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Where’d the band go?

written by: on July 9, 2011

You bought your tickets and/or made your plans.  You and your friends were psyched to see the show. Then, mysteriously, only a week or two before the show, the concert is cancelled.  Refunds available at point of purchase.  Find something else to do with that night you had already made plans with your show-going buddies.

A case in point: Kelly Marino had never been to a roller derby match before, so when she won the raffle drawing at her first Chicago Outfit “bout,” she was delighted, but not entirely surprised.  Historically, she always had great luck with raffles.  More surprising to her, and much to her boyfriend’s delight, she won two tickets to see original punk/goth band The Damned at Chicago’s Metro.

But before the show could take place, the U.S. Tour for The Damned was cancelled.  The group had not been able to get their U.S. VISAs from the U.K. approved in time to make their scheduled tour dates. Now, almost two years later, The Damned will make another attempt to tour the U.S. and are booked to play the Metro again this October, but Ms. Marino and her boyfriend will have to buy tickets if they want to see The Damned this time.

As part of Chicago’s Downtown Sound Series in Millennium Park, “indie-techno veterans” Seefeel were booked to play a free concert with Cave on Monday July 4, just one date on their first ever U.S. tour, supporting their first album (self-titled) in 16 years.

A statement from the band and label (below) led to speculation by Prefix and Brooklyn Vegan that a similar fate had damned them:

Seefeel and Warp are extremely saddened to announce the cancellation of Seefeel’s US tour. Bureaucratic hoop-jumping beyond the band’s control is unfortunately to blame, and the fans will have to suffer for it. Again, we’re so very sorry to disappoint you all with this news and hopefully fans can bear with the band a while longer before the US tour (which they very much want to happen) can occur without any snags.”

No doubt Seefeel will reschedule a Chicago date when they have completed their “hoop-jumping,” but it’s doubtful they’ll be playing a free show in Millennium Park this summer, when they do. A gig at Chicago’s Subterranean in early July was also scrubbed.

Why does this keep happening?  Read about the US Government preventing foreign musicians from playing on American soil. We wrote about this back in April, and while we know these things take time to change, it’s a shame to see that it’s still happening.

Here at Pop ‘stache, we never want to be the ones to say “we told you so,” we want to be the ones who help explain what happened.  Read the article and you’ll see how our government is making life difficult for artists that want to perform for American ears.