reported by Jonathan Kay, London correspondent)
was true to his word, and within a few months ArnoCorps booked passage
on a container ship to England. Dark times were brewing in the British
Isles, and ArnoCorps were not to receive a warm welcome. Upon arrival
at Southampton dock, the freighter which brought Holzfeuer and his
band to these fair shores was searched by Her Majesty's Customs
and Excise, with the crew and its passengers confined to their quarters.
Someone had notified the authorities to the possibility that the
ship may have been carrying illegal immigrants from Eastern Europe.
Sure enough, huddled together in the freezing cold of the ship's
belly were some two dozen Romany Gypsies. The British tabloid press
was enraged: 'Send these worthless scroungers home' railed The Sun,
'No room at this inn!' The Evening Standard insisted. As armed Customs
officers herded the confused and terrified Romany families onto
a bus destined for the Asylum Seekers internment camp at Oakington;
Holzfeuer could remain silent no more. 'Can't you see these people
aren't terrorists?' All they want is food!' The police, customs
and coast guard were unrepentant however, and these poor innocents
were to become another entry in the grim legacy of the EU's brutal
'Fortress Europe' immigration policy.
too was deeply disturbed by these events, but being a most canny
of operators he saw within it potential for a PR coup. He immediately
called a press conference. ArnoCorps, being EU Nationals were of
course granted free entry to the UK, but Holzfeuer was enraged.
Speaking to the British press he pledged that the Romany's plight
would never be forgotten, and that he would do everything in his
power to raise awareness of the danger these 'running men' were
in. Holzfeuer was reminded of a legend of the Kimbern, a nomadic group who avoided annihilation at the hands of the Romans in 100 BC by fleeing into the high Alpine valleys, where they have lived ever since. The same people have passed down much of the heroic tales through generations, leading to the very existence of ArnoCorps. This was to form the basis of the intensely personal 'Running
Man' which the band wrote whilst touring the UK.
press conference was indeed a master stroke by Dalsey, and when
ArnoCorps hit London, the streets were buzzing with their name.
Their noble defence of the Romany refugees had garnered them political
kudos with the more liberal members of the British media. Their
first gig, at London's Camden Underworld, was described by TimeOut
as 'not just our pick of the week, but in fact our pick of the year
so far. If you go anywhere on Friday night, go to this.' Timeout's
readers were to be disappointed however, as the London alternative
scene had stolen a march on the mainstream, with the tickets having
sold out long before it went to press. On that evening in Camden
the streets were awash with the followers of Arno. Lined up outside
the venue were punks, hardcore kids, Soho shmoozers, and no doubt
many representatives of the capital's music industry and press.
In the dark and smoky environs of the Underworld, the crowd began
to chant 'Arno-Core, what I came here for!' They were not to be
disappointed. Taking the stage to abarrage of pyrotechnics, ArnoCorps
launched straight into a blitzkrieg set that left the locals stunned.
Poignantly, ArnoCorps finished their show with Running Man, leaving
the crowd both exalted and informed.
reviews were unanimous in their praise. 'ArnoCorps are Europe's
most exciting band right now,' wrote Simone Wilson in the Observer,
'and ArnoCore is it's newest religion.' Music Week were similarly
impressed, saying 'The fact that this outstanding act have not yet
been snapped up by one of the majors adds to their unique appeal,
but beggars belief none the less.' Bootleg recordings of the show
soon circulated, and are now extremely rare and collectable items.
As a result of this the band formed a lasting friendship with the
UK punk band Dagobah.
The two groups were to play together several times at various venues
throughout the UK, culminating with a final show in Dagobah's home
town of Grantham. The unlikely venue of The Nobody Inn, a small
pub in this very small town, saw one of the most memorable ArnoCorps
performances to date. Several members of the audience had to be
treated for shock at Grantham District Hospital after witnessing
the unbridled power of Arno in such an intimate setting, such was
the ferocity of their show. Sadly this was to be the last time that
this incarnation of ArnoCorps would play in England, despite Holzfeuer's
determined assertion upon finishing their set that 'we'll be back.'
Tragedy Strikes Again