Back in 1975, on a National Lampoon comedy album called Goodbye Pop, there was a joke about a record company A&R man eagerly trying to find the next pop-music trend.
His ultimate prediction was "whaling songs!". It speaks volumes that it should become reality, with the signing of 10 shanty-singing Cornishmen for a reported million pounds. These Fisherman's Friends' fulsome blend of baritones and tenors brings their repertoire of far-flung seafaring ballads to burly life. They're at their most mellifluous on "The Mingulay Boat Song", though the rousing call and response of songs like "Johnny Gone Down To Hilo" and the risqué "Bully In The Alley" is the dominant mode here. Who knows – with the resurgence of interest in folk music, Island's investment may yet pay off.
Download this: South Australia; The Mingulay Boat Song; Johnny Gone Down To Hilo; Brightly Beams
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