Wednesday, 15 April 2009

The Albatros

Continuing the 'favourite unusual venues' theme I was pleased to see one them moored in the harbour in Wells-nest-the-Sea last weekend. The Albatros is a Dutch merchant vessel built at the end of the nineteenth century. I've played on it a couple of times, once in Great Yarmouth for some nautical festival or other and again in Wells when Ton, the captain, was experimenting with running a café/bar on board.

It's a cramped venue - a three piece is possible but only just. On both occasions I began on deck and ended up downstairs where I abandoned attempts to play the tenor sax and stuck with the clarinet. I remember in Wells it was threatening rain and when I felt a couple of drops I thought it must be starting. I discovered, however, that the drops were not coming from clouds but from a flock of starlings perched in the rigging. I've been pelted with other things at gigs but that was definitely a first. Very good luck, of course.

Ton seems to have settled into the real ale and Dutch pancake business and I noticed he still puts bands on. He was late getting back to the ship with the shopping when I met him on Staithe Street so didn't ask about a gig. But it turns out that Sandra, our new bassist, was the cook on the Albatros on a few voyages so I imagine it's on the cards.

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