Indie-folk band Stornoway vow Manchester gig will be ‘biggest show’ of their hotly-anticipated farewell tour

Indie-folk favourites Stornoway are embarking on their farewell tour, closing the book on an incredible 12 years making music together.

The band will be saying goodbye in style as they hit cities such as London, Leeds, Cardiff and, of course, Manchester over the next few weeks.

“It feels really good to have a celebration to show for it,” bassist Oli Steadman told MM.

“We’ve got a new cover song or two, and instead of our usual one trumpet and violin I think we’ll have a few more people on stage.

“The biggest thing is that we’ve taken a trip to go and find our old stage props, massive sails that someone gave to us in the very early days, we’ll bring those back.

“Manchester’s been amazing; they’ve upgraded the venue twice. I think it’s going to be the biggest show of the whole tour,” he said of their March 4 show at the Academy.

Stornoway are well known for hits including I Saw You Blink, Zorbing and Unfaithful.

But fans may not know that the group’s journey actually started way back at Oxford University in 2005.

“I wasn’t a student at the uni or anything, I was actually just a school kid and I sort of tricked my way into the group, told them I was at uni,” Oli explained.

“We just gigged around for ages, being really silly, wearing dressing gowns on stage and having a lot of fun.”

The fun was infectious, and debut single ‘Zorbing’ became one of the songs of summer 2009.

In November of the same year they became the first unsigned band to appear on Later…with Jools Holland.

Oli continued: “The band always say that I’ve got the best memory. They always say bass players don’t have to think too much because they’ve only got four strings to worry about.

“I’ve got a lot of good memories, for me it’s just purely the touring.

“The fans have always been amazing. Right from the start we’ve had some scarily dedicated fans.

“We’ve had people bake cakes and bring them to the gig, we’ve had quite a few fans who just drive around following us on tour.

“One guy, Pat, he just called us up out of the blue and said ‘I’ve got this old bus that you guys can have’.”

After more than a decade working together, the group’s has grown in different directions.

Singer Brian Briggs is working as a nature reserve warden in South Wales, and Oli’s younger brother and the band’s drummer, Rob, has followed his heart across the Atlantic.

Oli himself is running successful gig-booking start up Tigmus, along with the band’s trumpet player, Tom Hodgson, after they noticed that some promoters would take advantage of young artists.

He revealed: “The thing that we can’t really overcome is the distance.

“That’s why the tour is going to be really special because everyone’s making an effort to get together.”

Stornoway will play at Manchester Academy on Saturday, March 4. You can buy tickets here.

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