In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the alternative rock artist, Ben Kidson, shares one of his stories from being on the road. You can check out the story below:
Earlier this year, we played a Premier League half time show at Molineux, where Wolverhampton Wanderers were playing Leeds FC.
Given a director's box by the label, we were waited on hand & foot, provided with a three course meal and all the free beer we could possibly want before playing in front of 30,000 people. However, there wasn't a huge amount of drinking water available, in fact there was none. So when Dad started choking on a piece of beef, there wasn't much anyone could do but stand there looking startled. Which is exactly what everyone did.
I sprinted off down the portrait-laden hallway to find someone who could call an ambulance, but the staff looked similarly startled at the strange man with big blonde curly hair (me) shouting "HE's CHOKING" at nobody in particular. Then, as my hysterical wailing sank in, panic ensued. Several members of staff, none of whom could have been over 20 years old started running in different directions, like sheep at first appearance of a sheepdog. One of my managers, Ricky, who looks like he spends a lot of time at the gym (whether he actually does i couldn't tell you), began attempting the Heimlich while my other manager Kris, who looks like he spends a lot of time at the pub, looked on. Nothing was working. To add insult to potentially-patricidal injury, Wolves had just gone 3-0 down in the space of 40 minutes. The fans weren't happy.
Thankfully, my 'Crazy Tour Story' isn't the death of my father. In fact, one of the other artists signed to Wolves had had a mother who worked in the ambulance service, and knew the Heimlich well enough to finally remove a very stubborn piece of beef from my father who was, although a little shaken up, totally fine.
I wasn't in the best headspace i've ever been before a show, and I had to go out, live on Bt Sport, in front of a baying crowd understandably furious with their team's first half performance. As I stood pitch side, i couldn't help but contemplate what a narrow escape Dad had had, and what life would be like without him. He had first introduced me as a toddler to 'my football team' Wolverhampton Wanderers, and here i was, 20 odd years later, about to perform in front of him and several thousand others at their home stadium.
Initially terrified at the task ahead of me, I was relieved and flattered to hear the entire stand in front of me cheering and applauding post-performance. It's a testament to the Wolves fans that even if the match isn't going the way they'd like, they are still willing and able to take care of and support one of their own, On a very nervous day.