When Sheffield musical duo Mr Magpie set off on tour this weekend, there will be nothing conventional about it.
Luke Foster and Matt Alexander will be jumping on their bikes and cycling from their home city of Sheffield to Liverpool this Saturday, playing shows and busking along the way. Towing their guitars behind them, the pair will through The Peak District, South Manchester and Cheshire, before ending up in Liverpool.
In the process they’re hoping to raise awareness and funds for the charity Crohns & Colitis UK.
“Crohns and Colitis are horrible, life-changing illnesses that often don’t get talked about,” said Matt, who has close family members affected by the illnesses.
“When we set up the idea of doing a tour, we realised it was a great chance to raise awareness among new audiences and hopefully some money for the charity too.”
The duo will have collecting tins at their shows, and have also set up a sponsorship page in their bid to raise as much money as possible for charity.
Luke said: “Rather than following convention and bundling into a van to drive from city to city, we thought we'd explore the rural scenery that often informs our music. Travelling by bicycle, we can better connect to the surrounding landscape, digging up myths and folklore from the towns and villagse a little off the beaten track.
“Ultimately, we hope our experiences will make their way into songs.”
The duo were both playing as solo artists up until a year ago, when they realised that their music followed similar themes, and they decided to collaborate.
“We both like to sing about landscape and nature, so it made sense to team up,” said Matt.
“We call our music ‘landscape pop.’ Musically, it’s very melodic, and influenced by artists like XTC, The Kinks, The Beatles and Robyn Hitchcock.”
The duo have just released their first songs, ‘Bulrushes’ and ‘(She’s Got The) Shivers’ online.
“We can’t wait to see what our un-traditional tour brings,” Matt added.
“We’re hoping to have an adventure, meet new people and help out a worthy cause in the process - and avoid punctures!”
Mr Magpie will launch its tour with a show at The Dorothy Pax in Sheffield, this evening from 7.30pm.