- Title: Singers welcome G7 leaders to Cornwall with shanties by the sea
- Date: 10th June 2021
- Summary: FALMOUTH, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JUNE 9, 2021) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRYHER'S BOYS BAND LEADER, TREVOR BROOKES, SAYING: "We do it because we love it. It's a passion for all of us, we enjoy singing, we enjoy performing and putting smiles on people's faces. And as I say, it's a job for life, there's no escape."
- Embargoed: 24th June 2021 06:56
- Keywords: Bryher's Boys G7 G7 Summit International Sea Shanty Festival Nathan Evans Wellerman sea shanties sea shanty
- Location: FALMOUTH, ST IVES AND CARBIS BAY, ENGLAND, UK / VARIOUS UNIDENTIFIED LOCATIONS
- City: FALMOUTH, ST IVES AND CARBIS BAY, ENGLAND, UK / VARIOUS UNIDENTIFIED LOCATIONS
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment,Europe,Music
- Reuters ID: LVA00CEGTHN47
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Strolling down the Prince of Wales pier in Falmouth, southwest England, local sea shanty group Bryher's Boys belt out a rendition of the traditional Cornish song "Lamorna" to the delight of onlookers.
The 11 men, aged in their mid-50s to mid-70s, specialise in the traditional seafaring songs, which surged in popularity after a Scottish postman posted a performance of one on social media that went viral during the coronavirus lockdown.
Bryher's Boys were invited by Reuters to perform ahead of this weekend's G7 summit, which is being held near Falmouth in the English county of Cornwall, and before the International Sea Shanty Festival on June 19 - virtual this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was group's first live performance since March 2020, and they even rewrote traditional sea shanty "A Drop of Nelson's Blood" to a G7 theme on Reuters' request.
"Cornwall has a tradition of these sorts of songs," said band leader Trevor Brookes.
"The miners and the acoustics down in the mine helped choir singing, and that's where the traditional Cornish singing came from. And then ... we're surrounded by the sea, so mariners, fishermen and all that, so it is a natural link for us to sing both those two genres."
He said sea shanties were once sung to galvanize sailors as they went about daily chores like raising the anchor or hauling in the sails.
"You had to get the men in unison, so they would have a shanty singer, and that sort of inspired that group singing together, and people like that."
Brookes sees the G7 meeting of leaders of major developed economies as an opportunity to showcase the culture and traditions of Cornwall.
U.S. President Joe Biden and his counterparts will gather from Friday (June 11) in the picturesque seaside town of Carbis Bay, some 35 miles (56 km) from Falmouth, for face-to-face meetings where the pandemic and climate change are likely to be on the agenda.
"There are so many things that could capitalise on that," Brookes said. "The businesses, the maritime industries, the hospitality. But also the entertainment and opportunity for people to plug into the culture of Cornwall."
Sea shanties entered popular culture after postman Nathan Evans sang the 19th century "Wellerman" and posted the performance on TikTok last year.
A pop re-mix of his song reached number one in the UK music charts and he has reportedly been offered a record deal.
"Sea shanties as I say have been around Cornwall for some time, but it has given it a new impetus, and yeah we're glad for that."
Bryher's Boys' performance at next week's virtual International Sea Shanty Festival festival will be streamed online, and Brookes is also looking forward to a return to live performances soon.
"It's a passion for all of us, we enjoy singing, we enjoy performing and putting smiles on people's faces," he said. "And ... it's a job for life, there's no escape."
(Production: Will Russell, Gerhard Mey, Ben Makori, Helena Williams, Jonathan Shenfield)
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