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Review: Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends

Liz the Squeak 06 Jun 10 - 01:14 AM
GUEST,Liz in Sydney 06 Jun 10 - 02:24 AM
GRex 06 Jun 10 - 05:33 AM
breezy 06 Jun 10 - 05:35 AM
Leadfingers 06 Jun 10 - 05:47 AM
SussexCarole 06 Jun 10 - 06:11 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 06 Jun 10 - 07:24 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 06 Jun 10 - 11:51 AM
Liz the Squeak 07 Jun 10 - 02:02 AM
Dave the Gnome 07 Jun 10 - 04:36 AM
GUEST,Lizzie Cornish 07 Jun 10 - 05:51 PM
breezy 08 Jun 10 - 04:49 AM
Dave the Gnome 08 Jun 10 - 01:30 PM
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Subject: Review: Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 06 Jun 10 - 01:14 AM

I bought this on a whim (and I'm trying to learn some shanteys) and because I'd heard them on the BBC4 programme with Gareth Wossisface, Shanties and Sea Songs.

If you're a non-folkie who has never been on the Woolwich Ferry, let alone the open sea, then you'll probably like it - the national airplay they've been getting from a particular BBC radio station has shown that it's popular - it's jolly, it's spirited and it's wonderfully produced. The songs are a grand mix of new and old, work and shore songs - even a Victorian revivalist hymn, that are bound to reach a wide and varied audience and hopefully introduce them to more of this genre. The sleeve notes are informative whilst being entertaining and I suspect they reflect the banter and rapport that the chaps have on stage. Their harmonies certainly indicate a group that has gelled and perform well together.

However - if you're a hardened sea-salt or dyed in the wool trad folkie, or have ever seen the Fisherman's Friends live, then this album is a bit of a disappointment. It is a lively and interesting mix, tunefully rendered with some gorgeous harmonies and the chaps obviously understand the uses of the songs - sleeve notes are well researched, funny and interesting. They enjoy singing them as was obvious on the BBC programme, but the album has been so dreadfully over-produced as to rip any soul or feeling out of them. Much as they praise the introduction of instruments and effective though they are, they have a subtle but astounding effect on the work songs, to turn them into something else... I can't quite put my finger on it, but it just feels 'wrong'.... (and before you accuse me of being a hardened sea salt or dyed in the wool traddie - I've sung all manner of songs and shanties in all manner of arrangements including church organ, and they've not sounded so prim and proper as these do).

I'd love to hear this group record a live concert album - I'm pretty sure they're a lot more exciting than this one would indicate. Listen to it by all means, use it as a resource, as entertainment, as a lure to your non-folkie friends, but if you like your shanties with a tang of the ocean and a bit of spirit, stick with Stan Hugill.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Review: Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends
From: GUEST,Liz in Sydney
Date: 06 Jun 10 - 02:24 AM

I have just returned from a trip to the UK visiting family. A Cornish friend in Sydney recommended I visit the fishing village of Port Isaac where the television series Doc Martin is filmed. I found it to be a beautiful place. I stayed in a quirky B&B overlooking the ocean with views to Tintagel. The first morning at breakfast I was asked if I would like to hear Fishermans Friends instead of having the TV on and of course I said yes (anything except the TV). I was delighted to hear this group performing, what an unexpected treat. I just wish I had visited later in the summer to hear their regular Friday night performances held on the slipway. Yes, I purchased the CD and it will always remind me of those wonderful few days spent in a magical place.

Liz


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Subject: RE: Review: Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends
From: GRex
Date: 06 Jun 10 - 05:33 AM

LTS, I agree with your review. As a shanty singer I was disappointed
with the CD, especialy after all the hype and like you, am unable to put a finger on exactly what is wrong with it.

             GRex


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Subject: RE: Review: Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends
From: breezy
Date: 06 Jun 10 - 05:35 AM

Fisherman's friends have gathered new fans to this field of music.

