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Trevor Grills: the terrible death of a Fisherman’s Friend

12 February 2013

12 February 2013

I first came to discover the beauty of the Cornish shanty singers Fisherman’s Friends when I was on holiday in the West Country last year. I was late to the game and had bought a copy of their CD at Port Isaac on a whim. I assumed it was a novelty record that I would play once or twice on the car stereo on the way home. But as soon I heard the first phrase of the first tune, ‘Shanty Man’, I was hooked, reeled in, netted by the passion of this singing. The whole family was. And we know that CD by heart.

Of all the songs, some humorous, some celebratory, some plain miserable, one stood out. ‘The Last Leviathan’, a lament to the death of a great whale, is quite simply one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. The lead is taken by Trevor Grills, a builder who just happens to have the gift of a naturally expressive tenor that communicates all the terrible tragedy of the song. Here are the first lines:

‘My soul has been torn from me and I am bleeding
My heart it has been rent and I am crying
All the beauty around me fades and I am screaming
I am the last of the great whales and I am dying.’

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And now Trevor Grills has been torn from us, in a freak accident during the latest Fisherman’s Friends tour, which also killed the group’s tour manager (the two men were crushed when a steel door fell on them during rehearsals at a theatre in Guildford).

I had the privilege to see one of the last concerts given by Trevor Grills with the Fisherman’s Friends at the Royal Festival Hall earlier this month. It was a great rollicking West Country evening. But the high point was Trevor Grills’s rendition of The Last Leviathan, whose voice rent our hearts that night through to the final verse:

‘Oh now that we are all gone there’s no more hunting
The big fellow is no more it’s no use lamenting
What race will be next in line? All for the slaughter
The elephant or the seal or your sons and daughters.’

Rest in Peace, Trevor.


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Show comments
  • Austin Barry

    “My soul has been torn from me and I am bleeding
    My heart it has been rent and I am crying
    All the beauty around me fades and I am screaming
    I am the last of the great whales and I am dying.’

    A metaphorical threnody for England, perhaps.

  • beak15

    You clearly aren’t all there. Keep on digging Jenia!!

  • pedestrianblogger

    Trevor Grills was a personal friend of mine and was very much loved by all who knew him. He was, as are all the Fisherman’s Friends, an honest, hard-working and utterly unpretentious man who will be sorely missed both by the community in Port Isaac and beyond. No-one I know ever had a bad word to say about him and I never heard him say a bad word about anyone else. May he rest in peace.

  • beak15

    To prove your stupidity, Mr Grills wasn’t even a fisherman. Duh!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jenia.nyachowe Jenia Nyachowe

      To prove your stupidity ,they were portrayed as such to the public as i said bs for the tourists you sad middle class nancy boys ,so sanctimonius, dont like any one knowing how two faced you really are ,

      • http://www.facebook.com/jenia.nyachowe Jenia Nyachowe

        PS just because i pointed out that they were advertising a fish range of ready meals,which werent even made from british fish,while milking the the gullible public into thinking they were hard pressed fishermen is the real tradegy.if not fraud,happily the public through other web sites and blogs are realising that they have been had.you and your ilk hate being found out.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jenia.nyachowe Jenia Nyachowe

      Putting it mildly you really are a toadying lickspittle.after viewing your horrendous picture i suggest to change your name to geak15

  • beak15

    Just read your “removed” post. You really are a piece of work. Very sad.

  • beak15

    Maybe they are removed because they are needlessly tasteless and crass. You should be embarrassed. Having pops at the dead is low but that seems your style. Grow up and troll elsewhere.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jenia.nyachowe Jenia Nyachowe

    funny how my replies have been removed,you nobs dont like a bit of reality comments ,pathetic

  • John21Allen

    Jenia – that really is the electronic equivalent of defecating on the cenotaph.

