Norwich gig cancelled after complaints about homophobic lyrics - but band slams ‘keyboard warriors’

PUBLISHED: 08:29 17 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:41 17 March 2018

Anti Nowhere League playing at Augustibuller 2007. Photo: Liftarn (Wikipedia)

Anti Nowhere League playing at Augustibuller 2007. Photo: Liftarn (Wikipedia)

Liftarn (Wikipedia)

A punk band’s gig in Norwich has been cancelled following outcry over alleged homophobic lyrics and hate-speech in their songs.

Epic Studios on Magdalen Street in Norwich. Photo: Epic StudiosEpic Studios on Magdalen Street in Norwich. Photo: Epic Studios

Epic Studios announced this week that British act, Anti-Nowhere League, would be performing at its Magdalen Street venue on October 19.

But the gig has now been pulled after several objections were raised due to songs such as ‘The day the world turned gay’.

Those to speak out included Norwich South MP Clive Lewis, who said he was “appalled” by the band’s lyrics and did not support the gig.

Julie Bremner, Norwich Pride Chair 2018, said: “Norwich is a City of LGBT+ inclusivity and we will not tolerate any form of hate-speech wherever it is or who is saying it.”

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis. Photo: PA Wire/Yui MokNorwich South MP Clive Lewis. Photo: PA Wire/Yui Mok

In a statement, Epic Studios described the cancellation as “a shame”.

A statement from the venue said: “Epic Studios take discrimination in any form very seriously, and promotes equal opportunities wherever possible.

“We have taken the decision to cancel this band as this doesn’t fall within our ethos.

“We do find it a shame as there are more (in our opinion) artists that may offend out there in the current domain which we don’t think suffer the same backlash this act has got.

“Music is an art form and an opportunity to promote freedom of speech; we never wish to offend but also never want to squash freedom of speech.”

It apologised to anyone offended by the booking.

Formed in 1980, Anti-Nowhere League features lead singer Animal (Nick Culmer), Tommy H, Sam Carne and Shady.

The band previously played in Norwich in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016.

Tour representatives, Crucial Talent, described those who had complained as “typical ill-informed keyboard warriors”.

It also shared a statement from Animal which said: “To all you people that think I’m homophobic, I suggest you find a music scene that does not have nasty bands in it that swear or say naughty things. Don’t put your problems on me.”

Sam Carne, Anti-Nowhere League’s drummer, was “sorry” to see the show cancelled.

“Unfortunately we have this a lot. Not a single member of the band is homophobic, transphobic or anything of the sort. Everyone is always welcome to our shows,” he said.

“I personally have played Norwich several times and will be very sorry to see the show cancelled due to a few misinformed people getting upset about nothing.”

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