As part of my role at Secret Compass, I was asked to lead a special trip to take a rock band to play the first ever gig on an iceberg in Greenland. Apart from being the coolest thing that I had ever heard of, it would be a great project to be a part of as I was also hired as the photographer and the director of the film that we produced. It would also be straight after finishing the Walking the Nile expedition, so would be very different from the sands and heat of Africa.
The project was for Jagermeister UK who sponsor a number of bands. The previous year, Secret Compass was asked to take Charlie Simpson to play the Worlds Coldest Gig in Siberia, which proved very successful, and led them to ask us to manage and lead the Iceberg gig. The band they had lined up were 'The Defiled', hailed as the saviours of British heavy metal, and upon watching their previous music videos I was a little nervous.
I needn’t have worried though as they all turned out to be great guys who were all very nervous themselves, as this was certainly out of their comfort zone. They are used to being bussed around from hotel to venue and not really get to experience travel, so eating meals such as polar bear and killer whale was certainly different for them. It was also an inherently risky venture we were undertaking, and so I hired polar experts, Pirhuk Expeditions, who are based in East Greenland where we would base ourselves.
Despite being a short trip, we certainly made the most of the few days, and performed a rehearsal gig, which turned out so successful that we made a standalone music video out of it. We then got into the boats and visited a glacier that creates the iceberg, as well as ones in the sea, but were too dangerous to get onto. It highlighted how risky this was, and the sense of trepidation was palpable.
On gig day, the sun was shining, and after a quick soundcheck we headed off in the boats and searched for a flat, stable berg which will give enough space to perform on. After a few hours of searching, we found the ideal one, and after a bit of setting up, we got the band on and perform. They only sung one song, but had to perform it several times to get the right angles for the camera and also for the drone we took to. It sounded great too, as we had been given a PA system from Studiomaster, and I recorded it on the amazing Zoom H6 device.
I hope you enjoy the results in the video below. It got worldwide attention too, and was featured on news channels, on a TV music channel, and in many newspapers, and features. We naturally celebrated with a shot of Jager when we got back!