A University Town
It's an unlikely and uncomfortable space.
But it's the start of something.
It's the basement of a house that used to belong to a famous astronomer.
Luckily it's pretty sound-proof.
In the street above, pedestrians, cyclists and tourists don't hear a thing.
There's a kind of proto-band down here.
And it sounds kind of funky.
But the basement tapes are lost.
We really need a better place to record this stuff.
Back to Nature
A barn in Oxfordshire.
A country house in Hampshire.
All a bit of a blur.
The only recording equipment available is an ancient reel-to-reel monster. But at least it can do "sound on sound". And, somehow, it's possible to get reverb out of it.
Sure, some of it sounds like Joy Division or Depeche Mode. So what?
Some of these recordings were transferred to cassette tapes. And at least one of the cassettes still exists.
New technology seems promising.
But the rural interlude ends.
The experiments are over. Economic reality prevails. We enter the wilderness years.
As it tends to
Some of it happens in America.
Computer technology becomes ever more interesting.
And now we are in Camden, London.
Under the railway arches
Scar Studios doesn't exist any more. It has been "redeveloped".
It occupied the space under the railway arches just down the road from the Hawley Arms pub.
There were about six studios of varying sizes. On two levels, at least. You could never be quite sure how many levels there were. The place was a kind of dimly lit labyrinth, and there were corners that you'd be reluctant to venture into.
In the large studio on the upper level you could hear - and feel - the Overground trains trundling overhead.
We had a lot of sessions at Scar over several years. And we usually had the help of the brilliant guitarist with Desperate Journalist.
Many of the sessions were recorded. And these recordings inspired most of the songs on Hawley Road.
One of them even alludes to the place directly.
Play the song 'Scar'...
Under the actual road on Kentish Town Road
After Scar closed we moved about ten minutes north to Creation Studios.
It's under the road but you can't hear the traffic.
And yes, it used to be a public toilet. It still has the plumbing.
There's only one room, but it's a good space. And it's air-conditioned.
We simply took the Hawley Road spirit and relocated it to Kentish Town Road.
Creation Studios is where we recorded the drum samples that we used on the Hawley Road album. All done with a little Zoom stereo recorder.
And some demo vocals. Just a laptop, a Focusrite interface and a Rode microphone.
So we had a lot of material. And we had the technology...
The Hawley Road album
We finally did it
Nineteen songs about the past, the future, and the right here and now.
Play the whole album from this playlist.
Time to start on the next album?