In October 2012 an email from the Mellotronen organisation in Stockholm arrived out of the blue inviting Cressida to play at the Melloboat Festival 2013. Melloboat is a weekend rock cruise on a luxury ferry sailing from Stockholm, Sweden across the Baltic to Riga in Latvia, with four sound stages where over a dozen of Europe's legendary bands would be performing live.
The Cressida Story
Clearly, this was a rather unique event and after discussing the invitation the band agreed it was such an interesting concept and too good an opportunity to turn down. So, in November 2012 Cressida confirmed they would reunite once more for an appearance at Melloboat in September 2013.
After many months of planning and preparation, the band met up again for the first time in 2 years in the Highlands of Scotland for rehearsals.
News of the band's impending performance at Melloboat had Cressida's Facebook page lighting up with many fans from around the world bemoaning the fact that they wouldn't be able to get there.
The rehearsals went well and the only issues were around which numbers to drop for the one hour set they would be playing on Melloboat.
When the band found out a couple of months later that Opeth would also be appearing it was strongly rumoured that Mikael Akerfeldt, a close friend of Stefan Dimle the Melloboat Festival organiser, had played a key role in getting Cressida on the bill!
As they had 2 years previously, the band gathered in the Highglands of Scotland for a week of rehearsals, reminiscing and collective banter!
The band gathering together again in September 2013
Rehearsing for the Melloboat Festival
At the end of the week's rehearsals the band played a warm-up gig at a small venue in Inverness. With the advanced national and local publicity the interest in this rare appearance by the band was high ands it was no surprise that the gig was a sell-out with the small venues packed to bursting with people keen to see Cressida performing live again. At the same time it provided the band with the opportunity for a run-out of their planned Melloboat set past a live audience.
The evening was a triumph, the audience loved it and the band received a standing ovation at the end.
And so to Sweden, and the city of Stockholm where the Melloboat was berthed in preparation for its cruise through the Swedish archipelago and across the Baltic Sea to Riva in Latvia. A relaxing evening in Stockholm as guests of the Melloboat organisers in their club and an early night before embarking on the ship and a leisurely cruise watching the myriad of small islands drifting past.
With three or four different stages on the ship there were many bands performing each evening, with the audiences drawn mainly from Scandinavia but with a sizeable contingent from Russia, Germany and several other countries as far away as Chile!
The band took to the Main stage on Saturday evening in a packed out room with an audience waiting expectantly to see the band. The set was delayed as the sound and lighting engineers, confused by the one hour time difference between Sweden and Latvia, had gone off for a sauna! But finally the waiting was over and the band took to the stage with a great reception.
For the next hour the band performed at their very best, running through a set list of some of their best loved songs includng Survivor, Lights In My Mind, Depression, Down Down, Winter is Coming Again, Play Your Little Game, Munich, The Only Earthman in Town, Let Them Come When They Will and Tomorrow is a Whole New Day.
At the end of their performance, the band received a standing ovation. The audiences shouts and applause reverberated around the packed room. It had been a triumph!
After the show, the band gathered to meet their fans and sign autographs. They were amazed to see this long queue snaking around the room and out into the corridoor! Fot the next hour and a half the guys posed for photographs and sat patiently signing CDs, albums and t-shirts, thanking everyone for being there.
Following their Melloboat appearance, many fans took to Facebook to leave their comments:
So, another memorable event in the career of the legendary Cressida drew to a close as they said their farewells and departed to places far and wide. Will this be the final chapter in their story?
Only time will tell.