Note to musicians traveling to the U.K.: customs agents can be assholes, but they'll really throw down the book if you lie about your tours there. Sacramento's sweet, stripped down rock 'n' roll act Agent Ribbons claim they discovered the ugly truth of how harsh airport punishments can get when they recently arrived in the U.K. In an email sent out to their fans, they state that they told the customs agents there that they were just in the area for a month to visit friends -- but the fuzz separated them, locked them in different rooms, and eventually not only forced the cancellation of the tour, but told the ladies they can't return to the U.K. for ten years. Crazy! The women's story is below, and you can buy them a drink when they perform in San Francisco at the Knockout on Monday, October 6. -- Jennifer Maerz
It has been a very long few days for us Ribbonses, and now the previous few months seem very long as well.
Upon arriving in the UK, Lauren and I explained to the immigration officer that we were there visiting friends and that we intended to stay for a month. Despite our round trip tickets (we ended up purchasing our UK-US tickets last minute before we left), they were suspicious of us and our intent to enter the country.
Everything that followed was a nightmare.
What essentially happened is the immigration officer Googled our names, immediately discovered that we were in a band and found our complete tour dates up on myspace. They did not inform us that they knew the truth about our intent until hours after they repeatedly interrogated and separated us.
Thereafter we were detained in a horrible little room with very little to eat and nowhere to sleep! Like criminals!
Obviously it's an upsetting situation and a huge waste of money that took months to scrape together. However, we are particularly remorseful over the fact that so many people helped us put this trip together and will be let down by our deportation.
To all of the people in England, Scotland, Dublin and Paris that helped us find places to stay, booked our shows and were so supportive of our first tour overseas, please know how sorry we are that we won't get to meet you all. To all of our friends and family and supportive fans in Sacramento that came to our fundraiser show last month and have been there with us from the start: we are so lucky to have you in our lives and feel embarrassed to come home having wasted all these months of hard work and fundraising for absolutely nothing.
Please know how much we value you guys and appreciate all you have done for us!
Hopefully we can add some dates in France while we're in Spain in November, but as for the UK, we are unfortunately banned for the next ten years and will not be performing there for a very long time.
Hey, maybe we'll schedule a reunion tour!
Anyway, thanks again to everyone and we hope that we have not inconvenienced anyone too severely. I suppose every self-respecting artist ought to be banned in at least one country anyway, so there's no use in crying over spilled milk.
Eternal flames of agent ribbons love,
Natalie and Lauren