Fisherman’s Friends have become the first British band since The Beatles to inspire two feature films.
The Cornish sea-shanty singing group began performing in their hometown of Port Isaac in 1995, before securing a record deal with Universal Music’s Island Records in 2010.
The group, which currently consists of brothers John and Jeremy Brown, John Lethbridge, Jason Nicholas, Toby Lobb, John McDonnell, Jon Cleave and Pete Hicks, were the inspiration for the 2019 film Fisherman’s Friends, starring Daniel Mays, James Purefoy and David Hayman.
The film saw cynical London music executive Danny, played by 44-year-old Mays, discover a singing group of 10 Cornish fishermen over a stag weekend and continued his attempt to make them believe they can pull off a hit between the top ten.
The film’s sequel, Fisherman’s Friends: One And All, opens on August 19 and will see Purefoy, 58, reprise the role of Jim, along with other returning cast members including Maggie Steed, Dave Johns, Sam Swainsbury, Jade Anouka, and Hayman. , 74.
The second film, which finds the group struggling with their second album after the Pyramid Stage performance at Glastonbury Festival, will also feature a host of new cast members, including Richard Harrington as new band member Morgan, as well as Ramon Tikaram, Joshua McGuire and Irish singer-songwriter Imelda May, in her acting debut.
May, 48, also joins Fisherman’s Friends for three songs on the film’s accompanying soundtrack album, and the band’s 10th, to be released alongside the film.
Speaking about the upcoming film, band founder Cleave said: “Without sounding too biblical about it, there have been two comings of The Fisherman’s Friends.”
He added: “First when we went and got discovered and got the record deal and all that nonsense, and then once all that initial interest gradually faded, the movie came out and it started all over again.
“While it’s all very exciting, even for us Cornish gentlemen of a certain age, we hope we have managed to stay firmly at the helm, stay true to ourselves and not be carried away by the imagination that we are something we are not…”
Band manager Ian Brown added: “When I was lucky enough to meet the band singing in Port Isaac, I knew there was a bigger audience for their music. A sea shanty is a pop song that topped the charts before electricity was invented after all. What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor is the Let It Be of the 18th century.
“What no one could foresee was how much people would love them as people and their ever-evolving story. They are the perfect tonic for our times.”
The band is poised for further success as Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical will tour the UK from September before expanding to Canada, the US and Australia.
Fisherman’s Friends has previously performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and Glastonbury festival. They were also awarded the Good Tradition Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2011.