A feat of human endurance, Filkin's Drift arrive at their final destination after 2 months "on the road" touring. Only their "road" was 870 miles of coastal footpath, taking in the beautiful scenery of the Welsh coast with rugged and often unforgiving terrain!
Their sustainable tour was a way to demonstrate how the music industry can be more environmentally conscious when it comes to travel. No tour vans, no cars and certainly no private jets, this duo have achieved something quite remarkable and worth celebrating.
Not only have they proved it's possible to travel on foot, but they've also been raising funds for Live Music Now, a charity that brings music to the lives of people from all backgrounds.
Find out more about why they did it in our first article here.
Check in on their mid-way progress in this previous article.
(Photo credit: Alex Henshaw)
It was a pleasure to catch up with the duo on their return home and they were able to muster up the energy to give us their feedback and highlights of the tour...
What was the primary motivator that got you to do this epic challenge?
Our main aim with this tour was to see if it really was possible for us to 'walk to work' for two months. Surely, if we could manage that, then other musicians might be inspired to see how they could make their tours more sustainable, albeit it in less radical ways! We also just really wanted the challenge, and to spend a lot of time out in nature.
What have you learned during your time on the road path?
We've learnt so much on this tour. The people we stayed with along the way have inspired us to live more sustainably in our day-to-day lives; The time spent in nature has taught us to recognise different species of bird and dolphin; and the time spent doing so many gigs has massively improved our duo playing!
Any advice for other musicians (around your primary motivator, green travel, just doing it, being brave enough to do something epic, etc)?
Think creatively! Musicians are such creative people, but often when planning tours and how to actually get their music out there, the creativity stops and we fall into the same old patterns of touring and social media posts. I'd encourage anyone to think outside the box when it comes to touring. Do you have to travel by car? Do you have to play in normal concert venues? Why not approach a wildlife centre and get there by bike? I can assure you that the experience will be so much richer for both you and the audience. However, I'll admit that travelling by bike might not work if you're a drummer..!
How do you find travelling with the Fusion Bag?
My Fusion set-up was fantastic! I had the acoustic guitar bag, plus two fuse-on bags, that gave me so much space for clothes and food. Also, the fact that I had two separate fuse-on bags meant that I had four large, immediately accessible pockets. Pretty useful when you're hungry and you want that bag of nuts 'right now!' The flexible design also meant that on days when we didn't need to take our instruments (because we were staying in the same place), we could just take one fuse-on bag. The fuse-on bags are great backpacks in their own right!
Did you make any modifications to your luggage during the tour?
I gradually got rid of stuff throughout the tour! It was amazing how little stuff we actually needed, and this is something I'm trying to bring into my life now that I'm back in the normal world.
What were your tour highlights?
The gig at Henbant Permaculture farm was incredible. An audience who were so with us when we played our softer, more intricate works, but who were immediately up dancing when we got more lively towards the end! Seeing a group of 20 dolphins playing in the surf off the Pembrokeshire coast was pretty special too, and a memory that will stay with me for quite some time. Oh, and I shouldn't forget the incredible meal made for us by Lasagne Steve on Anglesey.
Would you do it again?
Once you have a taste of this sort of touring it is pretty addictive! We're already thinking about what the next project could be...
We're going to take some time to reflect and relax for a few weeks now. There's so much to process from this tour that we need to give our brains a little bit of space!
Head over to YouTube to watch the folk duo on the final stages of their tour: