Following the fun we had re-releasing the Durham Street Studio compilation albums from the 1984/95 period we have been on a mission to bring you more in our Spend One English Penny series. Rumours that the VainGloriousUK team are having to relocate to various tax havens are unfounded we hasten to add. Meanwhile we are delighted to bring the first of these with A Fine Kettle of Fish (we could not resist making one final stupid fishy pun)
The Durham Street Studio story - Today anyone with a musical inclination is likely to have access to technology to turn their ideas into something that can be played and shared. In the olden days however this was not the case as record companies ruled the airwaves and very expensive recordings studios were the only way music could be recorded.
Peter Gowland took his pleasure playing drums in various jazz fusion and rock type ensembles such as Terry and the Dogs, Alien Stains and Lard King. In 1981 he had a proper job developing ‘community projects’ to help the poor unemployed of Hartlepool N E England. He was approached by a bunch of young people with dodgy haircuts seeking help to find somewhere they could make a loud noise to rehearse their music.
At this time Peter was on first names terms with God who advised him to speak to the ladies who ran the United Reformed Church on the Headland in Hartlepool. Peter’s persuasive tongue led to the top floor of the Church hall being made available, first as rehearsal space, then as he secured funds, to create what quite possibly was the World’s First Community Recording Studio.
Soon the facilities were popular with Hartlepool musicians and beyond, and by the mid 80’s similar community facilities existed all round Britain. The facilities evolved into separate '4' track and '16' Track studios, including computer recording, training courses in how to use the equipment, a rehearsal room, concert tours of schools, a weekly 'CodTalk' column in the local paper and a monthly 'DefChew' concert at the Hartlepool Grand Hotel (with the assistance of Satans Slaves).
To promote the local music scene to the wider public The Durham Street Studios (as it was rather unimaginatively called) also released compilations of the music recorded there.
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