  • beak15

    Jenia – you are clearly a hateful little grub. Crawl back in your cave.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jenia.nyachowe Jenia Nyachowe

      what a load of sanctimonious bastards,funny how ideals go out of the window when you start to make a few quid,they were supposed to god fearing fishing folk making a political comment on the state of the british trawler industry and the decline of fishing stock in uk waters,so what do they do?.advertise fish dinners made with fish sourced from outside the eu.what a sellout.i would not be suprised to learn that they are a manufactured group by simon cowell.ps the trawlermen in this country are solely responsible for killing off all the young stock they catch in their nets ,just for a few fish they can sell.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jenia.nyachowe Jenia Nyachowe

      You blokes all seem to be nancy boy ,public school ,house husbands,what sorry specimens you are,pathetic.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jenia.nyachowe Jenia Nyachowe

      Funny to stir up a nest of homosexual backlash,dont like it do you?hypercrites.

      • beak15

        ?????? Are you all there?!

        • http://www.facebook.com/jenia.nyachowe Jenia Nyachowe

          you are clearly an ignorant bastard,and an arsehole,so crawl up one and shut the fuck up.

          • beak15

            Erm… Hit a nerve….

  • http://www.facebook.com/jenia.nyachowe Jenia Nyachowe

    sad though it is ,i cant help thinking it was devine retribution for advertising a range of fish meals for a well known company which in tiny letters on the box states,fish sourced from outside uk while championing the uk fishing industry.seems a bit two faced to me,funny how money will always come before good intention.

    • Tim Steele, London

      Jenia, If there is such a thing as divine retribution, then you should hope that the punishment for posting inane, insensitive and inappropriate political nonsense is less severe than that meted out to poor Trevor. He was a friend of mine, and of many others. He was an honest, hard working man – a modest character who ran a family building business, fished when he could, and volunteered for the RNLI. No-one has the right to sit in their armchair in Hampstead and pass judgment on him, without knowing him and how he lived. I sincerely hope that your silly attempts to make light of this tragedy will never be seen by his grieving family.

      • Charlie

        Jenia: If there is divine retribution awaiting any of us, I think you’ve just moved yourself up the queue. And I’m hoping Trevor is on the judging panel.

        • http://www.facebook.com/jenia.nyachowe Jenia Nyachowe

          No doubt a big compensation claim is at this moment being worked out.you idiots are typical of the cry baby attitude of the people reacting to a true statement of facts i suppose when ian brady dies you and the idiots above will be writing editorials saying ,well he wasnt that bad…

        • http://www.facebook.com/jenia.nyachowe Jenia Nyachowe

          my responses to you sanctimonious idiots have been deleted seems you dont like a bit of truth in the morning,at least on judgement day i can hold up my head and say i never sold myself for money.

      • http://www.facebook.com/mik.benner Mik Benner

        Hear hear Tim Steele, and so say all of us, “Jenia…judge yourself before you judge other people, for if you are as perfect as you think you might be, sadly your comments show that you are far from it …..?

        • http://www.facebook.com/jenia.nyachowe Jenia Nyachowe

          I refer you to the answer given above

      • http://www.facebook.com/jenia.nyachowe Jenia Nyachowe

        whatever he was he sold out to big buissness,advertising fish dinners made with foreign fish,what happened to championing the trawler men and the depleted fishing industry. so you can all have a good sob on each others sanctimonios shoulders while you plan a memorial concert and discuss the marketing of the dvds.i make no apologies for being a realist if you cant accept that TOUGH.

    • http://twitter.com/martinbright Martin Bright

      I have to say, Jenia, that has to be the most unpleasant and insensitive comment I have ever had on this blog. And that’s saying something

      • http://www.facebook.com/jenia.nyachowe Jenia Nyachowe

        Funny how how ideals and good intentions fly out of the window when you start to make a few quid,i suppose when ian brady dies you will all say well he wasnt all bad .how sanctimonius of you all.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jenia.nyachowe Jenia Nyachowe

        Really,the most unpleasant thing on this blog is you namby pamby apologies for men who dont like facing facts,which i may are public knowledge,cretin.

  • rndtechnologies786

    Good thought.

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