VIDEO: Home-loving Fisherman's Friends turn down US tour invitation
The Fisherman’s Friends have turned down a lucrative offer to tour America in favour of their day jobs at home in Port Isaac. The sea-salty Cornish singers – whose new album, One and All, is released in two week’s time – have been inundated with invitations to perform on the other side of the Atlantic following the announcement that their extraordinary story is to be filmed for the silver screen next year.
There are four fishermen in the group, as well as a farmer, a builder, a potter, a pasty seller and a shop keeper. They are all self-employed and have decided that the gamble of leaving their businesses unattended to tour the States is too risky.
“We realise we are not One Direction, and breaking America takes time and commitment,” says fisherman Jeremy Brown, 52. “We have a good life doing what we wanted to do in Port Isaac and the success of the singing is an amazing bonus. However, we know that we can’t afford to be away from home for that long or we would lose our livelihood.”
The only member who does have the time for a US tour is the group’s elder statesman Peter Rowe, 79, who retired as a fisherman in 1988. The others – Jeremy’s brothers Julian and John Brown, Jon Cleave, Billy Hawkins, John McDonnell, John Lethbridge and Jason Nicholas are in their 40s, 50s and 60s.
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Their international booking agent Neil O’Brien says: “In America everyone is fascinated by the prospect of ‘the singing fishermen’ and the film that is being made about them. Since the announcement of the movie, we have been inundated with offers for them to perform on the other side of the pond. We are disappointed that we will not be able to say yes to what would be the pinnacle of most performers careers, but we cannot argue with their reasoning.”
The group have yet to perform in public all together since the tragic deaths of their close friend and bandmate Trevor Grills, and their tour promoter Paul McMullen, following an accident at a venue in Guildford in February.
Two weeks ago Ealing Studios announced that British film director Nigel Cole, responsible for Calendar Girls’ Saving Grace and Made In Dagenham, will direct the movie based on the Friends’ journey from the village harbour pub to the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury.
One and All – their second for Universal - and the poignant but uplifting lead single, Mary Anne (see video below), featuring tenor Trevor on lead vocals, are both released on Monday, August 26.