get out and about and sing live for our supper again – we love it,” says extravagantly moustachioed founding member and bass man Jon Cleave.
A decade ago, The Fisherman’s Friends were persuaded to sign a million-pound 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.
And thanks to the small film with a big heart that shares their name, the story of the original Cornish ‘buoy band’ is known around the world – bound by shared experience, for more than 30 years they have gathered on the Platt on the harbour in their native Port Isaac to sing the songs of the sea, songs that in some cases have been handed down for hundreds of years, songs that connect them to generations of Cornish fishermen that have come before them.
The film’s sequel Fisherman’s Friends 2 is released this June (2022). The story follows the group from the highs of starring on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, through the lows of struggling to make a follow-up album.
Based on the first film, Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical broke all box office records when it premiered at Hall For Cornwall last year. It is set to tour the nation’s theatres from 1st September 2022, opening in Plymouth, before visiting Birmingham, Cheltenham, Salford, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Dublin, Cardiff, Bath and Leeds.
The Fisherman’s Friends are lobster fisherman 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, filmmaker Toby Lobb and the new boy, former ambulance driver Pete Hicks.
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