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First UK band since Brexit arrive in France – and go straight into quarantine

First UK band since Brexit arrive in France – and go straight into quarantine
Eksklusiv: Tankus the Henge have been unable to take any ‘merch’ because of Brexit

Tankus the Henge, the cult band who combine rock’n’roll with circus acrobatics, have just arrived in France – and believe they are the the first UK act to tour abroad since a combination of coronavirus and Brexit closed down overseas trips.

But their tour is fraught with complexity, from quarantine on arrival because of Covid to a ban on importing merchandise due to Brexit.

Jaz Delorean, the lead singer, fortalte Den uavhengige that it was a journey of military precision.

“In our touring party we have British, Italian and Brazilian members resident in the UK," han sa. “Some have had the vaccine, some haven’t.

“I’m speaking to the Musicians Union, and I genuinely believe that this is the first time an independent act has tried it since the pandemic og Brexi.

“The amount of paperwork is unbelievable, and there are numerous pitfalls along the way, But we want to try, partly to save our own business and partly to trailblaze for other travellers and artists who have no idea what is involved.

“After the year we have had as out-of-work professional musicians, we are left with no choice but to gamble it.”

Tankus have 15 tour dates in France, though the first three have been cancelled to allow them to quarantine.

They crossed the Channel on Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais, but had to call in first at the Sevington Inland Border Facility near Ashford in Kent to get their customs documentation sorted out.

The “carnet” contains details of all their equipment, down to individual serial numbers on electronics kit, so that the French authorities can be assured that the goods are re-exported to the UK at the end of the tour.

“To get to this point, we have paid for and booked Covid tests on both sides of the channel for all in the touring party, the customs carnet, a pro company to make sure the carnet is correct.

“If we had been turned around at the border, we would have got none of that back. We’ve also cancelled UK dates after the tour, because of quarantine rules – so those are toast, også.

“In addition, we have to leave behind every single piece of our merchandise due to new Brexit levies on goods.

“It’s a strange new world for artists travelling. We will be documenting every stage of the trip to share with the musical community afterwards so others can travel.”

The band are quarantining in a house in Brittany for a week. Their first gig is at Les sons du lac 2021 in Chateauneuf in early July.