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A Kind of Seeing presents Following the Fleet: DRIFTERS - a major live UK tour to former fishing communities. Taking Jason’s live performance of his original vocal score for John Grierson’s groundbreaking 1929 silent herring trawler film to audiences at the heart of Britain’s fishing heritage.

Following the Fleet: DRIFTERS connects audiences, performers and venues across film, music and heritage through an innovative partnership-based approach to touring led by producer Shona Thomson of A Kind of Seeing

Jason’s beautifully atmospheric semi-improvised score accompanies a rare 'big screen' experience of John Grierson's innovative portrayal of the dramatic daily routines of North Sea herring trawlermen. Complementing this, at each stop on the tour we offer a platform for local performers and present material from local archives to create an extraordinary live event celebrating the songs and stories of each local community's unique fishing traditions in the context of a national tour.

Originally commissioned by the BFI for the film's DVD/Blu-ray release, each performance of Jason’s score is totally unique combining live vocal sound effects, voice manipulation, beatboxing and live sampling to create an exhilarating cinematic experience.


Starting in the UK’s most northerly island of Unst in the Shetland Isles, in 2016 we re-traced the journey from community to community originally taken to support the North Sea trawlers following the once abundant herring shoals down the East coast.

In 2017, we plan to continue the journey from Leith to Great Yarmouth where the season peaked for the fishermen and fishwives. 

If you'd like to be part of the 2017 tour, please contact Shona Thomson here.


Scottish Tour Report - August/September 2016

We had a really positive response to Following the Fleet: DRIFTERS in each of the six communities to which we toured. We reached over 700 people as audience members, workshop participants and local performers and connected with around 1600 digital users through this website and Facebook. As well as live performances in each place, we collected stories from so many generous people who had worked in the fishing which we posted along with sounds, photos, videos and thoughts in Jason's blog and on the Following the Fleet Facebook page. Audiences were encouraged to explore local archives and museum rich in herring fishing heritage. The tour reached cinema and museum venues in Scotland’s former major herring ports:



Audience reaction to DRIFTERS

Review: Mark Kermode on DRIFTERS

Amazing! ... Sensory and emotional new experience – awesome! ... Fantastic combination of old and new. Taking the film to another level, thanks!
— Tour Audience Quotes
An astonishing and mesmeric experience
— Little White Lies Magazine
We were extremely pleased with the audience, as it brought together very different groups of people with an interest in heritage and people who usually support the arts programme as well as local fishermen.
— Timespan Museum & Arts Centre, Helmsdale, Tour Partner