Brixton Hill’s ‘Guitar Repair Guy’ and all round good egg, Jimi Scandal speaks to John Clay about where we were, where we’re at now and how you can have a say in the future of Brixton Hill Studios…oh and what a great boss Stephen Gilchrist is! It’s an interesting read, giving a detailed account of just what happened with our landlord, and the work we are putting in to finding ways to combat the ongoing rent increases and keep the studios open.
Want to get involved? – please take our short survey, your opinion will really help us in our endeavour to establish a rent controlled building that will house us and other arts projects>>
Thanks again to everyone who signed the petition, shouted about us, or shared the plight of our potential closure with the wider world. We are very happy that this public pressure led to a negotiation with landlord Jerry Knight at Lexadon and that we are able to continue to provide a service to the music community of Brixton and beyond.
Unfortunately, the rent has still risen an eye-watering amount – this, along with rising costs and inflation, means that we are forced to raise our prices to stay afloat.
We hope you understand and appreciate you continued support.
Below are our new rates plus a few points worthy of mention:
STUDIO 3 – Will now include 2 combo guitar amps in the backline.
STUDIO 1 & 2 – Will have a PA/monitor upgrade, PLUS up until the end of December we are trialing a new 4.5 hour weeknight slot in these rooms – 6.30pm-11pm / 7pm-11.30pm.
ALL STUDIOS – For the whole of October we are offering 20% off the weeknight 9pm-midnight slots in all the rooms.
Anything you book in before October 1st 2023 will be charged at September 2023 prices.
COMING SOON – BXHS Loyalty Cards – More on that to follow
The rent will continue to rise year on year, so we are actively looking to find a long term home With the help and advice of Lambeth Council, Music Venue Trust and Sister Midnight we hope to find and fund a community owned property that will be used for arts purposes in perpetuity, which can house Brixton Hill Studios and other arts groups and practitioners at a low rent. This could potentially benefit our customers as costs would reduce considerably and we’d be able to pass those savings on. Please help us in this venture by filling out our quick survey>>
Ever wondered how Brixton Hill Studios started 10 years ago?
Agnes Branner from the band Balamuc has made a short fly-on-the-wall film, narrated by BXHS boss Stephen Gilchrist. The film charts the history of the studios, looks at who’s using the space now and explores the #savebrixtonhillstudios campaign as this thriving hub of the South London music community faces the threat of closure.
We are extremely grateful to Agnes for her time and talent in putting this film together, we think it is great, we hope you enjoy it too. If you would like to keep up to date with progress of the campaign/closure/future plans/how you can help then please join our Facebook Group: Brixton Hill Studios Preservation Society
With restrictions now lifted, we are happy to reinstate our smaller studios (4 & 5) as safe to use for more than one person. With the new addition of air exchange units, we’re ready to open these rooms to bands again.
You can book your band sessions now on jammed. For those wanting to book at the solo rates, these are still available, please email us or book with us over the phone [020 8674 3065] and we can book you in at the reduced one person rate.
Studios 4 & 5
Before the pandemic we operated these studios as full band rehearsal rooms, but due to government guidelines about Covid-19, we felt unable to open them safely to more than one person. Now that restrictions have been lifted and having made some modifications to the air flow systems in these smaller rooms, we now feel confident to open them up for band bookings again. We even have some nice new amps and microphones to go with the original small scale drum kits in these rooms.
Due to their size, these rooms are better suited to groups of three, but we have had more in there in pre-pandemic times. If your troupe doesn’t need the drums, we are always happy to take the drum kit out to give you more space, but please give us some advance warning that you need the kit removed, and also be aware that due to the fast changeovers, this may cut in to your rehearsal time by 5 minutes or so. Just head on over to our booking app>> JAMMED to select, reserve and pay for your rehearsal. The new rates for these room are:
Studio prices as of May 2022
We are keen to continue to allow solo sessions to be booked in advance, and at least until we review in July, this will apply to both our quieter times AND our peak times which are weekday evenings and weekend daytimes. In this transition period you will be unable to make a reduced rate booking via the Jammed booking app, instead you will need to call 020 8674 3065 or email us to book at the reduced rate:
Solo/Drum/DJ/Teaching rates as of May 2022
In addition to this, If you want to book a solo session in advance on the week evenings, you will have to take a slot of either 6pm-9pm or 9pm-12am (or 6pm-12am). This is so we can allow two bookings per evening in each room and make the best use of the space. As always, you are welcome to ring up on the day to see if we have space available for a solo session, at which point there may be more flexibility on start time and length of your session. We will always try to fit you in where we can, it’s just a case of figuring out the best way to make use of our spaces.
We will still be offering the solo rate to teachers.
