A few days before Christmas – while Europe is completely snowed in – London-based Wild Palms have a show on in Vienna. After struggling with some technical problems at the soundcheck and some waiting around (“Sorry guys, this was the longest soundcheck we ever had!”), the five English lads are ready for an offstage performance in a smallish bar next to the venue Badeschiff at the Danube Canal. There is not much diversion in this bare setting – except some blinking fairy lights at the glass front -, so it is all left to Wild Palms to create ambience with their music. And their performance of “Not Wing Clippers” and “To The Lighthouse” turns out superb! While the city is muted by snow, the small spot resounds to the fullest. However, it turns out the next day that Wild Palms’ flight back to London is cancelled due to the heavy snowfalls. They still made it home for Christmas though.
Badeschiff is a floating open air bath anchored in the Donaukanal near bustling Schwedenplatz. It consists of two ships that are tied together with the big one hosting a sun deck, a bar, a restaurant and a music club in the basement fittingly called Laderaum (cargo hold) and the smaller one appending the pool area. Badeschiff is one of four private run open air baths in Vienna and definitely has the longest opening hours of all the city’s bathing facilities. There are still people swimming their laps in the 26-meter-long pool when the nearby banks of the Donaukanal become busy in the evening and the nightlife crowd passes by to get to the numerous bars and cafés of the area. Badeschiff was opened in July 2006 and inspired by a very similar floating swimming pool in Berlin. The idea, though, is not new. Parisians are said to have built an ancestor of today’s Badeschiff in 1761. A Viennese doctor soon improved the French model and opened a so-called bathing raft which served as an archetype for several pool ships all over Europe. Almost 250 years later the 18th century idea got revived and – again – spreads on the continent.