September Newsletter


“It’s all about the groove, and the groove is another word for the Grail. People search for it everywhere, and when you find it, you hang on to it.” Keith Richards on Tom Waits.

Ah, such deep thoughts from two wizened and wise ones at the end of our non-summer. Except those of us who work in music understand the importance of the groove, that moment in music when the musician is at one with their instrument and the band, and nothing, but nothing can come between them. It’s a joyous thing to see, and we see it a lot, here. We catch a glimpse, but we can never see, not really.  And that’s OK. Pretty much everyone can feel the groove, even watching a band play an enormodome stage at a Summer Festival, but can we feel it? Who cares. It’s joyous thing to hear and watch. Feeling it is a bonus.


And we really heard the groove during Yolanda Charles’ musicianship for drummers and bassists this August. The second Yolanda picks up her bass, she is in bass land with one foot, and in teaching land with the other. The ability to transmit the joy when you are playing your instrument, instead of the ‘It’s all about us, not about you,’ thing you can get from some stratospheric pop stars, is a rare and beautiful sight and sound. Every bass player played with a drummer they had not played with before, with Yolanda encouraging both drummer and bass player to go into musical spaces not previously explored. Sometimes people rush to the café during breaks, but this lot sort of drifted, floated into the café, hurrying back out to not miss a second of the workshop. As a result, we’ve decided one day is not enough, so if you are interested in doing a two day workshop with Yolanda, and you play bass or drums, contact: for more info on dates in the new year.


Where does classical string music meet jazz? We woulda figured on a street in Soho or Covent Garden, but there is a musical space not defined by Google maps, which is in the musical ether, a place where like-minded string instrumentalists can expand their repertoire and mix and match genres. Sorry for the very short notice but if you’re a string player you won’t want to miss this… the world renowned Atom Quartet are leading a FREE workshop in Studio 2 here TOMORROW (Friday 8th) from 3.30 to 5.30pm. To grab a last-minute place, call 0207 729 7593 now or email:



This was our 25th year running Jazz Piano Week, with some of our steadfast regulars returning, and some eager and able new recruits, tinkling the ivories with dedication, precision, and yet also a free feeling that comes only with expert tuition that allows the more confident to go slightly hog wild. You have to be pretty hardcore to join Piano Week, an intensive five days of tuition and recording (and recording is everything) with a lot of dedicated but fun practice with Nikki Yeoh, Tim Richards and John Crawford. Fast friendships were formed, with supportive and practical tips from all those involved. John Crawford’s Latin tinged day was as usual, controlled percussive mayhem, with every shaker and hitty thing being put to full use, temporarily transporting our rain sodden locale to a sultry, sun-soaked Tequila joint far away from here. As usual, everyone had a ton of fun. Watch the space for news of next year’s Piano Week as well as our Live Piano Performance Course.


We know most of you reading this might be, very likely, well above school age, but that is not to say you don’t know someone of secondary school age, or have someone of that age living with you and promising they’ll be home by 9, and lying. OK. Pencil this in cos it’s really fun and will get your kids doing something FOR FREE in October half term. We have our long running Voice Jam session at October half term, which runs from 24th-27th October, from the very teen respectable waking hours of 2:30pm to 6:30pm for rehearsal days, and a bit earlier for the recording day. The young people choose two songs and put an urban spin on them, under the guidance of Clive Brown, who has led Voice Jam with great spirit, joy, and a gentle iron fist, for as long as we can remember. It’s a great way to learn what it’s like to record in a pro recording studio, to make friends from other schools, and to discover the singing star within. Tell your kids! Tell your kid’s music teachers!  For more info or to sign up.

More freeness. This is the best deal ever and if I could sing or compose and were a whippersnapper, would grab it with both hands. The Premises, in conjunction with recording engineer Jack Daley, is looking for young composers, beatmakers and songwriters to participate in a project which gives you a few hours free studio time to FIX A PROBLEM with your track. Here’s the deal. You have a song you want to work on with professional feedback and engineering, for free, to make the song better, ready to go out in the world. Maybe the drums are not quite right. Maybe the top line doesn’t grab you the way it should. All we ask of you is that you are open-minded in working with trainee engineers (as well as Jack) who are neuro-diverse. That is, they may process thoughts and words differently to the way you do, but that does not stop them from helping you make an ace recording. It’s a pilot project and a great thing to be part of, as you will get expert feedback and recording, for free, and get used to working and hanging with people who might communicate in a different way to you. What you have to do in the first instance is send a quick recording to me, and I will send it to Jack, who will find a good fit for you. We have only THREE SPACES for this fantastic opportunity, so get in early as it is not first come, first served. It’s based on the song, and willingness to work with those who are differently abled. Email your song or link to:

