British Army band rock around the dock in unusual concert for Royal Navy warship

It's not often a band gets to play under the sea but The Band of the Royal Yeomanry paid a visit to their affiliate warship HMS St Albans - 10 metres below sea level.

The Type 23 frigate is undergoing essential repair works following her nine-month deployment and more than 128,000 tonnes of water has been pumped from one of the 10 dry docks in Portsmouth Naval Base to allow the work to take place.

One of their affiliates - The Band of The Royal Yeomanry was due to play a concert nearby and thought they would pay the ship a visit.

"We have played in many an unusual setting," said the band's Director of Music Major Roy Falshaw, "and everywhere from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace. But this is definitely the first time in the band's long history that we will have played in a dry dock with the walls literally holding back the sea. It's an experience we will not forget!"

The Band of The Royal Yeomanry is a 35-piece military band based in London and is one of the oldest Army Reserve bands. As well as providing a full marching band for military parades they also provide woodwind and brass ensembles, concert, traditional jazz and big bands.

this is definitely the first time in the band's long history that we will have played in a dry dock with the walls literally holding back the sea. It's an experience we will not forget

Director of Music, Major Roy Falshaw

HMS St Albans will shortly be flooded back to return to operational capability following her maintenance package.

Deputy Marine Engineering Officer Lieutenant Peter Ainscow said: "Getting into dry dock is a lengthy process but it is essential to carry out essential underwater maintenance that otherwise would be expensive or impractical to be completed in the water by divers or in a habitat.

"All ships incur wear and tear from deployments and HMS St Albans in particular has been operating at a high operational tempo which makes this sort of work necessary for her continued capability."

Gareth Harding, Type 23 COM Waterfront Support Manager at BAE Systems, said: "We are pleased to be working in partnership with the ship's company to return HMS St Albans to operations as she nears the completion of her maintenance period at Portsmouth Naval Base."

To get the ship into the dry dock is a long evolution. The water, which could fill around 1,068,333 bathtubs was slowly pumped out of the dock for over 11 hours while HMS St Albans was kept sitting central using laser alignment. The ship is then kept upright by a series of large wooden beams that brace the ships side against the dock walls, with cranes levering them into position.

The precise process of lining the ship up is vital as all the underwater equipment located on an antisubmarine frigate, including her sonar dome, only have 50cm clearance to the dock bottom once all the water has been drained.

Maintenance works included repairs to her underwater fittings and works to her rudders, including painting them, to ensure they are preserved until the next planned maintenance period.