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Page last updated at 11:58 GMT, Monday, 26 April 2010 12:58 UK
Fisherman's Friends on the crest of a wave
The Fisherman's Friends were given a six figure recording deal earlier this year
The Fisherman's Friends were given a six figure recording deal earlier this year

If you've been listening to the radio recently you can't fail to have heard the incredible story of Port Isaac's Fishermen's Friends.

Discovered by industry giants Universal following a pub gig one evening, the 10 sea shanty singers were given a million pound recording contract.

Their debut album was released on Monday 26 April.

It has now just been announced that major British Film Studio, Ealing Studios, is going to make a movie about them.

BBC Radio Cornwall's Laurence Reed interviews John Cleeve and Jeremy Brown whilst they enjoy a pint in their Kensington Hotel after being interviewed by BBC Radio 2's Steve Wright.

Fisherman's Friends

The Fisherman's Friends hail from Port Isaac on Cornwall's rugged, panoramic north coast, with all but one living within half a mile of each other.

They began singing together around 1992 emerging out of a couple of formal local choirs and folky set-ups.

Back then the Friends gained experience by joining in with the many groups of singers and festivals in Cornwall.

"The pursuit of unaccompanied harmony singing is very much a living Cornish tradition, historically associated with Methodism, fishing and more recently with gig rowing.

"As a village, Port Isaac has a long and rich tradition of singing in keeping with this; to sing is part and parcel of who and what we are; it defines us, explain the Fisherman's Friends."

They have delighted visitors and locals there for more than 15 years, and recently released their album 'Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends'.

By a perfect storm set of circumstances we were discovered and we've taken it on from there. We feel very privileged to be representing Cornwall
Fisherman's Friends

"Our name very much reflects what we are - those not engaged in fishing are either involved in the local lifeboat or with the coastguard.

"The common thread running through our material became increasingly nautical. Songs of the sea and shanties seemed to suit us best, and as our live performances took place on the harbour side at Port Isaac, this seemed quite natural.

"Our weekly concerts in the open air in Port Isaac have always been unadvertised, but through word of mouth we regularly get audiences of 3-400 throughout the summer."

Fisherman's Friends album images

They are represented by industry giant Universal which has a wealth of top acts on its books and now find themselves on the same label that has handled superstar bands such as U2 and Abba.

The band played a special performance at the Perranporth Shout, a festival of sea songs and shanties to mark the launch of their third studio recording.

Reflecting about how the record deal came along, one of the singers said:

"We probably feel bemused, I think that's the right word. There's lots of terrific groups around the county.

"By a perfect storm set of circumstances we were discovered and we've taken it on from there. We feel very privileged to be representing Cornwall".

As part of their new contract the local group will be gracing the stage at this year's Glastonbury Festival.

The Fisherman's Friends performing in Perranporth

They have also received a special invitation from Richard Thompson to perform at the 2010 Meltdown Festival, Cornbury Music Festival in Oxfordshire, Cambridge Folk festival, Boardmaster's surf festival in Newquay and Devon's Beautiful Days Festival.

The Fisherman's Friends said, "We can't wait to get our hooks into those festival audiences - 10 blokes singing loudly and having fun is the embodiment of the festival experience.

"To be playing festivals like Glastonbury that are headlined by U2 and Stevie Wonder, just hasn't sunk in yet. Hopefully we can bring a little idyllic Port Isaac to the rest of the country."

Screen dream for shanty sailors
28 Apr 10 |  Cornwall
Sea shanty sailors seal song deal
18 Mar 10 |  Cornwall


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