A super warm Premises welcome to our new resident producer/songwriter Steve Knight, who’s taken over Studio 21 on the top floor and already has a bazillion projects on the go. He’s been working with the likes of ADMTCam HolmesSolomon and Antigoni who will all be releasing music in the coming months. As he’s in such a hurry to get his studio, we usually just see him dashing up the stairs, but he did pop in to the office to say it’s all going rather well here for him: “I’ve always felt at home at Premises and now I finally have a room here. I’m so happy to be part of the family!” Contact: @knightmusic


Last month, amongst many others, we were happy to welcome… Danny Silverstone, Michael Tomlinson, Jemma Rogers, Whatever, Kelly Lee Owens, Charlie Cunningham, Gary Cheevers, Folded Wing, Yumi, Alex Gold, Mae Muller, Dexy’s, Eliza, Kawala, Perhaps Contraption, Matt Felix, Lisey Tigra, Byte The Music, Eddie’s House, Jealous Nostril, Kalpee, Jam Shack, Clive Langer, Kinsi Abduhleh, Natalie Williams, Vula, Elephant Kind, Picture Parlour, House Gospel Choir, Moving Mirrors, Tomorrow’s Warriors, Rialto, Wendy Bevan, Bedhead, Dan Oates, Guy McCreery, Children of Zeus, Goldie, Nubya Garcia (see 3rd item above), Carcass, Horrifix, Khazali, Wendy Bevan, Fossils, Jack Hawitt, Jack Dora, Connie Constance, Sistra, The Funk Houses, Neddanamerbro, Elena Pelse, Emanative, Vocal Trepanare, Beth Orton, Moonshine Heavies, Twst, Jess Miller, Caspar Oakley, Charisse C, Etta Bond, Strabe, Jaz Karis, Issy Wood, Glory Choir, Boy Things,  Boy Bleach, Triggerfish, Deaf School, Vacations, Kid Cruise and Borough Council, Anna Calvi, Nilufer Yanya, Sundara Karma, Gigi Perez, Saint Kochi, Harry Nye, Rhoda Dakar,  Titania Krimpas, Lazy Habits, Yeule, Ilario Ferrari, Johnny Hates Jazz, Rachel Chinouriri, Lonesome Frets, Spearmint, Passing Ships, Benedict Benjamin, Jocelyn Brown, Asha Parkinson, Ian Shaw, Bite The Music, Saint Kochi and Cymande.



July 2023 Newsletter


“I don’t like country music, but I don’t mean to denigrate those who do. And for people who like country music, denigrate means ‘put down.”  – Bob Newhart

Ah we do love our Dad jokes at Premises HQ, but rest assured there was no denigration or indeed, degeneracy of any kind going on at our massive summer bash last month, a return to party form for friends, loyal customers and well, the usual suspects.  Without wanting to blow our own trumpet (we hired people to do that), this was a rammed and rambunctious affair that went on til the small hours.  Nobody cried, passed out, or choked on their own sick jokes. With good eats, supplied by the café, fine wines (supplied by Hackney’s finest cash n carry) and most of all, brilliant bands and DJs in every room, it was impossible not to have fun and dance like a wild thing. Even our main party host and reluctant dancer Viv Broughton did a little psychedelic fox trot to the likes of Cassius Cobbson, Whiskey Rebellion, Jazz Jamaica, Miraculous Mule, Justine Armatagh, Remetick and banging DJ sets  from General Nardo, Fari B and our own Floss.

Upstairs in Studio was a club within a club, a portal to exotic punch, karaoke and DJs to free up the minds and booties of all who partook of Joe’s strange brew and even those who didn’t. Truly, a great time was had by all. A few photos below with loads more pics + film here of people in compromising positions. (Should you not want yours published, a donation of £1,000, in unmarked notes, c/o Michele at The Premises will make them magically disappear.)



