Successful recording studio near Wymondham relocates
A Norfolk recording studio which helped scores of local fledging bands make inroads into the tough music industry has closed its doors - but the producers promise their hearts remain in nurturing the best of the county's grassroots talent.
Leeders Farm Studio, based in a converted 17th century farmhouse in Spooner Row, near Wymondham, was opened about five years ago by owner Dan Hawkins, guitarist with multi Brit award-winning band The Darkness, with friend and experienced producer Nick Brine.
As well as playing host to a collection of world class acts, including the Arctic Monkeys, KT Tunstall and Seasick Steve, the tucked-away residential studio also did its bit for the local music scene by opening up its state-of-the-art facilities to unsigned artists for discounted prices and running competitions which provided winners with invaluable advice, demos and introductions to some of the UK's major record labels.
The studio was also used as a base for KAN Records, run under umbrella company Popportunity Rocks, which acted as a development agency for emerging musicians in a bid to get them signed to larger labels.
But this summer the popular building saw its last recording session as Dan went back on tour following the rebirth of The Darkness after a five year hiatus and the company's lease on the property expired.
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Popportunity Rocks decided to move to the more cost-effective, but larger Rockfield Studios, near Monmouth, Wales, where it would also have the room to expand into other areas of the music industry, including band consultancy and management.
However the business is maintaining its interest in Norfolk with the takeover of two smaller studios - one in Norwich city centre and the other near Holt - which will be run by the producers and engineers formerly based at Leeders Farm. Further details on the facilities will be released when they are officially launched in the coming months.
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Nick Brine, who began his career in Wales about 18 years ago and has worked alongside Bruce Springsteen, said any Norfolk bands approaching the company would still be offered discounted recording sessions and all the services they used to receive at Leeders Farm at its new Welsh base which has welcomed world-famous names including Coldplay, Queen and Oasis.
'We spent a great five years in Norfolk and we did a lot in the local music scene. We helped bands go up to the next level with a great facility which they did not have access to before and we made it affordable. I was quite surprised at how many really good musicians and bands there were,' he said.
'It was a great success in a very short time attracting the likes of the Arctic Monkeys and KT Tunstall who were using this brand new studio going on mine and Dan's reputation and we essentially out grew it.'
Further information is still available on the Leeders Farm website. Visit www.leedersfarm.com