New DJ/Solo Room
If you want to book a shorter time slot in the evening in advance, you can also use our new DJ and solo rate room – please be aware this is upstairs and does not include a drum kit. It does have a small vocal PA, but this room is designed to have quieter occupants such as acoustic instrumentalists and singers.
As always, a massive thank you for bringing us your custom. We hope you still enjoy coming here and being creative, understand why we have taken these decisions, and can be patient with us while we try to work out the best way to get back up and running to full capacity. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions/feedback.
Hi all, we hope you guys are well and looking forward to the proposed changes that are planned. It’s been great to see those of you who have returned to the studio since we re-opened in August and we look forward to seeing more of you as the days and weeks progress. We thought now would be a good time to comment on the projected road map announced by the government in recent weeks.
Firstly there is a lot of confusion as to whether or not bands are currently able to return to the studio. The short answer is that if you are professional or working towards a professional engagement or writing/arranging for a commercial release then you are allowed to rehearse. However, the definition of professional is quite broad, meaning that if you are paid in any way shape or form for your performance, be that £10 or £100,000 that is considered a professional engagement. It does not have to be pre-determined fee either so, for example, if you are playing at the Windmill and you are given a cut of the door at the end then that counts as a professional engagement.
Step 1 – 8th March / 29th March
Any professional musicians / groups can rehearse if their rehearsal is for a paid gig. There is no time frame for when the gig has to take place so it can be for a gig tonight or months in the future. Perhaps you are preparing for next New Years Eve? It should be a good one!
You are on your own, right? So the only person you are going to be confined to a room with is yourself and that awesome new rig you want to test out at full blast. Don’t forget to keep the doors closed.
This is considered a professional activity. Should you be recording a demo which will be used for booking shows, seeking professional contracts or recording for a commercial release this is considered work.
Talking of recording, why not check out our new recording website? http://brixtonrecording.com – we are offering 50% off all bookings for a limited time.
Broadcasting / Streaming
Any live performance broadcasting is considered a work activity should it involve any possible reward at any point. This can include any payment from song writing residuals / royalties paid to you by a body like the PRS to donations made to your paypal account in respect of the said broadcast.
The Musicians Union’s published advice is that private tuition can happen if the lessons are “…for the purposes of obtaining a regulated qualification, meeting the entry requirements for an education institution, or to undertake exams and assessments“. Again, if your students are studying towards some kind of attainment then you are good to go.
We are also happy to announce we are now an RSL Awards examination centre, so if your students are studying towards an RSL award exam, then the chances are they will be taking their exam in the familiar surroundings of BXHS.
If you get together just to play for fun, a musical “kick about in the park” and you have no pretence towards playing a paid engagement then I am afraid that you are still subject to the rules regarding no internal mixing with members from another household.
Step 2 – 12th April
Professional Musicians / Recording / Broadcasting / Streaming / Solo Musicians / Private Teaching
From April 12th at the earliest pilot events will be taking place around the country, and as such you will hopefully start to see work beginning again. There will be no changes, so carry on booking your sessions it will be business as usual at the studio.
While you may be able to go back to the shops and make appointments at hairdressers, unfortunately you will have to wait until step 3 to come back to the studio. Keep practising them scales and your stage craft in front of the mirror. Nearly there…
Step 3 – 17th May
Professional Musicians / Recording / Broadcasting / Streaming / Solo Musicians / Private Teaching
No changes, carry on business as usual.
Welcome home the rest of you. As long as the rules of no more than 6 people per room are not altered you should be ok to return. We have restrictions on numbers in each room currently* but we will be reviewing these as the government restrictions are lifted. We will hopefully be able to increase numbers in each room but only when we feel it is safe to do so.
*Studio 1 = 5 persons, Studio 2 = 4 persons, Studio 3 = 3 persons, Studio 4/5 TBC
Step 4 – 21st June
Welcome back one and all. Hopefully we should have some sense of normality at this point. We shall of course keep a breast of any advice and restrictions as it is important that we retain a safe environment for you all to return to. We currently leave time between bookings to air the studios, have hand sanitiser available throughout the building and sanitise/clean studios and equipment thoroughly throughout the day.
There’s a lot of catching up to do so the quicker you book in, the better. In fact to help you guys a little we are going to throw you a couple of discounts when you book your rehearsal with us online.
If you are booking a session in for between now and 11th April we are offering a 15% discount on all rehearsals. Just go to http://brixtonhill.jammed.app and when you book type in SPRING15 before you check out.
If you are booking a session in for between 12th April and 31st July we are offering a 10% discount on all rehearsals. Just go to http://brixtonhill.jammed.app and when you book type in SUMMER10 before you check out.
