Perraners at The Seiners, Perranporth Tuesday 11th December 2012
The pub sits right by Perranporth beach with wonderful views of the wide stretch of sand and at high tide it feels as if it’s a ship at sea. Inside it has wooden floors and beams – great for acoustics.
Dan and Lisa took over the pub as owners last year with great trepidation. They had previously been landlords but when the owner went bankrupt they had to make a big decision – whether the pub would close or to jump in and turn it around. Happily for us they chose the latter and for a few months in the winter they teetered on the edge but as Summer came their fortunes began to change. Why? Not only because of the tourist season but because they are such friendly and welcoming people. They have great ideas too and an amazing amount of energy to see them through. At a time when pubs are closing so fast it’s a delight to know of a success story!
One of the ideas they have been so supportive of has been a regular Cornish music session (which I co-run with Neil Davey and Jen Dyer) on Tuesday nights and a shout afterwards with the Perraners.
The Perraners have regularly practiced in the backroom of The Seiners for several years and about 3 years ago they began to join us in the bar after their rehearsals. They started as a group after hearing the Calstock Singers sing at Lowender Peran (Interceltic Festival in Perranporth) in 2000. Some of the members knew the Cornish songs but wanted to develop harmonies and repertoire so they asked the Calstock MD – Ian Marshall to work with them. Ian not only still conducts the Singers when they perform as a choir but has also written some lovely arrangements of the pub songs. On their website they describe their name:
‘As Perranporth is named after St Piran who reputedly liked his ale, and picking up from the local saying “as drunk as a Perraner”, the name The Perraners seemed very appropriate for a group that insists on meeting in a pub!’
Some of the original members such as Chris and Karin Easton, Stuart, Nigel and Leslie are still involved and sing great renditions of many of the Cornish favourites. A few of them have also formed the great shanty group Stamp and Go. Others such as Steve – a great bass singer have started to sing favourite songs of their own such as ‘Martin Said To His Man’ and ‘Maggie May’– developing harmonies by regularly singing them.
As I play at the Seiners every week and join in with the singing too, it’s hard to choose a specific visit but these photos are from Christmas time when we sang local carols with them. One of their ‘own’ is the Bolingey version of While Shepherds Watched – which is a lovely arrangement – Chris Easton taught this to me as he grew up in Bolingey in a Methodist family.
The singers are incredibly welcoming and ready for anyone to join in so between them and the Landlord and Lady it’s a place to feel ‘at home’ in and just how pubs should be!