Martin Harley, one of the UK’s most exciting and innovative blues/roots musicians, has taken off on his next adventure. From August 20 until September 19 2010, Martin will embark on a solo tour of Britain, utilising only his bicycle and as much equipment as he can carry. 27 shows, 1200 miles, 31 days.
For this tour, Martin will be following Sustrans (Sustainable Transport Network) bike routes, helping raise awareness of their ongoing mission to reduce car journeys in the UK and to promote cycling as a healthy and green way to get around. He has booked shows, as in the past, with Villages in Action and the Rural Touring Circuit, to take music to community spaces across the land, while also playing larger venues on his usual touring route.
In celebration of Sustrans’ 15th Anniversary, the tour will be a totally emission-free, environmentally friendly way to take his unique music to all corners of the country. As well as a fresh, fun alternative to the standard idiom of touring, it will highlight the enjoyment to be found in green options for other artists and the British public.
Starting in Newcastle, Martin will be cycling down the country on a Surly “Big Dummy” Cargo Bike, to his final destination, the Eden Project in Cornwall. Along the way he will be playing venues of all shapes and sizes, from concert halls to village halls, as well as playing the Isle of Wight’s phenomenal Bestival and TV’s River Cottage Canteen. Given the timescale of the month-long tour, Martin is hoping to cover roughly 50 miles per day between shows. His fans will easily be able to keep track of his progress, as he will be recording his experiences on his blog and through a video diary.
No stranger to adventure, Martin’s music has already taken him to some strange places, via unusual routes. In 2005, in the Himalayas, he broke the record for the worlds highest ever gig above Mount Everest base camp, at a staggering 5545m above sea level. In 2007, in search of the roots of blues music, he motorcycled across Mali in Africa, meeting traditional musicians to improvise music with. This admirably restless spirit has led him to navigate Australia, India and Nepal.
With his latest jaunt, it is no surprise to see Martin breaking musical boundaries yet again. So, stand by to see Martin Harley saddled up and rolling into Hanger Farm!
Full details of the Totton show here.