So as you may have picked up on if you checked out our photo gallery from the Barb Wire Dolls headline show in Somerville the other night, that show turned out to be the last night the Greek rockers would be joined on the road by Russian ex-pats Svetlanas and South Korean duo 57.
The night after the show Somerville, MA, the tour made it’s way up Interstate 93 to Manchester, NH. Details from what happened after are still in the “emerging” phase, but it seems a Granite Stater proudly wearing Nazi paraphernalia made his way out to the show. Svetlanas tried to get the staff at the venue, Jewel Nightclub, to take action, and when they failed to do so, the band refused to play. Here’s the statement the band made via social media at the time:
WE DON’T TOLLERATE NAZI PEOPLE AT ANY SVETLANAS SHOW.
For this reason we just cancelled tonight show at Jewel Night Club in Manchester, NH.
Any venue’s owner / promoter hosting a punk show it’s fully responsible for the presence of people wearing nazi symbols of any kind and any band should take a position. We did it.
KEEP IT REAL
From there, things seem to have devolved between the international touring partners. Due what they felt was a lack of support from the headlining Barb Wire Dolls, Svetlanas chose to drop off the remaining twenty dates of this lengthy US tour. Again from the band via social media:
TOUR IS OVER
After the recent events, the countless pubblic and private death threats posts and not receiving, one more time, the support we need from the band we are touring with that refuses to take a clear stand against nazism, WE ARE FORCED to stop this US tour for deep and unresolvible devergences.
We apologize with our fans and supporters but we do have to keep a clear position against ANY kind of violence and discrimination.
Go back to school to learn history kids.
This is SVETLANAS and if you don’t like it GO FUCK YOU SELF
Barb Wire Dolls played in Manchester as scheduled and played again last night in Providence, Rhode Island, as their forty-date tour winds its way south, eventually circling back to Los Angeles. In the early hours of this morning, they released the following statement about the events that followed the Manchester incident that culminated in both Svetlanas AND 57 dropping off the tour:
ANNOUNCEMENT: In the last 7 years we’ve played hundreds and hundreds of shows in lots of countries and we’ve never had any issue with discrimination or hate at our shows…until last night. Let it be known that we don’t tolerate discrimination or hate at our shows because we’re all about sharing the music with good loving vibrations. We’re very saddened to hear that both supporting bands, SVETLANAS and 57, have left the tour as of tonight because of circumstances that happened at last night’s show that involved discrimination and hate from someone we don’t know who attended the show, and because we were contracted to play the show, we still did. We’re very sorry that we didn’t back up the Svetlanas as they told us that we should cancel the show and leave, but at that time we were given false information from others at the venue and not until the today did we find out the full truth…but thats no excuse. We apologize to them. We wish both bands the best and all of our remaining shows will go on as usual – and we’re doing our best to spread more love into this world. It needs it now more than ever.
In order to clarify their point — that it wasn’t just about the Nazi that showed up in Manchester but about the lack of support they felt from their headlining tourmates, Olga Svetlanas and crew posted the following statement about an hour ago:
Reading all these comments and understanding the meaning of our post is being modified or misinterpreted we think it’s time to make it even more clear.
The main reason for us to stop this tour is:
We don’t want and can’t continue to support on or off the stage a band that after a long face to face talk says everyone including nazis are welcome at their show and that an SS skull patch is just an opinion.
We have found many divergences with Barb Wire Dolls during this tour but this is the highest reachable level for us and we cannot accept it.
Their subsequent excuses looks like a pathetic trying to hide the dirt under the carpet and we are glad to announce the S.Korean band 57 decided to leave this ambiguous tour as well.
For better or worse, this story hits fairly close to home for some of us here at Dying Scene, especially yours truly. Obviously we’ve seen and shot both Barb Wire Dolls and Svetlanas a bunch over the years and have gotten to know some members of both bands in person and over social media in the recent past. We were also obviously present at what turned out to be their last show together. But more than that, I was born and raised in southern New Hampshire. I spent years working my day job in Manchester, a stone’s throw from the Jewel Nightclub. I started my show-going career as a New Hampshire-ite (rest in peace The Elvis Room), and I’ve gotten to know some of the people trying to reignite some semblance of a scene in the Granite State. I still return there for shows as much as I can. To say that I’m surprised that a Nazi-adorned show-goer would show up to a club in Manchester, or anywhere else in New Hampshire frankly, would be a lie; I’m saddened, but not surprised, for reasons that I won’t go into now.
It’s 2017. Nazis shouldn’t be a thing. Nazi apologists shouldn’t be a thing. Creating a safe space for hatred at shows because there are “good people on both sides” shouldn’t be a thing. We’ve literally fought wars about this…like three-quarters of a century ago. As shitty as it is for Svetlanas and 57 to have had to deal with, props to both bands for taking a stand. More on this as it develops.
(Editor’s note: All statements are copied directly from each respective band’s social media platforms.)
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