We have just ONE space left now on the 25th annual Piano Week led by Nikki Yeoh with Tim Richards, John Crawford and Dian Gasper. The course includes five days of intensive tuition and recording, as you hone your craft in improvisation, rhythm, harmony, modal jazz  and cut your own trio track in Studio A with pro rhythm section Mark Mondesir and Dominic Howles. £395 for all five days inc the master recording. For more info, or email:




Calling all bass players, drummers or rhythm sections in pairs. We still have a few spaces available for Yolanda Charles’ Musicianship course on 19th August from 10-4. The class is for musicians to fully develop their role in the rhythm section of a band. It’s not just about playing the right notes or beats at the right time, but working out grooves, your listening skills, your arranging contributions, your rhythmic dynamics to suit all genres, and equally important, solid music industry advice from someone who has over a 30 year career in the business both as a professional bass player and composer.  In the afternoon session drummer Nico Py will be participating. Yolanda has vast experience in all aspects of the music industry and has written a superb article on developing and sustaining a career. Read it here. And there’s more about the masterclass here, Or to register, email:


Lurine Cato’s popular Backing Vocals course in July sold out very quickly. If you would like to know in advance when her next course here is, please email:


During June, we welcomed amongst many others… Bat For Lashes, Patti Smith, Dirty Rumour, Biig Piig, Moving Mirrors, The Sid James Experience, Celeste, Elephant Kind, Chinchilla, Lesley Woods, Janjala, Richard Johnson, The Jam, Now Ex, Dark Moon, The Swingles, Fi McCluskey, Goldie, House Gospel Choir, Midtown Funk, Nadine Khouri, Issey Cross, Asha Gold, Remetik, The Flints, Bear’s Den, Jataneel Banerjee, The Weild Things, PP Arnold, Zoe Rahman, Tom Chaplin, Ezra Collective, Bakar,  Midas Jams, Passing Ships, Peter Edwards, Sam Tompkins, Baque Luar, Erin Bloomer, Songs of Summerisle, Laurence Guy, Deyaz, Laura Mvula, Grand Union Orchestra, Beren Olivia, Glory Choir, Body Type, Pip Millet, Nao Yoshioka, Dog Bowl, Emeli Sande, The Staves, Cymande, Yellow Days and Shingai Shoniwa.



Voice Jam – Oct 24th – 27th 2023


Want to record in a professional studio?

Here’s a chance for young singers in secondary school to rehearse and record in Hackney’s premier music studios!

All we ask of you is four hours a day (2.30 – 6.30pm) for three days (24th – 27th October) to rehearse and record two songs with Voice Jams leader Clive Brown. On the fourth day you will be in the recording studio from 11am – 3pm followed by a party with food and drinks and a chance to sing some more with mics and a sound system!

Beat boredom. Make new friends. And record two songs with a group of new mates.

No experience necessary, but a love of singing and performing is desirable.

And best of all, it’s all free!

Sign up here.

For more info:

Premises Summer Party 2023

Our mega summer bash (and bossman Viv’s big 80th) happened on June 10th, a rammed and rambunctious affair that went on til the small hours. With a lavish meze from the café, two excellent bars and most of all, ten brilliant bands and DJs rocking the rooms, it was impossible not to have fun and dance like a wild thing. Even main party host Viv Broughton did a little psychedelic fox trot to the likes of Cassius Cobbson, Whiskey Rebellion, Jazz Jamaica, Miraculous Mule, The Deviations, Remetick and banging DJ sets from General Nardo, Fari B and our very own Floss. Upstairs in Recording Studio A was a club within a club, a portal to exotic cocktails, karaoke and more live music from Dan D’Lion, Emmeline and Kari Bannerman and more, with DJs to free up the minds and booties of all who partook of Joe’s strange brew and even those who didn’t. Truly, a great time was had by all. Massive thanks to all the 350+ that came, all the bands and musicians, families and friends and all our wonderful staff who worked so hard to make it a night to remember. And a special thank you to Claudine Boeglin for taking so many great pics and videos. Here’s a selection and a Youtube compilation of some of her clips. If you too have some nice pics of the party, PLEASE send them! To:


June 2023 Newsletter


“At this point, let me affirm as emphatically and categorically as I may, that I do not consider the enjoyment of recorded music is in itself, any indication of abnormality or psychopathological disturbance.” 
Dr. H. Bowes, 1957

