No Joy In Shriekville…

Shriekback live in Amsterdam ©2017 Frans Lahaye

It is with furrowed brow that I report that the Shriekback Kickstarter campaign to raise funding for an American tour in 2018 to progress from the UK/European dates they successfully raised funding for last year has ended in failure. Out of the £66,000 needed to make the big moves into North American soil for the eight piece band and crew, only £23,067 from just 96 backers manifested. This, in dramatic contrast to the 494 backers who pitched in to make the UK/Euro re-ignition of the band very successfully last year.

Of course, this being America, everything is bigger… including costs. The previous campaign was for a fraction of the asking this time. 494 people gave £43,597 [$57,082] for the £35,000 [$48,969] requested. But the last decade has seen the acquisition of work visas become both labyrinthian and more costly. Hell, Peter Murphy has the misfortune to live in Turkey and right now we’re in a war with Turkey over the issue of non-immigrant visas with that nation that sees Peter’s much-planned San Francisco residency shows being postponed twice [so far…] due to the US and Turkey not issuing any work visas for each other. So it could be worse.

The first campaign went so smoothly, I was fully confident that even with twice the asking amount, that Shriekfans would respond positively. After all, lots of Americans pledged to the first campaign even though it was not for these shores. As Barry Andrews put it, phase two [North America] was completely reliant on phase one [UK/Europe] happening first. It was not going to occur without the smaller step taken first. I kicked in a little to help make it happen, and this time I pledged a $50 sum to the goal. All for naught.

Normally, traveling to Major Cities outside of the Southeast for a concert is something that happens super infrequently with me. I’m fine with this state or Tennessee if necessary, but to see Shriekback, whom I’d never seen before, was something of a coup that had to happen. trips to D.C. or most likely, Chicago, would have to happen. Better yet, when I had to cancel my trip to see my friend Ron last November [alas, he died the day before I was set to fly West] I have $550 of credit that will last just through this year with Southwest Airlines, so my ticket to see Shriekback was in effect, already paid for. My friend JT in Chicago shares a love of Shriekback. Indeed, it was an early bonding point with us. The mooted US tour was in June. JT’s vacation was in July. Starts seemed to be in alignment here. There was even talk of calling up his friend Jim [with whom we all saw Kraftwerk in Chicago in 1998] for a 20th anniversary reunion for this show. All just tears in the rain now.

If I’m glum, imagine how Barry Andrews or Carl Marsh must feel. Still, as they are busy preparing their next album, “Why Anything? Why This?” for a release this Summer, they are also wondering aloud:

“We’re re-thinking this Live business.
It surely must be possible…
stay tuned” – Shriekback

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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8 Responses to No Joy In Shriekville…

  1. JT says:

    Peter Murphy’s visa problems might have less to do with political relations between the U.S. and Turkey, and more to do with his arrest in L.A. a few years ago for drug possession and reckless driving.

    http://www.latimes.com/tn-818-0318-british-goth-rocker-arrested-for-alleged-dui-hitandrun-in-glendale-story.html

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  2. SB might consider raising funds for a US tour by live casting one of their Euro/UK shows. A few bands have done this to help raise interest in the Kickstarter, and the live cast takes donations as well. Better yet, with that entourage they should (and certainly have done) consider teaming up with another simpatico band that would also like to tour the US.

    Hmmm … tour mates for Shriekback! Now who would fit that bill, I wonder?

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      chasinvictoria – That reminds me that H17 had mooted a US tour with pals DEVO several years back… where did that go?

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      • Personally I think ABC and H17 would be better suited to a co-headliner tour, or maybe OMD and H17 — but I appreciate there are a lot of logistics and other factors that often prevent these things from happening. As for who could co-headline a tour with Shriekback, I was thinking of The Slits, a reunited Au Pairs, or Gang of Four … but nobody is really a perfect match of course.

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  3. rangster says:

    The “living room concerts” was the successful part of this failed bid. No stage share is gonna bring the masses, but it’s fun to consider. So the ‘high brow side’ in 1982, in the same hall some 40 months later I recognized shriekback Ceolocanth on the audio system before a live reading by Delaney and LeGuin, The Philip Glass Ensemble touring Glassworks, roared and rocked to painful excess, vibrating to the very foundation of the Detroit Institute of Arts from the Auditorium. 2/21/82 Or maybe…Scot Walker, Negativland, Bad Religion. Somebody. Laurie Anderson, haha a grant from the Lou Reed arts trust?

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      I suspect that the house shows for a few 1 percenters were the bulk of the failed take here. That speaks volumes on why it failed. For one thing, dredging up $90K in 30 days is a tall order for a cult band. Even a cult band as beloved as The Shrieks. I thought that maybe 60 days would have been more prudent, but the timelines were probably driving that bus. Had they known by the end of February that they were coming, there might have been just enough time to coordinate the tour before June was upon us. This was the first crowdsourcing campaign that I have kicked into that has failed. There are probably dozens of reasons why it did lurking beneath the surface if we would care to prod the now dead beast.

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