Cornwall’s local press have just printed their pick of ‘the Coolest 50 in Cornwall’. Staggeringly, running a vintage lighting shop in Fowey doesn’t seem to make the grade. But you may be interested in some of the others who make Cornwall their home.
Did you know that the Kaiser Chiefs Ricky Wilson is based in Falmouth and Will Young (though he didn’t make the list) has a home on Bodmin Moor?
Here in Fowey we count Dawn French – most recently seen in Sky’s new black comedy Delicious – as one of our own. Plus Richard and Judy are frequent visitors; in fact Richard once claimed that the ghost of Caron Keating helps him find a parking space in Fowey. (Parking is an issue in Fowey. Every little helps right?)
With the world renowned Sawmills Studios a few miles up the river, we’ve had our fair share of musical royalty. The Stone Roses Fools Gold was recorded there, and Oasis have also been (Liam famously getting into a fight at the Ship in Fowey – that much Rattler is no good for man nor beast.)
The Beatles came to Watergate Bay in 1967 while filming the Magical Mystery Tour. Ever been lucky enough to spend New Years Eve in Redruth? You’re in good company – Bowie did in 1968. And Queen played their first ever gig in Truro in 1970 (drummer Roger Taylor is from Newquay, and our local garage is run by his cousin. It’s A-list round here.)
Going back along, in the heyday of the Cornwall Coliseum, most acts stayed at the Fowey Hotel and living right next to it I was lucking enough to hang out with (well, follow round) the likes of the late great George Michael, Boy George, Kid Creole, Status Quo, Thin Lizzy – yes, even the Nolans. You couldn’t be too fussy growing up in Cornwall.
Number One on the Cool List is Lanner boy Aphex Twin (neither a twin nor an Aphex – for the older readers a popular purveyor of electronic music) and without knowing it we danced while he DJ’d at the wonderful Bowgie in the late eighties, quite possibly haranguing the ground breaking, Grammy Award winning innovator for more Nolans.
So it’s fair to say Cornwall has its share of famous visitors and residents. Only the other day I was at an event when I whispered to my friend ‘oooh don’t turn round now but that film critic Mark Kermode has just walked in’.
‘Yes’ she replied casually. ‘I brought him. He’s staying with me.’