One of the Royal Navy’s largest submarines has hosted a folk singer on board to give a concert on board as part of the artist’s UK tour.
The nuclear-deterrent submarine HMS Vigilant enjoyed a concert by country singer and guitarist Lisbee Stainton with her backing singer on Wednesday evening (11th January) in Plymouth. The submarine is in HM Naval Base Devonport undergoing a major refit and refuel.
Lisbee, who has already played to thousands in the grand surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall and huge O2 Arena, was delighted to have the rare chance to play in the contrasting much smaller confines of a nuclear-powered submarine.
About 25 sailors, including the submarine’s commanding officer, Commander Mark Lister, were entertained by Lisbee as part of her ‘living room tour’ to promote her new album ‘Go’ to intimate gatherings to householders in their homes.
However, instead of a traditional living room Lisbee was invited by fan Warrant Officer 2 Steve Micallef into the submarine’s equivalent – the senior rates’ (non-commissioned officers) mess or living area.
Steve, of Gosport, Hampshire, said: “We had a hugely entertaining evening onboard! Lisbee went down a storm & has added another 25 people to her rapidly growing fanbase.’’
Having already seen her play live in Plymouth’s Cherry Tree pub Steve (who is Manoeuvring Room Supervisor on board) decided to ask if she would play in ‘his living-room’. He said: “When I explained to Lisbee that the submarine was my second home on a long term basis and that she would effectively be playing in my living room, she agreed. I am delighted she came.”
Lisbee, a folk/pop singer song-writer, delivered two 30-minute sets of songs which she had penned herself and a cover version of Labre Sifre’s ‘It Must Be Love’. She really enjoyed her time onboard and managed to get her audience to join in several of her songs. She also sung songs from her new album.
Lisbee said: “This is the most unusual venue I have played in. It is very exciting to play in a submarine. I can’t believe it. When Steve asked me if I wanted to play in his submarine I thought it was a really unusual offer. And when he explained that a lot of people actually live and work on board I decided it fitted into my tour of people’s living rooms – the only difference is just that it is in a submarine.
“I have played at the Royal Albert Hall and the O2 Arena for thousands of people which was a great thing to do. But I wanted to break down that barrier between me and the audience and connect with people in a more intimate way as an artist. Playing in a small living room on board a submarine certainly fits the bill and is a thrilling experience for me.”
Lisbee, who drove down from London with her backing singer Phoebe Gardiner specifically for the event,
Her ‘In Your Living Room Tour’ began in September. HMS Vigilant was the 12th date on the 22-shows tour which ends in February.
HMS Vigilant, based in Scotland, is one of the largest submarines in the world, only smaller than those in the Russian and US navies. Other submarines in the Vanguard class are HMS Vanguard, HMS Victorious and HMS Vengeance and which all carry a crew of 135, weigh 15,980 tonnes, measure 150-metres long and 13 metres wide and have a speed of about 20 knots.