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Vancouver Province


British experience 'extremely rough'

Allison Crowe, bandmates denied entry

 By Ian Austin, The ProvinceMay 25, 2009 1:05 AM

B.C. musician Allison Crowe is flying high -- for all the wrong reasons.

The jazz/rock/folk artist from Nanaimo has criss-crossed the Atlantic three times after being turfed from the U.K. under a little-known provision for artists who need to be sponsored, fingerprinted and biometrically registered before playing their music.

The singer-songwriter flew into London's Gatwick Airport, thinking nothing about the new laws, but looking forward to shows in Edinburgh and London before continuing her European tour.

"No one was aware of this," manager Adrian du Plessis told The Province yesterday. "They've been going there for five years.

"Allison said it was the worst experience of her life."

Du Plessis said Crowe and bandmates Billie Woods and Laurent Boucher were grilled for six hours.

"It was extremely rough," he said."It's a dehumanizing experience. They'd been up for 24 to 36 hours.

"They were put into a caged van, and then in a room with all the 'illegal' immigrants."

Under a new British law, venues are supposed to sponsor, fingerprint and biometrically register out-of-country artists before they enter the country. Du Plessis said the sponsors of the shows weren't aware of the law, so Crowe and company were pulled aside

After calls were made, Crowe showed authorities she had train tickets to Germany, where the tour was scheduled to continue, but officials feared they'd be turned back in France and wouldn't let them go.

The trio were forced to fly back to Toronto, then back to Frankfurt, to eventually continue the tour in Germany, the Czech Republic and then Austria, before returning to Canada.

"They're doing a whole lot better now," said du Plessis. "The German officials welcomed them and said, 'Have a nice visit.' "


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