As UK bands come to terms with Brexit and start planning for the madness that’s yet to come – potentially going back to the bad old days of visas and endless paperwork to tour Europe – Spoilers have plenty to say on the issue.
Europe is a big deal for bands in these times. Spoilers’ frontman Craig Sharp (vocals/guitars) spoke of his experience in his previous band on a ‘geographically haphazard tour.’ Today, Spoilers regularly visit Haarlem in the Netherlands to record for Dutch label Geertruida in Craig’s ‘dream house’: a century-old townhouse which is a home, studio, office, and even guitar shop.
As the face of Europe is changing, Craig discusses the threat that one day there may be no Europe. Particularly because of the ‘massive influence of the right wing parties of France and the Netherlands.
He speaks of the right resurgence and of anti-establishment viewpoints: ‘A distrust of elite/power, scapegoats: the left have no solutions’ and asserts he would be ‘furious if Brexit crippled four guys just trying to visit a country.’ Spoilers are proud to be part of Europe – however temporary this will now be – so much so they made a point to have MADE IN THE EU printed on their LP sleeve.
‘People are anxious. Leavers were quick to express their anger and to complain, but without offering a solution. They have opinions but no plan aside from: Don’t let immigrants cross our borders.’
As it stands, the UK doesn’t have the capacity to even print new passports on the scale that is needed. This will be the first hurdle for bands wanting to tour Europe: getting a new UK passport. Huge waiting times are likely and the prospect of European nations being accommodating with temporary travel documents are slim.
And then the madness of traveling Europe in a work capacity with large cases of music equipment will begin. For those who say that “this is just scaremongering, we will have agreements to do such things easily’’, try going to Switzerland now and see how much paperwork you must fill in to bring crew and music equipment to work there. Imagine this workload for every European country. Spoilers and others will find touring Europe a much more complex prospect.
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Cover photo by Oven Richards