Henry Priestman and Fishermans Friends


So Friday night and it was time for my first gig of the year. I was of to see Henry Priestman support Port Issac’s Fishermans Friends. Originally me and the father in law were going to the gig but I received a message off Henry on Facebook saying he had two spaces on his guest list for me so two off my mates tagged along as well. So after a quick pint in The Casa on Hope Street we headed up to the student guild. The guild itself was a small venue (I like that) with seating for about 150-200. Henry Priestman being support was first up and we settled down with our cans of Red Stripe (nice to get a decent bevvy at a concert as you normally get raped for a can of Carling) So most of the set was from Henry’s first album “Chronicles of a modern life” which is well worth a listen and a cheeky track from his “The Christians” days Ideal World was thrown in the mix as well as a new song. Henry as ever was helped by Pete Riley on guitar and later on by two of the Port Issac Fishermans Friends. Henry asked for some crowd participation in the form of cheers for northenders versus southenders of Liverpool. Needless to say us softy southenders lost. I reckon at the end of the gig the southenders  wouldve won with the amount of Red Stripe we had consumed. So Henrys set was over and I popped over to say thanks for the tickets. Ive met Henry once before but its still strange meeting somebody who you bought all their records (yes records it was that long ago 1987) Top song on his latest album is “Greys the new blonde” and lyrically the whole album is very good with the lyric from a song called “Old” getting me every time. “Im the same age that my father was when I first thought he was old” couldnt hit the nail on the head anymore at my time of life. So I’m looking forward to his second solo album and here is a song from his first called “Dont you love me no more” 4/5 stars for the gig.

So a few more cans of Red Stripe down the hatch and it was time for the main act Port Issac’s Fishermans Friends. The  Fisherman’s Friends are shanty singers from Port Isaac on Cornwall’s rugged, panoramic north coast, who have delighted visitors and locals there for more than 15 years. 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 ten-man group mesh their voices in an incredibly rousing and joyful set of shanties and Cornish folk songs. So this was going to be a bit different to gigs I go to. So the ten of them came on with no fuss and most of them had a beer with them (but were on water by the end to save their voices) So most of their set was acapella with the odd musical instrument thrown in which in my opinion made the songs better as once you had heard a few of the songs they did all sort of blend into one and the album does sound better with more instruments being used. So just 2.5/5 for the Fishermans Friends.

So our night ended up in O’Neills catching the end of a band but alas the DJ came on and it was time to catch the last train home but only after a traditional stop at The Lobster Pot chippy. Wasnt too bad on Saturday for a night on the grog but I know that Henry Priestman was suffering as he went out on the ale with the Fishermans Friends and took them to The Baltic Fleet for a few scoops and then back to their hotel. No rock and roll antics (well one of the fishermans friends is 77 !! ) and not even a sing-song due to the bouncers at the hotel but if the 10 Fishermans started singing after a night out on the ale I think most of Liverpool wouldve heard them. So asking the two lads who came along at the last min about the night and Henry Priestman came out on top and please do check out his album (I sound like his PR man.)

Peace

Fay x x

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