Fisherman’s Friends Benefit Show | Falmouth Pack

Fisher Friends are hosting a special concert in aid of the local children’s charity which has provided tremendous support to one of their most dedicated young fans and his family during a heartbreaking time.

The beloved band are holding a matinee performance at the Hall for Cornwall in Truro on Saturday November 5, after their tradition of charity fundraising in Port Isaac was wiped out by their own popularity.

All proceeds from the show will be donated to the Children’s Hospice South West’s Little Harbor in St Austell where Seth Dickenson, his parents and brothers, gratefully received expert care, advice and support during the final months of his short life. life.

Falmouth Packet: Fisherman's Friends will play a special matinee on SaturdayAngler’s Friends Play a Special Saturday Matinee (Picture: supplied)

Fisherman’s Friends didn’t hesitate when family friends invited them to the hospice to sing him Seth’s favorite slum songs just months before his death in May 2021, aged just seven . Their visit in December 2020 – standing in the cold outside Seth’s bedroom in the garden to comply with Covid regulations – also comforted Seth’s mother Sam, father James and elder sibling Isaac , now 17, Arthur, 15, and Rufus, 12.

When the terminally ill baby boy was transferred to the incredible care of Little Harbour, the Fisherman’s Friends track No Hopers, Jokers and Rogues had become something of a family anthem. Sam said: “That’s when the lyrics to this song – ‘It could be a ladder to the stars, who knows?’ – began to resonate strongly with us We were on this journey, but we didn’t know where it was going.

“The Fisherman’s Friends came over and sang some of Seth’s favorite songs. At that time, he couldn’t move and had a feeding tube, but he was still trying to sing. It was one of those incredible moments that we will always remember.

Before that it was almost like his spirit was broken and he had had enough but then he came back to us…he spoke, he got his swallow back, he came home and lived several more months,” added Sam.

Falmouth Packet: Seth Dickenson wears his Fisherman's Friends t-shirt a week after the band's visit to Little Harbor in December 2020Seth Dickenson wears his Fisherman’s Friends t-shirt a week after the band’s visit to Little Harbor in December 2020 (Picture: provided)

The band’s deeply moving encounter with Seth and the Dickensons, who live in St Austell, inspired them to press ahead with plans to return to their big-hearted roots and stage a charity show as part of their current tour. United Kingdom. The family was invited to come as guests.

Eleanor Baxter of Children’s Hospice South West said: ‘This concert is going to be such a heartfelt and beautiful way to support our Little Harbor hospice, and to remember Seth and all that the Fisherman’s Friends performance meant to him and his family. family. Events like these really highlight how special it is to work for such an amazing place and what wonderful things can be done to raise funds.

Raising money for good causes is in the blood of Cornwall’s favorite slum band whose performances in their North Cornwall home village have always been as much about raising money for charity as raising their voices singing together in a backdrop of glorious port on Friday nights in spring and summer.

Thousands of pounds have been raised for a wide variety of local organizations over the years at these informal free gigs, but the continued success of The Fisherman’s Friends coupled with the impact of Covid-19, has forced the guys to put an end to their regular shows. on The Platt, ending a long history of bailing out charity coffers since the 1990s.

Crowds gathering to watch the band of old pals give warm renditions of their favorite traditional work songs, interspersed with plenty of friendly banter, began to swell after bursting onto the national music scene with their debut Top Ten album. in 2010 and their appearance at Glastonbury the year after.

Over 2,000 people started showing up each week in season, filling the collection boxes nicely. But when the first Fisherman’s Friends film became a box office success upon release in the spring of 2019, the numbers started to get out of hand, posing a growing challenge in terms of logistics, health and safety.

To perform in this lovely but uncomfortable outdoor location, the guys found themselves having to get permission from the harbor master, watch out for high tides, find extra parking in the fields above the village and provide stewards and first aiders.

But the biggest hurdle was the “colossal” cost of insurance premiums, which drastically reduced the amount that could go to charity.

Jon Cleave of the band said: “We started by collecting for causes like the town hall and the school. Then we got a little better organized and each week we allocated to a different charity. We provided the vocals and they were able to come and do a collection.

This worked very well for a few years and thousands of pounds were raised for many Cornish charities. As we were too busy on the Platt, it leaves a bit of a hole in what we were doing before.

Hosting this special Hall for Cornwall gig – the afternoon of an evening show at the venue which sold out in 24 hours – provided the perfect opportunity and it’s something the down-to-earth band would like to turn into a major annual fundraiser for good causes in the country they love.

“It’s nice to touch our roots again by doing this show for the hospice. If we can do something like this once a year supporting different Cornish charities that would be great,” Jon said. “We’re just ordinary working people singing songs that ordinary people have sung for generations and we love trying to support our local community.”

The success of their own concerts and recordings has been bolstered in recent times by the success of the film and its 2022 sequel Fisherman’s Friends: One and All, as well as the stage production Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical, currently touring UK theaters , but the members of the group continue their daily work in Port Isaac and Padstow.

Lobster fisherman, singer and accordionist Jason Nicholas said: “We never seem to be out of the spotlight these days and it would be great if a local charity like Little Harbor – and others in the future – enjoy.

“We’ve seen Seth’s family at our gigs since the little boy died and they told us they were absolutely delighted we were going to sing for him at the hospice. They said it had made a huge difference in the last stages of his life and that it was also something that touched us all very much.

• The Fisherman’s Friends matinee performance at Cornwall Hall on Saturday, November 5 is sold out. Check the ticket office for last minute returns on 01872 262466.

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