The Premises Studios Page 2

Raising The Roof
The studio says the aim behind it is to give 'musicians of all ages, abilities and budgets the opportunity to work and train in studios frequented by the likes of Laura Marling, Michael Kiwanuka, FKA Twigs, Emeli Sande, Sam Smith, Stormzy and Paloma Faith to name just a few'.


James Ford of Simian Mobile Disco

The organisation started out running the most successful New Deal For Musicians scheme in the country, giving a head start to many upcoming artists. From there the Education Programme developed a series of workshops including a Jazz Vocal and Recording Workshop, a Songwriting and Recording Course with A-list master-class tutors, along with an annual Jazz Piano Summerschool.



The charity also works with Hackney Music Service Network and local schools, one popular activity being the Saturday Voice Jam. This is billed as 'a unique opportunity for young people to form vocal groups, improve their singing skills, make recordings and put on roof-raising performances'.

In 1998 the charity bought 205-209 Hackney Road and the studio expanded, using all the buildings until 2010 when the facility at 201-203 was let go.


London synth band Hot Chip on stage at the Lollapalooza festival in 2015

Green Giant
As well as being community minded, The Premises has green ambitions too. In 2007, it debuted the UK's first solar-powered recording studio with Razorlight's Johnny Borrell recording a song for Friends Of The Earth as part of the Big Ask Campaign. This was designed to lobby the government to introduce a climate change law that committed the UK to cutting its carbon dioxide emissions by at least 3% every year. The Premises also joined with FOTE in backing the 10:10 movement, a business group advocating the cut of carbon emissions by 10% by 2010. It also supported the Renewable Energy Association, which was calling for a financial reward for homes and businesses that generate their own clean renewable energy. This series of partnerships saw the studio win the inaugural Best Green Business Award at the annual Music Week Awards.


Another group to have booked studio rehearsal time to sharpen their chops were Arctic Monkeys

Today The Premises comprises 14 studios: a mixture of rehearsal rooms, recording and mixing spaces and privately hired areas such as the studio Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford enjoys. It's here he produced The Klaxon's Mercury Prize winning Myths Of A Near Future in 2007. Others who have passed through the doors include Nina Simone, Arctic Monkeys, Nick Cave, Amy Winehouse, Jamie Cullum, Al Green, Franz Ferdinand, Charlotte Church, Lily Allen and Hot Chip, most of whom have worked out of one of The Premises' two flagship studios.


Lily Allen, who recorded parts of her 2009 album It's Not Me, It's You (inset) at The Premises

Studio A is the solar-powered 1000ft2 penthouse suite made up of a control room and a 700ft2 acoustically designed live room with natural light. It also features a floating floor, drum and vocal isolation booths and a Yamaha C3 series acoustic grand piano. The control room was designed by Roger D'Arcy of Recording Architecture and centres around a 24-channel SSL AWS900 analogue desk with full SSL automation and TotalRecall – a system that saves a snapshot of current console settings for later use. It also offers a Pro Tools HD2 TDM system, and monitoring via ATC SCM20ASL, ATC SCM50A, Yamaha NS-10M and Mackie HR626 loudspeakers. It was in Studio A that Lana Del Rey shot her brilliant Video Games (Live At The Premises), which you can find on YouTube.

Jamie Cullum

Jamie Cullum performing at the Akershus Festning, Oslo in 2017

Little Star
Studio B is mostly used for mixing and offers a control room designed by Nick Terry of Thermionic Culture and The Beat Farm's Marco Perry. There's vintage and brand new equipment available, including a customised 56-channel Trident console with a 15-channel Cadac side-car and Pro Tools such as AMS, Neve, Drawmer, and Eventide.


From the heart of Glasgow to the Hackney Rd – Scottish quintet Franz Ferdinand have used The Premises too

Times are currently tough in the recording industry, but The Premises Studios is bucking the trend offering high-end facilities at competitive prices. Viv Broughton says: 'The Premises has an undefinable vibe, a unique atmosphere that makes it the perfect incubator for all kinds of great music. Despite the hundreds of big names who have passed through the doors, it's a resolutely unstarry joint...'. Lovely jubbly.