20 May 2010 7 Comments

Shanty News: ***UPDATED*** Some Gits Get 1 Million Pounds for What We Do for Free.

Shanty News: ***UPDATED*** Some Gits Get 1 Million Pounds for What We Do for Free.


The following post is intended as satire, not as a true news article. The purpose of which is to highlight the biggest deal in terms of money and success to happen to a shanty group in a generation. The Fisherman’s Friends are forging a path that could lead to more opportunities for us more humble shanty folk, and we at shantynet wish them all the congratulations that their amazing success deserves.

For the record, all the details regarding the other groups, including quotes and references are a figment of the author’s imagination.


Sea Shanty groups around the world are outraged as the Shanty choir Fisherman’s Friends were reportedly singing in a pub in Cornwall while Paul Christie from Universal records overheard the choir while on holiday and decided to sign them up for an obscene amount of cash.

Story can be found here: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/fishermen-seek-to-storm-charts-with-sea-shanties-1923409.html

Worldwide reaction in the Shanty community has been one of shock and not entirely veiled jealousy. An Un-named source from the Maritime Crew:

This is total crap. I heard the news while watching the evening news and having dinner, and frankly I’m not sure how I can face eating chicken pea soup again.”

It has also been reported that as a knee jerk reaction Colin Devey from Monkeys Fist (http://www.monkeysfistshanty.co.uk/Meet-the-Band) has resorted to singing almost nightly at random pubs in Cornwall in a vein attempt to re-create the miracle. One witness said

“I like my shanties as much as the next guy, but Colin was singing in what seemed to be quite a frenzy, with wild eyes and constantly scanning the audience. Sad, actually.”

The Fisherman’s Friends however seem oblivious to therancourcreated by their success and are looking to release their first album tentatively titled “No Hopers, Jokers and Rogues”, playing at Glastonbury with U2 of all people and working on a movie documenting their success (http://www.ukwirednews.com/articles.php/55563-Film-to-show-Cornish-sea-shanty-sailors-rise-to-fame). Sickening, really.

7 Responses to “Shanty News: ***UPDATED*** Some Gits Get 1 Million Pounds for What We Do for Free.”

  1. Jordan 20 May 2010 at 2:40 am #

    I can’t believe it. The injustice!

  2. Rudy Sunde 21 May 2010 at 3:17 am #

    I have not had the good fortune to hear these Cornish fishermen but I doubt that they are superior to many other fine shanty singers in UK and elsewhere. Two groups that come to mind immediately are Kimbers’ Men and the New Scorpion Band. Both groups would be worthy of that sort of money floating around record studios. Over in Europe there are many excellent groups – one such is An Rinn – all of whom are worthy of big money. However, it is good to see that some money – a nice little sum – is going to folk singers. Beats going out to sea in a trawler.

  3. John Locke 21 May 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    That pea soup is about as green as the envy shown in the article above. What a negative outlook. Think of the good publicity shanty men are getting.

    Would you be complaining if it were you?

    Would you have turned it down? No chance.

    It is the attitude of people like this that keeps Folk Music in general in the background.

  4. Janet Buck 24 May 2010 at 12:26 am #

    More power to them! I agree there are some fantastic shanty singers on both sides of the Pond, groups and individuals. The Fisherman’s Friends are good, and so are many others. Is it fair for one group to make it big when others have not? Not especially, but if your mother taught you life was fair, you are sadly misinformed. Much of life is in fact luck, being in the right place at the right time, which includes being heard by someone who can sign you. I hope they have a great time, and that more people become interested in the music, and (gasp) even willing to pay to hear it!

  5. On behalf of Anne 24 May 2010 at 4:50 am #

    Yes, they have been singing their hearts out for years for free every Summer Friday evening in the open air on the quay in Port Isaac, and later on in the two pubs in the village, and it seems that some executive record producer was vacationing in Cornwall and heard them and was impressed ……… and the rest is history !! I am delighted for them and just wish that some of our other wonderful shanty crews also get their chance to shine with a similar stroke of good fortune.

    Bear in mind that that the one million £ includes the cost of producing the CD, studio time, and publicity, etc… so I doubt that the lads will get to see very much of the money, unless from royalties, if their CD becomes a best seller. !! I am looking forward to hearing them next month in Falmouth at the Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival (June 18th to 20th) and buying their CD. See the two links to Fisherman’s Friends :



    There are 24 groups already listed to perform at this year’s festival including groups from Cornwall, Wales, Ireland, Guernsey, Netherlands, Germany, France and England. So, if you are a shanty fan, the Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival is the place to be !! See the link to their website :


  6. Ben 24 May 2010 at 9:37 am #

    No it’s not fair, but whoever said life had to be fair? And who says shanty groups around the world are outraged? I sing with Rum and Shrub, another Cornish shanty group who have been singing together for 20 years or so without being “discovered”, but we wish the Friends every success with their new venture. They are still keen to sing on a Friday in Port Isaac, to do the local spots at home, still the same great bunch of guys they were before all this, they were just in the right place at the right time. How many other shanty groups, now apparently green with envy and allegedly outraged, would turn down the chance if it came their way? Yes it could easily have been any one of a number of shantymen; it happened to be Fishermen’s Friends, and the best of luck to them. If it brings a wider audience for them and us then so much the better.

  7. Jeff Lewis 25 May 2010 at 11:42 am #

    Some strange replies above. Yes of course we could all wish that we had been the lucky ones, but it’s unlikely that the mainstream audience will suddenly become converted to shanties as the new rock and roll. I hope FF enjoy their moment of glory, earn a couple of bob, and help publicise shanty singing to the benefit of us all.

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