Through mass media exposure the music is reaching the people.

maybe the 'new' listeners will explore further this 'sub-culture'

The CD is aimed at a wide audience, not the - and here we go - the narrow minded purists whose public performances may on occasions leave mush to be desired but generally turn off the avergae listener. there I writ it.

They were lucky in being in the right place at the right time

Yes there are many shanty groups around and they can all do a good job, but Ive only seen and heard a few, and the ones I like also entertain.

Hanging Johnny have a visual appeal , they are loud , scruffy, raucus ugly and fun and Roger is great on banjo, but that was 10 years ago.

Rum and Shrub have quality singers and respected writers in their mix and matching shirts

And I have Belly wrinkles somewhere

I for one am glad to see that someone has seen the marketable potential, it can only give the cause greater credence

Now all I need is a vocal lead on South Australia, anyone seen Rumford Nigel?

There could well be shanties at the Padstow Social later this summer


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Subject: RE: Review: Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends
From: Leadfingers
Date: 06 Jun 10 - 05:47 AM

Anything that brings aspects of Folk music to a wider audience can only be applauded ! Dont forget a LOT of 'purist' Folkies had no time fr the Spinners , but they DID get a lot of people into Folk !


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Subject: RE: Review: Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends
From: SussexCarole
Date: 06 Jun 10 - 06:11 AM

Not heard this new CD but I have a copy of their previous recording 'Suck it & See'. You just have to listen to the Cape Cod Girls track on that CD it makes me laugh everytime - it's brilliant.


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Subject: RE: Review: Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 06 Jun 10 - 07:24 AM

I have heard bits of the cd on BBC lately however they are the SAME bits over and over. Some dramatic shantys thus far though.


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Subject: RE: Review: Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 06 Jun 10 - 11:51 AM

I've been telling you all about Fisherman's Friends for a very long time.

Shame you all decided not to listen to me, else you'd have had the benefit of their wonderful singing years ago.

:0)


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Subject: RE: Review: Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 07 Jun 10 - 02:02 AM

"Yes there are many shanty groups around and they can all do a good job, but Ive only seen and heard a few, and the ones I like also entertain."


There I think, you've put your finger on part of the problem. The CD is good, tuneful, well produced and not the least bit entertaining. It's definately one for 'shuffle' with other stuff.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Review: Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Jun 10 - 04:36 AM

Funnily enough I bought it yesterday because I couldn't find Raul Malo's solo album! Gave it a good listening in the car and found it very pleasant indeed. I concur with some of the above comments as well though - I think I would have enjoyed one or two of the tracks more had they have been done A Cappella and it seems, occasionly, to have a mix of different musical backgrounds just for the sake of variety but all in all I would recommend it. I can see why some of the shanty purists may not like it but there are plenty of more traditional offering for them:-)

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Review: Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends
From: GUEST,Lizzie Cornish
Date: 07 Jun 10 - 05:51 PM

Gawd, all you folkies are sooooooo behind! ;0)

Fisherman's Friends 'n' Football


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Subject: RE: Review: Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends
From: breezy
Date: 08 Jun 10 - 04:49 AM

meanwhile if you cant get to hear the FFs   go to

Padstow Social Club

Thursday 24th June

an evening of song - yes 'folk' - hosted by ...... yes you guessed it

We held one last week and it worked

Although the target market is those on holiday everyone is welcome and there is scope for visiting artistes to strut their wares.

Some local singers are usually in evidence

Doors open 7.30 ish

Bar prices are sensible, very sensible in fact and there is a real ale prescence


Just a mild hi-j, apologies rendered


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Subject: RE: Review: Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Jun 10 - 01:30 PM

Just got chance to hear the 'football' link.

The person posting it says With inspirational lyrics including "Come on you three Lions, red white and blue... bring home the Cup boys, we've got faith in you" I think the original is pretty good but, as with most football songs, this one is, I'm afraid, neither inspirational nor a particularly good parody.

It nearly inspired me to throw away the CD but I figured it must be a joke on or by the 'Friends'! At least I hope so :-)

DeG


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