Nunatak (band)

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Nunatak NPR.jpg
Nunatak rehearsing for the Live Earth Concert
Background information
OriginRothera, Antarctica
GenresIndie rock
Years active2006–2007, 2012 [1]
WebsiteAntarctic rock band Nunatak
MembersMatt Balmer
Tris Thorne
Alison Massey
Rob Webster
Roger Stilwell

Nunatak was the British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) Rothera Research Station’s house band. The five person indie rock band was part of a science team investigating climate change and evolutionary biology on the Antarctic Peninsula.[2] They are chiefly known for their participation in Live Earth in 2007, where they were the only band to play in the event's Antarctica concert.


The band's name is the Greenlandic word for a mountain top protruding from an ice sheet. Originally, the band had named itself after a disease previously common to Punta Arenas roughly translated to "Rat Shit Death" but felt that the pronunciation of that name was less than politically correct.[citation needed]

The band disbanded in 2007, as its members returned to the United Kingdom, but they reunited to perform in the Sanday, Orkney Soulka festival in 2012.[1]

Live Earth[edit]

Nunatak played the Live Earth Antarctica concert on July 7, 2007, to a "sell out" crowd of seventeen, the entire population of the Rothera Research Station.[3] Their participation fulfilled the event's promise to hold a concert on all seven continents. Lead singer Matt Balmer, 22, said of the event that the band "expected to spend our Antarctic winter here at Rothera quietly getting on with our work and maybe performing at the occasional Saturday night party. We could never have imagined taking part in a global concert."[4]

In the buildup to the event, Director of BAS Professor Chris Rapley said:

The need to reduce our carbon emissions to avoid serious climate change is one of the greatest challenges humans have had to confront – is a complex issue that will only be solved by us all working together – scientists, politicians and society. Right now, Antarctic scientists and our colleagues in the Arctic are taking part in International Polar Year - the biggest ever globally co-ordinated research effort – to help find the way forward. Hopefully, Live Earth will make a real difference in public awareness and attract talented young people to become scientists – it’s a cool job with a real purpose. I am looking forward to Nunatak’s appearance in the Live Earth concert inspiring young people the world over.[5]

British Antarctic Survey cameraman Pete Bucktrout made videos of the band's performances that were transmitted back from Antarctica for later inclusion in Live Earth.[6] The videos are available on the BAS website and the BAS YouTube channel.[7][8][9]

Line up[edit]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ "Live in the Antarctic, It's Nunatak". NPR. 2 July 2007. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  3. ^ "About Rothera". British Antarctic Survey. 2014. Archived from the original on 10 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Antarctic gig secured for Live Earth". NBC News. 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  5. ^ "Press Release - Antarctica - the coolest Live Earth gig in the world". British Antarctic Survey. 12 June 2007. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  6. ^ Collett-White, Mike (6 July 2007). "Unknown Antarctica band joins Live Earth megastars". London: Reuters. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
  7. ^ "Watch the Performances - Nunatak at Live Earth 2007". British Antarctic Survey. 2014. Archived from the original on 10 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  8. ^ "Antarctic Survey : Nunatak Live Earth". YouTube. 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  9. ^ "RaiNews 24 Exclusive Snippet ("How Many People")". YouTube.
  10. ^ "About the Band - Nunatak". British Antarctic Survey. 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.

External links[edit]