AFTER 45 years  folk rock and punk legends Oysterband have decided to board the tour bus for one last ride  - and are heading for Exeter Phoenix arts centre  at the end of the year with their Long Long Goodbye tour.

‘We’re hanging up our travelling shoes and are going to retire as a touring act,’ the band stated on heir website..

‘But we are taking a year or so to say goodbye to our lovely live audience and we mean to enjoy every minute! It’s been a long, tough, joyful journey, but the time has come.

In the words of our own song Granite Years, we’re waving you a long, long goodbye.’

The band formed in parallel to Fiddler's Dram, and under the name Oyster Ceilidh Band played purely as a dance band at first. The name Oyster comes from the group's early association with the coastal town of WhitstableKent, a town known for the quality of its oysters.

Emerging in the early 80s from their folk club and ceilidh band days, Oysterband infused both the tradition and their own songs with a passion and energy that was regarded as totally electrifying for the time. 

The heady mix of polkas, politics and a heaving dance floor seemed just right for time of Thatcher’s Britain. Signing to new roots label Cooking Vinyl, headlining English Roots Against Apartheid, playing Glastonbury and the Fleadh several times each, touring with The Pogues in Europe and Billy Bragg in North America, hosting the Big Session Festival... all helped in gainin them a very large and incredibly loyal international following.

Their collaboration with June Tabor in 1990 produced the cult-classic album Freedom & Rain, and it was renewed 21 years later for Ragged Kingdom, which turned out to be one one of the best-selling folk-rock albums of the new millennium.

They have also been winners of several prestigious  BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, including Best Band twice,

 Throughout the decades Oysterband’s song-writing has never stood still, and classics such as The Oxford GirlWhen I’m Up (I Can’t Get Down)Everywhere I Go and Put Out The Lights have entered the folk canon.

‘As you may have noticed, we've written rather a lot of songs.  Too many, really, to do justice to in the course of an evening,’ continued the band..  ‘In sharing our 45-year musical journey with audiences so we've decided to try doing it over two nights in some suitable venues. We promise not to repeat ourselves from one night to the next!’

Tickets for their two night gig at Exeter Phoenix on December 2 and 3 can be booked at