Well, we here at Premises HQ can’t work out if the above finding, clearly of great importance to the 50’s music-buying public, or of no importance whatsoever, is an indication that we music fanatics are way less interesting than we think we are. What a hideous idea, that we are ordinary, and have no music-related get out clause to explain our peculiar little ways. So, put another quid in the jukebox, safe in the knowledge that no one is going to question your sanity, on that count, anyway. Or better still, write a new song, for summer. ChatGPT tells us that June rhymes with Moon, so there’s a start…

Nikki Yeoh, along with Tim Richards and John Crawford, ran the very popular live jazz piano course in May, with some of our beloved usual suspects and some fresh and very talented new (to us) players. There was some truly majestic playing, plus a few participants who sang and-or switched from piano to percussion and back again. Practice did indeed make perfect, as the players took to the gig/party stage on the final day, with nerves of steel, playing jazz standards smoothly and professionally with bassist Larry Bartley, saxophonist Binker Golding and drummer Mark Mondesir. We turned Studio One into a nightclub, with free bar, salty snacks and vibes galore. More hilariously, the day before, we had students playing along to a silent screening of The King’s Coronation, a bit like in the old cinemas with piano players fitting the mood of the flickering screen. It was a hoot to watch Queen Camilla strut her stuff to “Someday My Prince Will Come,” as played on four Roland keyboards.


We can’t quite believe this August we’ll be hosting Nikki Yeoh’s 25th Piano Week.  We know some of you are regular attendees so if you are booking your hols, be sure to leave a Premises, piano-shaped space on those first five days of August. Class size is limited this year so get in early. Intensive workshops in Jazz, Blues, Funk and Latin styles, with full rehearsal and recording with ace rhythm section Mark Mondesir and Dominic HowlesFor more info.
And if you want to check out the stupendous Nikki Yeoh in full playing splendour, she’ll be performing with her outfit Infinitum at Ronnie Scott’s on the 19th of June. For more info:

By popular demand we are delighted to announce a return of bass player extraordinaire Yolanda Charles’ masterclass for bass players and drummers on 19th August 2023. The class is all about musicianship and learning the subtle art of playing the best you can with the rest of your band. Suitable for both drummers and bass players.
Musicians will learn how to develop a more nuanced approach to playing different styles and learn how to shape and influence feel and groove elements to improve their timing, communication and general approach to playing. 
Areas covered will include: timing, feel, style/genres, placement, internalising subdivisions, improving listening skills, developing awareness, and application of dynamics. 10am-4pm. £95. For more info.
To hear a playlist of Yolanda Charles’ work head here.


To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush, Premises regulars Grand Union Orchestra will be hosting a series of workshops and gigs in and around Hackney from the 17th-22nd of June. The finale will be a pay-what-you-can gig at the Hackney Empire on the 25th June. The band, 25 members strong, have always been about big, fun, dance-friendly music. Composer and co-founder Tony Haynes says it’s a natural fit. “This continues our mission to bring together musicians and singers from all musical traditions worldwide, and to use the power of music to engage in important culture discourse.”

In continuing our series in which we grab unsuspecting Premises people and demand to know what they are doing, creatively, we asked our very next-room-to-us neighbours, producers and writers Huntsmen, about the mellifluous sounds floating out of their studio. Imagine an uber chillout room mixed with a sound bath, and this is the beautiful EP Shelter On A Hill, created by Lake Turner and WEM who might bear a striking physical resemblance to Andrew and Aidan of Huntsmen, but we can’t say we’ve ever seen all four in the same room. To read our mini interview, click here.


This BV class is sold out, but if you want information on the next one:

Janette Mason, who runs our hugely popular Art of Arranging Course, is playing with Arya, a Nu Soul trio, comprising Janette, Juliet Roberts and Vimala Rowe. Be there or be square:

Amongst many others in May we welcomed…. Fourplay, Eric Bibb, Barry Can’t Swing, Thomas Headon, Asha Badale, Triggerfish, Mestizo, Billie Marten, Elephant Kind, James Ford, Osmium, Fossils, Laura Mvula, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Asian Dub Foundation, Cas Studier, Gabrielle, Phoebe Green, Abby Roberts, Irene Taylor Trust, Becky Hill, Clive Brown, Goldfrapp, Dan D’Lion, L.Devine, Saloni Thakkar, Dolores Forever, Levitation Orchestra, Funk Force Five, We Walk The Earth, Louis Dunford, Bat for Lashes, Pip Millett, Bedhead, Horrifix, Years and Years, Gavin Bryars, Kamal, Cymande, Sad Boys Club, The Stingrays, Village of The Sun, Urban Soul Orchestra, Lucy McWilliams, Mae Muller, Blues Project, The Composers, Little Simz, Perhaps Contraption, Ciara, French The Kid, Nicky Rubin, Apartment House, Lola Young, Logan J Parker, Yazmin Lacey, Eloise, Loyle Carner, Anna Calvi, Remetik, Ashnikko, Jake Shears, Boy Bleach, Patti Smith, and last but deffo not least, Goldie!



