Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Abbey Road

I fulfilled an ambition today, and got, for the first time in my life, to record something at Abbey Road studios. It shouldn't have been any more exciting than recording music at any other studio, but it absolutely was! I tried to play it cool. God knows I did, but even as we arrived, and saw the tourists all lining up in groups of fours to walk across "that" zebra crossing, my heart started pounding...

Quite aside from this being where the Beatles recorded everything, in fact where everyone recorded everything, it's where Roy Harper created those epic tracks like Me and My Woman and my beloved Kate Bush made all of her albums. It was opened by Edward Elgar. Edward Elgar! How's that for an extraordinary link to genius?!

It's probably a bit corporatey these days, they sell merchandise, and a few suspicious men in suits were milling around in the cafe, but there's definitely something in the air there. Something a little magical. It has the same heady creative buzz as the corridors of the old Television Centre. I hope it doesn't meet the same fate. You'd think it's iconic status would make it impervious, but they said the same about the BBC's flagship building, and Polar Studios in Stockholm, specifically designed by ABBA, is now a blinking gym!

We were in Studio Two today, although I darted into the empty (and vast) Studio One for a couple of minutes and played the opening bars of Wuthering Heights on an upright piano. There was a surprising shimmery brightness to the sound which made me wonder if it wasn't the actual instrument old Kate played on the track. Perhaps it was simply the room's acoustic. It was a wonderful moment, the memory of which I shall cherish.

Nathan and I were singing on the soundtrack of a feature-length documentary written by a friend of Uncle Bill's. There were eight professional singers and a children's choir from a school in Rye who were horribly late because their bus didn't arrive to pick them up!

We did the same sequence of music again and again, in different styles, until we wondered why we were still singing it! Such is the nature of film, one assumes. I'd certainly love to have been running a session with a choir of pros at Abbey Road Studios... The things I'd have recorded! I'm definitely in the wrong business!

But Abbey Road! What a treat! I suspect only lunacy or Alzheimer's will shake today's magical memories from my mind!

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