Freddie Cooper stood proud on the shingle, quietly welcoming her guests throughout the day. Deceptively, the North Sea lapped gently against the shore at Aldeburgh as we joined the musicians and RNLI crew for the launch of “Plenty More Fish in the Sea”, the second studio album by The Broadside Boys.
A lifeboat station might appear to be an odd location for an album launch, unless of course you know The Broadside Boys. They write and sings songs about life in the East of England. Their lyrics tell stories of everyday working life, of the people and places that mould us into who we are. The lifeboat men and women of Aldeburgh are ordinary, everyday people who do an extraordinary job when called upon. The profits from the sale of this album are being donated to RNLI Aldeburgh.
Led by Mat Bayfield, The Boys played all of the numbers from the album with passion and not a little emotion. We were treated to songs of herring, recession, family holidays and personal, very personal crisis. Mat’s rendition of ‘Hold on Tight’ will stay with me for a long time. For people like me, not blessed by being born in Suffolk but having had enough sense to move here and adopt it as home, there were history lessons to be had in ‘Eastern Belle’. Who cannot relate to the line “Daddy are we there yet?” in the chorus of ‘Incleborough Fields’. And yes, I will admit, there was a lump in my throat when “The Boys” were joined by the crew of the boat that the public keep afloat in singing “train one save many” from ‘Freddie Cooper’
Plenty More Fish in the Sea is a good old fashioned concept album rather than a collection of random songs. Although firmly an album about folk from the east, coastal communities throughout the country will hear echoes of their lives.
Plans for the encore were slightly delayed when Alex was asked to do an impromptu melodeon solo – Alex did not disappoint. For anyone who knows The Broadside Boys, or who know anything of the history of Glemham Hall the encore of Keeper Jack was a fine tribute to Mat’s grandfather.
“The Broadside Boys” are Mat Bayfield, Eric Sedge, Alex Goldsmith and Ian Sedge, you can find out more about them here www.thebroadsideboys.com
The evening was opened by Sound Tradition, a quartet who modestly describe themselves as East Anglian folk singers. With no accompaniment nor amplification Linda, Catherine, Moose and David simply stand and sing, and they do it rather well. In keeping with the evening they sang shanties and songs of the sea opening with Cyril Tawney’s “Chicken on a Raft”, a modern folk classic. Click here for more information about Sound Tradition: www.soundtradition2.wordpress.com
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