Michele Kirsch interviews…

LAKE TURNER AND WEM about their EP: Shelter on A Hill

Q1:  I am interested in the collaborative process when it’s not cut and dry, like this one does the words, that one does the music.  You both must be on the same page, to some extent, musically. Can you talk a bit how you work together? If there is a discussion about concepts, then working on stuff together, or just trying things out and seeing what comes up?

LAKE TURNER: “Often one of us will bring a loop or a repetitive sketch to the play and then we get in to the studio together and build some chords and moods and around that. I think generally it can start out with a loose or murky vision that we both try and help each other make sense of by just exploring sounds in the studio and using the studio as a compositional tool. Once we’ve got something down which we feel like it’s working, we’ll then conceptualise and talk about the journey of that piece and what we’re trying to convey and how we’ll achieve it.” 

Q2: I imagine you have to get into an entirely different headspace from when you are producing others to doing your own stuff. Do you, as a team, often have your own project on the go as well as others and if so, how do you stop the stuff you are working on for others, and those thoughts, from bleeding into your own stuff? This might be different for you, individually. One obvious thing might be, with others you are working to a deadline, but with your own stuff, you can end it when you want to end it? Or not?

WEM: “We usually have our own projects on the go, although invariably they get put on the back burner during busy times.  The main difference being when writing for pictures the primary focus becomes how to write music that supports or elevates the picture to new levels and it is a collaborative process with others within the production process.  When writing music for our own projects, effectively the only people we are answering to is ourselves (plus sometimes a label).  But the advantage of having frequent deadlines is that it’s helped us to learn how to sign off our own projects, and not get too wedded to endless amends. We definitely found switching between different parts of our brain tricky, but as you gain experience, your increased musical sensibility allows you to migrate into different musical head spaces a bit more easily.  Although this is a far from exact science and of course there are days when it is a more of a struggle.”

To get the latest EP head over to Bandcamp

Yolanda Charles – Masterclass in Musicianship for Rhythm Sections – 19th August 2023

On Saturday 19th August, we’ve got an intensive one-day Masterclass by bass player extraordinaire Yolanda Charles MBE, focusing on musical development for bass and drum players.

Yolanda, who has played and/or toured with Robbie Williams, Paul Weller, Squeeze and Hans Zimmer amongst others, will help those who play or want to play rhythm professionally, to develop a nuanced approach to style, influence, feel and groove. 

This is not suitable for beginners, but aimed towards drummers and bass players at levels intermediate and above, who have some experience playing their instrument within a band or group setting.

If you are in a band and want to come as a pair (bass and drums), that would be even better!

Or if you are a drummer or bass player seeking intensive practice with another bass player or drummer, then this is for you. Come on and feel the groove.

 Early Bird price of £95

More information here:


25th Annual Summer Piano Week – 1st – 5th August 2023

We’re back with another legendary Piano Week, running from 1-5th August 2023.

Immerse yourself in four days of intensive tuition in jazz, blues, funk and Latin style piano, with modules on improvisation, rhythm, harmony and modal jazz. Followed by a fifth day in Studio A, recording your own trio track (you on a grand piano that was played here by Nina Simone!) with a pro rhythm section. 

The tutors will be Nikki Yeoh, Tim Richards, and John Crawford with a fourth tutor TBC. Each teaching day will have a theme or several themes, and the students will be divided into two groups, swapping over after lunch break. 

On the recording day, you’ll be working with drummer Mark Mondesir and bassist Dominic Howles and with Nikki as musical director, you can’t go wrong.

The cost for the whole course is £395 for five days, all tuition and recording included, plus full band rehearsal on day 4.

You will come away with a lot more knowledge and a state-of-the-art recording of your piece. Please note that the pieces are from a selection of jazz, blues or Latin standards and not original compositions. 

This course is not for beginners. You should know your way around scales and reading music, but we can make some exceptions for those who play very well by ear.

Places are strictly limited to 12! For an application, email: