Calais queues: Watch as British band play on van roof to entertain drivers stuck in seven-hour queue

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By Ben Turner
Hundreds of motorists watched the musicians as they waited to cross the France-UK border
Hundreds of motorists watched the musicians as they waited to cross the France-UK border   -   Copyright  Steve Polly   -  

A British band played an impromptu gig on their van roof to entertain drivers stuck in passport queues in Calais. 

Chris Langton, 33, said his jazz troupe Bristol Street Music played tunes -- and even offered karaoke -- as they waited seven hours to cross the France-UK border. 

They were rewarded with flower bouquets and boxes of macarons as drivers thanked them for "lifting the mood" in the queue. 

Hundreds of travellers were stuck in Calais, France on Wednesday, with some citing delays at passport control stations. 

Samuel Fox
Band members Chris Langton (left), Alex Veitch and Samuel Fox had been on a ten-day busking tour of FranceSamuel Fox

"We got the impression we'd be in the queue for a long time," said Chris, the band's drummer.

"We had the trumpet player in the front seat so we could move forward in the queue every five minutes."

Chris and the group's keyboard player Alex Veitch pitched up on the roof of their white van as they played improvised jazz songs to a crowd of motorists. 

The band, who were returning from a ten-day busking tour of France, were even joined by a young girl who sang her version of George Ezra's Green Green Grass on the microphone. 

And while they had paid the cost of their trip through busking contributions - Chris said they opted not to get the hat out in the Calais queue. 

"So many people came up to us afterwards and said it had lifted the mood of the queue," Chris said. 

"There was a man with his daughter on his shoulders who came and gave us a bunch of flowers.

"And a man from Poland gave us a whole box of macarons."

Bristol Street Music was formed in 2020 with three core members - Chris on drums, Sam Fox on bass and Alex Veitch on the keyboard, with trumpet player Alfie Grieve also joining them on the tour.