Following on from the German punk band Trigger Cut being refused entry to the UK for a 7 date tour, Krank approached CarryOnTouring’s Ian Smith under his UKEArtworks.info role for advice.
Using his advice and doing everything exactly as it should be done, when Krank reached the Eurotunnel border at Calais they were refused entry and basically threatened with a Entry Refusal Stamp in their passports if they didn’t go away quietly.
In this case, we believe the issue lies in the border officers interpretation of the word “Expert” regarding the calibre of the musician stood in front of them. In our view this is completely insane.
Let’s here from Krank’s drummer Geoffrey Howard to get his take on what happened.
“To our friends in Nottingham and Plymouth and your scenes and bands:
We are very sorry that we could not "satisfy" the English immigration authorities yesterday. We are sorry that the authorities do not consider us "top of the game" ....we are NOT the Beatles....we are NOT the Rolling Stones. "Professional musicians?" WTF!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm a long way from being Charlie Watts or Ringo Starr. Hell, I'm sloppier than Keith Moon..... KRANK is not Pink Floyd, not Genesis, not Jethro Tull. Do musicians in the UK these days need a fucking time card and rubber stamps and gold records to prove their musical depth and love of music? We're an instrumental hardcore band. Is that even music?
We did everything right with our paperwork and information and even more. English immigration was really persistent and claimed we were wrong. I did my homework and even more on top of that. I had the luck to be able to consult professionals who have the most insight and experience in this matter. We tried to learn from the same and similar experiences that other bands like Trigger Cut have had. Seems that they move the wall in accordance to where they think at the given time, the wall should be. No win situation...unless one wants to pay literally 100s of pounds: pay to play in a most perverted sense.
We're still pissed, but nothing will change until the UK authorities get their shit together! They are strangulating UK culture and music, from the grassroots/DIY up, among other things that are not beneficial to anyone. All knew Brexit sucks!!!!
Yesterday's experience was unique. It's very different from reading what happened to others. It sucked! Standing in the rain next to our locked van while our passports, keys and papers were confiscated (not that we tried to run). At least they (the Immigration lady) "unlocked" the van for us so we didn't have to wait forever in the cold and rain. We called our friends and contacts in England and told them what had happened while we waited to be "deported" from English immigration to French immigration. Then, about 40 minutes later, after getting our keys, passports and papers back from French immigration, we were escorted through the gate back to France into our European Union by a EuroTunnel "warden" ......
That hurt quite a bit. It's not about the money (which we don't play for, but something is always good) or the time and organization, it's just the chance to play PunkRockandRoll with our friends there, maybe make some new friends, have a few pints and see the area. I always say it's the quality of the crowd, not the quantity of the crowd, that makes us want to play PunkRockandRoll even more!
.....we will Keep on RocKin!!!!”
As you can see not only has it cost the band money, but also the venues and fans lose out.
I will be sharing this post with CarryOnTouring’s Parliamentary supporters, this simply cannot continue. How long before EU bands decide it’s not worth the risk and don’t bother coming anymore?