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Katie Melua sets new Guinness World Record

Katie Melua

Story by Jack Foley

KATIE Melua has set a Guinness World Record for the deepest underwater concert, following her ‘gig in a rig’ set at the Statoil Troll A Platform in the North Sea.

The singer/songwriter performed two concerts with her five-piece band at 12:00 and 14:00 GMT to an audience at a verified depth of 303m below sea level.

Katie underwent a medical examination and strenuous survival training in Bergen, Norway before flying by helicopter, with her band, crew and equipment, to the Troll A Platform in the North Sea

The concert was held to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Statoil and was filmed for broadcast on the Norwegian TV channel NRK.

The concert took place at the bottom of one of the four shafts of the Statoil Troll A Platform gas rig.

The Troll platform is 472m high (higher than the Eiffel Tower and the tallest structure ever moved by humans), of which 369 meters lie below sea surface. The Troll field ranks as Europe’s largest offshore gas field in production.

After the concert, Katie said: “This was definitely the most surreal gig I have ever done and it’s pretty mad to think this afternoon I was playing a concert at the bottom of the sea and then this evening, having been flown back to London, I will be sitting at home with a cup of tea!

“The planning behind the concert has been like a military operation. The band, crew and I were put through rigorous training to ensure our safety including escaping from a submerging cockpit and plunging into the sea in an inflatable life raft.”

It took nine minutes to go from the main part of the gas platform down to the bottom of the shaft in a lift. Every camera had a fire safety officer next to it to monitor the gas level in case the battery sparked an explosion.

Adds Katie: “The people on the platform were great, the band (as usual) was fantastic and everyone is exhilarated. Giving a concert to the workers there was something really extraordinary and an occasion that I will remember all my life.”

Katie’s next concert will be at Wembley Arena on December 3.

She has been the biggest selling female artist in Britain since 2004 with both her debut album Call Off The Search and her second album Piece By Piece topping the charts.