The Premises started life in 1986 as a couple of rooms behind a mini-cab office on Hackney Rd, a few doors along from where we are now. Originally a jazz hangout, the studios expanded with the Brit Pop explosion – Pulp were regulars, Blur wrote ‘Beard’ about the Premises (B side of ‘Parklife’) and Suede helped dig out the basement in return for studio time.
Brett Anderson remembers...“We would rehearse at a place called the Premises, a shabby, old townhouse rehearsal
room on Hackney Road. I think it's still there. It was draughty and scruffy and naturally noisy but kind of cosy. There was sweet tea and paraffin heaters, and the smell of stale smoke and sweat and the cigarette butts of a thousand unsigned bands.”
Unsurprisingly perhaps, after ten years of all those unsigned bands, the business was broke and owner Colin Dudman was forced to file for bankruptcy. Which might have been the end of the Premises if a certain music manager hadn’t been passing just as bailiffs were removing a valuable Steinway. Two weeks later and Viv Broughton was the proud owner of a mountain of debts and a semi-derelict building filled with broken gear.
It took a few years to fix all the problems and rebuild the studios but slowly the bands returned and once again the place was alive with great music. New careers were busy being born here and major name artists were drawn to the vibe. Our vast client list speaks for itself. In fact it would probably be quicker to name the great artists who haven’t worked here at some time or another.
Today the old studios are no more, knocked down and turned into luxury flats (what else) and we have moved to the three neighbouring buildings. The Premises these days is a modern multi-use music complex, with 24 studios, a legendary café, an education charity and storage for 35 bands. We even have an on-site clothes shop and a hair salon to keep our clients looking sharp.
The vibe though is the same as ever... like an extended family, with lots of noisy members. The paraffin heaters
however, are thankfully long gone.
Founded in 1996, the Premises Music Education Programme (PMEP) meets the demand for quality music education in a professional studio environment, distinct from traditional music colleges.
Our talented and experienced tutors, including Nikki Yeoh, Lurine Cato, Yolanda Charles, and others, bridge the gap between industry experience and passing on knowledge.
PMEP has hosted numerous courses spanning jazz vocals, piano, bass, drums, blues, and more! Notably, our Voice Jam during school terms reimagines choir singing by infusing rap and beats, culminating in professional recordings.
We're also engaged in a pioneering project uniting young music-makers and neurodiverse engineers for innovative tracks.
Additional courses under development include songwriting, acapella, and specialised training for Indian Carnatic instruments. We are very proud of our Collaborations with Hackney Music Services and Tower Hamlets Music Services, which have extended our reach into local secondary schools.
We eagerly welcome musical ideas for courses aimed at skill enhancement, especially those targeting aspiring musicians, singers, and songwriters. Please send your ideas to: email@example.com