Seamus Carey is bringing an age-old Cornish tradition to a younger generation of men in Falmouth.

He started Men Are Singing in September 2018 hoping to create a male voice choir that was relatable to younger men.

The musician, who has worked with the likes of Knee High Theatre and WildWorks, grew up in Falmouth, and after touring the country with several theatre companies he began to reminisce about the sounds of Cornwall.

Seamus said: "Every time I came back to Cornwall, seemingly, I'd walk into the pub and there would be some old boys singing traditional Cornish songs, which is always a heartwarming thing. But I thought 'why don't younger guys do that? I'm sure they do, but where are they?"

He did some research on Cornish male choirs and found that "their arrangements are incredible and their singing is incredible," but the recurring subject matter of mining, fishing and god was not something that resonated with a younger audience.

He said: "As a young Cornish male I found myself going: 'I can now understand why younger men can't relate to that, can't relate to the older guys singing because they're not talking about anything that's actually relative to them."

So he decided to do things differently.

Falmouth Packet:

"Maybe the most useful thing I did was I made a poster and listed the things that we wouldn't be doing. We wouldn't be singing songs about fishing, mining or god, or shanties.

"As much as I like a shanty, I just feel like that's been covered by everybody in Falmouth."

Men Are Singing's rehearsal starts with a warm up. The group stand in a circle at Woodlane Social Club – chanting, flailing their limbs and playing games like Little Liza Jane, where each singer has to make up a rhyme in turn.

They do covers of songs from the likes of Bjork, Talking Heads and Tom Waits, and perform original material including a song in Cornish that references Brexit and UKIP.

Some singers are more confident than others, but everyone is welcome and the sense of camaraderie is contagious.

Seamus gave an inaugural speech at the group's first meeting in September, laying out the ground rules and ethos of the club.

He said: "Leave your egos at the door. Hang them up on the way in. The thing about singing is you're working as a team but nobody's leading it. It's a completely equal playing ground.

"I think that's quite an unusual thing nowadays for men. I think there is this kind of status thing of being better, and that totally taps into the mental health thing that's really risen in awareness recently and I think that's a big factor, is winning.

"It's great. Interestingly a lot of guys have said to me that they would feel so nervous walking into a room full of people who they don't know any trying to chat with them but they don't feel that at all when they have to walk into a room full of people they don't know and sing with them."

The group meets at Woodlane Social Club every Monday at 7.30pm. All are welcome.

For more information visit the group's website: