In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the singer-songwriter, Charlotte Jane, shares one of her stories from being on the road. You can check out the story, after the break.
Lol, touring. Remember that? I was fortunate that I got to go on one big tour at the beginning of this year before the world ended. It was also the first time I had my own big tour bus so I was feeling pretty famous and legit. The tour was with MIKA (a childhood favourite of mine, so yeah, it was a pretty huge deal for me) and we went to SO many different places in France and Italy followed by a couple of shows in Utrecht.
The last Italian show was in Reggio Di Calabria, which for those who don’t know (I’d never heard of it before) is at the very, very tip of the ‘football boot’ of Italy. From there, we needed to travel to Utrecht in the Netherlands. That journey would take 24 hours if you traveled in a normal car and went from A to B without stopping. On the tour bus, it was going to take around 36 hours with our two drivers switching in and out so we didn’t have to stop more than once.
What we didn’t plan for, was Miss Storm Ciara who graced the news the day we were supposed to be embarking on the journey. Gale force winds were going to lash Europe and we were driving straight through the storm’s path. We had a 36-hour journey and we had under 48 hours to do it in. Things seemed to go quite smoothly on the drive-through Italy and then we got to Switzerland and it all went a bit pear-shaped. The bus broke down on the side of a motorway. Whatever the problem was, meant that we had no power so we couldn’t watch TV, cook food, heat the bus, etc. We ended up being stuck there for about 6 hours I think.
Once we got up and running again we really started to feel the effects of the storm. The bus was swaying all over the place and it was pretty scary, to be honest. Then a big gust of wind ripped the windscreen wipers of the front of the bus! We had to pray hard for no rain. Each time it started raining we had to pull over and let it pass.
The venue we had been at in Italy didn’t have very good facilities so none of us had been able to get a shower before we set off. This meant by the time we were getting close to Utrecht, none of us had showered for 3 days. It became increasingly apparent that we were going to be cutting it scarily fine to make it in time for my set. I had to attempt to get stage ready on a moving, swaying bus whilst everyone was stressing like crazy trying to help direct the drivers through the city to get to the right entrance for the venue. When we go there, I was ushered from the door of the bus straight to the side of the stage with someone putting my radio pack on my waistband as we all briskly walked through the venue. I walked straight on stage (albeit 20 mins late – thankfully Mika was running late also as his flight had been delayed) and the first thing I said was ‘Look, guys, if you’re in the front row I’m afraid you’ve pulled the short straw tonight. I haven’t showered for three days so I apologize in advance if I lift up my arms and knock you out’.