Singer Tony Christie last night described his terror after his band were ambushed on their tour bus by crowbar-wielding migrants trying to get to Britain.
The 73-year-old and his wife Sue, 68, were asleep on the Jumbo Cruiser vehicle heading home through France when a gang of five hooded migrants surrounded their driver as he filled up at a petrol station in Dunkirk in the early hours of Saturday.
As the driver Gareth Owen was distracted by the gang, another migrant broke into a trailer carrying stage equipment.
When the gang dispersed, Christie's tour manager Paul Smith opened up the trailer and found the stowaway, who bolted out and threatened to kill him with a crowbar he was carrying, before finally fleeing into the night.
In the melee, one of the guitarists fell as he rushed out of the coach and broke his wrist.
The petrol station where the attack took place is close to Grande-Synthe migrant camp, which sits alongside the A16 motorway connecting Dunkirk and Calais.
Last night, Christie, who scored a number one hit in 2005 with Comic Relief charity single (Is This The Way To) Amarillo, said: 'I couldn't believe it. They could have got into the coach, what the hell would they have done?
'It's the second time it's happened to the coach driver. The first time he was stabbed by a spike. These poor drivers take a hell of a risk.
'I feel really sorry for these people, I know they're desperate but we shouldn't be scared to travel. I think I will fly from now on, I don't think I'll go on the road again.'
Before the attack, Christie and his band had been travelling overnight from Bonn, in Germany, where they played the final show of a European tour on Friday.
After the concert, they boarded their coach for a party to celebrate the end of the tour – which marked 50 years since the start of Christie's career – Sue's 68th birthday.
'The band had got together in Bonn and bought a cake for Sue', said Christie.
'We had an end-of-tour party on board. There were some beers, nice wine and fizz so it was a nice do. My wife and I left to go to bed and then the next thing we know our tour manager is
shaking and so is the coach driver.
'The driver was filling up at the station when he was surrounded by about five of them. He shouted, 'There's cameras everywhere filming you', and they ran off.
'But then our tour manager found a man hiding with the stage equipment in the trailer.' The stowaway is believed to have prised open the trailer as his gang of accomplices distracted the driver at the front of the coach.
When he was discovered, the stowaway launched himself towards the tour manager from the elevated trailer and stamped a foot down on his shoulder.
He then turned to Mr Smith and screamed, 'I'll ******* kill you', before running off. Christie added: 'It was a very sour end to the tour. We had been celebrating because it had been a great tour but it put a real dampener on it. Everyone went silent.'
The singer, who lives with his wife in a gated community in Lichfield, Staffordshire, started out singing in the working men's clubs of Sheffield in the Sixties.
He had a couple of top 20 hits in the Seventies, including (Is This The Way To) Amarillo in 1971 which reached number 18 in the UK charts, but enjoyed his best success with the re-release of the song in 2005.
It went to number one and became the highest-selling number one single of the year.
Since the demolition of Calais' Jungle migrant camp in October, many displaced migrants have made the short journey along the coast to the Grande-Synthe camp near Dunkirk.
The camp, a sprawling collection of wooden shacks, was opened earlier this year by medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres.
Many migrants make their way to the side of the A16, day and night, and try to get on board vehicles bound for Britain by waiting at service stations or rest stops and breaking into the back of trucks.
There have been numerous incidents of migrants throwing large objects, such as trees, into the path of oncoming vehicles in a bid to hop onto lorries bound for Britain.
Christie said that they did not inform the local police about the incident because 'nothing would happen', but the coach driver reported it to staff on their ferry back across the Channel.