I am deeply heartbroken to announce that tonight's show at La Fleche D'or in Paris is having to be rescheduled due to the fact that our splitter van broke down in the middle of the night on our way to the euro tunnel and could not be repaired. This is basically what happened:
We set off from Leeds at 6pm yesterday with the intention of getting to London for 10pm. Van was packed and beers were cold. We broke down literally 10 mins after we set off due to the 'EDC' (Electronic Diesel Control) light coming on and the engine actually cutting out while we were driving own the motorway which was pretty scary. Our driver/sound guy Pete managed to coast onto the hard shoulder where we waited for the AA to arrive for about 90mins whilst the van was leaking Diesel all over the motorway, trying to figure out where at 8pm we would be able to hire an alternative vehicle (there was 7 of us and a LOT of equipment). The Euro Sonic festival is currently happening in Holland and so nearly every person/company we could think of simply did not have a vehicle to hire us even if they were open, so it was going to have to be this van or nothing!
After being towed safely from the motorway into a car park (where we actually witnessed dogging - true) the gentleman from AA combined with a helpful man on the phone from a 24hr garage managed to diagnose the problem and got it fixed. We were all very excited and as i tweeted, we were back on the road and Paris was back on, despite the fact that this was now about 11pm (we should have already been in London) and so we knew we wouldn't exactly be sleeping on this journey, but who cares?? Paris was the mot important thing to us.
2 hours later, just as our spirits had reached thier peak, the van jolted, the warning lights came back on and the engine cut out again, and we were forced back onto the hard shoulder to wait for another AA representative and hope that he might be able to at least fix it so maybe we could get to London. After waiting for this AA person for another 90mins (now getting on for 2am), he seemed positive at first as he towed us a few miles down the motorway to Watford Gap services, where the van stood once again leaking diesel like a running tap.
Then possibly the worst quote ever came out of his mouth, "I'm afraid you won't be going to Paris in this vehicle". Basically the van needed urgent attention at a garage and a fuel pipe replacement was the only thing that could get it on the road. You have to bear in mind that it was now approaching 3am and we were in the middle of nowhere. There were no garages that we could guarantee would have the part in stock to get us back on the road, no place we could hire another van from in time to get us to the Euro Tunnel, and it seemed like the only feasible option was to get towed all the way back to where we started, Leeds.
This was when we knew it was all over:
I personally got back through my front door at 5am, whilst Pete and Kenosha had to stay with the van as the vehicle giving us a lift home was not big enough to fit us all in. They got home at something like 8am this morning (remember we were supposed to be in Folkstone catching the euro tunnel at 9am).
Myself, the band, Pete and Elizabeth (Paris promoter) have all been banging our heads together to try and come up with another solution to get us all to Paris today, and we have all agreed that in the interest of the sheer quality of the show, due to the fact that none of us have really slept and by the time we would get there the place would be closing, it is better for everyone if we reschedule the show for a later date this year and do it properly.
We rely on vehicles everyday to get us from place to place, and i suppose that sometimes we have to accept that this kind of incident is 100% out of our hands and it really does just 'happen' sometimes and no amount of forward planning can really foresee what happened to us last night/this morning.
Paris, you know i adored playing for you when i toured with Philip Selway in September so to have to reshedule this really breaks my heart. I can only hope you can find it in your hearts to accept my deepest, deepest apologies, try to understand our situation and rest in the knowledge that we WILL be coming back. And i really mean that!
For people who already have tickets, i have heard that 'A Gauche De La Lune' are sorting out a great band to replace us this evening so do head down to La Fleche D'or regardless and then continue to watch this space for future announcements.
Ladies and Gentlemen, my apologies once again and i/we really hope to see you again very, very soon.