By Alan Davies
Thursday, January 31, 2013
THE Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends play the Alban Arena in St Albans next week and you could win a pair of tickets to the concert in the Welwyn Hatfield Times’ latest music competition.
ENGLISH folk music has enjoyed something of a renaissance in the last decade.
And leading the charge in the West Country are Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends.
Following their success at the 2011 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, these shanty singers from Port Isaac on Cornwall’s rugged, panoramic north coast, are out on the road again.
They will delight and enthral folk fans with their voices at the Alban Arena in St Albans on Friday, February 8, ahead of the release of their new album in April.
For tickets, call the Alban Arena box office on 01727 844488 or book online at www.alban-arena.co.uk
However, the Welwyn Hatfield Times has teamed up with promoters of the concert to offer two pairs of tickets to the show.
Down on the harbour front of the tiny fishing village of Port Isaac, the authentic sound of the shanty can be heard loud and clear via the mighty, brawny chorale of The Fisherman’s Friends.
At around eight in the evening during the summer months, tourists and locals gather to hear this 10-man group mesh their voices in an incredibly rousing and joyful set of shanties and Cornish folk songs.
There’s no gang leader, no choir master and no holds barred in the singing of The Fisherman’s Friends.
And fisherman’s friends they truly are – each and every member of this unique group are or have been fishermen, lifeboatmen and coastguards (as well as builders, artisans, hoteliers, and shopkeepers) in Port Isaac.
They’ve known each other since childhood and learnt their powerful brand of Cornish harmony singing at the local Methodist chapel – now the pottery of Fisherman’s Friend baritone Billy Hawkwins – where the group get together with a crate of ale and a good deal of bonhomie to rehearse their repertoire and try out new songs.
Their regular portside concerts have become a much-loved local institution and visiting celebs such as Chris Evans, Gloria Hunniford and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen have fallen under the spell of their shanty singing.
To stand a chance of winning a pair of tickets to the St Albans show, simply answer the following question:
The Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends are from which county?
To enter, text WHT PORT followed by your answer, name, age, address and postcode to 80058 – eg WHT PORT A John Smith, 25, The Campus, WGC, AL8 6AP.
Texts cost 25p plus your standard network rate.
* Terms and conditions: The competition closes at 5pm on Friday, February 1, 2013. There are two pairs of tickets up for grabs. The winners will be the first correct entries selected at random after the closing date.
Usual Archant promotion rules apply – visit www.whtimes.24.co.uk
Customer services, 0207 633 5020.