Indie-folk act Stornoway are calling it quits – and the Oxford quartet fear other bands like them will soon be extinct.

The group play the Old Fruitmarket next Monday on their farewell tour, and drummer Rob Steadman believes that the music business has become tougher and tougher.

“Mid-sized bands are finding it harder,” he says.

“The music industry is becoming much more separated. You’re either at the very top in an elite Radio 1 A playlist and Top 40 group, or you’re constantly gigging around small venues, but the bands in the middle are finding it tough to sustain a living.

“The only way to do that is to play all the time and that’s something that’s very difficult to do. A lot of the groups starting out in New York the now have got me back in the 2008 mindset where it’s about doing many, many small gigs to earn some money and get some recognition, but that middle ground is disappearing.”

That isn’t the main reason why Stornoway are heading off to new pastures, though. The band simply decided that after three albums of quirky, often beautiful folk music, that their career has reached a natural end.

“Over the past couple of years we’ve all been slowly veering off in different directions,” explains the sticksman, who moved to live in New York a couple of years ago.

“We decided towards the end of last year that we should call it as it is and go out with a bang. We started preparations for the farewell tour after that, which has been a bittersweet process, because it is sad to see the end of the band but we are all quite excited about what we have going on in our own lives.

“We are individually going on with things that we have always done in the background of the band – Brian (Briggs, their singer) is working in nature conservation again, which is what he was doing before the band became the main focus, I’m drumming in New York with new groups and new music, and Jon and Oli are following passions of their own.”

The band have always been a group who were a true indie act, doing things their own way, from the lovely harmonies of debut single Zorbing through to 2015’s third record Bonxie, inspired by the outdoors and by nature, complete with the calls of 20 different birds.

“I hope we would be remembered as a band who stayed true to their method of working,” reflects Rob.

“We did the first two albums by ourselves with our own techniques and were indie in that sense (their third album was produced by Gil Norton). I think the way we are wrapping up the tour in Oxford reflects how we truly feel because Oxford has always been our home and was the town that allowed us to move forwards.

“I think being remembered as a truly indie band who stayed true to their intentions and used their own steam to push themselves forward for the 10 years we were together would be a good way for people to think of us.”

Rob himself has memories of Glasgow – painful ones.

“I will always remember the last time at Oran Mor because that’s where I managed to throw my back out when we were packing up afterwards,” he recalls, with a wince.

“That’s one of those injuries that you always fear. We played there a couple of times and both times they were wonderful shows – I’ve got a relative in Glasgow so they will be there and our old sound engineer lives in Glasgow so with his family so he’ll be there too.

“Trips around Scotland were always amazing – driving around the countryside was gorgeous and the trips to Stornoway itself, or Mull, were great.”

While some of Stornoway are moving away from music, Rob will continue to be on the drumstool. He’s playing in two different bands, electro pop act the Textiles and rock band KT Mulholland, and hoping to try different things in New York.

“I moved here with my partner, who grew up here and it can’t be overstated what an amazing city it is,” he says.

“I think it would be irresponsible to just stay in a comfort zone, and that’s true of anyone – it’s challenging. After 10 years with Stornoway, you have certain ways and things that become ingrained, so it’s a good thing to change that and advance as a musician.”

Stornoway, Old Fruitmarket, Monday, March 6 £16, 7pm