Normally we'd be loathe to voice our political opinions on a public forum, but the sheer gravity of the Brexit result has compelled us to pass some comment in light of the sheer turmoil we find ourselves in.
As most of you will know, we've toured across Europe as often as our modest budgets allow. Throughout every tour we've done, we've encountered the usual problems; van breakdowns, show cancellations, broken and lost equipment and a host of other little nightmares.
On our 2013 tour we had a van disaster at the bottom of a mountain in pitch black rural Romania - two flat tyres, no spares, no breakdown cover and 300km between us and our next show. From nowhere an old man on a horse and cart approached us to see if we were OK - his English was about as good as our Romanian, but with the help of a friend (Le Serj) on the phone from Iasi we were able to ascertain that the guys son was a mechanic, so he called him over from the next town to replace the tyres. Whilst we waited a lady came out from her home and offered us in for tea and biscuits (it was fucking freezing!) - again with every word being exchanged through Google translate. In just over an hour the van was back on the road; upon arrival in Iasi, a team of guys were waiting to help us get our gear on stage, with food and drinks at the ready. The show was fantastic and the post-show drinking sesh with a room full of old and new Romanian friends was even better!
On our tour last year two shows were cancelled and without the help of some wonderful people in Greece (Christos), Bulgraia (Tsvetomir) and Slovakia (BRITISH ROCK STARS) we'd have potentially lost too much money to continue the tour.
These are just a few of examples of countless times we've been pulled out of the shit through the sheer generosity, kindness and endless enthusiasm of the many friends we've made across Europe. Indeed, none of our tours would happen at all without our European friends; from Brussels to Athens and everywhere in between we can't thank you enough.
However, in the last week here in the UK, it would appear that utterly repulsive, blatantly racist rhetoric has somehow become completely acceptable, with a shocking number of verbal and physical attacks on people suspected of the 'crime' of being foreign. It's beyond abhorrent and we hardly recognise this frightened little island right now.
We sincerely hope that our relationship with Europe isn't tarnished beyond repair - there are many of us who feel completely at odds with the Brexit result and are grasping at any opportunity we might have to remain a part of the EU.
As a small band, on an independent label (the wonderful, infallible Monotreme Records), freedom of movement to tour across Europe is essential, particularly if we're to play shows to more than just the bartenders and sound guys.
Indeed, we had been talking with our Greek promoter just last week to plan a tour with raised by swans for January 2017 - we hope that nothing will stop this tour and any future tours from happening.
So, before this post goes on any longer (it's already gotten too long), we just want to let you know that we are and always will be thoroughly European and we have nothing but love and respect for you all xxx