In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the rock ‘n roll band, Bang Bang Romeo, talk about some of their crazy moments from touring. You can check out the feature, after the break.
Adventure is one of the many reasons we decided to pursue a career in music and life on the road is incredibly unpredictable. We’ve had a few of the classics; tire blowouts, losing the drummer on a ferry, using merch money to fund the petrol to get home, misreading the sat nav and ending up 1 hour 45 minutes in the wrong direction taking photos in a field etc. However, there’s one that tops them all from a show we had in London when our bassist decided to go for a dip in the Thames.
It was the last show before a few days break, and we’d decided to celebrate our first national radio airplay by making the most of the rider and spending the night in London after performing at the Amersham Arms. We’re not shy of a good party, in fact, our vocalist Anastasia is known to take on full band line ups in arm wrestle competitions and beat them all, but after a few drinks it was Joel (our bassist) who decided to swap clothes with a girl at the venue and go for a wander down to the river at 6:30am.
Something like this would usually go hand in hand with a drunken dare, but totally of his own accord after we passed Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament Joel removed the dress (it wasn’t his, so he didn’t want to have to hand it back wet, obviously) and hopped the fence. Not even a slip on the mossy surface of the wall was enough to dissuade him and without hesitation, Joel dived in and proceeded to swim the entire width of the river.
He’s a strong swimmer thankfully, and the police pulled him out at the other side, it turns out Joel had managed to time his swim at the exact moment the river police swap shifts. He was informed that they’d have caught him within 3 or 4 minutes if that hadn’t been the case. They also informed him that 9 out of 10 people don’t survive a trip into the Thames either as a result of the current, or the amount of waste and unpleasant toxic substances that you end up unavoidably swallowing. In fact, the policewoman had become increasingly concerned that the blue tinge in Joel’s lips was a symptom of him developing hypothermia until he informed them that alongside the dress he borrowed, he also stole some of her lipstick.
Joel then told the full story of how he ended up taking a dip to the authorities, and it turned out that the radio station we’d been playlisted on was actually one they listened to in their office, they recognised the band name, and Joel was allowed to return to his hotel with just a firm warning and a promise not to encourage drinking around rivers. They suspected his Mum might have a little more to say on the matter.
This was perhaps the most dangerous of our tour stories to date, tied with a trip to Spain in which Rich ended up in the boot of a biker gang’s car on the way back to their hideout. However being in this wonderful industry means that there’s no end to the crazy adventures.
For example, one minute you can be making your Leeds Festival debut to a packed out tent, glance sideways and see an ecstatic Peter Crouch bouncing up and down to your closing track in full 6’ 7” (2.01m) glory. Only to then notice that his partner Abbey Clancy is also part of the party, hugging your lead singer from the front row as she maraudes into the midst of the crowd.
The adventures are what we are in music for, the latest of which involved 7 shows in 5 days, from playing in Oxford one day, to recording for TV the next, then performing inside the office of the NME magazine before hot footing it onto a 12am ferry to the Isle of Wight Festival where we played 3 sets in two days. Did I mention we also performed acoustically on the ferry over? It’s a mad business, and we’re certain there’ll be plenty more crazy tour stories to come.
(Photo credit: Ben Bentley)