Dead Man Fall’s gig to help visa crisis

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A Cumbernauld band is to host a fundraising gig as it tries to scrape together the huge cost of US visas.

Dead Man Fall, who are Des McCabe, Vincent Brownlow, Kevin McLaughlin and Gareth McLeod. gained a significant American following after Craig Ferguson featured their song Bang Your Drum and a legion of celebrities on his final Late Late Show episode which saw the song top the charts. But their efforts to perform for their transatlantic fans have been stymied by a crisis affecting many bands - the fact that visa costs have soared to thousands of pounds.

Frontman Des McCabe said: “We’re trying to get across to America to play at Firefly Music Festival this June. It’s been a dream of ours to get over and play in the USA since we had a US iTunes Number 1 with Bang Your Drum.

“To play at a US festival you need a working visa which is going to cost us around £5000 before we’ve even looked into flights, travel accomodation, equipment transport/ hire and insurance.”

As a result, the band’s goal of a small East Coast tour hangs in the balance. As an unsigned act, they are self-financed and have no management or tour support.

They are far from unique in their predicament. Countless bands are having immense difficulty getting into America and many have smuggled themselves in on holiday visas - a risky practice that is easily detected and can result in a ten year ban. Long waits for visas have also seen bands incur additional expenses as they are forced to rebook flights and lose gigs. Various campaigns have sprung up around the issue, which music website Louder than War has proclaimed “last days of British bands touring America”. Last year, Italian band Soviet were denied entry to the US and deported despite having correct visas.

Meanwhile, American bands touring European venues need only pay around £50 for their visas.

To help achieve their ambitions, Dead Man Fall are holding a fundraising gig in Condorrat bar the Weavers, on Good Friday, which is on April 14.

Des added: “Hopefully anyone in the Glasgow/Cumbernauld area can come out and lend their support and have a good night into the bargain.

After that we’re looking to start a crowd funding campaign so that people further afield can get involved. It’s not something we’d normally do!”

Tickets for the Weavers gig are £12 from deadmanfall.bandcamp.com.