As we mentioned here last year, we received a Culture Recovery Fund grant from Arts Council England. This not only meant we could stay open for musicians who need a facility where they can work, but we have been able to acquire top notch equipment for a range of new services, which we are implementing over the next few months at a 50% OFF INTRODUCTORY DISCOUNT.
So what’s new?
Well for starters, a shiny new Audient ASP8024 HE mixing console and new monitors in our remodelled control room. Plus we are halving our normal recording by rates for the next few months, to help musicians get back on their feet during this time of financial strain. Whether you’re after digital or analogue recording, we can get you the perfect sound for your tracks.
Audio Transfer and Digital Archiving
We now have the gear and people-power to take your music from physical format to digital (or different physical) format. So those demos you mastered to DAT tape, rehearsals you recorded onto MiniDisc, sessions you recorded to 2″ tape can all be lovingly transferred to WAV to be backed up on to a hard drive, or given a new lease of creative life in your DAW set up, or worked on here in our studio. We can even archive rare vinyl from your beloved record collection. Book now and get 50% OFF. Learn more…
We can help you finish that song you’ve been struggling to mix, or get rid of extraneous background noise on a track. We can even take your stems and run them through any of our collection of vintage amps and synths recording them with your choice from our range of microphones. All you need to do is send over the files… Get in touch today to claim a 50% DISCOUNT. Learn more…
We’ve also become the proud owners of a some RØDEcaster Pro integrated podcasting production consoles and professional broadcast quality Audio Technica AT2035 microphones, which go together to build two portable podcast studios with all the whistles and bells. Record here or hire them out (subject to deposit) to use in your own workspace.
No matter how or where you record your podcast, we can edit it here at Brixton Hill Studios so you can get the most professional sounding audio – we can even write the theme tune! And remember, all packages are currently HALF PRICELearn more…
Brixton Hill Broadcasting
We’re also working on our very own podcast episodes, we’ll hopefully be chatting to some good friends of the studio who can help out with advice for musicians, from DIY releases to online shows, from gear recommendations to working from home. If you have any burning questions get in touch at email@example.com and we’ll try to find the answers.
There are other plans afoot too, but we’ll get on to those another day. For now – go peruse our new websitewww.brixtonrecording.com and let us know how we can help.
We hope you’re all doing well. We’d like to thank you all for your kind messages over the last few months. It’s been difficult for everyone, especially those in the Arts sector, and we really appreciate your support.
We would like to THANK YOU all for adhering to the guidelines, so far there have been NO OUTBREAKS IN ANY UK REHEARSAL VENUES.
We understand that some of the restrictions we have put in place have taken some adapting to. So to encourage everyone to come and use the studio, we are trialling a new booking system with revised rates. This means you can book ANY STUDIO YOU LIKE FOR AS LONG AS YOU LIKE for ultimate flexibility. You can try Studio 1 during the day for just an hour to run through a set for £15, or Studio 4all day for drum practise from only £7.50 per hour. It’s up to you.
New price rates per hour
We are adapting the studio as new advice is received and are working on some new and exciting innovations to our services, thanks to the generous help we have received from The Culture Recovery Fund. We shall be unveiling these shortly so WATCH THIS SPACE!!!
*Payment will be taken online at time of booking, we are also waiving our 48hr cancellation policy , however please be mindful and let us know as soon as possible if you won’t be attending your booking
Frequently asked questions:
Does my booking have to start on the hour? – No, if it is available you will be able to book on the half hour, or finish on the half hour, or even book for 3 and a half hours etc.
Do I still have to book a 3 hour slot in the evening? – No, you can book as many hours as you like in the evening. Evening rates start at 6pm.
Can I call you to make a booking? – You are welcome to call us and we can check availability for you, but the booking will need to be made and paid for online in advance.
Can I pay for my share of the rehearsal separately? – Not yet, but our new booking system jammed.app are working on it and we hope to have it in place by the end of 2020.
Can I still hire cymbals and/or a bass guitar? – Yes, you can book anything you need for your session and anything you need from our pro shop too, like strings, picks and drumsticks at the time of booking.
How many people can rehearse per room? – At the moment restrictions are still in place. On our new booking system brixtonhill.jammed.app you can see the capacity available in each room. Currently the maximum per studio is: Studio 1 – 5 persons Studio 2 – 4 persons Studio 3 – 3 persons Studio 4 – 2 persons
Are you still offering recording? – Yes we are and our two fine engineers, Nick Howiantz and Alessio Costa are available to make your hits come true.
Will bookingsalready made stay the same or change to new pricing? – Bookings made on appointed are already paid for and will stay at the rate they were when booked.