Hello Londoners and welcome to June’s edition of The Music Connection. I hope that you’ve all had a good month and let’s hope that we have an even better summer.
This month, I decided to write a feature on one of Crouch End’s most historical and iconic landmarks, Church Studios in Crouch End.
In the early 1980’s the Church was owned by Bob Bura and John Hardwick, who were the animators who made ‘Camberwick Green‘ and ‘Captain Pugwash‘, after converting part of the Church as a studio.
In 1982, Bura and Hardwick stopped Dave Stewart in the street and offered him some working space in
their studio building. Dave Stewart was just starting out in a band called ‘The Eurythmics‘. Dave Stewart and his band mate Annie Lennox then moved into the church and completed their now famous debut album ‘Sweet Dreams‘ there.
The title track was a worldwide hit, topping the charts in various countries, including the US. The duo then went on to release a string of hit singles and albums before they split in 1990. By this time, Dave Stewart had already embarked on a parallel music career as a sought-after record producer, whilst Annie Lennox began a solo recording career in 1992 with her debut album ‘Diva‘.
The heart of this historic and spectacular building is The Church Studio 1, an epic tracking room with expansive floor space, triple height ceiling and a vast equipment spec. It was always destined to be a place where great music is made.
The studio is divided into a number of areas. Its enormous main room takes residence in the old church hall where for 150 years, religious services took place. The sound of the room alone is massive. One of the old church booths has also been converted into a large recording booth, which can accommodate drums and there are countless nooks and crannies around the building that can be exploited, for example the church spire which makes a brilliant echo chamber.
In 2004, Church Studios were bought by another legendary singer, David Gray, who is best known for his 1999 hit, ‘Babylon’. David went onto record three studio albums at the studios, before selling the studios in 2012, to influential British producer, Paul Epsworth; who has worked with an array of artists including Adele, Paul McCartney, Plan B and Florence Welsh.
As well as The Eurythmics and David Gray, musicians who have recorded at the studios include ‘My Bloody Valentine, Bob Dylan, Blur, Radiohead, Depeche Mode‘ and ‘James Morrison‘. More recently, rock band ‘U2‘ have also been recording new material at the studio. For the purpose of this article, singer Damon Albarn is quoted as saying “Church Studios is most definitely one of the most impressive recording studios in London and I’d personally like to see the studios continue to produce amazing music for at least the rest of my lifetime“.
Along with Konk Studios in Crouch End, the studios are regarded to be one of the most iconic buildings of Crouch End and the history of the studios are sure to impress even the most naive music fan.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the brief but useful insight.
You can follow Mark Anthony on Twitter at @mark_aofficial
See you all again in next month’s edition of the Music Connection …