The oil rig workers of the North Sea are a hardy lot, used to working in freezing, arduous, life-threatening conditions separated from their families and loved ones. Like the Foreign Legion of old, a lot of the appeal of North Sea work is the promise of escape from the intolerable realities of everyday life. Men go there fleeing from divorce, broken relationships, and grief. And new evidence suggests that ever-increasing proportion of them also go to work on oil rigs to escape the music played on TV’s Parkinson show*. 45% of all rig workers** listed “No shite AOR ballads” as their reason for choosing life on the platform.

With this in mind, it’s extremely cruel of the horrible Katie Melua to pursue them all the way to the “Troll 2” oil rig in the North Sea, to perform the ‘deepest gig of all time’. Let me make it clear at that ‘deepest’ here does not refer to the profundity of Katie Melua’s material: you would need to go a very long way down indeed (I am thinking maybe the ninth circle of Hell-ua) to find a song more arse-headed than “Nine Million Bicycles”. No, Melua was playing a gig well below sea level in order to get into the Guinness Book of Records.

If I may digress for a minute – The Guinness Book Of Records is a tosser’s charter. If I were a richer Tanya I would happily sue them for mental cruelty. The hilarious eating chapter was bad enough (mostly I’m sad that they removed it before I could make a proper stab at the gin-drinking record), but records like “Longest single”, “Longest gig”, “Most played song” – STOP ENCOURAGING THEM. Thankyou.

As for the deepest gig ever, I would be quite happy to set the limit at six feet and leave it.


1. You are shit.
2. You are only on it because the old goat fancies you.
3. Stop it.

**That’s a fact. It’s a thing we can’t deny.